28 December, 2013

New Special Issue: The Holist Revolution

This collection of papers might be the most siginifcant contribution in the work towards a holist approach to all the sciences. It advances what Hegel set as his primary goal, which was to develop a ‘Logic of Change’ to take over where Formal Logic had always failed - during interludes of significant qualitative change.

Even 200 years ago Hegel had identified crises in many disciplines where the prior assumptions and principles on which they were based, had run out of steam, and were beginning to come apart at the seams. He, in particular, recognised the appearance of what he termed Dichotomous Pairs - which were principles that though effective in certain areas, were in fact, mutually contradictory, and could therefore never be unified into a single principle covering both. Indeed, though crises may be considered to be typically of short duration, Hegel realised that such situations could persist for very long periods. Man learned to switch between the Dichotomous Pairs to use whichever principle worked in a given situation.

Hegel argued that by such methods, real understanding had been brought to a halt, and that any solution gained by such switching was merely pragmatic and needed to be transcended. He insisted they should be addressed with a view to revealing, criticising and ultimately replacing the assumptions on which they were based, resolving the impasse to a new level. This was Dialectical Reasoning, and the transcending to a new level was termed an Emergence.

The papers in this issue attempt to outline these methods in eight different disciplines, occasionally being profound enough to demolish the older methods of analysis and attempted understanding, for a more comprehensive approach that covers not only periods of stability, but crucially, the transforming interludes that we term Emergences.

Read issue

30 November, 2013

To Serve and to STRIKE!

There is a great deal bandied about these days concerning the duty to serve.

Currently, the Tory Government is considering a new Law to jail people in the caring services, who “wilfully neglect” any patients in their care.

It is, of course, a major attempt to blame the servers for a quite evident decline in the quality of services during this particularly parlous current state of Capitalism, and, of course, the cuts meant to remedy the situation. You would think from the rhetoric that they, the Tories, are doing all they can to “serve” the community, but are being traitorously let down by the “soon-to-be-criminal” actions of our professional carers.

But surely, we have to ask, “In considering the provision of services to the mass of the people in general, we need to define who is best equipped to provide them, and why?”

Of course, to answer this we must first ask, “Can a service be provided effectively on the basis of delivering that service having to generate a worthwhile profit?"

Note: A profit is not wages! Over and above the payment of wages to those delivering the service, there is an added margin, paid to the owners of the facilities, which is The Profit!

The proponents of the Capitalist System do not only insist that it can, but they actually also say that it is the only effective way of doing it. Are they right? 

The crucial imperative in a capitalist system is that it is financed by people with large financial resources, who will invest the necessary wherewithall to allow businesses to be set up to provide various services, but only if they get both a regular dividend on their investment, and in addition can sell that investment for a different kind of profit too.

Clearly, the motivations of these crucial investors are by no means a philanthropic desire to “serve” society. It is a group of people who already possess quite considerable resources, but who ideally want those to provide a substantial income, without reducing their extractable initial investment, and without them having to actually do anything, apart from observing their investment carefully to ensure its profitability.

They are scarcely imbued with ”service to the community”!

They may interpret a current excitement or concern in the population as likely to produce a sufficient demand to allow investments in those areas to deliver what they are exclusively interested in – unearned income in as large amounts as possible, while still maintaining the value of their original investment for return when they think fit.

Some time ago I decided to look into the question as to how these people came to have such large disposable wealth, that they could then invest in the capitalist way. And it turned out that the main way had always been Theft! My researches turned into a rather long paper on the SHAPE Blog entitled Primitive Accumulation, and it was to become the most accessed SHAPE paper in the last five years.

Not one single capitalist accumulated their wealth by either saving earned wages, or by just making things and selling them. It always was, and still is, impossible to accumulate the vast sums involved by such means.

And, there is another kind of stealing, which is regarded as entirely legal.

It is acquiring what you know to be valuable, from people who are unaware of that value, by paying ridiculously low amounts to the owners, and then selling what you have acquired at something like its true value.

[Unsurprisingly, when negotiating to buy such things, they still force down the price as far as they can. Is that not stealing? Yet, it is not only regarded as entirely legal, but also both very clever and meritorious. So, “dishonest trading“ is a very good method too!]

“Conning the ignorant” is generally considered to be “good business”, and when coupled with bribes and “transactions of mutual benefit”, can also fleece public organisations in the very same way.

So, quite apart from explaining where investable capital was acquired, this investigation also demonstrated how very inappropriate such people are to provide services for the general population. They couldn’t be more in appropriate!

And, of course, to do it without a problem, you have to cultivate an extremely low opinion of the people you are conning. So these “dealers” are scarcely the group of people likely to conscientiously serve the community, are they?

Indeed, they also can have zero grasp of what services should be, and how much they should cost ordinary people. That is never really a major consideration, “For these are the people we con everyday for our wealth and status. Our only really important consideration must be how lucrative will an investment in such an undertaking be!”

Not quite the same is it?

They will be concerned... but it will be, “How can we organise it so that the return on our investment is satisfactory – that is – will it be big enough!”

No! No! No! No! No!

You can never trust such people to provide a Service!

They may deliver something passable to initially secure the deal, but as soon as possible it will be modified with the only important principle taking over “How do we milk this for maximum profit?”

Now, you may well wonder how they get away with it, but once such a division of society has been established, with all the wealth and influence on one side, and everyone else on the other, how can things be changed? Well, initially they certainly couldn’t! No one had the wherewithall to counter the power of the wealthy. For they not only owned the businesses, but also the means of disseminating the News. 

They quickly gained owning-possession of the newspapers, and then later, the Radio stations and even the Television stations too, so the public were only told what the owners wanted them to be told.

Making a difference seemed impossible!

But, who actually produced everything? Surely, that was what ordinary people did for a wage? And, if they didn’t produce, the owners would find themselves in dire straights. Investors would sell their shares in the affected company, and the value of the company and of the investments within it would plummet!

So, workers slowly began to build defensive organisations to counter the power of the rich. They first built Unions and then political parties.

How do you think the Labour Party got its name?

By acting together, pooling their meagre resources, but most of all by using the power of the Strike! 

They could withdraw their labour – refuse to work, and stop anyone else from stepping in and doing their jobs. The picketed Strike was born and was breathtakingly effective!

Yet, how would these same people be in service jobs?

They were certainly fully aware of the vast majority of the people they would have to serve. Before the Welfare State they did ALL the Service of ordinary people, and they did it for nothing!

In my street I had half a dozen “Mams” (or “Aunties” as they were called). If any family had some sort of calamity, people were round immediately asking what they could do.

Do you even have to ask who make the very best people in service jobs?

It is surely obvious.

And these are the very same people who went on Strike, who put out fires, and protected us from the criminal classes (who were NOT workers, by the way, but the lower end of the owning class, who were still accumulating in the original way by straight theft)

Indeed, perhaps the reason for the title of this paper is becoming clear. For, in providing an appropriate service, you have to fully appreciate what service should involve, when thinking about those being served. While being ready to strike when defending yourself against those who are usually in charge of such provision.

Yet, the Tories love to contrast these as incompatible opposites – claiming that workers strike because they ignore the service requirements that will be lost by such actions. But, of course, the real ignorers of those needing to be served are those who only see them as a means of making ever-larger profits.

12 November, 2013

Non Empty Nothingness?

On reading about a new experiment, carried out by a team at Chalmers University, concerning the “contents of Empty Space”, I expected to get more evidence for my own speculations upon the very same subject, but instead ended up with many more questions than answers.

We were informed that Empty Space – the complete and total vacuum, is not empty, but teeming with many different particles popping-in-and-out of existence, both into and from, “something”. Clearly, that “something” is important, but in this account the narrative slips from talking about virtual particles to virtual photons (as if they are the same thing). Now, the reasons for these “names” is that they are constantly appearing and disappearing as their “actual mode of existence” so the observers involved prefer to call them virtual.

But clearly, what they are when they are not virtual particles is important. And similarly, what they are when they are not virtual photons is important too!

One assumes that, in spite of their switch in appellation, they are talking about the same things – that is “virtual particles” and “virtual photons” are the two forms in an oscillation, which is either one between visible and invisible modes, or a “substrate” sensitive to the slightest variation in available energy. Either way, we can no longer stay with the total emptiness idea, but will have to explain the nature and causes of such a substrate and its seemingly constant variability.

