29 October, 2014

Are Equations True?

One aspect of symbolic equations (representing what are thought of a Natural Laws) is how their unavoidably pluralist standpoint affects exactly what such things are! For, that view sees “Eternal Natural Laws” as a coming together of the natural factors involved to achieve their “summation” into another consequent Law. And this occurs without in any way changing those contributory components.

Thus Analysis is possible, with each level being separable into its components. And such a process is repeatable, level below level, down (presumably) to a final set of eternal, fundamental Laws. Every level, going upwards, is merely a non-modifying SUM! That is what Plurality means, and it is the never-even-mentioned simplifying basis for all of Science!

Now, what effect does this have upon the equations that are tailored to fit real world data?

Clearly, the un-modifiable factors are often brought together as summed terms in an overall Equation, describing the resultant Law. No factor is actually modified by their coming together. So, what can we therefore say about such an equation? It can only mean that the changing things within it must be the relative quantitative amounts of the various factors, for their qualitative natures are assumed to be sacrosanct!

What is covered by such an equation is therefore limited entirely to a situation in which NO Factors CHANGE qualitatively: it represents a stable situation, varying only in the amounts of the involved factors.

So, what happens when things do qualitatively change (as they most certainly do)?

This can only involve a switch to another Law, and the only role that the previous conception plays, is that a particular variable is earmarked as a “switch-indicator”, and when that variable exceeds a given threshold value, the switch to the other equation must be made. It indicates clearly what is wrong with Plurality: it just isn’t true!

We are permanently-wedded to the pluralistic stance, and its consequent approach, not only philosophically, but also technologically. For, we ensure that all situations to be investigated conform to a pluralist nature – and we do it by isolating, filtering, farming and controlling them to bring the resulting situation as close as possible to that desired state. We naturally kid ourselves that we are merely “revealing” the “natural, hidden state” by our tailoring, but that is not the case: we are suppressing the modifying inter-relations to bring the situation, unnaturally, to a state in which our pluralist, simplifying assumption hold.

Hence, we don’t find laws about totally unfettered Reality-as-is, but only situations forced into conforming to those ideas, and we call these sought-for, investigatable states – Stability!

Yet, we get away with it, because we ONLY use our equations in identically arranged circumstances to those we set up to extract them.

Now, there is an alternative view to Plurality, which is termed Holism! But, in this un-tailored view, there can be NO eternal Natural Laws. Indeed, all relations are produced by given circumstances, and will change, when the circumstances vary in any way.

Such a thing as an Equation of summed terms, that is unchanging does not represent Reality-as-is, but only forcibly stabilised situations, so though they can be used within such farmed Domains, they are NOT eternal, natural Laws. And, of course, the simplified and mechanistic, and also Reductionist view must be wrong!

Looking back at any classical Equation shows that is NOT what it claims to be - a generality, (that is universally) applicable, but, on the contrary, a particular rule, for use in highly constrained circumstances only. The hierarchy of Natural Laws falls to the ground: it is but a handy myth.

So, why is this important?

It means that our overall conceptions of Reality, and how we conceive of it, and subsequently try to understand it are WRONG! Equations lie as to the real natural properties of Reality. They are instead a set of rules for a technological assault upon Reality for purely pragmatic purposes.

Its significance philosophically is highly damaging, as is repeatedly proved in Modern Physics, where, based generally, upon these particular, pluralist laws, the most speculative nonsense is generated on everything from the Origin of the Universe to its inevitable demise.

Now, I will not pretend that attempting to do Science with a holistic perspective will be easy. It most certainly will not be! But, philosophically, and particularly with respect to Qualitative Changes and the Evolution of Reality, such a stance will be incomparably more real.

The problems arise, when real, natural (and un-farmable) situations have to be dealt with, but even there the Explanations achieved are vastly superior to those based entirely upon pluralist laws”.

