Summer Update and Science Video

So I’ve been a bit behind on my updates lately (5 months…), but I’m finally getting around to it again, so I’m doing an update for all of it at once.

So the biggest thing that happened to me is that I graduated High School in May, and started college classes in the summer. I am now officially a student of Moody Bible Institute, Spokane, in their Missionary Aviation with a flight focus! The summer classes I took (Introduction to Philosophy and Christian Missions) were very interesting. I got to share some of my more abstract ideas from this website with the fellow students in the Philosophy course and the professor engaged me about them, so I got to discuss my ideas with someone, and as an added bonus, he actually had formal training in the area.

Also, the past two Mondays I got to meet Min Seong Lee, a student from South Korea who has a PhD in solid matter physics, and we talked about my relativity post (be looking for an update on that post based on that conversation). I learned a lot of science stuff, mostly relating to relativity and quantum mechanics, and he suggested I read the book The Hidden Reality by Brian Greene, which talks about quantum mechanics. He also showed me an online resource called OpenCourseWare, where anyone with YouTube access can actually watch the lectures from certain MIT courses. As much as I am able, I plan to use that resource, combined with the book he recommended, to learn quantum mechanics, which should greatly increase my understanding of science and my ability to develop the ideas I come up with here!

On a  non-scientific topic, I learned to write in Dwarvish this month! There are apparently several variants on the alphabet, the main ones being the original Anglo-Saxon runes, the runes used in Erebor, the runes used in Moria, and the Elvish rune system known as the Angerthas Daeron. The system that I learned appears to be an early version of the Angerthas Moria, before they switched the runes for H and S, and replaced the runes for J and ZH with runes borrowed from the Angerthas Daeron. I have started a prayer journal using this alphabet, and it has the combined benefits of looking awesome (I have a genuine leather-bound book filled with Dwarvish Runes!), helping me think through stuff in my personal life, and helping me grow closer to God.

For those of you interested, here is a picture of what I learned (it is actually the picture I learned it from)The rune (certh, plural is cirth) for S can be reversed with no consequences, and the certh that replaced J and ZH are Certh 29.svg and Certh 30.svg, respectively.

Now, there is a total solar eclipse coming up on Monday, August 21st, so for the science video today, here is Destin’s video about the solar eclipse:

 

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Human Hive Mind

Hey guys, sorry I haven’t been doing the monthly updates lately. I have been excessively busy, with working full-time, two 8-week college classes, and farm jobs. However, tomorrow is (Lord willing) my last day of school for the summer classes, so my schedule will clear up for a month before I start Fall classes, and when I do, I will only be doing one at a time, so I should be able to get back in the groove with posting.

Until then, I have a little bit of time tonight (mostly I just don’t feel like going to sleep), so here is a little something I have had floating around in the works for a while. Basically, this is just a single step along the way from my Telepathy idea and my Vision of the Future post, but it has been fantasized about enough in books and movies to warrant its own discussion.

So as I mentioned in my other posts about psychic science, we have the technology to link human minds, and we have already linked one person’s mind to another person’s body, without damaging either person’s neural or physical functions. For more information on that, read my Telepathy post. Now, I don’t know this for sure, but I have no reason to believe that the original owner of the body lost any control of his body, so basically we have an example of two minds controlling one body. Pacific Rim, anyone? Next, we just have to figure out how to also link the minds of the two people to each other, so they can agree on what to do with the body. Then, if we also linked the mind of the second person to the body of the first, we would have essentially created one mind controlling two bodies. Do this on a large scale, and we have a hive mind!

Now, I don’t see this actually being developed to this point for a while, due to the fact that it would completely destroy the individuality of the people involved, but it might be used to help improve quality of life for Siamese twins. Now, I could see this technology being used in conjunction with my RC Humans post, in that one person’s mind could be linked to the bodies of many…vacant…bodies, creating an army of hive mind zombies. Book material for someone, maybe?

What do you guys think? What would happen on the spiritual level if we joined two human minds in this way? This might be a good way to “prove” the existence of souls–the existence of an aspect of the mind outside of the brain might prevent the full integration of the two different minds.

