Monthly Archives: August 2013

As we advance

Recently I have been looking for something of a distraction that would also encourage me to think rather than just playing some form of video game that while requiring thought and reasoning to complete is still somewhat linear and reactive in nature. To that end I have been re-watching Stargate Atlantis. Personally I enjoy science fiction as whilst of course by its nature is fictional and a good story many take elements of real science or current theories and expand on them based on possibilities fueled only by the imagination of the team involved in its creation. Our imagination and daring to dream is in my opinion one of the strong suits of the human race and the drive to improve/build upon what we already know and the pursuit of the currently unknowable and unprovable.

But as we advance our knowledge and understanding of our physical reality it also raises question of morality/ethics as what we as a race become capable of. When working on the Manhattan Project developing nuclear weapons for the United States Dr Julius Robert Oppenheimer quoted from the Bhagavad Gita a scripture contained within the Hindu epic Mahabharata “I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds” such was the sheer destructive power of the atomic bomb. Whilst frighteningly powerful nuclear weapons aside from the long term effects of the fissionable material being spread into the environment and hard radiation the destructive force is still somewhat limited to a relatively small area in the global/solar/galactic scale of things. Whilst we as a species possess a great affinity and aptitude for developing weapons with which to destroy ourselves the overall damage is limited to ourselves and our own world at this point in time, but as we advance technologically there may come a time where we can affect far more.

There were a couple of episodes in Stargate Atlantis that yes whilst fictional did highlight the philosophical and ethical question that I have been currently pondering. Whilst exploring the pegasus galaxy the team discover an ancient weapons research facility powered by an experimental reactor which was designed to extract vacuum energy from within our own level of reality rather than a limited region of space-time as utilized by the Z.P.M power sources. Given the sheer size of our physical reality with all the galaxies and space between them essentially it would provide the ability to pull an almost infinite amount of power limited in theory only by what could be processed by the equipment / capacitors capable of storing the energy. The ancients had abandoned the research presumably due to the ongoing war with the Wraith and losing the facility as was the assumption and Dr Mackay in his arrogance believed that he could get the system operational. As it turns out the research was abandoned as containment of the field could not be maintained, and when this was evident by the death of one of the team but this was not to stop his sheer determination in attempting to solve the problem.

Whilst his understanding of the physics was sound and according to him it shouldn’t have happened his arrogance resulted in the destruction of a solar system. Now I don’t claim to have more than a basic understanding of quantum physics ripping apart the fabric of what we consider reality doesn’t really seem to be the brightest ideas, and whilst if it did prove possible the results to me and common sense do not necessarily have the behave in the way you expect, in forcing the universe to do something it is not basically designed to do you shouldn’t necessarily expect the results to conform to what you expect either as evident by the destruction of the solar system due to the creation of exotic particles that did not conform to our local laws of physics and thus broke containment.

The solar system was uninhabited, and relatively unimportant aside from the weapons research facility so some may say no harm no foul and they learnt something from the experience, you mess with the universe the universe will mess with you back. Whilst the planet was a relatively barren rock thanks to the first round of testing of the weapon by the Ancients and unlikely to really support or develop life I would tend to be in agreement however we have a relatively short lifespan in the grand scheme of the universe and who is to say what could have been possible for that planet in the future? The destruction of the system pretty much guarantees that nothing will come of that world in the future.

Personally my view is if you want to royally mess with the workings of reality do it on a space station in the middle of nowhere so if you mess up nothing else (depending on what happened) would have to be affected except for deep space. In the development of the early nuclear weapons Dr Harry K Daghlian Jr when creating what would become known as the Demon Core accidentally dropped a brick of tungsten carbide into the core allowing it to reach super-critical, subsequently he removed it preventing the core from detonating and destroying the surrounding area but was exposed to a lethal dose of radiation and died less than a month afterwards. If you want to make something worse don’t do it near anything.