Holistic explanations are not new. Indeed, before the advent of quantitative equations, there were remarkable cases of profound explanation, developed by holistic approaches in dealing with multiple factors that modified one another.

So, if anyone is wondering what a holistic approach might reveal, may I suggest Charles Darwin’s Origin of Species, V. Gordon Childe’s Man Makes Himself & What happened in History and literally anything on Thinking About Thought by Frederick Hegel. The most revolutionary gains in Science have been made by holistic scientists.

So, pluralist Science does not deal in “Whys?”, but in “Whats?” and “How much?”. It has become quantitative in absolutely everything! Indeed, this is so crucial in most of Science that it has been turned into a purely quantitative subject. More and more qualitative explanations are not addressed. Now, that isn’t Science!

Such a restriction is demanded by a very different imperative, which must have guaranteed production (or prediction) as its most important outcome. And, that can be achieved by current pluralist methods. But, it IS a transformation of what Science always was from its inception, when both description plus production and explanation were given parallel status.

It has now been changed into leaning exclusively towards production and hence Technology. Indeed, even unavoidable qualitative changes are only addressed via thresholds, and do NOT deliver “Why?” at all!

So, to return to the title of this paper – “Are Equations True?”, the answer can only be “No!”, or at the very best –“Only in carefully tailored Domains!” Equations are not generally-applicable, eternal forms of real, Natural Laws in Nature at large.

But they are eternal somewhere else!

They are eternal Laws in the parallel World of Pure Forms alone – which we call Ideality! And that is, of course, the realm of Mathematics. It has NEVER been about Reality-as-is, but can apply in a appropriately farmed version, which because of its artificially contrived purity and simplicity, is indeed predictable, in how we define and create, not to mention maintain certain situations, so that such relations are then close to being true.

Of course, it severely limits all so called investigations to such rigidly stable situations, so it is totally useless in dealing with natural changes and developments. And, its greatest failure has been in how such a formulation affects the actual explaining of phenomena.

“Obeys this Law in these conditions” is merely a description, and NOT an explanation!

21 October, 2014

Issue 36 of Shape: Space

What exactly is Space? This is a fundamental area. As soon as we attempt to address such a question, and get beyond simplistic “Nothingness”, we find ourselves in serious trouble – for nowhere can we find a total absence of everything – the Ultimate Void!

Perhaps the place we usually consider to deliver it must be so-called Outer Space –the “empty” gaps between the heavenly bodies, but we cannot even be sure of that. Can we say that every single morsel of anywhere (even in that Outer Space) contains absolutely Nothing?

And, the reason for this is surely the very fact of Light Propagation! There can be no doubt that Light is coming in to us from literally every direction, and the more our telescopes improve, the more previously invisible sources are found to exist and can be seen.

Such ideas beg the question “Doesn’t Light need something to propagate it though Space – must it not have some form of vehicle or medium to transmit it?” As you can see, the question isn’t entirely trivial, is it? Our assumption that it is totally empty is a useable simplification, in many circumstances, but it surely is not the last word?

And these questions are not only concerning its nature. For as soon as we get into such questions, other problems arise, for whatever we consider, we have to “ensure” (if that is possible) that what we extract from Reality, and consider and manipulate are valid concepts, and are dealt with via valid methods.

Yes, Space is quite a subject. So, let us proceed!

Read the issue

20 October, 2014

The Unsolvable Problems of Capitalism

 The Answers are NOT within it!

On what economic basis can a society be constructed and maintained?

My western country is a capitalist society, which is based upon investment, by people with the reserves (wealth) to do it, into enterprises both big and small. The incentive for doing this is that the investor will “own” a piece of the company that has been invested in, and will therefore receive a proportion of its dividends (profits) annually. Also, the holder of the “share” can sell its investment to someone else via the Stock Exchange, and if your (i.e. the investor’s) company is doing well, you can make a profit on that too!

