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Edward Duffy

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About Edward Duffy

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  1. I just read Lyndon Ashmore's "Big Bang Blasted" He presents a very compelling case for a different, simpler and I believe, correct interpretation of Hubble's law and the cause of redshift over very large distances, as well as the source of the CMB. Of course it brings us back to square one as far as how the universe was created, but that's part of the fun of science right? In a nutshell, he first noticed that Hubble's constant as of the most recent measurement, happens to equal the electron density in intergallactic space. This seemed to coincidental to be happenstance, so he began to look into the issue further and although I wont go through the derivation here, revisited tired light, coming up with the mechanism by which a photon and an electron interact in space, reducing the energy and therefore the frequecy of the photon and releasing lesser energy in the form of heat, creating the CMB. Light is redshifted twice as much over twice the distance because it interacts with twice as many electrons. Hubble never referred to his findings as a measure of velocity. He referred to them as a measure of redshift. The notion that the redshift represented velocity was a misinterpretation, not an actual measurement.
  2. The age of reason is long past, at least in the realm of politics. Making a case through logic and reason is difficult and influencing others to see things your way can take a lot of perserverance and repetition. In the age of sound-bite politics most don’t have that kind of patience. Reason has been replaced by something called “hackery”. Hackery is the art of dispensing with an opponents view by attacking an organization or individual rather than an idea. One can also champion a cause by associating it with a well liked individual or concept. Here’s how it works. If you are opposed to something that has been proposed by a Democrat, rather than take the time and effort to refute the actual issue or core idea, one can simply declare that all Democrats are America hating communists. You don’t want to be a communist do you? Of course not. On the other hand if you don’t like a proposal made by a Republican you remind everyone that Republicans are all war-mongering Nazi’s. You’re not a war-mongering Nazi are you? Another way to go is to “tie” an individual who has expressed an idea you disagree with to someone who has already been villifyed. If you’ve ever played the Kevin Bacon game, you know that anyone on the planet can be “tied” to anyone else on the planet with a little imagination. For example: the Pope lives in Italy, Italy is a penninsula. Saudi Arabia is also a penninsula. Osama Bin Ladin was born in Saudi Arabia. Therefore the Pope has “ties” to Osama Bin Ladin. If you want to promote an idea you would associate it with a popular personality or concept. If you’re arguing for letting the estate tax expire and Jack Murtha supports your position, you point out that Jack Murtha is a decorated war veteran. Therefore, if you are against letting the estate tax expire, you hate decorated war veterans. You should be ashamed of yourself. “For the children” is another good one. Suppose you are in favor of a 2% increase in sales taxes to fund projects you believe need the funding. Rather than present the boring financial information and make a reasoned case, allocate a portion of the revenue to a new playground. How can anyone vote against the increase now? It’s for the children. Hackery is the reason productive, intelligent discussion no longer takes place in Washington DC or in the media, generally speaking. If you’d like to avoid participating in hackery, stop and think a bit before engaging in the debate. Can you make your point without referring to a person, party or organization? What is the underlying belief that your position is founded upon? Can you make your case by starting with an established premise and drawing logical conclusions? If you have trouble with any of these questions, refrain from speaking and do some more thinking.
  3. It's possible to argue the issue from a free trade point of view and make the case that anyone who is willing to obey our laws and put in an honest day's work should be welcome to work here. There are many counties whose governments and economic systems ensure a never-ending supply of workers, skilled and unskilled who will gladly work for our minimum wage. Do we want to add plumbers, electricians, carpenters and more vocations to the ranks of the working poor? Do we want to create more low income, sub-standard housing areas? Does taking in economic refugees do anything to improve the situation or encourage change in the countries they are fleeing?
  4. Enforcing current immigration laws and allowing market forces to work with the pool of American and legal immigrant workers. If other countries economies are in shambles they should make changes. It's not up to the US to provide everyone on the planet a job.
  5. Jobs Americans Wont Do? There is a popular myth in this country that illegal immigrants are needed to do jobs that “Americans will not do”. The fact is that illegal immigrants do jobs that Americans wont do for $6/hour or less. Certain employers have come to expect dirt-cheap labor and when they can’t find it domestically, they’ll import it illegally. Many Middle Eastern companies make use of imported labor. A skilled carpenter in the United Arab Emirates makes all of $7.60/day. Perhaps if we follow this model carpentry will become a job that “Americans wont do”. Some argue that cheap labor is necessary in order for American firms to stay competitive in the global marketplace. If we need to keep people in slave-like conditions to be competitive maybe that’s an industry we don’t need to compete in. If industries like agriculture are vital to our security and require that prices be kept below a certain level, maybe workers pay needs to be subsidized by the Defense Department. People have been fleeing the economy of Mexico for almost as long as there has been a Mexico. They have been neighbor to the most prosperous economy the world has ever seen for two centuries and yet have not established a stable prosperous economy themselves. This is not a run of bad luck. It’s a systemic problem. As long as they can export their problems to us their politicians have little incentive to change the status quo and as long as the US continues to take advantage of desperate economic refugees our politicians have little incentive to pressure them to change. The “guest worker” program is supposed to be a compassionate solution to illegal immigration. In order to employ guest workers American firms must first show that they attempted to hire Americans but could not find enough willing to do the job. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that all you have to do to fulfill this requirement is to make the starting pay so low no American will take it. Construction firms will likely be among the first beneficiaries. We will soon have masons, carpenters and other skilled workers earning $5.15/hour. More and more vocations will be added to the list of jobs “Americans won’t do”. Where will workers making $800/month before taxes find housing they can afford? They will either live in sub-standard housing or in large groups. America will have established itself a permanent peasant class. If Mexico and other Latin American countries ever do establish prosperous economies and the flow of cheap labor slows down we can always go overseas and get boatloads of poor and destitute people willing to work for almost nothing. We could enter into treaties with economically depressed countries to supply us with all the labor we need and supply them with “economic aid” in return. Of course this will necessitate that the leaders of economically depressed countries take steps to ensure that they stay economically depressed, but that shouldn’t be a problem. Why does all this sound familiar?
  6. I agree with Peon that the taxes on petrol are a big incentive to keep using it for as long as possible, but if all the oil went away tomorrow we would switch to alcohol in a heartbeat. It would be more expensive and less efficient, but it would work. I do agree that our culture of mass production/consumption seems pretty pointless sometimes, but there are ways to opt out if you are so inclined. You can be a priest, a nun, a monk or a hermit if you'd rather. And as ffsjoe pointed out, if humans screw themselves, the planet and the universe will get over it.
  7. Exactly. Geeks generally don't like getting their hands dirty for a living. Somebody's got to do the grunt work.
  8. The evolutionary advantage of death is to preserve versatility. If a species achieved immortality it would necessarily have to stop reproducing at some point, or at least severely slow it down. The gene pool would no longer be fluid, but stagnant. In the event of some dramatic change in climate or other circumstances there would be a limited number of variations and even those with advantageous genes would be accustomed to living in a particular manner and be slow to react and adjust.
  9. The whole question of 2 dimensional beings is a good example of how math doesn't necessarily translate to reality. We can imagine 2 dimensional beings, but you'll never meet one. In math I can have 0 apples and you can still take 3 apples from me. You'd have 3 apples, I'd have -3 apples and since they still add up to 0 everything is hunky dory. In reality if I have 0 apples, you're not getting any apples from me. The inability to recognize that just because something is mathmatically correct doesn't make it real leads to such beliefs as the notion that an object that reaches the speed of light takes on zero mass and infinite volume. In actuality an object surpassing the speed of light might as well have zero mass because we can no longer detect it, and it might as well be everywhere (infinite volume) because we can never pinpoint it. The math represents the limits of human perception, not reality.
  10. If you subscribe to the existance of an aether (sub-sub-subatomic particles and probably smaller) instead of the more commonly accepted "vacuum of space", the creation of matter can take place in areas of extreme aether density when aether particles bond to form new entities such as sub-atomic particles. I think there is no logical reason to believe that the smallest particles that humans have been able to detect must be anywhere near the smallest particles that exist. When you create a vacuum you remove all or most of the matter from a given volume of space. What remains is aether. If it were nothing, the container would collapse. Space cannot be occupied by nothing.
  11. I think to cause rotation the thrust would have to be applied off center, causing the force to be transferred around the center of mass of the rod rather than straight through it. In the case of planetary rotation I think the Stirling engine offers some good clues. When the mass contained within a sphere is heated more on one side than another it migrates from hot side to cool side around the dense center which acts as a heat capacitor. The flowing mass within causes the whole sphere to rotate.
  12. Absolute zero is the temperature at which all motion stops. I believe this only applies to matter. I believe that energy is also particulate, just way too small and/or fast for us to observe directly. The lowering of temperature requires the removal of energy. I don't know that you could possibly remove all of the energy from a given space. Something has to occupy it or the space would simply collapse.
  13. I believe by definition absolute zero is the temperature at which all motion stops. If an object is moving toward another, there is motion so it can't be at absolute zero. I have a model in which gravity is due to pressure variances within an aether, where masses of aether (and the matter within) move in the direction of lower pressure (details at dynamictensegrity.com). Equal temperature (absolute zero) throughout a system would indicate equal pressure (I think) so no motion.
  14. Actually under the Dynamic Tensegrity Model (http://www.DynamicTensegrity.com) the aether surrounding the now vanished sun would rush into the space vacated by it drawing matter from the solar system toward it (including Earth) until equillibrium was reestablished.
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