Also, while writing this article, I had to do a little research on Siamese twins to make sure I sufficiently understood how that works in order to mention them the way I did in this article, and it is really very interesting, at least to me. Look up Abby and Brittany Hensel, two Siamese twins from Minnesota, and the way they have dealt with having two heads and one body is incredibly interesting. While I have no intentions of making a post on the Hensel twins or Siamese twins in general, I would recommend you guys look them up.

Logical Proof of God’s Existence

I will start with the assumption that logic itself is valid, because as a human being I cannot do otherwise. There is technically no reason whatsoever to make this assumption, because if logic is invalid, then logic could be both valid and invalid with no contradiction whatsoever, because any contradiction would be solely a logical contradiction, and logic is invalid. To argue that logic “makes sense,” or that we see it happening all around us, and that it agrees with the outside world are all simply begging the question. These arguments use logic to prove that logic is valid, but if logic itself is on trial, logic cannot be entered into evidence. However, if logic is invalid, both sides of this argument fall apart, and I have no clue whatsoever of how to proceed with an argument if logic is invalid, so it must be assumed, if for no other purpose than for the sanity of the human race.

Thus, starting from logic alone, we know that either the universe exists or it does not. There is no third alternative. We perceive that the universe exists. If the universe exists, then either it has always existed or it has not. If the universe has always existed, either nothing has ever happened or every conceivable possible occurrence has already occurred an infinite number of times, and the mere thought of a “present” is mere nonsense, because there is no way to point to a specific point along an infinite line as viewed, theoretically, in its entirety. Infinity is infinity, and any finitude associated with it is simply nonsense. An infinite yet changeable being is thus a nonsensical construction (sorry Hindus). Thus, the universe must have had a beginning.

Now, so far, I have only proven that which is already commonly accepted, or at least given lip service to. However, the evolutionary hypothesis is that a tiny speck (presumably a singularity) once contained all mass in the universe, and it exploded into the universe. This returns us to the argument of finitude or infinity: either this singularity has existed for eternity or it has not. If it has, then the Big Bang has happened an infinite number of times (we can say for certain that it didn’t not happen, because the world exists), and the thought of “this particular occurrence,” and thus a “present,” and therefore time in general, is completely meaningless. If it hasn’t, then the logical law of causality states that something else must have caused it. If this singularity represents the entirety of the universe at this point (which it both does by hypothesis and must, due to the previous argument of finitude and infinitude, which I will not repeat yet again), then this cause must be outside of the universe. In this case, there is really no point in developing the idea of the Big Bang, because there must still be a “super-natural” cause of the universe.

So the universe is finite, with a beginning and end, and as such requires that something have created it. Now, I could stop there, and just leave it as yet another modified version of the law of causality, but all this has actually just been setup for the “real” thing I have been trying to get to: this whole argument applies to any object to which time can be applied. If a thing is temporal, it is either eternal and unchangeable (in which case it also could not affect anything outside of itself, because that would require it change–it would have to be a completely passive object, completely disconnected from the outside world, and it is strongly questionable that such a concept even makes sense to coexist with any other entity, unless every other entity with which it coexists is precisely such as it), or it is finite, in which case it had a cause. Thus, the fact that the universe exists today means that it had a first cause, and that first cause must, by necessity, be outside of time, or it itself would need a cause. Thus, the mere existence of the universe, or even my own existence as a being (apart from any sensory data, just the raw fact that cogito ergo sum) requires the existence of a being that exists outside of time, that created this universe. And any being that creates a self-contained universe will, automatically, have complete and total control and knowledge of everything that occurs within that universe (think of an author writing a book: nothing happens in a book without the author’s knowledge, consent, and active causing, and if the author stops writing the book, the universe in the books simply ceases to exist at the point at which the author stopped writing).

Conclusion: the universe is finite, God exists and created the universe, He is outside of time and the universe, and He is omnipotent and omniscient with regard to the universe.

I could go on to derive other characteristics of God, but I will stop there, because that is all that comes to me spontaneously, without me specifically trying to intuit other characteristics of the Author Being.

