June 7, 2013

My Weekly Reader


Living in the Village at the End of the World:

Dogs outnumber people in this surreal and remote settlement with no more than 15 houses in total. If the population falls below 50, government ministers have talked about stopping the supply ships that pass through every few weeks between May and December and relocating the people of Niaqornat. When their fish factory closed a few years ago, the villager's main source of income, thefishermen had to sail 100km just to sell their fish. Within in a few years, the villagers raised what little money they had spare and managed to re-open the factory. This is a village bravely fighting for survival.

Time Regained! by James Gleick | The New York Review of Books
What is time? Nothing but a fourth dimension, after length, breadth, and thickness. “Through a natural infirmity of the flesh,” the cheerful host explains, “we incline to overlook this fact.” The geometry taught in school needs revision. “Now, it is very remarkable that this is so extensively overlooked…. There is no difference between Time and any of the three dimensions of Space except that our consciousness moves along it.”

In a Well in Spitalfields | Spitalfields Life

Almost no trace remains above ground of the ancient Hospital of St Mary yet, in Spital Sq, the roads still follow the ground plan laid laid out by Walter Brune in 1197, with the current entrance from Bishopsgate coinciding to the gate of the Priory and Folgate St following the line of the northern perimeter wall. Stand in the middle of Spital Sq today, and you are surrounded by glass and steel corporate architecture, but seven hundred years ago this space was enclosed by the church of St Mary and then you would be standing in the centre of the aisle where the transepts crossed beneath the soaring vault with the lantern of the tower looming overhead. Stand in the middle of Spital Sq today, and the Hospital of St Mary is lost in time.

Margaret Wertheim – The limits of physics
Physics itself is riven by the competing frameworks of quantum theory and general relativity, whose differing descriptions of our world eerily mirror the wave-particle tension. When it comes to the very big and the extremely small, physical reality appears to be not one thing, but two. Where quantum theory describes the subatomic realm as a domain of individual quanta, all jitterbug and jumps, general relativity depicts happenings on the cosmological scale as a stately waltz of smooth flowing space-time. General relativity is like Strauss — deep, dignified and graceful. Quantum theory, like jazz, is disconnected, syncopated, and dazzlingly modern. Physicists are deeply aware of the schizophrenic nature of their science and long to find a synthesis, or unification.

Dear Leader Dreams of Sushi
The sushi chef was leaving his apartment when he noticed the stranger outside. He could tell by the man's suit—black and badly made—that he was North Korean. Right away, the chef was nervous. Even in his midsixties, the chef is a formidable man: He has thick shoulders, a broad chest; the rings on his strong hands would one day have to be cut off. But he'd long since quit wearing his bulletproof vest, and the last time a North Korean made the journey to visit him in Japan, a decade ago, he was there to kill him.

Ghostly Seal in the Kelp Forest and Other Amazing Underwater Photos - Neatorama

Since 2005, the University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science has conducted an annual Underwater Photography Contest, which is open to amateur photographers. This year's contest was won by Kyle McBurnie of California with this hauntingly beautiful shot of a harbor seal floating like a ghost in a kelp forest.

Posted by gerardvanderleun at June 7, 2013 3:19 AM
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"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.

Time? Our "consciousness moves along it" because we are shrouded (for training purposes?) in a three dimensional apparatus. Consider this from Christopher Langan. Cognizance processes information while time processes space. "...we can speak of time and space as equivalent to cognition and information with respect to the invariant semantic relation processes, as in "time processes space" and "cognition processes information"....reality (is) to be described as an autological (self-descriptive, self-recognizing/self-processing) system."


Posted by: John Hinds at June 7, 2013 7:04 AM

The biggest problem with modern day physics is that they're trying so desperately hard to prove naturalistic philosophy true instead of just working with the given evidence. That dark matter isn't going to show up and save all your theories no matter how hard you try. No matter how complex and clever a theory you create (hello, Steven Hawking) you cannot make something come from nothing.

And the idea that time is just another dimension is like saying cake is just another car part; its a different category. Humans enjoy both cake and cars, but they aren't somehow connected thereby. Similarly, people perceive dimensions and time.

Posted by: Christopher Taylor at June 7, 2013 9:17 AM

Time is what is needed to cross space, from where you are to where you need to be, have to be, want to be. Time is how you measure how long you must wait to change what you would rather not do for what you would do with joy forever.

If you were where you wanted to be and didn't have to leave, doing what you loved and didn't have to stop, where would time go?

Posted by: mushroom at June 7, 2013 12:35 PM

It would make you and everything around you older. Time is external, not perception. Our perceptions can make time seem to change (waiting in line vs eating wonderful food), but time is objective.

Posted by: Christopher Taylor at June 7, 2013 12:43 PM

Dying counts as leaving.

Posted by: mushroom at June 7, 2013 1:15 PM