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Did Socrates say "Know Thyself", or was he misunderstood, as all are. Show Thyself is all we can do. The knowing is unknowable.  

I am filled with joy.  It can't be helped.  

Became a Farmer, Builder, Musician, Tank Commander, Librarian, Lawyer and Minister. I have failed at many things. And now retired.  Filled, just filled, with Joy. 

Monday, December 28, 2009

The School of Trees

I am attracted to plant life. The sight of a restaurant or bar repels me, but the sights of bush or the promises of a nursery, fill me with excitement. And there is more to plants than mere inspiration. Plants respond to threat--often with volatile carbon compounds -- phenols, alkaloids, and terpenes -- entrapping or irritating invaders.

The emitted chemicals are like cries of help, or like roars of intimidation. The volatile chemicals go airborne, and so reveal the dining caterpillar to the female dragon fly sniffing for a fat host to inject with her eggs. Surrounding plants often become more resistant to herbivore assaults, apparently tuning in to the message of the focal victim.

When a cruciform detects the presence of flutterby eggs on its leaves, glued on by benzyl cyanide, the plant detects the additive, and swiftly secretes ovicides, extrudes a carpet of neoplasms to push the eggs off, and issues attractants to wasps who prey upon caterpillars.

However, plants are not all ethical autotrophs wresting food from the sun, while surrounded by us animals who must kill to live. The parasitic dodder, related to morning glory vines, can detect the secretions of its favored host, the tomato. The seedlings grow toward the host, with the intention of encircling the stem and sucking its phloem unto death.

Nor is the iron needle clutch of the chonta palm, or the thorn in the bougainvillea bower and the rose bush, a mere inadvertency. The sting of the nestle, the scarlet scourge of the poison oak, these are not "unintended" -- Plants go to great care to produce "lessons" for other life forms in the environment.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Truth is a Fishwife and Belief is a Bastard

The "problem" for Belief is Truth; it really DOES matter whether the believed is true.

The "problem" for Truth is Belief; it really DOES matter whether the true thing is believed.

We inhabit the problematic. For the most part, our solutions fail when no one believes they can succeed, or they are in fact impossible solutions because they are based on a falsehood.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Posted on Tribes » Science & History » Thermodynamics and Entropy » topics »
Uh...Can Time exist without Motion? Maximum Low-entropy
topic posted Sat, June 28, 2008 - 12:27 PM by offline Tom Key

Ever since Georgescu-Roegen introduced -- more, he physiologically implanted it under the skin -- the concept of ENTROPY into economics, we have had to pay attention. Pay and pay. Of course that's entropic -- it is the exaction of existence, the paying and the pain. Entropically, more is taken than is given.

It is not a mystery that everything gets Colder, Slower, Darker, and Older; it is Law. The reality fixed by the structure of thermodynamic existence.

Of course, the key to this one-way vector is the "older" part -- the irreversibility of Time. Time is functioning as the growing medium of Entropy. We can variously make wine and vinegar out of grapes, but we cannot make grapes out of wine.

We have to wonder, however -- observe the rising bread of mystery -- whether Time could exist without motion, at maximum entropy. Mathematically, we have not shown that Time exists independently. Clearly, we have conservation of energy, but not of Time. Even in a low-entropy state, would there be confusion, or even a gradient, between yesterday and tomorrow?

The point here, is What is the point of a Big Bang? Was there a high-entropy state behind the low-entropy origin of our Universe?

And may I suggest, with irony of course, that there is Peace through Entropy. For ALL of us who decry religious wars, is there salvation in Physics? In a world populated with men and women dreaming of a Heaven for themselves and a Hell for the rest of us, if only all aspirant bombers and child-murderers would pause in their endeavors, to explain What God would reward them for destroying what has been "created" in and over such a brief and enduring Time?