A continuation of this was when Mackays’ sister a mathematician and physics major wrote a proof around the creation of a bridge between alternate realities allowed the prospect of continuing this work by shunting the exotic particles created in the extraction of vacuum energy off to a parallel dimension. Now there are several current theories and beliefs of the existence of an infinite number of parallel dimensions/alternate realities based on different choices / events / rules being played out of which I am also a firm believer. It stands to reason that there would be realities in which their local laws of physics/nature are fundamentally different to our own and there may even be entire dimensions in which the creation that took place to create all that exists within our physical reality did not and it would essentially be a void, so in this instance would it be unreasonable to send things we didn’t want (pollution/energy/weird ass exotic particles) through to one of these realities?

The fundamental issue here is in determining what you are actually connecting to, if you connect to a reality which is similar in make up to ours shunting the problem from ours would still present a fundamental disruption to the reality in which you are shifting the problem too. Another issue is if you actually do connect to one that is a void, opposite or such how would you actually determine it before shunting off what you don’t want through the bridge? If the rules are fundamentally different you could end up creating a whole world of hurt and this would make it difficult to actually scout out the opposite end with your own equipment or self (imagine stepping through into a universe which is primarily comprised of anti-matter for example)

This was evident in the episode of Stargate Atlantis in that they were shunting their exotic particles into a reality pretty similar to theirs with minor differences and were wrecking havoc for their counterparts, in attempting to save themselves (which is completely understandable) they were going to reverse the bridge causing the original issue with the containment from the earlier episode of SG:A and understandably shifting the problem back to those who made it in the first place.

Just because your math may state the probability of something occurring, does not necessarily mean it will and if we ever had the capability to affect more than a small portion of our reality just because we could should we? I hope that science is tempered by wisdom and caution. A completely fictional scenario I know but an interesting philosophical question as we further advance our capabilities as a species, as much as we may think we are the masters or have the ability to be the forces of existence are not always something that should be toyed with.

The little things

Well thus concludes my walk for the evening. Left work on time which was nice, been trying to keep staying back to only a few days a week which gives me a little more time to myself as being unable to eat much this last week has left me fairly drained overall but at least the stomach aches seem to be subsiding which is good.

Took the oppurtunity to walk a tad further on my evening stroll, unfortunately I didn’t get to Claremont station as I was originally intending due to the rather dark overhead clouds starting to release some water and as much as I love the rain and don’t mind getting wet I figured given how congested my chest has been the last few days getting drenched is probably wise to avoid at the moment.

So cut into Karakatta station being only a 1.2km increase in my usual walk. As luck would have it a train was there as I came up but the doors closed as I approached,  which from my perspective ia not such a bad thing, I can now sit in the shelter at the station and watch the clouds take their leisurely stroll across the sky and listen to the rain falling and the rustling of the wind through the trees here and the call of the birds.

I really do love storms, right now she hasn’t made up her mind and it is only a gentle sprinkle but I have a 20 minute wait for a train thanks to the a/b pattern so perhaps it will change.

Don’t let mild inconveniences get you down, try to take away the positives that we can often ignore, I hope everyone is having as pleasant a night as I am.

Feelings

Dealing with emotions has never really been my strongest suit, in a lot of ways they have the power to rule me and as someone that values order and tranquility within my mind throughout my life they have always been one of the hardest things for me to deal with. Ever since I can remember I have been able to suppress them which went in line with the whole order I valued so much however in doing so I also deny an aspect of myself that has a right to be there and is also a very important part of what makes me who I am. In a lot of ways when not suppressed I wear my heart on my sleeve, I care deeply for those in my life and have many things that I am passionate and interested in and in seeking to suppress my emotions I lose my empathy and touch with things.

The issue with suppression is it is not true mastery or control, I grab everything throw it in a corner and put up a wall in front of it so it doesn’t impact my conscious logic or ability to function but when I do that I toss aside some things that make me who I actually like to be. It makes me rather unfeeling and unemphatic, as much as things then do not hurt or confuse me as much I lose touch with those around me and withdraw and the good feelings also go with the bad leaving me feeling rather empty overall.

At least in that regard I have learnt my lesson, but in regards to dealing and processing with the negative side of the coin… Yeah that one still needs some work. I haven’t actually felt miserable in a long time now and of all the emotions in the spectrum that is usually the one to make me throw up a wall, there is a lot of mixed up feelings around events that have transpired and a lot of things that I have believed and put my trust in have been brought into question but to deny the feelings that are present is to insult their significance and in not dealing with them I will never be able to fully let go and move on.

For me, easier said than done in that regard but overall I am an eternal optimist, and whilst I may be hurt and confused at the moment and not sure how to fully deal with these feelings I will continue to work through them.

Little rays of sunshine

Left home just before sunrise this morning with the day beginning as beautifully overcast with various cloud layers all moving together across the sky, but as with most overcast days there was no real sunrise to be had with the light taking awhile to filter through the various clouds as the dawn came. On the way to work a bit later there was a slight gap between a few differing cloud layers and it allowed the suns rays to shine through, literally looking like a line of light along the gap streaking through to hit the ground.

In some ways we can be like clouds; Situations, people, emotions can all darken our minds and soul and it can often seem like we wander in a world that is continually overcast, but the sun is eternal (well our star is until it runs out of Hydrogen and Helium at least) and although it may be hidden in the here and now and things may seem dark it is always there waiting for a chance to shine through and like the first rays of sunshine upon the land it too can give us warmth and comfort.

No matter how dark things may seem always look for the little rays of sunshine pushing their way through into the world, and if it seems that you cannot find any in your world at the moment instead be the light and push forward knowing that in this you can warm not only yourself but others as well.

A relaxing evening

Currently there is disruptions to most of the train lines in the city as they are working on the underground portion of the lines to bury the rest of the tracks heading out of the city station which means my work day is somewhat disrupted, I have to leave 30 minutes earlier to get to work 15 minutes later than my usual earlier arrival thanks to traffic the replacement buses have to deal with, unsure of the return trip home I left somewhat around my usual time but made it into Fremantle just after my typical bus home had left giving me half an hour to kill in the town so I decided to do two things I had not done for quite some time being wander around Freo and people watch.

I have always loved Freo itself; it was my stomping grounds when I was a child and teenager and will forever hold a special place for me, it is a town of history and conflict of which it holds both quite well and in walking the streets I have always felt able to just cast myself back and walk through the various ages of the town; The convicts that built parts of it, the traders and free men making their lives there, the protesters and hippies that made it their home during the 60’s / 70’s and it’s resurgence into life thanks to Alan Bond and the America’s Cup that gave the city a new lease on life in 1983. All of these things have made their mark on the town and have added to the overall underlying hum / energy which is probably why I have always liked it so much.

Overall though the dawn of the 21st century does not appear to have been as kind to the town, throughout my wanderings there was so many old businesses either closed and buildings seeming somewhat abandoned which is sad to see for such a vibrant old town filled with history and memories. I hope that the slump does not continue for too long, and once more new life can be breathed into the town that I have always felt such a connection to.

Another virtue of the town itself is the people that are within it, at any given time it can usually be a melting pot of various peoples and backgrounds all going about their business in the town or just wandering around as I had been doing enjoying that which is there. As much as overall people as a whole I do not understand and I am typically more at home away from the crowds and hustle and bustle that seems to have overtaken our lives in the modern world people watching is one thing I have usually found to be relaxing; Provided there isn’t too many of them! As we each walk through life we pick up experiences, knowledge, wisdom, thoughts and ideas and no matter who or what we are or choose to be at any given point in time we all have a story to tell.

People express themselves, who they are and the events currently taking place in their lives via various methods for some it is the overall energy/feel that the person gives off, for some it is in their eyes there can be some people that look so lost or so full of life or what is currently going on around them. Some express themselves via their mannerisms and little nuances  as they go about things and others in what they choose to wear / accessorise with being the image that they present to the outside world. There are the thinkers, the dreamers, the artists, the inner child but in the end we all have a story to share.

It was summed up by the 11th Doctor quite well I believe; We are all stories in the end, best make it a good on eh?