 

Vision of the Future

I was reading a book recently, and it mentioned a “cellular phone.” While it is one of the newer books I have read, I suppose it would be considered an old book now (1992), and the mention made me stop and think about what exactly it meant by a “cellular phone.” When the concept of a mobile phone first came about, they looked more like field radios than what we think of as a cell phone today, but I didn’t know when the cell phone started appearing in recognizable form, so I started wondering whether it was talking about the large field radio type phone or the “traditional” flip phone.

The title picture shows a 1992 cell phone, confirming that the book would have been referring to the former, but it started a very interesting thought process in my mind. I was wondering when the “traditional” cell phone started coming out, but then I realized that what I think of as the traditional cell phone is hardly ever seen any more. This led to the realization that not only are flip phones and all other “dumb phones” disappearing, the entire concept of the cell phone is starting to go away. Everyone still knows what you mean when you say “cell phone,” but more and more, home phones are being replaced by smart phones, and people refer to them simply as “phones.” The home phone is going away, and as a result, so is the concept of a cell phone as opposed to a home phone. Increasingly, we don’t have home phones and cell phones, we just have phones, and the concept is automatically associated with a smart phone. All of this has really happened since the advent of the iPhone in 2007. In less than a decade, we have gone from a standard home phone and a clamshell cell phone to the “home phone” being essentially an office tool, the clamshell cell phone being nonexistent, and the entire idea of a home phone vs. a cell phone being replaced by the standardized idea of a phone being a smart phone.

So what does the future look like?

I would strongly urge you to at least read over Winston Churchill’s essay “50 Years Hence,” in which he predicts with astonishing foresight the technological advances of our time, as well as some advances currently in sight. Now, 86 years later, this post is my version, springboarding off of the future of communication, now that the majority of Churchill’s predictions are simply a part of everyday life.

First, I expect the idea of a home phone to be rendered completely obsolete, possibly even in the next five years. Smart phones will become smarter, “Google glasses,” or whatever they call them now, smart watches, and similar technology will become more and more common, and smart phones may even be on the decline in five years, in favor of wearable technology. I expect the traditional home phone will stick around for awhile as shared phones in offices and the like, but little else.

Eventually, as hologram technology becomes cheaper, more developed and more accessible (and we do have hologram technology already, and it is reasonably accessible as a holographic gun sight), the communications technology of the day will start to be replaced by some sort of holophone, likely wrist based, and offices will use an industrial grade version of that—some sort of console, or even a room devoted to holographic communications (Star Wars Jedi holoconferences are a distinct possibility).

As our understanding of the human brain and our ability to interface with it is further developed, we will start having phones connected to the brain—the new Bluetooth—and from there it would be a short leap to fully integrated phones inside our heads. Originally, I expect they would just be a biologically integrated form of the original “dumb phone”—you talk, the other person hears—no video, no web capabilities, just a simple oral communication device. Pretty soon, however, technology companies would begin to come up with ways to integrate the capabilities of external devices into the Biophone, with video likely coming first. They might access outside camera footage (including the “footage” from other people’s eyes via their Biophones) to construct a 3D image of the person you are talking to and display that in your head, they might provide you the ability to see what the other person is seeing, or they might just decide to do away with the visual aspect altogether. However, as our understanding of and ability to interface with the human brain becomes even more refined (see my Telepathy post), web browsing capabilities, cameras, auxiliary memory space for your brain, and even music would be introduced.

Finally, people will realize that communication no longer needs to be limited to language, and the Biophone will be modified so that direct thought processes can be transferred, instead of constraining the user to talk, or even form the words in the mind, and the word “telephone” will have a whole new meaning. This is the destination of my Telepathy idea.

But why stop there? Why not allow for group calls? Why not fully integrate the brain with the internet? Why not create, in essence, a universal consciousness? The technology is in reach. Holoconferences, as far-fetched and sci-fi as they are now, will become obsolete—the new fax.

