Thursday, July 27, 2006

My First Law

A friend suggested I post my Laws. So I shall.

First Law:
Where there's a positive, there is a negative.

Everything operates in systems; everything is a trade-off. My first law parallels one of the most basic laws of nature: the conservation of energy. It cannot be created or destroyed. It simply flows from one system to another in a variety of forms.

As British scientist and author C. P. Snow interprets the First Law of Thermodynamics [1]:
"You cannot win (that is, you cannot get something for nothing, because matter and energy are conserved)."
This of course precludes its sibling, the Second Law of Thermodynamics, addressing the direction of that conservation. Again, in the words of Snow:
"You cannot break even (you cannot return to the same energy state, because there is always an increase in disorder; entropy always increases)."
Natural proccesses that involve energy transfer go in one direction and that process is irreversible. Steven Hawking explains it thusly using time as an example: when time moves in a foward direction and one breaks a cup of coffee on the floor, no matter what happens, in our universe, one will never see the cup reform. Cups are breaking all the time, but never reforming.

Another parallel is Newton's Third Law of Motion: For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. Forces always involve interactions and they always come in pairs - equal and opposite action-reaction force pairs. Examples of this law abound in nature: the wings of a bird push air downwards. In turn, the air reacts by pushing the bird upwards.

Thus the Tao of physics, the yin and yang. Yet it is not a simple Descartian duality for which there is an invisible division. Opposites are always in motion, transitioning from one to the other; it is the complementation of natural proccesses.
The natural order requires complementation between the harmonious rule of order and a continuing respect for the fertility of chaos. Order needs to be at all times suppliant and responsive to fertile transition so that new order can emerge from the natural ferment of chaos.
Our reality is a paradoxical complement of our subjective consciousness and the physical universe. That physical universe is itself a paradox of relativity and quantum uncertainty in which the future and the past become lost in probabilities. The description of physical reality is no more and no less than a narrative told about the stabilities and correspondences of our conscious experience.

Thus the philosophy that attempts to understand the fundamental nature of all reality, whether visible or invisible; it seeks a description so basic, so essentially simple, so all-inclusive that it applies to everything: metaphysics.

This is the First Law. It is the Tao.

Quantum physics will always be controversial, it hinges on the metaphysical thus it is almost like trying to describe God.

Know Thine Enemy.....

...and you will know yourself. Are we our worst enemy? We don't have to be.

No, I think we are all bozos on this bus of life [1].
“Imagine a universe in which your feelings, thoughts, and memories are not your enemy. They are your history brought into the current context, and your own history is not your enemy.”
- Steven Hayes, psychologist

[1] Referencing Firesign Theater's last
(1971) 'early' production , I Think We Are All Bozos On This Bus. For the underlying meaning of the reference, visit this website for the CD liner notes, especially those written by Phil Austin.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Who's Weird?

I never set out to be weird. It was always the other people who called me weird.
-- Frank Zappa, to The Baltimore Sun, October 12, 1986