This seems to be borne out by the identification of the real photons that are the final result of the experiment, as being recognised as such by their lacking of any perceivable mass.

Let us attempt to clarify what they are talking about, before we address their remarkable experiment.

The “known” oscillating in and out of existence of these particle/photons is seen as something very different from Pair Production and Pair Annihilation in high energy Accelerators, where a pair of actual particles – an electron and a positron are seemingly produced from a very high energy photon, and its opposite – the vanishing of an electron and a positron into a high energy photon. The difference with the phenomenon, being considered at Chalmers, is what appears seems to be a pair of photons, which immediately vanish again.

The vagueness in this published account seems to call these entities sometimes virtual photons and sometimes virtual particles, but their experimental apparatus seems to involve a way of interfering with this oscillation to result in the production of a pair of real photons.

NOTE: I can only assume that they only add the adjective “virtual” as they are shame-faced about the conversions to and from matter that would be involved with actual photons and particles.

The only way this writer has been able to make sense of similar phenomena (elsewhere) has been to consider a mutually-orbiting pair, consisting of one electron and one positron. The virtue of this union is twofold.

First, it will have no net electrical charge – the positive charge of the positron will cancel out with the negative charge of the electron.

And second, it will have no apparent matter as equal amounts of matter and antimatter will again cancel each other out.

In addition, such an “invisible” particle will be able to hold a quantum of energy via the promotion of the mutual orbits, and easily pass that energy from one such particle to another.

This joint particle – the positronium or neutritron, becomes an invisible receptacle for a quantum of electromagnetic energy – and when in such a state becomes a Photon!

Now, whether this particular hypothesis is correct or not, isn’t the most important thing here. What is surely crucial is the possibility of something like such particles actually existing!

And as the positronium has indeed been observed at Fermilab (though of infinitesimal duration in such conditions) that certainly adds weight to the idea that a stable form could indeed be possible.

As soon as such particles are brought into situations such as Pair Production and Pair Annihilation, (and maybe even these new phenomena - usually called the Dynamic Casimir Effect, the “seeming magic” dissolves away, and we instead have the possibility of real explanations for the inexplicable anomalies.

The bringing in of such kinds of particles as the actual content of Empty Space, finally explained the anomalous Double Slit Experiments without difficulty.

The crucial concept was to treat Empty Space as non-empty, and consisting of a “Paving” or “substrate” of just such particles. As soon as such a substrate was included, the puzzling phenomena of these experiments were explicable.

Now clearly, there are still many questions about such a suggestion, for though it can explain certain phenomena, it still does not make it true. And, to cope with the establishment of electrostatic and magnetic fields in a similar kind of substrate, it demanded other, different particles to be involved, though the final explanation was the best yet.

To have such a substrate or paving, the components of it must be relatively unaffected by both Gravity and electrostatic charges, and hence how they got to be universally present literally everywhere has to be explained. And, how they inter-related with one another to deliver an actually” effecting” paving will require explanation too

Now, it is also interesting how both the Chalmers Experiment and Yves Couder’s remarkable experiment managed to get their produced phenomena by the inclusion of an imposed vibration. In Couder’s case it was of a liquid silicone substrate in a tray, upon which all the phenomena occurred. While a Chalmers it was their vibrating mirror”.

Clearly, in both cases, it was these vibrations that imported the necessary kind and amount of energy to bring about the given phenomena.

While, in this theorist’s Theory of the Double Slit, the only possible source for what was happening in these experiments (and in subsequent successful efforts to explain the energy embodied in electrostatic fields), always ended up with it coming from the substrate and NOT from the supposedly causing Charge.

If these inferences can be taken together, we can see Empty Space as not only non-empty, but also a system of receptacles for energy – a system, maybe undetectable, but capable of remarkable things – Action-at-a-Distance, Energetic Fields and even the Propagation of electrostatic energy across the Universe.

Plumbing the Depths?

The amazing diversity of modern cosmological theories reveal the almost infinite variety possible when Reality is replaced by Ideality as the stage for all phenomena.

In New Scientist (2935), a short article by Lisa Grossman, entitled Cosmic Baby Snaps at Bubbly Birth, various theorists construct their contributions to “explain” unevenness in the current Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB), which they attempt to encapsulate into purely formal patterns alone. And, with that, we immediately leave the restricting confines of concrete Reality for the unlimited expanses of the purely Formal – that is the place where the “essences of everything”, that always deliver entirely alone today’s “explanations”, actually solely dwell – the World of Pure Forms alone that we call Ideality!

With every discovery, today’s scientists immediately put chalk-to-blackboard and find-a-form that will fit the newly obtained data.

It is the current method of explaining things by form alone, and it delivers Absolute Truths rather than old-fashioned, explanatory hypotheses, for in Ideality all forms are absolute, that is its strength (and, of course, also its weakness).

There is, of course, a seemingly physical language that is always used, with apparently physical forces, entities and their properties, but they are all secondary embellishments to the real nitty-gritty – the primary Forms involved, which actually drive Reality!

Let us relate just a few tasty morsels made available by such methods, as outlined in Lisa Grossman’s account! There is, before everything else, a Metaverse (prior to our and all other Universes), in which bubbles arise (like air-bubbles in a boiling liquid), each of which will then become a new Universe. BUT, wait for it, the densities of these universes (remember they are bubble-shaped) will be less than that of the producing Metaverse, so .the fabric of spacetime within them will inevitably be saddle-shaped.

Have you got that?

NO? Well, never mind, if you are a modern physicist, you will stop worrying as soon as a form-that-fits is put into your hands (or even one you have put together for yourself).

Oh, by the way, do not consider what will happen if the bubbles collide, for you would get absolutely nothing from such an event. The bubbles will all be expanding at the Speed of Light, so nothing from that boundary could possibly get back to anyone within that Universe, and, if it could, it would get “all mixed up” with the Big Bang data, and would be impossible to disentangle.

Aren’t you exalted by all these theories?

If your answer is, “NO!”, then you are right!

But, if your answer is “YES!”, may your God help you!

07 November, 2013


When watching discussions on the television, and being told that “both sides of the argument” have been adequately covered, I cannot help getting very angry indeed.

For that is absolutely never the case!

For the problem supposedly “being addressed” is always, yes absolutely always, diverted into some area of prejudice, or alternatively some dishonest, supposedly moral imperative, which means, and is intended to assure, that those who need to be adequately informed are being misled to a significant and deliberate extent. The real issues are never addressed!

Indeed, when some millionaire starts talking about charity, public spiritedness, and concern for the future of our country, he is clearly lying!

Why? It is because he is not one of us: he is a TORY.

Do you think he earned his millions? Of course he didn’t! You earned them for him!

All their wealth was created by ordinary people, going to work every day, but never getting the real value of their contributions. That almost always goes to the owners! And when the profits aren’t flowing as they would like, they will sack “unproductive workers” wholesale, and then denounce them for lazily living off the State!

And when some scapegoat is selected to hive off (via totally proved misdemeanours) the antagonism of the people. These denizens of the public-good denounce their erstwhile colleagues for ”overstepping the mark”, “mis-selling", or “not giving sufficient information”.

Now these sound more like hapless errors than what they really are, for not only were they doing what they did on purpose, but also the very denouncers do exactly the same sort of things all the time. They are just much better at hiding it all, AND, crucially, not getting caught!

You must have noticed how comfortably even these proved sinners “land upon their feet”, and not only get well-paid sinecures somewhere or other, but remain as part of the same milieu – the Owners Of The Country!

Even the description “for the benefit of the country” doesn’t mean for the majority of the population, it means for Capitalism, and for “WE” (meaning the Tories) that run this show, and make our fortunes.

They "believe" that without their own increasing wealth, there would be no crumbs from their tables to sustain the proletariat (or “Plebs” as they are sometimes called!)

Literally nowhere in the Mass Media is there a contrary view.

And, all newspapers, from Local to National, are pro-capitalist. The very best that you can expect is a liberal, or moralist criticism of behaviours, but never a tirade against the Economic System that rewards such dishonesty!

All TV stations are also pro-capitalist, and, of course, owned by millionaires.

Such an imbalance of literally many thousands to one, in delivering so-called News, means that the public is massively and purposefully misinformed.