There is NO alternative to this method within capitalism. And, the problem always is, “How does the investor come by the wherewithall to invest?” Well, the present day answer is that they got it from other, prior investments – both in dividends (profits), or in selling other investments for more than they paid for them (profits). Capitalism feeds upon itself, but only, ostensibly, via private entrepreneurs, who fund its development, and thus “kindly provide jobs" for the working classes.

In the modern world the old small-scale production is simply not good enough. It is too expensive! Large-scale production will produce cheaper goods, but will necessarily also require large amounts of initial investments to even get started.

Now, of course, the question of where the very first investments came from before sufficient was available in profits or dividends was, indeed, a major problem. It was called Primitive Accumulation, and has been dealt with very well in a prior SHAPE Blog posting (February 2012), as well as in SHAPE Journal Special Issue 22 (in July 2013)

But, we must also address today’s ever-present problem, of sufficient available investment to keep the “immense pantechnicon moving”. For, it gets harder and dearer to set a new production in train, while at the same time older companies are less and less able to compete with those equipped with the latest facilities.

This is unavoidable due to the Declining Rate of Profit – recognised in the 19th century, and still in evidence today! It is, of course, caused by the incessant necessity for technical advance, in order to be cheaper than your competitors. So, not only in new start-ups, but also in updating and improving your equipment, the need for more investment is always arising.

Indeed, the demand actually outstrips the supply, so companies have also to borrow money at high rates to fill the gaps, and this takes the rate of interest that has to be paid OUT of the hands of the borrowers, and into those of the lenders. And these could only be the Banks!

The source of the Banks’ funds will be the wages and savings that they hold for literally everybody. The lender’s main criterion will be, “Will the borrowers continue to be able to pay the necessary interest?”, while a secondary one will be, “Will they, in the end, also pay back the loan?” If the lenders are satisfied with the answers, they will lend the money, sometimes even if the chance of a full repayment isn’t totally assured – but, of course, in such circumstances, the interest rate charged will be upped accordingly!

Now, usually, when a loan comes up for repayment, the loaned-to company simply borrows elsewhere to pay off the past loan, and the new lenders use the same criteria of ability-to-pay in deciding to forward the necessary amount. BUT, this method is NOT based upon true intrinsic values!

More money is loaned than will ever be repaid at the equivalent value, so the debts are extended ever further into the future. The consequence of this is Inflation!

Money values actually continually decline. In fact, it is a very important part of maintaining the capitalist system: for it affects the different classes selectively. As will be shown, it is very advantageous to the capitalists, as their financial mechanisms keep their values in an advantageous balance, but it is quite the reverse to workers, for the latter only lose by inflation.

NOTE: Good indicators are House values! My current home has risen in value from when I bought my first to now by a factor of 100. Is that mostly reflecting intrinsic value, or is it Inflation?

Now, think what this means in terms of loans and investments! What was borrowed and the interest payable will inevitably SHRINK due to inflation, for it involved borrowing at old values, and is increasingly paid off (with interest) at the new decreased values. So, capitalism depends upon Inflation to keep going!

NOTE: Indeed, the opposite possibility, that of Deflation would mean that both interest and even the final repayment value would be much more that what was initially borrowed. Capitalism would collapse!

Also, without the rich investors Capitalism also couldn’t work!

So let us inspect some downright lies.

How does inflation affect Working People? Looking at the current situation we see inflation going up much faster than wages: it makes them constantly poorer, while their masters pay old dues at the new lesser values. They actually gain doubly! For their loans decline in current values, while their workforce becomes ever cheaper! The situation fulfils their needs perfectly: they can overcome the devastating, if temporary, reinstatement of real value, in a depression or slump, by making the Working class pay for the subsequent re-build!

Now, if you think about the past and present methods of Imperialism and Globalisation, it is clear that they were all followed in order to pay less! For, what they were doing was exporting their problems to what was called The Third World would certainly enable that saving. But, in the end, even that was to some extent terminated as the Third World rose up and Empires melted away! 

The biggest and most recent solution was to bring the Socialist countries back into the capitalist fold by showing sections of those populations (those who could, in the right conditions, become rich) just how well they would do under capitalism. And it worked - for a while at least!

China is the best example. It provides goods cheaper because its workers are paid less. But now, both Russia and China are becoming not only markets and sources of cheap labour, but competitors in the capitalist stakes. Why do you think capitalist Russia is such a bogey?

The Arab Spring and current upheavals in the Middle East are other examples of the exploitation. And, in consequence, local populations are correctly blaming Western capitalism for their problems, and not only rebelling against their imposed, dictatorial leaders, but also increasingly mounting an assault upon the real behind-the-scenes manipulators – the western capitalists. It is no wonder that the current alliance against the Islamic State, as well as the USA, also significantly includes the reactionary regimes in Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Qatar and Jordan. What an amazing mix! Are they really in it for humanitarian or moral reasons? You know that cannot be true!

Yet, the Sunni version of Islam, which is claimed to be the Islamic State’s motivation, is the same as that in Saudi Arabia, and of the rulers of Bahrain, regularly acting against their own Shia people. Why would these reactionary regimes line up with the capitalist west?

By the way, it is interesting who does the work in these oil-rich Arab countries? It isn’t the indigenous inhabitants, but brought in labourers from elsewhere without any legal or representational rights.

So, who or what can oppose these collections of parasites?

It isn’t this or that religious group, or anyone else on moral grounds, but only the committed socialists who are for the Workers in all countries, and fight for the End of Capitalism, and its worldwide exploitation and even interventionist wars but only in their constant pursuit of even more Profit! 

14 October, 2014

The Promise of Virgin Land

The Promise of Virgin Land...
...And the ultimate Terrorist Response

The man finally reaches the crest of the rise, and looks down before him upon vast and verdant grasslands that reach as far as the eye can see. It appears to be entirely uninhabited! Large herds of bison roam steadily along across this seemingly infinite and ideal expanse. Yet, the whole area seems to be completely untouched by the action of people.

The silent watcher had only recently escaped from a war-torn Europe, where he had no chance of getting anywhere, or doing anything to change his desperate existence. He was entirely without education, but he could both farm the land, and handle livestock. And, here, before him, was the ideal and uninhabited place The Promised Land, where he could indeed build a good life.

Then, in the distance, he notices a small group of fast-moving, bare-back riders. They are native “Indians”, and they cut out a few strays from the herd and with bows and arrows manage to down several. They fairly quickly remove the best and easily carried parts of the beasts, and depart, whooping with delight. This, it appears is their land!

But, touching his rifle, the watching man realises that they are no kind of farmer, but primitive hunter/gatherers, and as such they need these vast areas to support their families and their tribe. “What a waste!”, thinks the watching farmer. “This land should be farmed!”

It could support many, many people like himself, and with such resources and this ideal land, they would finally be masters of their own destiny! “We must have these valuable grasslands! For, we could develop vast herds of cattle to feed the burgeoning cities in the east. We could build our own state!”

And, of course, this man wasn’t alone. Not only were there literally tens of thousands regularly arriving in America, looking for just such a chance, but the moneymen and politicians in those eastern cities, had also realised the profits that could be made from these verdant plains.

The Indians had to be removed!

These plains must be turned into productive farms. So, by a continual drift of immigrant farmers, plus the machinations, lies and betrayals of the politicians, this land was taken, and the Indians all but destroyed.

The Indians gradually realised that the treaties and agreements would never be honoured, and the only thing that they could do was to kill all interlopers, whoever and whatever they were. They must forcibly clear their land of the perpetual tide of land grabbers. They could not beat the armies that were sent to “pacify” them, so what is today called Terrorism arose! And then, as now, the solution was the same – “Wipe out the terrorists! For they kill the innocent!” – while also taking control of their lands in order to exploit its benefits to the full.