Confusion, illustrated with random thoughts

Scratch beneath the surface of most subjects and you find worlds of almost infinite complexity. So many different points of view, each often valid in their own different ways. So best not to try to find 'the truth', but instead just build stories around collections of thoughts to show a number of possible truths. Happily, the world is a more interesting place that way and who wants to be right all the time anyway?

M, is for theory, of mind melt

Not only is the universe stranger than we imagine, but it is stranger than we *can* imagine. I like to follow cosmology and quantum physics where I can, two subjects that both confuse and delight. Over the years they have provided me with a lot of curiosity about the universe in which we live, because it is so much more complex than we'll ever have a snow flake's chance in hell of understanding. They turn the everday stuff of life into what can only be described as science fiction, even though much of it is indeed fact. M theory though, just makes my mind melt.
[read more]

The fundamentals of physics, fragmented?

We like to think of time and space as continuous, that you can divide time and space into infinitely small quanta. This is fundamental to everything we know about the universe, and something that should be rock solid science. Think again. Most of us already know that matter isn't continuous at all but instead constructed from atoms and they in turn from sub-atomic particles. Our perceptions of the nature of matter have been adjusted to accept that it isn't the continuous stuff that we once thought it was. But what about time and space? If we look at the theory of loop quantum gravity, it is not only matter that is made up of discrete components, but also time and space as well.
[read more]

Plants, and intelligence?

Okay, so we all know that plants are the one of the lowest intelligent life forms on the planet. After all, they don't have a brain, no ability to think, no ability to intelligently manipulate their shape or form and no control over their existence. All of this is true of course, but if we think a little harder about what we know about plants, we have to question how true this is. How would we, for instance, explain the following behaviours? Plants exhibit the ability to face their leaves and / or flowers towards the Sun in order to aid photosynthesis.
[read more]

Globalisation, dismantler of governments?

Recently, a friend and I have been talking about the effects of globalisation and whether this is a good or a bad thing. On the one hand, I held that it was a good thing, and that perhaps finally, globalisation could be a key control mechanism for creating a just economic equilibrium for the people of the world. My friend on the other hand, saw it as a limited control, and that the world would not change very much between now and the time that we depart it. Time, of course, will tell. Globalisation though, is a very complex subject, and not really one to have over a few beers on a wednesday night.
[read more]