And, newspapers like the SUN pander to racism and prejudice, while doing what they can to make even more money out of peddling both “naked ladies” and lies - all for he benefit of their men in politics, and behind them, the owners of this country. Have you not noticed the clone-like nature of all the UK's political leaders - Cameron, Osborne, Clegg and even Milliband? And they are all very similar concoctions, are they not? And, they are each and every one PRO-CAPITALIST!

Interestingly, it was a Labour Government, which helped to rescue Capitalism in 2008. Yet the Tories talk about that as typical of Labour’s waste of National Resources. Yet, if Brown and Co. had not persuaded world leaders to do likewise, then Capitalism would have been finished.

I feel that every News Programme should have another superimposed commentator (as they do for the deaf), but this one representing the rest of us – constantly pointing out, “But, he’s a TORY, He doesn’t give a damn for ordinary working people, He is lying, as usual", and other such valuable additions.

01 October, 2013

Issue 32 of Shape: Rethinking Physics

Dear Physics Student, You do PLURALIST Science. You “farm” Reality in order to “reveal” and then extract what you assume to be eternal laws. But Reality is not Pluralistic, it is Holisitic.

What do you know about the Science that addresses the Origin of Life and Evolution? The Life Histories of Stars? Revolutions in Society? Are you a real Materialist? What came first, The Laws of Physics or Matter?

Did you know that the Copenhagen Interpretation of Quantum Theory is the biggest retreat back to Idealism in the history of Science? Have you seen the non-Copenhagen explanation of the Double Slit Experiments?

Are you being sold a pup?

We invite you to read our Journal, a philosophic monthly published online. All papers are published with free and open access to all. Its editors are Physics graduates who have both worked at professorial levels in Universities, but crucially Shape Journal rejects the current consensus position in Physics, the position you are currently being taught as fact. It rejects the Copenhagen Interpretation of Quantum Theory and the Standard Model of Particle Physics.

Shape Journal has published original work on new theories on everything from the Double Slit Experiment, the Shape of the Universe, the Propagation of EM Radiation and on Emergence. Shape Journal welcomes debate on all these issues and more. Please join in this vital discussion, if only because you feel the need to shoot us down!

Read the issue

25 September, 2013

Issue on "Rethinking Physics" Coming Soon...

On the 1st of October SHAPE Journal will be publishing a new Issue for Physics Students, offering some alternatives to the current consensus position within the discipline... Watch this space!

02 September, 2013

100,000 Visitors

Science Holism Abstraction Philosophy Emergence


Not a Transcending Vision, but a Form-Only feature?

The problem with the idea of Infinity is that we quantify some measurable aspect of Reality, and then conceptually extend the possible numbers involved forever: we simultaneously make them infinite but reducing!

But, Reality doesn’t do that! We do!

And, in each such “area”, we assume there is a real aspect of Reality, and after being able to successfully use such locally, we immediately extend them well beyond such real-world limits.

We are intensely unhappy about any sudden terminations! But, we do know that at some point, we must set aside our extracted little piece of the World, or else the multiplicity of factors could overwhelm our attempts at control and use of such things. And, we do it by employing the idea of infinity.

For this, though in one sense, it goes on forever, in another all influences that we may be concerned with, will undoubtedly reduce – and in inverse proportion to that extension, until they are effectively negligible. Anything divided by infinity is zero!

So, at the same time, as making our feature of study both universal and eternal, we also have a pragmatic limit, and both of these are inherent in this concept of infinity.

The “awe and wonder” that Amanda Gefter describes in her article The Infinity Illusion, in New Scientist (2930), is when she (and us) turn this pragmatic frig into something real! But it is a handy trick!

All areas that we define are not infinite, but our basic approach to properties is that they never end (once you have such a thing it seems impossible to terminate it, and such Continuity with negligibility requires something like infinity to deliver practical and usable limits).

Long, long ago Zeno of Elea knew that both of our basic concepts of Continuity and Descreteness were actually “necessary, man-made constructs”, but no one would believe him!

Mankind had arrived at these two contradictory simplifications, and would merely switch from one to the other, in order to cope with different problems.

So, he composed a series of Paradoxes to show that these were NOT features of Reality itself, but our own constructs. And, via these carefully thought-out narratives he proved it! Yet, he didn’t, and couldn’t, replace them: he merely revealed their origins and limitations.

The two most interesting of his Paradoxes were Achilles and the Tortoise and The Arrow.

In the first he demonstrated how, by a particular way of considering things, Achilles could never catch the Tortoise, because an infinite sequence of steps would be necessary, and could not possibly end up with a very simple and small finite result. And, in the second Paradox, by yet another “indisputable” process showed that a fired Arrow could not possibly move through the air.

Yet, the constructs and simplifications shown to be paradoxical by Zeno are those by which we deal with Reality most of the time: it is just that neither are totally true, they are merely handy devices that work in many, many situations.

But, Amanda Gefter’s following short paragraph reveals why Mankind, like the Greeks when they ignored Zeno, still doesn’t understand what it constructs.

She says:- “Trouble is, once unleashed, these infinities are wild, unruly beasts. They blow up the equations with which physicists attempt to explain nature’s fundamentals. They obstruct a unified view of the forces that shape the Cosmos. Worst of all, they add infinities to the explosive mixture that made up the infant Universe, and they prevent us from making scientific predictions at all”

Now, I quote this in full, because within it are the assumptions that cause the problems. In fact, it is packed full of them! Can you extract them, or will you be satisfied with what seems (so far at least) to be her catchall culprit – Infinity?

The generated, important difficulties are deemed to boil down to a single question - “Can we do away with Infinity?”

Quite soon in the article, she arrives at Cantor, who concentrated upon handling infinities, but in attempting to fit them ever more tidily into a consistent, coherent and comprehensive Mathematics, elicited chaos among mathematicians [especially, Kroenecker, who in opposing Cantor insisted that only the counting numbers meant anything]

The following mentioned difficulties, encountered by physicists, were all put down to the sins of the concept of Infinity. But, of course, such a simplistic solution gets nowhere near why such concepts occur, and why we stick to them like glue.

Then we get the suggestion; “There’s something very basic that we’re assuming that is just wrong!” [A quote from Max Tegmark].

Well, yes! I cannot disagree with this statement!

But, it is not just Infinity! The following statement that - “Inflation will stretch spacetime only until something snaps!”, though itself full of assumptions, does at least suggest that real situations and their generated laws do in fact end, and are replaced with something else! Just banning infinity is no solution.

We have to fully understand both periods of Stability and their intervening episodes of Significant Qualitative Change: we have to see how the entirely New emerges.

And, of course, both the mathematicians and the physicists cannot do that! They have both become prisoners of their assumptions and consequent methods. It is amazing just how poor these people are as philosophers.

They “blinker” their way through the easy Stabilities, until they inevitably bang into totally inexplicable Emergences.

Another quote also has possibilities – “If infinity is such an essential part of Mathematics, the language we use to describe the world, how can we get rid of it?”

Again, this reveals another aspect – not only, “What is Mathematics?”, but also, “What relation does it have to Reality?”

In merely “describing” things, is it omitting something crucial?

Following this various suggestions are revealed, which seem to eliminate infinities in various mathematical forms, but what is not mentioned is how Mathematics always idealises relations, originally taken from Reality, but in carefully “farmed” situations, and then perfected or idealised to become independent of any particular context: they become purely formal truths!

Real aspects are purposely and directly isolated and then extracted, so as to be represented by totally general and formal equations, and this is the problem!

It is not infinity (as an isolated and added concept) that causes problems but the much deeper Principle of Plurality, which not only says that perfect forms can be extracted from Reality, but that as such they are both true and wholly separable – that is totally independent of any context in which they appear.
Now, this is very important indeed!

For various elements of Mathematics are without any doubt “idealised bricks” - kind of Mathematical Lego Units, from which everything is supposed to be constructed.

And just like a Lego-building-brick can be made into a Lego building - which is clearly NOT a real building - these are purely formal units, and are certainly NOT the building bricks of Reality. They are not even real! They are purified patterns, removed from the Reality which displays them. Indeed, just like a Lego Set can allow you to construct an unreal, but look-alike world, so Mathematics does the same with its own formal units. Yet what is constructed is never Reality, it is a purely formal construction in a parallel man-made, look-alike World of Pure Form alone – Ideality.

Some of the conclusions of the mathematicians, mentioned in Gefter’s article, prove conclusively that they are nowhere near addressing the real problems. For there is the claim that, “There is a largest number! Start at 1 and keep on counting, and eventually you will hit a number that you cannot exceed”, we are told.