It will be a short step from there to simply create an entire world in the internet, upload our collective consciousness to it, and live immortally in the internet. I see this happening in one of two ways: either we have enough confidence in our engineering capabilities that we build a self-sustaining system to keep the internet intact, or the rich and powerful get to be immortalized while the less fortunate have to stay and keep the internet going.

Now, I fully expect Jesus to come back before we actually get to this point. In light of the Tower of Babel, I don’t think God wants us to have a universal consciousness, plus, I doubt He would let the human race drive itself extinct like this, but it could happen. He may wait for another 200 years, or even 2,000. I have no way of knowing. However, this is what I see as the current track of technological development, barring any other factors, be they divine, political, cultural, governmental, etc. If the technology industries are left to their own devices, I could easily see all of this happening in the next 50 years, and definitely the next 100.

The Future of VR

I have more to say on Relativity, but I am going to take a break and talk about something a little less mentally taxing: Virtual Reality. A friend recently told me about a book called Ready Player One, in which a VR game has, for all practical purposes, replaced the real world. A film adaptation of the book is scheduled for release in 2018, and there is a lot of VR concept art surrounding the story. One picture in particular got me thinking about the future of VR.

The picture shows the person wearing VR gloves to get hand sensations and goggles for the visual aspect. This is the most obvious route for VR to take: create equipment to externally synthesize in-game sensations. However, I see two other options, one less likely, and one more likely.

I’ll start with the less likely one: using holograms. Basically, we build a large, empty room, and project holographic terrain and other objects into it. Then, we create shaped gravity shields inside the holograms, to make them solid. Fine tuning of the surface shape (microscopic grooves and other texturing), combined with an interactive computer program to simulate surface elasticity (so if you touch something it will squish a little bit) could be used to give things the proper texture. This would be the most realistic version of virtual reality, because you would actually be performing the actions in the game with your physical body. Plus, it would be good for the public health, because if you ever wanted to play, say, a shooter, you would have to actually go run around, jump, climb, slide, and be otherwise physically active. This is my personal favorite version of Virtual Reality, but because hologram technology does not appear to be progressing in leaps and bounds, I doubt we will ever see it.

The more likely route VR will take, and almost certainly its final state, pulls on my telepathy idea. We can already interface, to an extent, between computers and the human brain. So why not create a Virtual Reality system that you simply plug your brain into? When you plug in, it intercepts the signals your brain sends to your body, so instead of moving your physical body, you move your in-game body. It would also block external sensory input, and replace it with artificial sensory input from the game, fed directly to your brain. You simply sit down and plug in, and your body effectively falls asleep, while your brain enters the game. It would work somewhat like the Avatar control bed.

So what do you guys think? Am I on the right track here? I will try to do another post this month on the future of communication, which I already have mostly written out, but I will have to edit it because of the new ideas this has given me.

Time Theory

My favorite genre of pretty much anything (books, movies, TV shows, etc.) is science fiction, which shouldn’t be a surprise, considering the subject of this blog. I particularly enjoy the ones in which time travel is a main theme.  However, every time I watch anything with time travel, I just try to accept its theory of time travel, because there are so many theories, and they all have problems.  So I was talking about this to a friend, and he encouraged me to make my own time theory, so that is what I am doing.  This is by no means set in stone for me, and I would love to talk about it in the forums.

The first order of business would be paradoxes. This is dangerous ground to tread, because they cannot exist, but time is not an entity than can prevent them.  So what do we do?  Well, let’s think about time as a set of dimensions. It is common to think of time as a fourth dimension, but what I am suggesting is, if only for argument’s sake, to think of it as a fourth and fifth dimension, so that basically, time has its own “timeline.” Every time a paradox is created, a change is made in time, and it moves time a little further along its timeline.

