Stephen's blog

Small right, not quite there

A recent article in the SMH was headlined "Scientists find secret of why women live longer"

in which it is claimed

''This difference is not caused by hormonal differences between the sexes, such as testosterone in males, or to risk-taking behaviour. It's genetic.''

That only partly "explains" the difference -- as is now well established, psycho-social factors are by far the most important determinant in how well and long we live.


Points about points

I was recently contacted regarding my work -- primarily concerning materials on the Belief Institute website.

The person (supportive of my work) sent me a list of 'points' by another critic who argues good articles, or beliefs should comply to various conditions:

Here's my reply to those 'points'.

  1. should not contain tautologies;

    English is a rich language, and while tautologies are a useful concept, the fact that one can frame an idea or concept (there's one now) differently using different words/approaches, reveals greater nuance to the concept or idea. Pun intended. So I wouldn't get too concerned about grammatical correctness.

  2. should not contain notion-metaphor transmutations (e.g., "power" it is a concept in Physics, but being used in Psychology, say, as "power of imagination", it becomes a metaphor);

    Well, this is a poor point. We don't know what causes 'power' in physics.

    We know now with around 30 years of research data from Princeton's PEAR that our minds have the power (physical) to move objects.

    "The enormous databases produced by PEAR provide clear evidence that human thought and emotion can produce measureable influences on physical reality. The researchers have also developed several theoretical models that attempt to accommodate the empirical results, which cannot be explained by any currently recognized scientific model."

    So psychological power is related to physical power. To say otherwise would require certain (incorrect) assumptions to be correct. Which they aren't. E.g. the power to collapse the wave-function.

    Better that you don't get me started on this one ... :)


Most superstitious era in history?

In view of my awkward question concerning the deeper nature of physical movement, in various forums I've received what appears to be unanimous negative responses. Some quite vitriolic and abusive.

It seems then that there is an argument to be made that we're living through one of, or perhaps THE most superstitious era in history.

Many scientists often lambaste the church for what they did to Galileo, and prior to him Giordano Bruno. Many argue the demonstrated 'closed-mindedness' of the church held back scientific advancement to a considerable degree.


Unfettered scientific inquiry? Hardly.

I recently posted a genuine question on a scientific forum website and was told to ... well, piss off, basically. I believe it has validity, and would help scientists resolve the issue of the "missing dark matter" that is one of the key problems in cosmology, and astrophysics.

I suspect the account suspension was motivated by the fear the question invokes, in a similar but lesser degree to the highly-superstitious and incoherent responses to this question (see below).

Throughout the ages, asking questions has been shown to be the root tool by which human culture has advanced. Unfortunately, the shutting down of the ability to ask questions by a culture usually heralds that culture's demise.

Back to that scientific forum ... here's the rather interesting reply I got, and the question hat caused my account to be suspended:

Your ____________ account has been suspended due to incorrect use. You posted the following question in Astronomy and Astrophysics:

"It seems I asked the following question on the wrong forum (particle physics). It was deleted. Perhaps before being deleted here, someone might suggest an appropriate forum?

According to David Deutsch of Oxford, "single-particle interference phenomena unequivocally rule out the possibility that the tangible universe around is all that exists."

According to some interpretations, the double-slit results occur due to the influence of what Deutsch calls "shadow particles". (Paraphrasing Deutsch, superpositions have to be 'made' of something that is, in some sense, tangibly real, or sufficiently real to cause real interference effects in said experiments).

Why doesn't that interpretation 'scale up' and account for "Dark Matter" (ie. shadow galaxies etc.), which in turn would account for how the distribution of galaxies would be, and has been found to be fractal ("studies we have done show that the distribution of matter is fractal, just like a tree or a cloud." [Francesco Sylos Labini]).

If it's a 'dumb question' perhaps someone would be so courteous to explain why, rather than simply delete it, as was done elsewhere."


Leading God: Raw Individuality

At a dinner party recently I explained that "genuine creativity leads God", in that everyone else (including God1) is genuinely, gob-smackingly surprised by our raw originality.

One woman was deeply shocked and horrified by the idea. She said she completely "shut down" with regards to anything else I had to say. Golly.


Comparitive failure

After reading a fairly neutral, but informative article on how social inequalities factor in poor health and early mortality, I was amazed to see the vitriol and anger in response in the comments section.

It seems many people are unhappy, cranky and highly intolerant of the deeper rhythms and processes of life. All of which is highly counterproductive -- fighting life, or the essential elements thereof.


Scratching the etch

art-burroughs-420x0.jpgI've previously written about the importance and power of "letting go" the past, relationships that are 'toxic' and behaviours that aren't aligned with, or heading us towards health, wellbeing and happiness.

No surprise then to find others extolling the same approach.

This from a Sydney Morning Herald Spectrum article in which American author Augusten Burroughs is interviewed.

From the article:

It's futile to try to understand the damage we have suffered, he says, because we only have our perspectives about what happened, and not the perpetrator's or bystander's. Not only this, such a search is irrelevant to what we need to do now to cope, which is to focus on the present and keep busy with activities such as exercise or housework so as to break the "addiction" of dwelling on the past.


"I know it sounds like the most ridiculous thing in the world but you need to force your brain out of that neural pathway, out of that trap, out of that chemical etching," he says.1

Well said, I say.


Can be subtle

Recently stayed at a farm-stay accommodation complex in the NSW country. Ostensibly I was there to help around the farm, serve customers and related tasks. I was of mind not to offer any advice, just observe.