NOTE: But, of course, they are wrong, for that counting of something real will always run out of things to count, as the idea of Number itself is a formalism, and in its realm – that of Ideality it can go on forever.

So, the error is evident - these people mix up the nature of the World of Pure Form alone, Mathematics, with the very different World of Reality. They are, as they must be, always doing their Mathematics entirely within Ideality, but because they see it as “Reality” they switch about, both importing situations from Reality into Ideality, and vice versa. Indeed, it is in the latter imports that by far the most damage is done!

The real problem is that what you are counting is never totally independent of its contexts, and will always, at some point, cease to continue to exist as such.

So, in Reality you are never in a situation that continues forever exactly the same, and extends infinitely, and hence would allow an infinite count. Yet, of course, in Ideality, without the constraints of the Real World, you could indeed, go on forever.

We exit to that perfect World as soon as we can so that we can manipulate and develop features in a simplified and constant environment. Indeed, all extractions from experiment in the Real World are here funnelled down into a smaller number of Formal Types – the very same equations can be derived for a number of totally unconnected phenomena that display the same form when “given the necessary treatment”!

In the Real World, you could indeed count neurons within a living organism until every last one had been included, but what matters is not analysable meaningfully, purely in terms of those units anyway. It is in their organisation that the wholly new emerges.

In any area, if you are to traverse the limits you have to leave Ideality, and study Reality itself.

Mathematics has ZERO explanations!

At best it can deliver only forms, which, for a while pertain, but such are, even then, still only formal descriptions.

[See the Review of A Certain Ambiguity posted upon the SHAPE Blog by this author]

The excuses for this new Mathematics are even more ridiculous. Instead of depending upon Ideality – the World of Pure Form alone, they fall back upon a machine – the computer, which will certainly always have a biggest number simply due to the limits of its construction

Needless-to-say, we end up, once again, with the quantum as the answer to everything.

“Why don’t we just accept what Quantum Mechanics is telling us, rather than imposing our prejudices upon the Universe?”

Wow! And if you think that is a bit rich, how about – “Our conception of et Theory represents the discovery of a truth that is far beyond the physical Universe”.

Well, yes it is: but it is still only in the World of Pure Form alone! Haven’t they heard of the calamities found by Bertrand Russell, concerned with Set Theory and the debilitating limitations established by Gödel and Turing?

So, does this article tackle the real problems?

Of course not!

None of the arguing sides included in it even understand the problems. It reminds me of the fight at Solvay in 1927, when Bohr and Heisenberg defeated Einstein, and instituted the, still continuing, dominance of the Copenhagen Interpretation of Quantum Theory in Sub Atomic Physics. Any criticisms of this take one side or the other, but they were both wrong! Even Einstein put mathematical form at the very basis of Reality, and in spite of the battle over Sub Atomic Physics, NO solution was possible because both sides were constrained by the same incorrect assumptions about the primacy of Form.

At best they could only agree to differ!

21 August, 2013

New Special Issue: The Evolution of Matter

This rather long and meandering paper, though originally intended merely as an argument for the existence of the Evolution of all Matter (as well as Living Things), rather rapidly had to address a wholly new, Holistic standpoint for scientific investigation and explanation, and thus was inevitably diverted into delivering at least some important contributions to that area. For the usual standpoint in Science is NOT holistic, but pluralistic, and though perfectly suitable in areas in equilibrium, is entirely unsuitable for dealing with systems in qualitative change. Now, as it very quickly became a rather extended piece, it could not be allowed to deal fully with all aspects so generated by this alternative stance. So, they have been somewhat truncated, with the suggestion, for those requiring a more comprehensive treatment, to address the much fuller accounts published in the 50 issues of SHAPE Journal on the Internet by this author.

Read it here

A Diagram from the issue:

Holism Philosophy Science Diagram Method

18 August, 2013

Contemplating The Precipice

Dealing with Holisitc Complexity

To say the least, my current deliberations are getting more than a little ”hairy”, and I feel that I am skating upon very thin ice. For, in chasing the basic conundrums of Modern Physics, it has become very clear what had always been avoided, to a significant extent, and were now almost totally ignored, were the actual explanations of phenomena. And, this had been achieved by taking the much easier, alternative path of merely describing, and then formulating the purely quantitative data from phenomena into deemed-to-be essential equations.

But, this route can no longer be followed, and I am forced into uniquely tight corners, by the inherent contradictions generated by the one-sided, and indeed, the aberrant and misleading methodology that is usually employed.

For, in attempting to base yourself on past achievements (in which you can have no choice), you invariably find yourself constantly seeking causal sequences of explanation, yet always hitting the premature termination of each uncompleted series, and having to attempt to “do it for yourself”!

For example, my professor, many years ago, at Leeds University was world famous for his “Stoner’s Sub Groups”, but in my efforts in attempting to integrate atoms into a non-empty background, I had then, unavoidably, to explain the Copenhagen Interpretation’s probabilistic methods in terms of an actual filling or substrate of Empty Space, actively interacting with a nucleus-electron system within an atom.

The “usually necessary”, almost total isolation of investigated subsystems, and the consequent separate theories and equations, invariably meant that many transitions could not possibly be included. And changes of system always meant the abandonment of one theory and equation for another. You rummaged about in the “bag of solutions” to find a form that fitted, and the causes of the transitions were never properly addressed.

So returning to Stoner’s Sub Groups, I reckoned that my earlier suggestion of the actual existence of a space-filling paving might be relevant within an atom, and an explanation of Stoner’s discovery might well throw important light upon what was happening concretely inside an atom with its own internal substrate.

EC Stoner Building, Leeds University

I reckoned that such a substrate, as I had postulated for my Theory of the Double Slit, would, in this particular set of circumstances, have to not only surround the atom, but also exist within it too!

If this were the case, the orbiting electron would have to negotiate through the internal substrate, as it attempted to respond to the electrostatic relationship between the electron and its nucleus.

After all, I have never understood how the demotion of the orbit of an electron in an atom (with its clearly physically caused electrostatic and magnetic properties due to a concrete set of circumstances), could transform the energy released into a wholly disembodied form that maintained complex electrostatic and magnetic properties in an infinite oscillation. The question, surely, had to be , “How?”

But, elsewhere, in attempting to explain Fields in a vacuum, surrounding a charged particle, and the effect of the “field” on any other interloping charged entities, if I had also to deal with action-at-a-distance, and I was forced to again define a substrate that could articulate all these effects.

NOTE: as you can see, each thing led to another. And, if a genuine causal chain (which is always assumed to be there) was to be found, and itself explained, you quickly zoom off to you know not where.

One thing incessantly led to another, and I found myself having to explain Stoner’s Sub Groups in terms of the inter-relation of orbits, fields and substrates within an atom.

So, as you can see, the imperatives involved are Real Physics, and not just the usual, formal descriptions, but I have to admit to frequently becoming swamped by what appeared to be “infinite regress”.

But, that is, of course, unavoidable, and was why for hundreds of years pluralist-based Science has dominated. For, it tidily avoided such precipitous routes!

The advantages, of pluralist assumptions, are that all such causal sequences are unnecessary for effective use of a single equation in its appropriate Domain. You could isolate! And, such considerations were sidelined as “theoretical” or even “academic”, and Science motored “ahead” with its small “steps in isolation”.

“Can we use it now?”, was the insistent cry. “I don’t want to know “Why?”, all I need is ”How?”

So, as soon as you decide to take the holist route, the endemic pluralist simplifications of past Physics no longer deliver the crucial essences of Reality, but are merely pragmatic simplifications, and manipulations of “the appropriate ground”.

The fact that these simplifications also were effective in revealing dominant factors, and hence facilitating “situation farming”, made accelerated (though aberrant) paths very easy to construct and follow, while everything else was ignored. And, the justification, the Principle of Plurality, made this methodology “sound”, as all extractions were deemed to be “separable”, and hence independent of context.

In addition, the collection of individual relations was sufficient for most practical applications, and the crucial drive towards inclusive, and indeed, ever more comprehensive theories was abandoned, with a measure of “justification”.

But, the Principle of Holism (the opposite of the Principle of Plurality) is that you cannot do that!

You can simplify, but NOT to reveal Essence, but only to reveal the more dominant contributions, and then in a purely formal, idealised and usually entirely quantitative form of relations - Equations. And, of course, such procedures are fine in limited and controlled contexts: the dominant factors can be made to work “almost alone” and in an idealised form. But, such an approach makes the important transitions from one qualitative situation to another impossible to address in an explanatory way.

“This happens when that threshold is passed”, is NOT an explanation. It is a placeholder for a missing explanation!

Causality becomes increasingly impossible, for each and every local truth has been found by actually removing what in unfettered Reality takes the situation to a very different set of phenomena.

The dynamic of a rich and changing Reality has been surgically removed, and replaced by only a series of artificially “true” snapshots of what was really going on.

Current Science is no longer the philosophic standpoint, from which the meaning of Reality-as-is can be addressed, but instead an equation-led, pragmatic bag of practical, unchanging equations!

It is increasingly breathtaking just how much is never explained, and how eclectic are even the very best of scientists. Without a qualm, such scientists will put aside one theory and pick up another, better-fitting one, and leave any explanation for the caused transition completely unaddressed.

Now clearly, such tasks are not individual, and limited in their content: they are too complex for one person to deal with. If ever there was a form of investigation that MUST be addressed socially, it is the current Crisis in Physics. There has to be too many balls in the air for a single juggler to cope with. You need a team, and a trained and integrated team at that.

Modern Physics is dying fast, and the present ideas and paradigms are simply not up to the tasks presented in the current era.

11 August, 2013

Couder’s Multi-Level Model

The more I think about Couder’s Experiment, concerning the behaviour of silicone drops bouncing upon a liquid silicone substrate, the more that I realise it also contains crucially revealing analogues for what happens at the sub atomic level, in spite of it being carried out solely at a macro level.

To briefly recap upon what occurred in his experiment, he has a shallow tray filled with silicone liquid, which is kept vibrating vertically. Onto this “substrate”, he very carefully allows a single drop of the same silicone liquid to fall.

You might reasonably expect that it would merely be absorbed into the tray of liquid, as they are both of exactly the same substance. But, that isn’t what happens at all!

The drop actually bounces back up into the air, after eliciting a depression at the point of closest approach.

Two things then happen, the surface tension of the liquid opposes the depression and after reaching a maximum, it begins to move upwards again. While at the same time, the drop continues to move upwards, but opposed by gravity, so that it also reaches a maximum, then begins to fall again. Now, something very similar occurs on the next closest approach (and a continuing sequence of these), and these continue as long as the same conditions are maintained.

But there is another important feature of this sequence – it is synchronised by the multiple approaches of the bouncing drop, so that the oscillations at the liquid surface in the local area of closest approach is linked to the regularity of the bouncing drop.

Yet, each approach does NOT actually touch the liquid substrate surface, it, somehow, elicits the described behaviours both of drop and substrate, without actual contact. The succession of depressions, as you might expect, moves outwards and declines in amplitude as it does so, but NOT only determined by the properties of the liquid substrate, though clearly the vertical vibration of the whole tray of that substrate, and its frequency will be involved. Clearly the vibrating substrate delivers both a frequency component and energy into the system!

So, after the initial release of the silicone drop, and without any further intervention, we have a seemingly stable bouncing drop, maintaining its separate integrity, but eliciting and then moving with an associated set of waves in the substrate (see the picture included here).

Now, various interesting extractions can be made from this experiment.

First, we can only assume that literally all the energy, for the continuing phenomenon, must come from the vibrating substrate. So, we have an interesting behaviour initiated by the original fall of the drop, but thereby eliciting a tapping into the resident energy of the substrate, to then produce a complex, stable and continuing system.

And such stability (as with all such systems) must be based upon reciprocal mutual effects between drop and substrate.

Now, it was an entire consonant feature to this, which allowed the author of this paper to explain the famed Double Slit Phenomena by means of a substrate being present there, in what is always assumed to be a background of totally Empty Space.

So clearly, we have a class of causally-unrelated phenomena, one of which not only applies at the macro level with Couder’s experiment, but another almost certainly happens also at the sub atomic level too.

The resonances of systems, such as this, are clearly important, yet different from the usually purely quantitative Forms, which are represented in Equations. For, these, very different cases, involve qualitative forms, and are delivered by explanations and not merely by universal qualitative equations, which, of themselves, explain absolutely nothing!

NOTE: Elsewhere, this researcher has been slowly gathering together examples of these “explanatory forms”, the most dazzling of which was surely Darwin & Wallace’s Theory of Natural Selection, which is certainly NOT merely encapsulated in a quantitative equation. And Nobel Laureate Hunt’s discovery of cyclin in fertilised egg divisions, which was also entirely qualitative.

Now, the use of a proposed Paving of Empty Space, comprising vast numbers of undetectable particles, which could propagate electromagnetic radiation, subtend fields around charged objects, and even facilitate Action-at-a-Distance phenomena, has clear resonances with Couder’s Experiment, if not in specifics, then surely in qualitative form?

Now, this theory, which directly opposes the Copenhagen Interpretation of Quantum Theory, has already cracked the Double Slit phenomena (see video above, links to relevant papers are in the description on Youtube), and the propagation of electromagnetic radiation, is also very close to dealing comprehensively with the subtending of electrostatic Fields, in that same “Empty Space”.

The suggestion is NOT a rehash of the Ether theory, for it deals adequately with observed quanta phenomena, and it changes fundamentally just how many phenomena are assumed to occur.

Throughout these hypotheses, the origin of the necessary energy for many phenomena is shown to often reside solely within a universal Paving of Space. And the definition of the pavings constituent particles also clearly hides a very substantial undetected store of both Matter and Energy, which seems to have an important bearing upon the suggestions for both Dark Matter and Dark Energy, which is at present yet-to-be-detected anywhere else.

Now, in my theory, this substrate is composed of small and undetectable descrete entities, closely related to positronium particles, which consist of a mutually-orbiting pair of one electron and one positron.

The natures of these sub particles means that both matter and antimatter, and positive and negative charges, render the combined form currently undetectable.

Nevertheless, they can hold individual quanta of energy by the promotion of these mutual orbits to a higher energy level, and also emit such quanta, by a subsequent return to the base level.

Also, as with so-called Empty Space, this “filling” will always contain some protected energy and matter of constitution, and hence even without any propagate-able energy, would contain unavailable stores of both of these.

The supposition that such a paving would be the source of energy in Field construction and effects, and also be able to provide the propagation of electromagnetic energy, both seem very sound to me.

So, let us return to the “bouncing drop”, with a more interesting basis for revealing its content and forms.

For though the “drop” appears to be the cause of everything (just like a charged particle does for the subtending of an active Field), it certainly is no such thing!

It hasn’t got any energy of its own (just like the unit charge hasn’t either). In both cases, the only on-going source of energy is the paving or substrate. Yet the drop is set in subsequent motion by close contact with the substrate, and also has the effect of synchronising the waves elicited in the substrate, with its repeated closest approaches of that drop. Clearly, we cannot simply divide our interacting elements into simple cause-and-result – they actually interact recursively – each influenced by, and influencing the other.

Let us carefully change tack, and instead consider a matrix of atoms in a solid.

NOTE: In the Couder video, a whole series of bouncing drops and their associated “waves”, line up like an evenly spaced matrix, though why this should be so wasn’t made clear.

From the outside of such an atomic matrix, energy is taken into the atoms, which then oscillate about their apparent, equilibrium positions with an increased amplitude, and the overall solid then expands in consequence.

The oscillation and equilibrium position are both caused by the balancing inter-atomic attractions, so that if an atom moves too far, the balance of forces is changed to bring it back. Unavoidably, over-shooting causes the opposite direction force causing an oscillation, which is then maintained by the prevailing local energy level of the surroundings.

Couder’s unusual set up allows a conjunction of phenomena not usually seen at the macro level, but amazingly close to what is thought to happen at the sub atomic level, especially if we replace totally Empty Space by a universal paving (substrate), which stores energy, propagates electromagnetic disturbances, and communicates Action-at-a-Distance.

There are other things in the Paving Theory of Empty Space apart from its obvious constituents – the active elements. Perhaps one of the most important is the role of recursion – or reflexive effects.

In the solution of the anomalies, observed in the Double Slit Experiments, a moving entity – an electron, causes electromagnetic disturbances in a universal and effectible paving, which moving much faster than the electron, gets to the Double Slits first, passes through both, and causes an “interference pattern” on the other side. So that when the electron arrives, and passes through either of the Slits, it then encounters the pattern, which channels its subsequent movement according to its initial path into that pattern.

The cause – the electron, created the disturbances within the paving, which later, after “interfering” duly caused the modified path through to the detection screen.

Such reflexive processes are crucial in explaining what was going on.

04 August, 2013

Can We Blame The Messenger?

In merely beginning to read yet another article by Michael Brooks in New Scientist (2928) on entanglement and other things in Quantum Theory, I realised that the properties (all ascribed to a disembodied quantum of electromagnetic energy) simply could NOT be correct! I don’t mean, of course, that they don’t exist, but I do mean that some, at least, are definitely not properties of the conceived-of Photon.

Brooks chooses to bring in Spin, and though he can only really describe it as the property of an extended material object, there is also little doubt that he is also insisting that it is a property of the Photon – conceived of as a totally disembodied gobbet of electromagnetic energy.

Now, immediately to a physicist, such as myself, the warning lights begin to flash (in fact several of them!). The first is triggered by the idea that you can have a gobbet of pure energy, totally separate from any matter whatsoever. The second is set off by the idea of such a gobbet actually spinning, or undergoing whatever it is that is termed “a spin”.

And, in the same few initial paragraphs, he makes it clear that we have absolutely NO choice, but to accept such consequences of Quantum Theory (or more precisely the Copenhagen Interpretation of it), because its statistical/probabilistic equations deliver very accurate predictions as long as the problems are posed overall, rather than for particular individual entities.

But why?

The Ptolemaic Theory of the Solar System, in its most developed form, gave accurate predictions, but it was, nevertheless, totally wrong!

Are we really to promote mere Forms, or Patterns, to be the determining essence of all things? We cannot possibly do that, for a very simple reason.

A particular Form can be used to predict in a whole causally unrelated range of phenomena. Forms are universal patterns, and not common causes. And this means that though they can exist all over the place, to make them the determinators of Reality is foolish.

How can these very different phenomena, which conform to a single Form, be assumed to have the exact same cause, and a purely formal one at that? That would only be the case if that Form were capable of being a physical cause itself! And, the language of these scientists always gives away their erroneous standpoint. They say, “This equation makes the phenomenon happen in this particular way!” They are clearly idealists and have actually abandoned materialism! They insist that things don’t happen due to concrete physical causes: they happen in conformance to the appropriate abstract equation.

You have to ask, “Why?”

I could go on with this line of argument, but it will never convince the Copenhageners – so, I’ll take another tack.

Gobbets of entirely disembodied electromagnetic energy (Photons) cannot exist, and certainly cannot move across totally Empty Space at the Speed of Light! In fact, nothing can move at that speed.

So, how does propagation occur, for we know that it does?

If we do assume that particles of matter can exist in such an environment, these will also be prohibited from moving at the speed that has been established for electromagnetic radiation. So, how can we transcend the seeming impasse?

We can do it via the presence of a Universal Paving of so-called Empty Space, populated with relatively stationary material entities (or receptacles), which can not only hold gobbets of E-M energy, but also pass it on, bucket-brigade-fashion across the paving, The material entities involved must act as receptacles for such gobbets of energy, NOT as is sometimes assumed, to carry it across the Empty Void, but to merely pass-it-on.

Now, such suppositions DO NOT, as they stand, deliver any sort of acceptable theory. Many questions still need to be answered, and a wholly new approach made clear.

To achieve an acceptable theory we must:

- Explain how these receptacles hold individual quanta of E-M energy

- Show how these receptacles can be wholly undetectable

- Explain the constant Speed of Light in a very different way

The model for addressing the first question is very clearly the atom, which has no difficulty in fulfilling this requirement. So, an analogous structure to the atom will have to be involved.

The second question can be resolved with the example of the positronium, which is itself undetectable, being constituted from a negatively charge, ordinary matter, electron, and a positively charged, antimatter positron. And though this has certainly been indirectly detected in high-energy accelerators, its very short lifespan in those extreme circumstances doesn’t have to pertain in Empty Space.

The constant Speed of Light becomes a property of the Paving, being the speed of induction of a quantum of E-M energy from one receptacle to the next.

Now, this is by no means a thoroughgoing definition of this Paving and its constituent parts, and we must here forego such a detailed exposition. But, the papers delivering this are already available on SHAPE Journal, so can be accessed very easily when required. Search the journal for Empty Photons.

But, we must reiterate an important difference with this Theory. The quanta never exist outside of such receptacles in propagation. Neither do the receptacles themselves move across Empty Space to deliver their E-M cargo. The movement is ONLY of the quanta, but not as moving, independent entities in Empty Space, but as induced gobbets passed from receptacle to receptacle.

So, within the purpose of this paper, we have a dilemma –

“Which of the evident features that we discern in experiments, are properties of the electromagnetic energy (the always temporary contents of our receptacles), and which are properties of the receptacles themselves?".

Of course, to answer these questions, it matters what the receptacle is made of, and how it can hold a single quantum of electromagnetic energy, and the answers are already known.

Our receptacle must have much in common with the atom! It must contain at least two sub particles with one orbiting the other, to allow it to be able to carry out the very same getting, holding and delivering of quanta that an atom can do.

Indeed, though initially defined purely theoretically, our proposed receptacle has been found to actually exist.

Now, it took a long time to find it, not least for alternative theories for so called Pair Production, did not include such an entity, but it was finally identified as the source of such events in High Energy Accelerators (as already mentioned above).

After this discovery, it became abundantly clear that this positronium, was indeed made from a mutually orbiting pair of an electron and one positron, and with these cancelling out both in Matter and in Charge, the invisibility of the particle in space was easily explained.

Now, the proposal for a universal paving of all of Empty Space had also long been discounted, because no such paving had ever been detected. But, if it was composed of these positroniums, that would explain the pavings invisibility too. And as the sub particles mutual orbits could be promoted to higher energy levels, it was clear that the required functions of getting, holding and delivering quanta (as in the atom) would be available.

Clearly, the instability of the positronium in High Energy environments, at first argued against it being able to carry out these roles, for its lifespan was momentary in such conditions. But, of course, the main habitat for these entities in this theory would be in Empty Space, where their stability would be assured.

Returning to the “messenger and the message”, the problems stated by Brooks fall away, as the various properties detected would be from TWO related entities – the messenger – positronium, and the message – the carried quantum of E-M energy.

Such phenomena would, henceforth, have to include an extra and transforming player – the Paving. And, instead of Wave/Particle Duality, and the other anomalies of Copenhagen, we would be able to attach the contradictory properties to different constituents.

02 August, 2013

Issue 31 of Shape

This is another unusual set of papers! And to address the problems involved, the author has had to include several fairly long-in-the-tooth articles that were, in their time, and still are, among the clearest that are available concerning key issues involved in Programming Languages.

There is one from 1998, and another from 2003, and I have to admit that several topics raised in these papers show their ages, via many of the pieces of ancillary kit and software packages that are no longer in use (or even remembered). But, these historically-defined details do not, in any way, undermine the general points made, for the causes for these diversions are still with us to this day. So, the dated references have not been removed or replaced.

In addition, in discussing the pros and cons of programming that were raised in Michael Brooks article Code Red in New Scientist (2920), it became evident that Computer Languages, as such, were unavoidably imbued with certain incorrect, and diverting assumptions carried over mainly from Mathematics (and to a lesser extent from Science itself), which certainly guarantee that certain vital natural processes and indeed, developments, are unobtainable, within the confines of these entirely formal means. So a short paper has also been included, that at least begins to address this problem in some detail too.

The historical papers on C++ and Flash (Actionscript), may be referring to older versions of these systems, but the points made are still to this day, entirely valid, and I also couldn’t just ignore Michael Brooks’ evident lack of any real understanding in the area of programming and Programming Languages, without delivering a strong criticism of his position. Publishing these papers has allowed me to do just that.

Read it here

17 July, 2013


In the light of recent events in Egypt, where the country's first elected president, Mohamed Morsi, has been unseated from office in what many are calling a military coup, and others see as a continuation of the revolutionary process started in 2011 - it seems a vital time to re-evaluate exactly what we mean by Democracy, and what it's true role should be in a genuine Revolution.


Consider a political regime that you believe validates the repression of the majority of its people. What can be done to change the situation?

Well, it may be considered that the nature of how those in power originally achieved their positions, when it was initially transformed from the prior situation. They could have taken over by force of arms, say in a military coup, or via a popular uprising, or in more modern times, by a democratic vote. And, of course, if the establishment of the regime was either of the first two, and no democratic means of changing things were available, then those who are for change can only attempt to build a popular movement for the overthrow of the current regime. Yet, the actual physical removal of that ruling group by force is not considered to be correct, for whoever can marshal the mightiest force will win, and why should that be any better than what needs to be replaced?

No, it is usually considered to that some form of Democracy should be agitated for – a campaign to demand a democratic method of determining a government as the true representatives of the majority of the people.

A free and secret vote for candidates with no one being prevented from standing is usually considered vital. It has become the ideal of how a country should be governed, and regular elections will make it possible to vote out an unsatisfactory government, and vote in a better one.

But, does that ideal condition actually occur anywhere? And, is it ever enough to fulfill its original intentions?

The concept of Democracy was devised long ago, but not upon a countrywide scale at all!

It was certainly possible in a clan, a village or a City State perhaps. For then, the candidates might be well enough known for the electorate to make informed judgements. But, as the political units grew ever larger, and even became countries, those ideal arrangements and familiarity with everyone involved was certain to be lost.

The question became, “How can the ideal Democracy be scaled up to country-size, yet manage to maintain its necessary virtues?” And even further, “Was such a task even achievable?”

One model was suggested as the best way to maintain the qualities of Democracy. It was the hierarchical system. The lowest level of elections would still be small and local, where it would still be possible to know everyone involved, and choose with sufficient knowledge, the best person for the job. But, to deliver that the local unit would have to be small – a “Ward” covering a village, or clearly defined locality in a Town was one suggestion. But, what would be the role of the elected representative? Would he be like an elected Chief? That might cover purely local questions, but have zero effect beyond that constituency. Clearly, purely local leaders would have to represent that locality in some higher body, covering a large political unit – like a county or a City! But, then the questions on which the representative would have to vote, in the higher body, may never have been considered in the initial local election. And, clearly not everyone in the local Ward could be consulted and vote, for they might not know enough to make an informed choice.

The chosen representative must be trusted then, to make the best possible choices for those who had elected him or her. And clearly, the chosen candidate would have a crucial role in informing his constituents of the decisions pending in the higher body, and perhaps being mandated to vote in a certain way by his now better informed electorate.

So, an important modification to the local unit was its morphing into what became known as a council or soviet. And these bodies would have no restriction upon the size of the unit, but would have a vote in higher bodies proportional to their size.

Instead of a purely geographical determination, these soviets could cover a factory, or a department providing a particular service to a defined section of the community. A hospital would also be a very appropriate unit, which could deal with complex matters that the general public might be unaware of, AND, could even supply expert knowledge to a higher body, to inform its decisions in that area of expertise.

Clearly, above all this wide variety of local soviets would be a geographical Council, to which all local soviets of any size, could send their elected representatives.

While in a different direction, all hospitals (say) could send representatives to a higher body dedicated to that important set of objectives. As the layers in an ascending hierarchy got bigger and covering more responsibilities, they would have to elect people responsible to carry out the decisions of that body in particular areas – departments or “ministries” Clearly, with the particular specialist soviets, they could supply all who required it, with detailed information to both electorates and representatives who were in a position to make relevant decisions.

Clearly, what was meant to characterise these soviets and their upward and downward purposes, was meant to imbue the whole structure with relevant information. For without which appropriate decisions would be impossible.

But, even then, the current choices of representatives could not be guaranteed to do as the electorate wished. So, instant recall and a replacing election must be a right of the soviet over its representative in higher bodies, when the current incumbent was not doing what they considered to be necessary.

Indeed, this led to the callback of representative to a required discussion on particular issues, and perhaps even a mandating of the candidate, determining exactly how he should vote on a range of issues.

NOTE: But, that is not what happens in most so-called Democracies in the World today.

For not even the set of policies outlined before elections would be adhered to by an organisation (or Party) in power, and members of those organisations would actually be told how they should vote by their Parties, which even have policing members called Whips to ensure that they do as they are told.

And such a “mandating” is then top-down, and certainly nothing like the bottom-up mandates explained above.

Clearly, though such systems could easily gobble up too much time and too many people, and cut down the time for carrying out the major functions of the organisations. It could seem to be in danger of failing under the weight of too much time and too many decisions needing to be taken by such methods.

But, we are forgetting why this MUST be how real democracy is to be built. Once the various electorates had representatives that they knew they could trust, the number and intensity of these processes would decline, yet when a representative broke the conditions of their election, they could be easily removed. The system would militate against corruption.

Though, for this to be the case, these organisations would have to be functioning within a Socialist Society! Somehow, a better system than the mere election of your choice of candidates would be needed.

Once elected, the candidates should be given the confidence of the electorate, and either given a detailed mandate to carry out an agreed programme, or could come to the council for discussions and decisions. Any widespread dissatisfaction with the actions of the office holder must allow (with sufficient numerical support) a recall for immediate replacement.

Now, as can be seen, many of these features do not currently transfer to higher bodies in any present hierarchical system. The detailed information and control of elected members and officers are not instituted, when the council represents a substantial electorate, and immediate recall would not be considered to be practicable.

The problem has to be, “Just how will higher bodies be elected, and how will the electorate both be fully informed and keep control of their elected representative?”

Currently, when the system moves to a national level, most of the excellent qualities of the small, local unit certainly have been lost.

Of course, there is also a much more important difficulty. Yet, other quite separate and crucial considerations that must be addressed cannot possibly be avoided.

What quite separate organisations of Wealth and Power exist simultaneously with the democratic, political system?

Who owns the land, the factories, the mass media and most of the Wealth?

And, could these “alternatives” intervene in the apparently fair political structure?

The answer is a resounding, “Yes!”.

Even in the first democratic City States, which included Athens (Greece) and Rome (Italy), the wealthy could buy their way to effective power. “Greasing the Wards” or “Bread & Circuses” allowed the rich to buy off enough of the electorate to gain office and hence political power too. And, on a larger scale, with immensely bigger organisations and concentrated wealth, they could do a similar thing with the democratically elected representatives of the people.

And, it cannot be denied that in one form or another that this is the norm, even in the most lauded democracies of today. Power still resides substantially with wealth!

Now, at this point, the position of the generally accepted and indeed lauded leader must also be addressed. Giving everyone in a village an equal vote on all questions of policy cannot guarantee that the best decisions are always taken on behalf of the majority. It is more than likely that they will not know enough on all questions to make informed decisions. So, from the very earliest glimpses of a democratic system, the people soon learned to judge their friends and enemies within their village unit, and also to recognise greater knowledge and understanding in particular individuals. They gradually learned to differentiate between those who were out for themselves, and those who genuinely served their community. With more than a little luck, they could elect a leader or chief, who had all the necessary qualities to make the best decisions for the benefit of all. They are not rare people! You must have known many – from nurses to teachers, firemen to milkmen, and a thousand other occupations, wherein the greatest satisfaction comes from effectively serving the people in a way that makes things better for all. There are certainly those who ask for little more than to “do a great job”.

Now, choosing the best leader for a small group is relatively easy. And, if a mistake is made, the electorate simply informs that leader (via a Vote of No Confidence) and that they will choose someone else.

But, all these situations can be totally distorted by the above mentioned alternative power structures – usually based upon wealth and ownership.

The question arises, “Can you have Democracy in a society, which is drastically unequal in an economic and ownership sense?"

That surely has to be the key question to align with the ideal of political democracy.

For more on this subject, have a look at the latest issue of Shape Journal Marxism III.

15 July, 2013

New Special Issue: Marxism III - Why Socialism?

The set of papers in this new Special Issue were originally published here on the Shape Blog under the title the Why Socialism? series. It was written as a multi-part introduction to the topic and became a very popular series vastly increasing its visitor numbers over many months.

Clearly many questions were still needing answers, for in spite of a long and illustrious history since the original publication of the Communist Manifesto by Marx and Engels in 1848, Socialism has accrued countless failures and even betrayals. Yet its central tenets are as true today as when they were first written down in that document, well over 150 years ago.

The position was not like that of the Utopian Socialists, but was based upon a materialist philosophic standpoint - a meeting of German philosophy, English political economics and French social history. It was, and is, a magnificent amalgam, founded upon the necessary processes of social revolution, to finally dismantle old class regimes and liberate the masses.

Yet, only in a few places was this possible, where the working class was in a position to carry through a revolution by itself. In most cases the only possible route to a successful uprising was via an alliance of classes, including both the peasantry and often a large slice of the as-yet unliberated middle class. The problem was always what would happen once the repressive regime had been vanquished. Could the task of establishing Socialism be straightforward, or would the classes of this revolutionary alliance break apart and begin to work for their own dominance? The answer to such questions has been produced time and again by history, in Russia, Germany, China and right up to the present day with the avalanche of revolutions precipitated by the Arab Spring.

Socialism grounded in solid Marxist theory is needed now more than ever, as Capitalism faulters and people across the globe take to the streets in their millions.

Let this collection of essays on Democracy, Economics and Revolution, by a life-long Marxist, help with the problems of this, the most widespread unrest since the Europe-wide Year of Revolutions in 1848.

02 July, 2013

Earth Before Life

A Lifeless Planet

Let us imagine a totally lifeless world!

Let us place it exactly where the Earth is now, in a containing situation very similar to that which pertains there today – but without either a single living thing of any kind present, nor anything that would have been made by Life.

What then would we have?

Starting with the nature of the substance of that planet and how it was originally constructed, it would certainly be hot! Indeed, having aggregated via millions of collisions with other solid bodies, both large and small, arriving at cosmic (very large) speeds, and arriving literally incessantly over a very long period – indeed, hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of years, it would certainly have been transformed to contain truly vast amounts of energy, which as it grew in size, would find it ever harder to escape as the ratio of surface area to contained volume would rapidly decline. And, with all these collisions turning into such accumulated heat, the planet would soon have become a molten world (or very close to it).

Such a temperature would have turned that very common substance in our Solar System, namely ICE, via water into clouds of water vapour, and from outside the planet would look very like the condition of the present-day Venus, with voluminous clouds hiding the surface completely. And once this state was fairly constant, without any further large and numerous collisions, the major transformations to its surface could only be due to volcanic eruptions, as Hot-Spot convection currents in the molten mantle reached the surface with vast outpouring of extensive lava flows across its already solidifying surface, which would take the form of ever larger floating rafts of lighter-weight materials (for it would be packed with dissolved gasses, that increasingly were released and headed for the surface under tremendous pressures. And these ejections would build ever-larger islands of solidity all over the globe.

No other real changes, apart from the constant thickening of the crust, would occur just yet, and if the substance of that crust were investigated, it would consist of layer upon layer of purely igneous rocks. At that time none of the major sedimentary rocks would yet be present, and certainly none of those produced by living organisms.

But, ever since the constant bombardment finally ceased, such a hot surface would begin to lose heat at a high rate, and two important processes would start to occur.

First, the solid crust would thicken as new lave flows cooled and added to it.

And second, the abundant water vapour in the planet’s atmosphere would start to be precipitated as both rain and snow. But, on reaching the still, very hot ground, this would be rapidly turned back into vapour again, and air currents and consequent weather would begin to form systems within the atmosphere, but in so doing, movements of the atmosphere between areas of different temperature would be inevitable, so newly evaporated water vapour would again in cooler conditions turn in to rain again. So repeated precipitation cycles would constantly be extracting heat from the crust to return it to the atmosphere, from where it could escape to the empty space beyond. 

Finally, cooler regions that were not heated as much by that other factor – heat from the Sun, say closer to the poles of the planet, would receive rain and snow that was not immediately returned from whence it had come, and surface movement of this liquid water would form streams, rivers and finally ever-larger reservoirs of water, and finally collecting into seas and indeed oceans. 

It is quite possible, with very little of this locked up as ice, that these bodies of water may well have finally covered the entire planet, as at this stage no mountains, in the usual sense, were present. It was basically a low relief surface with occasional volcanoes dotted about.

NOTE:  This means that at a certain point the only land would have to be adjacent to such volcanoes, so that the actual situation for Life to originate could be in the shallows close to such active sources of the most exotic ejaculations and constant heat.

And though the amount of land was either zero or very small, that would in no way affect the subterranean volcanic processes beneath the solid bottoms of the planet-wide oceans would still be just as active (both in mantle current Hot Spots, and in drowned volcanoes, so new volcanic islands would be emerging out of the ocean across the planet (just as Hawaii and the Galapagos Islands still do today).

Also, with continuing cooling, the water at the poles would spend some of the time as ice and new land made, at least at the surface of this new rock would grow at the expense of all-covering oceans, and the primaeval-raised areas of prior vulcanism would appear again a land.

In slightly warmer areas the rains could well fall again, and rivers would head downhill, carrying easier dislodged and picked up solids from the higher ground to both lower ground and finally to the sea, where they would be deposited as a descending series of gravels, sands and finally silts. Over many millennia these deposits would harden under increasingly-heavy overlayers into rock, and thus would therefore produce the first sedimentary rocks to add to the solid structures at the landward side, and to undersea surfaces of the planet.

But remember, all of this “land” would even then been as it is now, as a series of floating rafts upon a mantle of molten or near-molten matter. And, though in the end it would extend both above and beneath the waves into a continuous crust right around the whole planet, differences between dry land areas, and those constantly beneath the oceans, would gradually change and the “always-land” would break into tectonic plates driven by currents in the underlying mantle, and would slowly move, independently of one another, across the globe. Such movements would have several separate centres, and, therefore, the plates would move in various independent directions.

This new feature could not but lead to a series of eras on these floating blocks. For in time, there can be no doubt that these plates would finally collide, and when they did, wholly new phenomena began to occur. The colliding plates generally caused a crumpling of both plates, where the collision occurred, and for the first time mountains began to rise, which were not volcanoes.

Clearly, such increasingly high areas, would accelerate the run-off streams and rivers, and, due to erosion on the land, depositions upon the adjacent seabed would inevitably increase.

But these chains of high mountains also grew large enough to hinder the collisions, and the main thrusts would take one plate to be deflected downwards to travel under the other (Subduction). And this diving in towards the underlying mantle caused other, wholly new phenomena to begin to happen too. The diving place, often, but not always, from under the sea, would unavoidably bring large amounts of sea water with it that had seeped into the layer when under the sea, and the effect of this water, and the increasing temperature from the mantle, caused parts of this layer to melt, and increasingly released, previously dissolved gasses would cause great up ward pressures as they found various cracks and routes to the surface of the overlying land,

On reaching the surface a new kind of volcano occurred, with markedly different characters to the original Hot Spot types.

All along the tectonically-caused mountain chain, the volcanoes appeared and added greatly to the atmosphere of the planet, in addition to up upwelling of rock-making lava and exploded ash.

So, via these major collisions, the nature of the atmosphere of the planet was dramatically, and significantly changed, for, in the crucible of that volcanism, the ejected materials from both the mantle and the surface rocks, wholly new combinations were possible both between dissolved solids in the lying water, and in the ever more complex and reactive atmosphere: the planet, which had become a very different place with innumerably more substances, and their mutual reactions with one another.

And as the movements within the atmosphere became more vigorous, and effecting of ever-wider areas on the planet, extreme local conditions were more and more likely in a very diverse surface and atmosphere. In particular, the strength of the atmospheric storms could be so violent that vast numbers of electrons were torn from their parent atoms, leading to returns to normality via frequent and powerful bolts of lightning. So even electricity became common in atmospheric storms and an extra source of energy and components was added to an already complex mix.

But, still, as yet, free Oxygen was not yet a part of that heady mix, for as soon as it was Fire would be added to the many forces involved in the planets reactions.

Nevertheless, the atmosphere, at that stage, was a mix of reactive and dangerous compounds by any means of judgment.

Yet, it was in this precise environment that Life appeared upon this planet. It wasn’t anything like what we now consider to be Life, for almost none of the modern life forms would survive in that deadly mix.

Yet, they were certainly, and only for a short period in the life of the planet, certainly conducive to some initial, and very primitive lifeforms, which we know, in retrospect, would again completely transform the conditions and pave the way for very different forms that would follow. 

And we know it would, in yet another phase, wherein Life as we know it, or at least know about it from the fossil evidence, would finally begin to appear.

You may wonder why this small story was written?
It was to demonstrate the true essence of Science – NOT Equations, but Explanation!

For, without that we could never understand anything.