Another way to think of this is that every time a paradox is created, an alternate universe is created for that paradox to happen in. If this is the case, if a paradox creates a parallel universe, which universe does the creator of the paradox end up in? Well, the time traveler left his spot in time and moved to a different spot. If he then travels to the future, it will be his future that he travels to, which would be the future of whatever universe/dimension he leaves to go to the future. Thus, if he makes any changes to the future while he is in the past, his future will contain the effects of those changes. Therefore, if the time traveler creates a paradox, he is stuck in the version of the universe with that paradox. Following this line of reasoning, since the very existence of a time traveler in the his own past inherently makes some changes, however minute, to the world the time traveler left, it would be impossible to return to the exact universe you left. You might return to the same spot in your life, and you might not even notice any changes, but you would not be the same you your friends knew. As far as the world around you is concerned, a version of you left, and a version of you may or may not have come back, depending on the extent to which you changed the past, but the you that came back is slightly different from the one you left. Another facet of this is that there will be some versions of reality that have multiple copies of a certain time traveler (because the time traveler’s adventures in the past caused his future version to never time travel, thus leaving two copies of the same person in the universe) and other versions in which the time traveler left and never came back (because no version of the time traveler changed the past of this version of the time traveler to cause him to leave, thus the time traveler essentially dies to his family and friends when he leaves for the past.

There are a few fascinating things to note about this hypothesis:

  1. Each universe would be either
    1. full of perceived paradoxes, because the people who caused the paradoxes would be from a different version of the universe, so the paradox actually contradicts nothing, or
    2. completely devoid of paradoxes, but full of random people appearing out of nowhere. I am not sure which of these would happen
  2. Circular reasoning within time (going back in time and causing yourself to go back in time and cause yourself to go back in time, etc) is no longer a paradox, because every time you go back in time you enter a different universe. What would likely happen is that each iteration of time travel would produce a slightly different result, until the apparent circle reveals itself as a tight spiral within the overall timeline of time.
  3. Time travel would be very dangerous: not for you, but for those who know you. Depending on the history of your universe (whether there was a version of you that entered in the past who left his present under similar circumstances as you), you may or may not come back to those who care about you. Also, depending on how much you change (and/or how much the other version of you that entered your past changed) in the past, the friends that you come back to will be different than the ones you left (or the version of you that comes back to your friends will be different than the one that left)
  4. The existence of each new version of the timeline is dependent upon each previous iteration of the timeline, because if the “creator” timeline had been different, the created timeline would have been proportionally different. This reasoning is valid for each version of the timeline, either until the version of the timeline God originally created, or ad infinitum, depending on your worldview. Thus, because each version of time is connected to the previous in a continuous stream of timelines, it can be said that the timeline is actually experiencing change.

Now, change is relative. Any time something changes, it is changing relative to something. When a top is spinning, it is spinning relative to the things around it, but nothing on the top is changing relative to itself. All change, however, can be described relative to a fixed idea called a dimension.  A bead on a string can move along the string, but nowhere else, so it can move in one dimension.  A figure on a screen can move up and down or side to side on the screen, but it can’t reach out of the screen, because it can only operate in two dimensions. We can move up and down, side to side, and backwards and forwards, because we have three dimensions. But change as a concept makes no sense whatsoever aside from the context of time. This hypothesis postulates that the very context that makes sense of change is changing, but for that to make sense, it must change within a time-like dimension of its own. Thus, time actually experiences time! If we could travel between the versions of time and change them, the entire timeline of time would be changed, so we know that the time that time experiences also experiences time. How far does this go? Are there an infinite number of dimensions? Another way to put this is that the bead on the string can move on the string, but the entire string can move back and forth on a piece of paper.  The figure on the screen can only move on the screen, but the screen can move towards and away from you.  So you can move in space, and space moves in time.  So each successive dimension is like a time for the last dimension. So if space moves in time, what dimension does time move in?  That may be a little harder to grasp, but I feel like it gives a better understanding of what is going on.

This brings up an interesting theological question. If there are infinite dimensions, how many dimensions does God have?  Or does he have dimensions at all? Or maybe he has all the dimensions. I don’t have any answers for this, but I would love to talk about it in the comments.

Finally, the worldview concept I touched on briefly, about whether time’s time had a beginning actually can be used in a proof for the existence of God, which I will be posting soon, so consider this a teaser for that.

Anyway, I hope this made sense. I started it several months ago and heavily edited it, but seeing how much I found to edit, there are probably still lots of errors.

February Update and Science Video

As I am sure you noticed when you arrived at the site, I actually got some good work done on the website this month! Timothy Schutz, over at evergreenmediaproductions.com, created this cool header image (unfortunately I can’t figure out how to make it link to the home page anymore, due to certain things about how WordPress works, but I will be working on that), as well as a new logo that actually means something, and I have made some progress figuring out how to change the url. I am not done working on the website, but I have made a lot of progress, and I will try to get a real content post up this month. Until then, check out these two Smarter Every Day videos I found:

WARNING: The first video uses medical terminology to refer to Kangaroo reproductive organs

 

 

January Update and Science Video

Well, my prediction came true. I got no work done on this website this month, and barely kept up with family life. However, I was able to refresh myself (somewhat–I’m exhausted now), and I feel like I’m alive again. Also, this semester should, in theory, be easier on me than last semester. I will be working as much as possible, plus some school, but not much school, and the work will be in the evenings, so I can do school in the mornings, work in the evenings, and do website stuff in between. Because I will have less (and likely easier/more interesting) school, and will be working, I will likely feel more fulfilled and productive, which will make me more likely to get website stuff done instead of just taking naps, reading, playing games, and generally wasting my free time like I mostly did this semester.  All that is to say that I got nothing done this month, but I feel better, and should both get more done and continue to feel better next month.

Now, on to the fun stuff–this guy never disappoints. This video is from Thursday, and I got to watch it just a few minutes after he posted it. I think I put his original Prince Rupert’s Drop video in another update, but in case you don’t know what a Prince Rupert’s Drop is, or need a refresher, I put the original video below the new one (he also links to it in the new one before he goes into the main demonstration stuff). This thing is amazing. I should probably come up with some sort of science idea based on/inspired by it.

Anyway, happy new year, and God bless.

October/November Update and Science Video

I missed the October update, so I’ve got a bit of catching up to do.

I have gotten little work done on the website, for the same reason I missed the October update: school. It is likely that I will not get almost any work done on this website for the rest of the calendar year, but I will see what I can do. It is starting to look like I may just give up on the forums, and go back to the old, free WordPress, though with a new domain and some other new stuff, simply because the paid site loses so much of the simple WordPress compatibility, which is the entire reason I chose to use WordPress as my host.

 

 

September Update and Science Video

I am making progress! The new site is up and running, and I am working mainly on getting the forums operational and smoothing out a host of wrinkles that came with the “upgrade” to the paid plan. For some reason, the paid version took away nearly all compatibility with WordPress: there is no button I can put up so people can follow the site with their WP accounts, anything WP related is gone from the social media options, you have to have an account with my site specifically to use the forums as anything but a guest, etc, etc. There is a plugin that solves some of this, but not nearly all, so I am working with the person I mentioned in the July update to get those ironed out and see if I can’t retain all of the WP integration without giving up on the upgraded version, and, by extension, an in-site forum. School is starting in earnest for me, so I won’t be able to work on the site as much as before, but I am definitely starting to see some progress, and I’ve got several exciting idea concepts waiting for me to flesh them out in posts when the new site is up.

On a somewhat different note, I have decided to write a book. It is based on one of the ideas that I have sitting half written in my blog workspace document, so you should get a sneak peek at the idea behind it in a few weeks/months (hopefully weeks). I have no idea how to write a book, and my only attempt so far at creative writing was, quite frankly, pitiful. So, I am not good at creative writing, I have no idea how to write a book, and I don’t tend to be very creative at all (I know these science ideas I come up with appear very creative, but I would argue that at least most of them are just basic common sense, with perhaps a unique application), and yet I’m writing a book. This should be interesting… Due to school and other factors, I don’t plan to start on it at least until the end of the year, aside from notes and spontaneous inspiration, and I have no idea how it will progress past there, whether I will post updates on this site, make a new site for it, or virtually anything else about the future of this project, but I know the majority of you guys are writers, so I figured you would be interested to know about this.

By now you know this guy is really smart, so now you get to watch him act like a complete idiot to prove a point. And no, he wasn’t acting like an idiot on purpose. You’ll see what I mean: