Posts Tagged ‘Energy’

Not An Infinity Of Angels On Pinheads

July 1, 2016

Thomas Aquinas and other ludicrous pseudo-philosophers (in contradistinction with real philosophers such as Abelard) used to ponder questions about angels, such as whether they can interpenetrate (as bosons do).

Are today’s mathematicians just as ridiculous? The assumption of infinity has been “proven” by the simplest reasoning ever: if n is the largest number, clearly, (n+1) is larger. I have long disagreed with that hare-brained sort of certainty, and it’s not a matter of shooting the breeze. (My point of view has been spreading in recent years!) Just saying something exists, does not make it so (or then one would believe Hitler and Brexiters). If I say:”I am emperor of the galaxy known as the Milky Way!” that has a nice ring to it, but it does not make it so (too bad, that would be fun).

Given n symbols, each labelled by something, can one always find a new something to label (n+1) with? I say: no. Why? Because reality prevents it. Somebody (see below) objected that I confused “map” and “territory”. But I am a differential geometer, and the essential idea there, from the genius B. Riemann, is that maps allow to define “territory”:

Fundamental Idea Of Riemann: the Maps At the Bottom Are Differentiable

Fundamental Idea Of Riemann: the Maps At the Bottom Are Differentiable

The reason has to do with discoveries made between 1600 and 1923. Around 1600 Kepler tried to concretize that attraction of planets to the sun (with a 1/d law). Ishmael Boulliau (or Bullialdius) loved the eclipses (a top astronomer, a crater on the Moon is named after him). But Boulliau strongly disagreed with 1/d and gave a simple, but strong reasoning to explain it should be 1/dd, the famous inverse square law.

Newton later (supposedly) established the equivalence between the 1/dd law and Kepler’s three laws of orbital motion, thus demonstrating the former (there is some controversy as whether Newton fully demonstrated that he could assume planets were point-masses, what’s now known as Gauss’ law).

I insist upon the 1/dd law, because we have no better (roll over Einstein…), on a small-scale.

Laplace (and some British thinker) pointed out in the late 18C that this 1/dd law implied Black Holes.

In 1900, Jules Henri Poincaré demonstrated that energy had inertial mass. That’s the famous E = mcc.

So famous, it could only be attributed to a member of the superior Prussian race.

The third ingredient in the annihilation of infinity was De Broglie’s assertion that to every particle a wave should be associated. The simple fact that, in some sense a particle was a wave (or “wave-packet”), made the particle delocalized, thus attached to a neighborhood, not a point. At this point, points exited reality.

Moreover, the frequency of the wave is given by its momentum-energy, said De Broglie (and that was promptly demonstrated in various ways). That latter fact prevents to make a particle too much into a point. Because, to have short wave, it needs a high frequency, thus a high energy, and if that’s high enough, it becomes a Black Hole, and, even worse a Whole Hole (gravity falls out of sight, physics implodes).

To a variant of the preceding, in: Solution: ‘Is Infinity Real?’  Pradeep Mutalik says:

July 1, 2016 at 12:31 pm

@Patrice Ayme: It seems that you are making the exact same conflation of “the map” and “the territory” that I’ve recommended should be avoided. There is no such thing as the largest number in our conceptual model of numbers, but there is at any given point, a limit on the number of particles in the physical universe. If tomorrow we find that each fermion consists of a million vibrating strings, we can easily accommodate the new limit because of the flexible conceptual structure provided by the infinite assumption in our mathematics.

***

I know very well the difference between “maps” and territory: all of post-Riemann mathematics rests on it: abstract manifolds (the “territories”) are defined by “maps Fi” (such that, Fi composed with Fj is itself a differential map from an open set in Rx…xR to another, the number of Real lines R being the dimension… Instead of arrogantly pointing out that I have all the angles covered, I replied:

Dear Pradeep Mutalik:

Thanks for the answer. What limits the number of particles in a (small enough) neighborhood is density: if mass-energy density gets too high, according to (generally admitted) gravity theory, not even a graviton could come out (that’s even worse than having a Black Hole!)

According to Quantum Theory, to each particle is associated a wave, itself computed from, and expressing, the momentum-energy of said particle.

Each neighborhood could be of (barely more than) Planck radius. Tessellate the entire visible universe this way. If too each distinct wave one attaches an integer, it is clear that one will run out of waves, at some point, to label integers with. My view does not depend upon strings, super or not: I just incorporated the simplest model of strings.

Another mathematician just told me: ‘Ah, but the idea of infinity is like that of God’. Well, right. Precisely the point. Mathematics, ultimately, is abstract physics. We don’t need god in physics, as Laplace pointed out to Napoleon (“Sire, je n’ai pas besoin de cette hypothese”). (I know well that Plato and his elite, tyrant friendly friends and students replied to all of this, that they were not of this world, a view known as “Platonism”, generally embraced by mathematicians, especially if they are from plutocratic Harvard University… And I also know why this sort of self-serving, ludicrous opinion, similar to those of so-called “Saint” Thomas, a friend of the Inquisition, and various variants of Satanism, have been widely advocated for those who call for self-respect for their class of haughty persons…) 

The presence of God, aka infinity, in mathematics, is not innocuous. Many mathematical brain teasers become easier, or solvable if one assumes only a largest number (this is also how computers compute, nota bene). Assuming infinity, aka God, has diverted mathematical innovation away from the real world (say fluid flow, plasma physics, nonlinear PDEs, nonlinear waves, etc.) and into questions akin to assuming that an infinity of angels can hold on a pinhead. Well, sorry, but modern physics has an answer: only a finite number.

Patrice Ayme’

 

STRUCTURED LIGHT: WHY LIGHT SLOWS DOWN IN WATER

February 14, 2015

Light slows down in water. That’s a known experimental fact. The usual explanation is that, when light advances through water, it collides with water molecules. So it zigs and zags through the water, and this zig-zagging action slows it down.

This makes no sense (sorry, noble predecessors!)

After showing why it makes no sense, I will present my solution, STRUCTURED LIGHT. The reasoning squarely contradicts Einstein on the photon, and its triumph helps to demonstrate how right it is.

Structured Light Slows Down In Empty Space. I Apply To H2O

Structured Light Slows Down In Empty Space. I Apply To H2O

If the zig-zag collision theory of the slowing down of light were true, light would lose energy during these collisions. (Light speed through water is only 2/3 c; the collision theory would mean that laser light through water would cover one third more distance, simply due to haphazard collisions; thus laser light would certainly losing coherence.)

Simple basic physics shows that light loses energy: if particle P hits particle W, and particle P’s momentum changes, W momentum also changes, and so does its energy. Energy is conserved (at least for times long enough), so as P gives energy to W, P loses energy. Here P is for Photon, of course, and W for Water. (Remember Quantum Physics does not contradict Classical Mechanics; instead, it gives it a SUBSTRUCTURE, in the finer domain that subtends the Classical domain.)

So the slow-down through collision theory predicts that light will lose energy when it goes through water.

However, it does not. Light comes out of water at the same exact color, thus energy, as it came in. Laser light keeps being laser light under water. It surely would not if every single photon of the beam had to collide with a water molecule. (Notice in the link how confused research presently is about optics and liquids; my proposed reasoning is at a scale thousands of times smaller.)

Proposing that light slows down from collision is thus wrong.

So, what’s my solution?

Absolute Wave Theory.

According to said theory, propagating photons are NOT particles (Va De Retro, Einsteinas!)

What are photons, when viewed as Absolute Waves?

Einstein proposed that photons (“Lichtquanten”) were points. He made it up. He had no proof, whatsoever, that this was true. It just sounded good. Worse: he did not need point-particle photons to explain the photoelectric effect. That error has poisoned the well of physics for 110 years. Thousands of physicists repeated what Einstein said. That Einstein was given the Nobel Prize for this exact idea, is no proof of its validity, as far as I am concerned. That makes me special.

But I have very good reasons to believe photons are not points. Because:

  1. I don’t know what points are. Not only I do not know what points are physically, I don’t even know what they are, mathematically. (By the way, I know Real Analysis and some Model Theory, so I am not as naïve as I may sound to the unwary.)
  2. Light diffracts and bends around corners. Isolated photons do this. How could they do it, if they were not spread about transversally?

Here is my conclusion: Photons are structured waves. This basically means that they have some width.

This is now experimentally supported. What was published in Science on January 22, 2015?

Spatially structured photons that travel in free space slower than the speed of light. (Daniel Giovannini1,*, & Al.)

http://www.sciencemag.org/content/early/2015/01/21/science.aaa3035

“Abstract: That the speed of light in free space is constant is a cornerstone of modern physics. However, light beams have finite transverse size, which leads to a modification of their wavevectors resulting in a change to their phase and group velocities. We study the group velocity of single photons by measuring a change in their arrival time that results from changing the beam’s transverse spatial structure. Using time-correlated photon pairs we show a reduction of the group velocity of photons in both a Bessel beam and photons in a focused Gaussian beam. In both cases, the delay is several micrometers over a propagation distance of the order of 1 m. Our work highlights that, even in free space, the invariance of the speed of light only applies to plane waves.”

So what do I propose?

That water structures photons propagating through it. Structuring is what slows light down. Instead of having just one mask, as in the Glasgow experiment, we have thousand within one wavelength of light. Thus, instead of being slowed down .0001%, it’s slowed down of the order of 10% or more.

As in the Glasgow experiment, photons are not “particles”, they are spread about (they have a “TRANSVERSE structure”).

When a photon enters water, should it NOT hit a water molecule, the photonic wave will get endowed with a complex topology of non-trivial genus (because the non-linear wave that constitutes the photon has to have avoided nuclei and orbiting electrons, and the only way it can do that is by evolving holes in the right places).

As a photon passes a water molecular group, it slows down a bit. The water molecules act like the mask the physicists applied to slow down the beam photons in their experiment. Those breaking episodes pile up, and integrate in a global slow-down.

Frequency, thus energy, is unaffected.

Some may object that the theory is obviously false: should not the slow-downs pile up, and thus, the thicker the water, the more photons will slow down?

No. In the slowing down of the Structured Photons in vacuum, the slowing down is necessitated by the collapse of the photon back into a linear wave. It’s a one time event. However, in water, when the photon has acquired a structure which is enough like a sieve, after going around enough water molecules, it needs time to restructure. So over that distance, it has slowed down. Then the process repeats.

Let me quote a bit more from the violation of light speed Glasgow University paper (from behind its pay wall):

“The speed of light in free space propagation is a fundamental quantity. It holds a pivotal role in the foundations of relativity and field theory, as well as in technological applications such as time-of-flight measurements. It has previously been experimentally established that single photons travel at the group velocity (20). We have now shown that transverse structuring of the photon results in a decrease in the group velocity along the axis of propagation. We emphasize that in our full-aperture experiments, no pre- or post-selection is applied to the spatially structured photons, and that the group velocities are always compared over the same propagation distance, much as if they were in a race. The effect can be derived from a simple geometric argument, which is also supported by a rigorous calculation of the harmonic average of the group velocity. Beyond light, the effect observed will have applications to any wave theory, including sound waves.”

The authors have declared that they could not see any application of the effect they discovered. In particular not in cosmology.

However, I just found one, in everyday physics.

Einstein said nobody understood Quantum Mechanics. Feynman added that all the mystery of the Quantum was in the Double Slit Experiment. Here I explain speed of light in a medium by piling up thousands of double slit experiments within a wavelength of light, and the slow-down they bring. (It’s not quite the Double Slit as it involves continual collapses along the propagation axis.)

The structured photon is the fundamental idea, the order one idea, of the Absolute Quantum Wave theory. The preceding, and the Glasgow experiment itself, establish it further (more is coming soon).

There is no experimental support for Einstein’s views on the spatial the nature of the photon as a particle, there is plenty of evidence against it (the latest being Structured Light).

By contrast there is increasing evidence for the Absolute Wave Theory. Einstein and company, bless their souls, pontificated about a lot of things they did not know anything about. That photons were point-particles is one of them. Time to move on.

Patrice Ayme’

NON-LOCALITY

December 28, 2014

Non-Locality, acting at a distance, without intermediaries, is the stuff of legends in tales for little children. A sorcerer does something somewhere, and something happens, or is felt, somewhere else. Newton himself rejected it. Isaac said the gravitation theory which he had helped to elaborate, was “absurd”, precisely because of it implicitly used “act upon another at a distance”:

“It is inconceivable that inanimate Matter should, without the Mediation of something else, which is not material, operate upon, and affect other matter without mutual Contact…That Gravity should be innate, inherent and essential to Matter, so that one body may act upon another at a distance thro’ a Vacuum, without the Mediation of any thing else, by and through which their Action and Force may be conveyed from one to another, is to me so great an Absurdity that I believe no Man who has in philosophical Matters a competent Faculty of thinking can ever fall into it.—Isaac Newton, Letters to Bentley, 1692/3.

Du Châtelet Discovered Energy, Infrared Radiation, Correcting Newton

Du Châtelet Discovered Energy, Infrared Radiation, Correcting Newton On His Confusion Of Momentum (Buridan) and Energy, Which She Established

[Yes, one of civilization’s most important physicists and thinkers was a woman; but don’t ask the French, they never heard of her… because she was a woman.]

However Émilie Du Châtelet pointed out that: “…hypotheses eventually become truths for us if their probability increases to such a point that this probability can morally pass for certainty…. In contrast, an hypothesis becomes improbable in proportion to the number of circumstances found for which the hypothesis does not give a reason. And finally, it becomes false when it is found to contradict a well-established observation.” (Du Châtelet’s Lectures on Physics, 1740. Notice the subtlety of the thinking.)

Every Quantum process contradicts Locality, thus, Émilie Du Châtelet would say, Locality is a false hypothesis.

Gravitation got better described (not much) by making gravitation into a field propagating at the speed of light. It is not a trivial modification: it immediately predicts gravitational waves. If two huge star like objects (such as pulsars) rotate around each other, they should generate such waves, they should carry energy away, and those two objects ought to fall towards each other at a predictable rate. Said rate is indeed observed, thus Einstein’s gravitational equation (obtained by talking a lot with others, such as Hilbert, Grasso, etc.) seems correct.

Einstein’s main motivation for his theory of “General Relativity” was that he wanted to explain inertia (why fast rotating planets develop a bulge at the equator, or more generally an acceleration VV/r). That worry, called Mach’s Principle, actually originated 100% with Newton. Newton put water in a pail, twisted and twisted and twisted a rope from which the pail was suspended, and let go: the pail rotated faster and faster, and the water inside crawled up.

Einstein basic wishful logic was that: gravitation = inertia (he called that the “Principle of Equivalence”). So, by making a theory of gravitation, Einstein would make one of inertia, and become a giant among giants (of Du Châtelet’s caliber, say).

Silly. Silly idea, doomed to fail.

Why silly? Once gravitation was made into a field, Einstein and company made it into curvature in a manifold (called “spacetime”; the basic idea was elaborated by genius Riemann, two generations earlier, although implicitly attributed to Einstein by the ignorant ones).

So gravitation is locally determined: once at a point A, gravitation, that is, curvature of spacetime, is determined in a(ny) neighborhood of A (call it N).

The distant stars do not influence N much, if at all. Yet, inertia is clearly determined by the distant galactic clusters.  Einstein could not understand this.

But now physicists understand better Einstein was deluded, and (Soviet physicist) Fock’s critique that Einstein’s General Relativity is just a theory of gravitation is universally (albeit silently) accepted.

So let me repeat slowly, as I suspect many readers will not understand this either: inertia, as far as present day physics can see, is a Non-Local effect. Inertia has been Non-Local, ever since Buridan discovered it, seven centuries ago (1320 CE; time flies!)

Einstein completely failed at understanding inertia. Einstein even failed to realize that it was a Non-Local effect, although that is completely obvious. So he came out obsessed by Non-Locality, while being angry at it (so he was open to the Non-Local objection of philosopher-physicist Sir Karl Popper! Hence the EPR paper, more or less lifted from Popper.)

All this to say that I am not shocked by Non-Locality: I just have to go out, and look at the stars, move about, and I see Non-Locality.

Many, if not most physicists are horrified by Non-Locality.

Philosophically, though, being afraid of Non-Locality makes no sense. Once I was broaching Quantum Physics with my dad. I explained what I understood of the problem of Non-Locality to him.

My dad did not know much physics, but he was a scientist. Admitted to the famed ENA (the school of conspirators from which the present leaders of France come from), he declined it, and, instead, following the path of his own father, an amateur-professional geologist, he himself became a (highly successful) non-academic geologist (he discovered Algeria’s fortune).

My Dad said: ”Non-Locality is obvious. To think things would get ever smaller, just the same, made no sense.”

With this philosophical perspective, the following arise: physical space is not made of points (although Quantum Field Theory is, one of its many problems).

When physicists talk about Non-Locality, they feel the urge to get into the “Bell Inequality”. But it’s a convoluted, over-specialized, contrived way to get at Non-Locality (I say this, although I respect the late John Bell as much as I despise Feynman when he tried to steal Bell’s work… Although, in general I do respect and love Feynman, especially in light of his appreciation for my own ideas).

Bell theorem says that some Local Hidden Variable theories imply an Inequality that Quantum Physics violate. So Bell’s is a work which predicts that something false is not true.

My approach to Non-Locality is made for Primary School. It goes first through:

  • The Uncertainty Principle:

Suppose you want to know where an object is. Suppose all you have is touch. So you kick it. However, if you kick it, it goes somewhere else. That’s the Uncertainty Principle.

Why touch? Because light is touch. It turns out that light carries energy and momentum. Anybody who lays in the sun will agree about the energy. To demonstrate the momentum of light requires a bit more experimental subtlety.

Could you kick the object gently? No. That’s where the Wave Principle kicks in. Waves ignore objects which are smaller than themselves: they just turn around them, as anybody who has seen a twenty meter tsunami wave enter a Japanese port will testify.

So, to detect a small object, one needs a small wavelength, high frequency wave. However the energy of a Quantum wave (at least a light wave) is proportional to its frequency.

So the more precise the determination of (position of) the object, the higher the frequency of the wave, the greater the energy and momentum conferred to the object, etc.

  • Conservation of Momentum: 

One has axioms, in physics, as in mathematics. Modern physics axioms include the conservation of energy and momentum. Newton knew of the latter, and confused it with the former. A French woman, Gabrielle Émilie Le Tonnelier de Breteuil, marquise du Châtelet discovered (kinetic) energy (”force vive”). As she also discovered Infrared radiation, she obviously could have done more when she died from a fever, at age 43, after giving birth to her fourth child. (Her lover Voltaire, also a physicist quipped that:” Émilie du Châtelet was a great man whose only defect was to be a woman”)

Fundamental hypotheses in contemporary physics are conservation of energy and momentum (something the Multiverse violates, thus, into the bin of silly ideas).

  • The Non-Local Interaction:

So say two particles, such as a positron-electron pair, are created together and have total momentum zero (a completely realistic situation: machines do this, for medicine).

Knowing the momentum of (say) the electron E, gives that of the positron P (the vector is exactly opposite to that of the electron). Classical and Quantum mechanics say the same.

So, without having disturbed P (it could be next to Beta Centauri, 4 light years away), we know its momentum. Should one measure it later, one will find it as said. (The latter experiment, retrospective checking of entanglement was actually accomplished by the Austrian Zeillinger and his team!)

However, the basic set-up of Quantum Physics says that the measurement create the state (my formulation, you will not read that in textbooks, although it’s clearly what Bohr wanted to say, but he did not dare, lest his academic reputation gets vilified: he had only a Nobel Prize in physics, after all…).

So the state of P, maybe a few light years away, was created by measuring E.

How come?

The basic Quantum set-up was designed for laboratory experiments, not Cosmological Quantum effects. So it did not need to consider all the consequences of this.

Following Du Châtelet, I will say that we are in obvious need of a new hypothesis, the QUANTUM INTERACTION (ex “Collapse of the Wave Packet”). It explains what we observe (instead of trying desperately to say that we cannot possible observe what we observe).

Following Newton, I will say it is absurd to suppose that the effect of E on P is instantaneous. So this Quantum Interaction goes at a speed I call TAU (it’s at least 10^10 the speed of light: 10,000,000,000 times c).

New physics coming to a Quantum Computer near you.

And of course , said new physics will have giant impacts on philosophy (be it only by presenting new models of how things may be done), or Free Will (is it really free if it takes its orders from Andromeda?). This is going to be fun.

Patrice Ayme’

Geography Is Destiny

January 21, 2014

Abstract: The vastly different geographies of the USA and Europe explain many things, and seem to require greater variety of behaviors than observed. Or how geographic destiny can lead both to exploitative ecstasy and conservative futility.

***

Many highly educated Europeans who migrate to the USA affect contempt for the old continent. That alleviates their remorse. Indeed they earn higher incomes in the USA’s jungle, most hospitable to the most educated (as long as said education can be sold!).

This weekend the New York Times revealed that the salary of Medical Doctors in some medical specialties average above 900,000 dollars, nearly twenty times the average family income in the USA. It’s of course just the tip of the iceberg. One of the insurance executive Obama has put in charge of covering the uninsured with his “philanthropy” earned more than 100 million dollar last year. That makes him of great counsel at the White House.

This is of course inconceivable in Europe. Something also inconceivable in Europe is the richness of North America.

Oil & Gas Shales Everywhere, That’s Smart!

Oil & Gas Shales Everywhere, That’s Smart!

But then so is the fact that one citizen of the USA out of six has no health insurance. That means one out of six citizens show up to the emergency room only when the cancer has grown too big, or the heart has failed too much.

Both facts are related. Abusive exploitation brings elation to the exploiters, desperation to the exploited. If the elation can leverage more power than the desperation, the exploitation goes on.

Sometimes, it’s the land that gets exploited. Fracking is devastating giant regions of the USA, but it does not matter, because the USA is giant. The USA is nearly the same surface area as Canada, the world’s second largest country (much of Canada is hopelessly frozen wastes, though). Nobody cares about what is going on in remote places of the Dakotas, Wyoming or Texas.

Fracking Near Riffle In The Rockies, Colorado: Where Is Everybody?

Fracking Near Riffle Rockies, Colorado: Where Is Everybody?

Wyoming is actually slightly larger in area than Great Britain (253 K square kilometers versus 243 K) however its population, about 550,000 people , is less than 1% of Britain’s 64 millions. Thus fracking in Kent does not compare with making a lot of pollution roughly anywhere in Wyoming.

The European Union, with a bit more than half a billion inhabitants, is not even half of the area of the USA, with roughly 320 million. Even more strikingly, the population of the USA is actually concentrated in less than half of the country. Many states in the USA are mostly empty, although many of these have a wonderfully temperate climate.

India, with more than three times the population of the USA, is a third the area. So about ten times the density. There again the density is not even at all, and the resources vastly inferior (but for… Thorium, hence the Indian Thorium program.).

At this point the economy of the USA is lifting up, because the energy production of the USA has been skyrocketing (both the energy used inside and the one sold outside, such as coal). This is deliberate. Any American business publication worth its salt, explains that the strategy of the USA is to render energy production cheaper, and more profitable, no holds barred. Obama’s EPA cracks down on coal’s pollution to better encourage its exports, pushed by fracking.

After all, as I have long explained, it’s the exploitation of oil in the USA, starting in the mid nineteenth century Pennsylvania,  that was perhaps the major advantage of the USA.

(Without Texas oil, generously provided by his plutocratic friends, Hitler would have been incapable of invading in Spain with Franco’s army, and his fascist helpers. That used to amuse Adolf a lot. He lost his sense of humor on September 3, 1939. Then he declared he would only wear a drab grey tunic until the war was won.)

Fracking brought the cost of natural gas in the USA down to one third of the world’s price (gas is dangerous to transport by ships, so it mostly stays in the USA). Displaced USA coal production is massively  sent to gullible Germany (and soon, China).

Of course, lots of methane leaks. Measurements show that the powerful greenhouse is smothering the southern USA, and thus, the planet. But there again, and that’s left unsaid, is that a mighty greenhouse would advantage the USA… Or at least that’s what USA strategists apparently think. In their stupidity, they see that most of frozen Alaska (more than a third of the EU’s area) will become balmy, and that war has always advantaged the USA. They forget little details, such as Florida under water, and California roasting (greatest drought ever unfolding there, second year in a row).

Last year, the USA added the equivalent of four nuclear reactors, in solar photovoltaic power alone.

All of this will have an effect. Meanwhile, propelled by all this energy, the population of the USA augments by three million a year. (Never mind if the death rate related to childbirth in the USA is nearly thrice that of the EU: pediatricians are the worst paid doctors in the USA.)

To not become completely irrelevant, powers such as the EU will have to use different energy strategies. However, at this point, it has just been all about conservation, and that maybe the main trouble of Europe’s economy.

Let me repeat slowly: the rise of man has been the rise of what I call AWE, Absolute Worth Energy, the energy at disposal to effect a worthy task. A related, but grosser notion, the energy at the disposal of any single human being has constantly augmented(The easiest way to do that is simply to produce more energy, overall; that proved difficult in the Late Roman empire, or 1300 CE Europe).

To diminish the AWE is just impoverishment. To augment the AWE without augmenting energy production is difficult, yet this is what Europe has chosen to do. It becomes outright impossible without new technology. The Photo Voltaic effect discovered around 1830 by a French physicist is new. But not wind and water mills, which were already central to the European economy in the Middle Ages.

Thus it is astounding that Europe does not have active research and development in, say, Thorium reactors. Just digging giant holes in Germany while scrapping Appalachian mountains to feed German power plants with coal is assuredly not the key to a better future.

Much of the German error in behavior from 1871 to 1945 CE had to do with forgetting that Europe was not the USA, thus not realizing that behaviors that had proven profitable in the New World would not prove so in the Old Continent. In a way the same sort of error is made to this day. This time, it’s not about killing the Indians, but, rather, about living like Indians. Squeezing one’s belt can go only that far.

Patrice Aymé

TRUTH AS ENERGY

December 18, 2013

Energy is the central concept in physics. Could it also be the central concept to determine truth?

High Energy Physics is, well, about high energy, as its name indicates. All of Quantum Field Theory consists into speculative manipulations about how energy is thought to behave as it flows. This is the theory that, in its most ambitious versions, claim to determine the truth of the world (grandiosely called the TOE: Theory Of Everything).

Don’t laugh! The Ancient Greek philosophers looked at nature to find out truth. What else? So do I.

The Greater Depression (copyright Tyranosopher) is about the lack of decent, rewarding, well paid work. What’s another name for work? Energy. Thus the Greater Depression is all about energy, or the lack thereof, showing up in dearth of work (that is, energy!)

The CO2 crisis is all about energy: we produce most of our energy by burning coal, a method invented by the Romans. Then a stroke of genius, now a perverse twist on the burning of wood by Homo Erectus.

Even love, according to standard evolutionary psychobiology, has to do with energy: it’s about selecting who we view as the most energetic, dominant, provider of life.

Thus, in a sense, everywhere we turn, energy determines the reality, the truth of the world.

Yet, one does not catch flies with the truth. Honey, though, works. Here this word, this concept, again: work.

What has meaning is what works. Get it? A deeper truth than it looks: it relates veracity with the physics of energy. Literally. Philosophy for our age.

Alexi Helligar:What is truth? We like to think truth is obvious. But the profundity of obvious truths are so difficult to grasp that it takes sometimes multiple lifetimes of wisdom.

We think truth is all that matters. In this we are mistaken. More important than truth is meaning. It is meaning which tell us the next step we must take. The contents of our various religions may not be true, but they are meaningful. The meaningful lie is far more effective to significant action than meaningless truth.”

Patrice Aymé: The truth known to Keynes: ‘in the long run we are all dead’ is very true, but it’s also very much meaningless, when one is engaged in that game known as life. So Alexi, you are very right.

Euclidean geometry is true. But, pushed too far, it becomes meaningless elucubration about Byzantine theorems. There are better things to do (such as the basic theorems of non-Euclidean geometry). Thus, better ways to use one’s energy.

Truth is not obvious, indeed. Great logicians (say Tarski, a Polish (-American) who blossomed two generations after Bertrand Russell) worked hard to establish a better theory of truth. What truth is still pretty much up in the air.

I got logic from Alexander the Great: if it’s too complicated, cut the Gordian knot. Thus, instead of the how-many-angels-on-that-pinhead theories of truth, I propose instead my META theory. META theories are local logical frames that allow to make linear logic in the vast universe of truth. META stands for Maximally Evident Truth Applied. (1)

From my point of view, most modern mathematics is not anymore true than angels on a pin. It’s as irrelevant as angels on a pin. Someday soon most mathematicians will guess and fear increasingly that this is true. Meanwhile they loudly cling to their mom Plato, like frightened new-born monkeys (as my friend Penrose does).

The best argument those who cling to Plato have is, precisely, meaning. The math they have done mean something, somewhere, they argue. “Look at our beautiful theorems,” they say ecstatically.

It’s exactly the same problem as with well-known superstitions. No proof for what they say, but they say it together, sing it together, so they believe it. Whatever “it” is. Belief is much comfortable: it saves energy. Instead of creating one’s own neurological circuitry, one learn to sing it from others (as the Nazis put it: Sieg Heil!) That’s the charm of tribes, their brain energy-saving side.

I propose to forget the error of infinity, this “corruption of the youth“, as a mathematician contemporary of Georg Cantor put it. I propose to concentrate on more meaningful mathematics, precisely. Solve hypersonic laminar flow. Forget what requires ZFC to prove.

Some could sneer that I talk about energy to justify truth, and now I talk about meaning, thus I am all over the place, thoroughly confused.

But not so.

The brain is an energy machine. The brain has interest to believe.

Belief is energy cheap; it basically consists, most often in just repeating what one has heard. As the Wolf put it to the Lamb: ‘On me l’a dit, il faut que je me venge, one has told me that I must avenge myself’. Once the Wolf has asserted the primacy of belief, he can devour whatever he so desires.

Believing is much less energy consuming than thoroughly demonstrating (that’s energy demanding, as it requires to have checked every single logical jump). The brain finds more meaning in models of the universe that require less energy to believe.

For example, once you have decided god explained everything, there is nothing else to figure out. One can be like a dog, and believe everything. So the popularity of god has to do with energy conservation.

A plane is built from the most delicate architecture of entangled truths. Truth is literally what works, i. e., conducts energy with meaning.

Some will object that I make a superficial reasoning by proximity, a topo-logy: a logic of place. Thinking has to do with energy, energy has to do with thinking, so they are the same. No.

What’s a thought? Well, a set of joint brain assemblies calling onto action. (A particular case is an idea, which can be expressed in words, that is, which can be digitalized, and thus can be communicated by voice or the like.)

It requires energy to set-up and be inspected by consciousness, to be made into a communicable whole (even if it’s only self-communication). So the establishment of a thought, and even its sustainability, require energy.

Now, not all and any energy display will be a thought. However, when is a truth correct? When it allows energy to flow in a way that is deemed correct. That is, when it has correct meaning.  The later notion is simply tied up, ultimately, to survival of the species.

Thus the architecture of energy, not only describes thoughts, but validates them.

Let’s go back to the idea of High Energy Physics (Quantum Field Theory,  QED, QCD, TOE, Super Strings, etc.). Why is it called “High”? Because it’s about high frequencies (the first idea of the Quantum is that energy comes in packets determined by the frequency: E = hv).

So what are we facing here? That thinking is about Brain Energy Physics. That implies both meaning and pleasure, both derivatives to optimizing energy flow.

Truth is the discourse that optimizes the servitude of energy to the survival of the species.

At least, so I propose.

I think, therefore I energize.

Patrice Aymé

***

Notes: (1) Reading old proofs, I found, to my amazement, that META is close in mentality to the initial proof of Georg Cantor on the uncountability of the real numbers; except I stand that on its head. Fields Medal Tim Gowers has been trying to contradict my reasoning, but I think is objection is devoid of powerful meaning.

***

Economy ought to be founded on Energy (I’ve insisted, to give economics, and thus society the rigorous foundations society needs it to have). In particular AWE, Absolute Worth Energy.

Absolute Worth is, ultimately, determined by survival. There is a science uniting psychology and economics, that justifies one with the other, and vice versa. The preceding goes much further, as it unites the whole thing, and thinking itself, as a subset of energy physics.

Real Economics

August 30, 2013

Real macroeconomics ought to set its field of study correctly. It’s not nation-states anymore. We are living on a small Earth. Condensing Mercury vapor from burning Chinese coal poisons our food. Facts cognizable by all, such as Assad dropping napalm on a school in Alep (BBC, 8/26/13) devour moral systems, making anti-war weaklings into accomplices of crimes against humanity.

The house in eco (oikos) -nomy is now the entire planet, the full arena of human activity. Such is the macro stage. Nothing smaller will do.

Now that the stage is determined, what’s the “nomy” in eco-nomy about? Nemein is “manage“, related to “mane” (hand). Manage what? People, their work, the entire planet, recently on fire:

Yosemite Rim Fire: Bad Economics At Work

Yosemite Rim Fire: Bad Economics At Work

[Energy Unleashed, Men Overwhelmed; 95% of California Visible Above; On Day 5 Of Rim Fire, only 2,000 firemen were fighting it, because another 6,000 professional firemen were employed on other Californian wildfires! Some can be seen above. San Francisco Bay is the gaping grey crocodile jaw full west (left!) of the Rim Fire]

The number one object of economy ought to be energy: what we need, how much of it, to do what, and at which ecological cost. So economics has to be refounded around the idea of energy.

Once one has refounded economy theory around energy, one gets a bonus. One has to remember that well channeled energy does work. So work, that is employment, is a natural attachment to energy focused economics.

Monetary considerations are tied to the fractional reserve system at this point. That’s what conventional economists do. They might as well do the economics of angels on a pinhead.

It’s not that money is purely imaginary, but it’s a convention. If all loans were recalled in all banks, one will find that there has been 30 times more money lent that there was to be lent from what the banks really owned (that’s what 3% reserve in USA banks mean).

Money, as it presently exist, is an artificial construct that exists only thanks to its government back-up. That is, money is backed-up by the established order, its “justice system”, taxmen, police, army. But that order is flimsy when the entire biosphere is wobbling, the forests are burning, and acidifying seas are rising, thanks to human activity.

To just worry about monetary policy is like worrying about a weltering bush because the giant, multimillennial sequoia across the clearing, just caught fire. As has been happening in Yosemite National Park for two weeks.

Think about the Yosemite Rim Fire, burning trees that existed before Rome: if that kind of disaster, a direct consequence of human activity, is not incorporated in economics, the very concept of economics, as used today, is a contradiction with what it was meant to be.

Economics then just becomes a way to employ thousands of sophists singing together about the beauty of the established order. But there is no beauty when the planet is on fire.

***

Patrice Ayme

***

Notes: 1) The objection above is analogous to the one Socrates made against education and politics in Athens. I propose a remedy, Socrates did not. The remedy to Socrates’ complaint was the rise of democratic meritocratic institutions within the state (Rome started this).

2) The present fractional reserve system (“frac”) is artificial, and rests on the state. This is nothing new. Most of the currency used under Rome had an official value, imposed by the state, much superior to that of the precious metals the coins contained. The Tang dynasty in China, in the seventh century used paper money, with a value also imposed by the state (in both cases the cause was the dearth of precious metals).

I propose to use Absolute Worth Energy as a (much less arbitrary) currency. Anyway,

3) Economics was invented as a concept by Xenophon, a hyper intellectual, part of Socrates’ school. Scholars are getting the notion that much of macroeconomics’ foundations are too uncertain to be anything but a matter of philosophical debate.

See in the New York Times What Is Economics Good For? The authors are philosophy professors, one of them chairperson at Duke university. Extracts:

“A student who graduates with a degree in economics leaves college with a bachelor of‘science’, but possesses nothing so firm as the student of the real world processes of chemistry or even agriculture.

… Over time, the question of why economics has not (yet) qualified as a science has become an obsession among theorists, including philosophers of science like us.

It’s easy to understand why economics might be mistaken for science. It uses quantitative expression in mathematics and the succinct statement of its theories in axioms and derived “theorems,” so economics looks a lot like the models of science we are familiar with from physics. Its approach to economic outcomes — determined from the choices of a large number of “atomic” individuals — recalls the way atomic theory explains chemical reactions. Economics employs partial differential equations like those in a Black-Scholes account of derivatives markets, equations that look remarkably like ones familiar from physics. The trouble with economics is that it lacks the most important of science’s characteristics — a record of improvement in predictive range and accuracy.

Moreover, many economists don’t seem troubled when they make predictions that go wrong. Readers of Paul Krugman and other like-minded commentators are familiar with their repeated complaints about the refusal of economists to revise their theories in the face of recalcitrant facts…What is economics up to if it isn’t interested enough in predictive success to adjust its theories the way a science does when its predictions go wrong?

Unlike the physical world, the domain of economics includes a wide range of social “constructions” — institutions like markets and objects like currency and stock shares — that even when idealized don’t behave uniformly. They are made up of unrecognized but artificial conventions that people persistently change and even destroy in ways that no social scientist can really anticipate. We can exploit gravity, but we can’t change it or destroy it. No one can say the same for the socially constructed causes and effects of our choices that economics deals with.

…no one can predict the direction of scientific discovery and its technological application. That was Popper’s key insight… scientific paradigm shifts seem to come almost out of nowhere. As the rate of acceleration of innovation increases, the prospects of an economic theory that tames the economy’s most powerful forces must diminish…”

This brings us back to Yosemite’s Rim Fire (I run there all the time, loving the giant trees). Why did that happen? Well, the Forest Service took days to bring the big planes dumping ninety tons of fire retardant at each pass.

Why? Sequestration. Another bright ‘economic’ idea from Obama’s bankster friendly cabinet. Ignorant little greedsters hide behind ‘economic’ theories that advance banksterism, thus their future personal earnings, sequoias be damned.

Sequestration caused huge cuts in many parts of the Federal Budget of the USA. Including fire fighting (the Forest service was literally running out of money to fight fires, before the Rim Fire, explaining its slow reaction; it had $50 million left for the year, for the whole USA; the Rim Fire will cost several times that!).

And, of course, the most significant victim of sequestration is deep science, the very engine of humanity.

Although the location and nature of revolutionary thinking is hard to predict, it’s easy to predict that, by financing enough students of revolutionary thinking, one will get breakthroughs.

***

Some facts on Yosemite Rim Fire after 14 days: aerial tankers flight time: 14,500 hours. 15,000 tons of liquids dropped by aircraft on fire, most of it red fire retardant laden with chemicals. Uncontrolled fire edge: 100 miles (160 kilometers), controlled edge: 66 miles (90 kilometers), bulldozer lines: 106 miles (170 kilometers).

Economic Tech Wreck

July 25, 2013

Paul Krugman: “Both Steve Benen and Ed Kilgore get annoyed at fellow journalists complaining that there aren’t any “new ideas” in Obama’s latest. But why should there be?

It was clear early on that this was a crisis very much in the mold of previous financial crises.”

Well, sort of, but not really. True, the USA population had filled up to the rim in subprime mortgages, and could not afford anymore. True, the USA population ignore both mathematics and the fact that big bankers can conspire, big time (in jacking up interest rates after mortgages had been acquired: ARMs; or through securitization, selling lies to the unawares; or by hyper leveraging themselves against all of society through financial derivatives). Result? A Great Depression, probably the greatest of them all.

Comparing Two Great Depressions

Comparing Two Great Depressions

What triggered the crisis, though was a spectacular rise in the price of oil. People suddenly had to choose between paying for the house, or fueling the car. As the USA is car dependent, it was not really a choice: without a functioning car, there is no getting to work, or even food, let alone school.

Moreover, ever since, in spite of frantic fracking, the price of oil has stayed high in the USA, depression or not. California gets most of its oil from Texas now. It’s back to the past. Except for one important detail: all of this oil is fracked oil.

Now please observe that the world economy, and world food production, let alone trade, is completely oil dependent. Without oil, the world population would quickly collapse by 90%.

We do not have an acceptable mass energy replacement. We are in the situation of Europe (and Japan!) in 1300 CE: dependent upon a waning asset (then, wood, which was used for everything; although England switched to coal then).

So what’s the idea? The big idea is always missing from the loud economists who dominate the USA, and, thus, the world in general: they view the economy as just about money flow. According to them, if money flows, everything is fine (never mind all the money goes to the .1%!).

This was basically the reasoning Roman emperors wanted their economists to believe, and advocate, too. So I sent the following to Krugman who published it right away:

“What is new in present day economics is the possibilities new technologies offer that were not within reach before, and the problems old technologies are causing, as they become waning assets.

We are living in a science-fiction world, highly dependent on technology. Not to realize this is a lethal condition.”

To this, John from Hartford replied:

“I’m not sure this is true. If you look at the period in the 20’s and 30’s when people like Keynes were evolving their theories the world was being flooded with new technologies like radio, mass ownership of automobiles, silent/sound movies, aircraft, proto computers, etc. etc. which were probably greater in their affects than those were currently undergoing. What was much more important was that it was a period of intense global economic disruption which essentially provided real life laboratories for examining and testing economic hypotheses. And back then the consequences of economic mismanagement really were lethal on a scale we’ve never experienced since.”

In turn I answered to this very conventional reply with more of my advanced details (a condensed version of which was published by the NYT):

John: I do not dispute that the flood of new technologies getting in everyday life in the 1930s was not higher. Right now such a flood is very high in China. Yet, the technological flow has been deliberately slowed down in the West by a plutocratic conspiracy (as happened in Rome, when the government consciously paid inventors to NOT develop their inventions).

As I have explained in the past, plutocrats hate disruptive technologies. New technology introduces new ideas (witness the so called “Arab Spring”). It’s only natural to apply the “new ideas” mood to the established (plutocratic) order, as plutocrats and plutophiles, correctly, fear.

An example of technology not deployed is single payer health care in the USA (Germany introduced one more than 150 years ago!). Instead Obama introduced a new technology, Obamacare, friendly to plutocrats like the old one, but with even more subsidies from taxpayers. (For what the word “technology” means, see the comments.)

I just said the possibilities of higher technological disruption exists now… and that’s a good thing. And that proper economics, well done, would look into disrupting for the best the established economic order. At the governmental level (and not, as is done now, just at the Bill Gates level!… Bill Gates is financing new nuclear technologies.).

To claim, as Hartford John does, that “the consequences of economic mismanagement really were lethal on a scale we’ve never experienced since” is saying that devastating the entire machinery of the biosphere on a planetary scale is not “economic mismanagement”.

As I have long argued, we are in much more global danger now than in the 1930s. Fascism in Europe and Japan in the 1930s was a man-made disaster. Now we have much greater disasters waiting in the wings, driven not by human maniacs, but by physics, such a methane belch (that could turn overnight global warming into global heating!). ‘Massive methane eruptions’ is not a question of “if”, but WHEN.

Massive methane belching is actually already happening, in my not so humble opinion. How else to explain that the North Siberian sea route (“North East Passage”) is already now open for business? The topography makes it possible for much more methane to erupt there than in the North West passage… as observed!

(An interesting aside is that Total is investing many billions in a gas liquefaction  plant along the Siberian shore, obviously expecting the melting of the ice to accelerate! The idea is to send the liquefied… methane to China; Putin said it was OK with him, and he would remove the Gazprom monopoly…)

More prosaically, the ROI (Return On Investment) of fossil fuels is going badly, and the search for new mass energy is reaching emergency levels (however new energy technologies cannot be invented from one decade to the next!)

Europe knew a comparable situation twice: in the Late Roman empire, and then around 1300 CE. In the former case, civilization nearly crashed. In the latter case, European governments took successful, but drastic, measures (yet population collapsed by 2/3).

The only obvious new, potentially massive, technology we have is nuclear energy. By “nuclear energy” I mean all imaginable fission (there are about 100 of these) and fusion technologies. some will scoff. Yet, by 1330 CE, England had switched to coal to such an extent that Edward III’s government had to pass laws against coal, to limit the pollution of London.

This energy independence may help to explain that ‘England” was winning the war against “France” (for want of a better word) for a century… (Until the southern French developed the world’s first field artillery.) The abundance of coal with high ROI certainly explains the economic ascendency of England for the next six centuries… Until the age of oil. Oil with high ROI was in the USA, Arabia, and Mesopotamia.

Right now, many of the conventional, ignorant ecologists are certainly culprit not just of the impending ecological collapse, but also of the present depression. Jim Hansen, the ex-NASA scientist who did more than anybody else to provide the world with catastrophic insight on the degradation of the biosphere, shares this opinion:

“Can renewable energies provide all of society’s energy needs in the foreseeable future? It is conceivable in a few places, such as New Zealand and Norway. But suggesting that renewables will let us phase rapidly off fossil fuels in the United States, China, India, or the world as a whole is almost the equivalent of believing in the Easter Bunny and Tooth Fairy…

I think the only hope we have of phasing down emissions and getting to the middle of the century with a much lower level of fossil fuel emissions — which is what we will have to do if we want young people to have a future — we’re going to have to have alternatives and at this time nuclear seems to be the best candidate.”

Screaming against first generation, 1950s nuclear reactors, as those in Japan is entirely justified. The Japanese reactors use French-made recycled MOX for fuel. But for that, they are time-wraps. Let alone carefully installed in the way of a 30 meters (100′) tsunami… that had already happened 12 centuries before.

By now Fourth and Fifth, super-safe, super-efficient fission reactors should have been massively deployed. But the research was carefully not funded, because the reigning political class is fossil fuel fueled.

Survival, not just the economy, is all about energy.  

Patrice Ayme.

ECONOMIC REVOLUTION

December 31, 2012

AWE FOR INDUSTRY
INDUSTRIAL INDEX DEFINES & MEASURES INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTIONS

Some pontificate that we are experiencing the “third industrial revolution”.

This erroneous naivety, rich in lessons, beholds a lack of measure, and a lack of history. As I explain why, I will introduce the INDUSTRIAL INDEX, which rests on the concept of energy and AWE, ABSOLUTE WORTH ENERGY, which rests on humanly effective energy usage.

Together both energy related concepts allow to found rigorously the notions such as industry, progress, even revolution, and the dismal science, economy.

Athena Parthenos: lots of energy to build, metal therein.

Athena Parthenos: lots of energy to build, metal therein.

Economy has been dismal, because it had no scientific foundation. Energy gives that foundation to economics. While generalizing… physics.

Verily, there have been many “industrial revolutions” before. Scholars of antiquity call them “ages”, instead of “revolutions”. A tradition.

Going from the Bronze Age to the age of (carbon reinforced) iron (steel) was a change of “age”. (Trojan War Greece fell to the iron equipped Dorians, launching the Greek Dark Ages.) To make bronze, one had to bring together copper and tin, sometimes from very far away. To make iron, one had to reach temperatures higher than any naturally occuring fire. Those new metals were all about new, and more intense, energy management.

One needs to define “industry” and one needs to define a measure for “revolution”. I will do both. Defining industry depends upon a measure of industry, and this is the same measure that defines revolution. So I will do the measure first. (See note on measure.)
***

INDUSTRIAL INDEX DEFINED:
A woman, with her bare hands, can do only that much. But if she drives a bus, she can do much more. Much more what? Much more work, in the exact physical sense of “work”. In physics, work is force time the distance along which said force acts. It’s equivalent to energy. (See work note)

An obvious question is how would industry be defined? Very simple: by work. A human, au naturel, can do only that much work. Industry does much more.

The concept of industry comes, through the French from the Latin “industria” “diligence, activity, zeal” itself from the old Indo-European roots “in”, or “indu” and struere (building, giving structure).

A measure of industry is how much work a human can do, or does, or depends upon,
or commands, in the average. To evaluate the industrial measure of a society, one sums up energy potential or realized, over the entire society.

To get an index, divide that generalized energy by the total population.

This is intuitively satisfying: the index equates the increased mastery of energy with increased industry. As energy is the most important notion in modern physics, this new economic theory fits smoothly with modern physics.

We need a name. I will use II, for Industrial Index.

How to measure the II varies according to societies. A herdsman will a flock of sheep brought in more calorie than his colleague running after wild mountain goats. In this case the relevant II springs from the difference of how much calories is produced (including by milking the goats) versus how much is expended (including training dogs, building fences, or making arrow heads…)

The Neolithic revolutions of herding and agriculture brought tremendous jumps in II. The first dams were built apparently in present day Yemen, then solidly connected to the rest of Middle Earth by a wetter climate, and Jawa in Jordan, 3000 BCE. By irrigating vast lands, a dam does automatically what would be a lot of work for people carrying the water by hand, so it brings lots of energy (jump in II), and in the service of mankind (thus an equal jump in II(AWE) see below).

An industrial revolution occurs when II jumps. II will jump when significantly more powerful science or technology is introduced or deployed (for example the science of breeding less dangerous almond trees or boars). It took 2,000 years to deploy the technology of the steam engine, from the ancient Egyptians and Greeks to the Frenchman Papin (who made a steam powered boat, outright!).

The size of revolutions can be compared across the ages, using the ratio: II(before revolution)/II (after revolution).

For example the steam engine allowed to jump from the maximal power of a dozen horses to ten times that, an II jump of ten. Advanced coal based steam power plants reached at most 100,000 horsepower (around 100 megawatts). A nuclear fission U235 reactor ten times that. So going from fossil fuel to nuclear represented another II jump of ten. (But that jump has mostly failed because the military based nuclear technology partly deployed was found to be insuffiencently safe enough.)
***

ABSOLUTE WORTH ENERGY INDUSTRIAL INDEX DEFINED:
An objection could be that this first order definition of II does not take into account, waste. However neither does GDP. GDP is notorious to augment with waste, so some countries have higher GDPs, just because they are tremendously more wasteful (what the Swiss and the French do does not differ much from what Canadians, or Americans do, under the same latitude; however Canadians and Americans need three times more CO2 to do it, a tremendous waste).

I have an answer to the problem of waste too. To remedy this, a notion, AWE, Absolute Worth Energy, does NOT consider the energy spent, but only the energy of the effect one is looking for by the activity that this energy deplyment intents to serve.

This II(AWE) is computed otherwise just as the II. A measure of the efficiency of a civilization is the quotient:
II(AWE)/II.

Examples: a traffic jam has zero AWE, but a Light Emitting Diode has an AWE close to 100% (as close to 100% of the LED output is used… as long as there is someone to enjoy the light of its energy output).
When a plane’s flight’s AWE is the energy of transporting people and goods, on that flight, NOT the energy spent to transport them (pretty much equal to fossil fuel spent + cost of training, flying, repairing, etc.)
It becomes a bit delicate when one determines the AWE of a PhD (but it can be done, using modern computers).
***

INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTIONS THROUGHOUT THE LAST 10,000 YEARS:
The Mayan civilization rested upon a tremendous irrigation system with reservoirs and canals. The largest canal, about 100 meter wide and more than 100 kilometers long, can be seen from space. So there was such a thing as Mayan industry. However, the American civilizations were violently destroyed, and contributed even less than East Eurasian civilizations to the present One world Civilization (the east’s greatest contribution, besides its very existence, may have been Chinese black powder).

Ultimately, civilization has been mostly the work of the Middle Earth. It makes civilization pretty much in one locale. The successive revolutions that articulated the civilizational mainstream all happened there, knew about each other, and are thus easy to compare.

The first industrial revolution was the invention of cities, the second one that of herding (or the other way around), the third one was intensive agriculture of engineered crops, the fourth revolution was writing (6,000 years ago). The fifth the political system (Sumer, 5,500 years ago), arriving simultaneously with copper-tin alloys, that is bronze. As tin and copper were often not found in the same place, they had to be transported by massive shipping (Crete, 4,000 years ago). Shipping was crucial for Western Eurasia, which, by the time of Carthage, enjoyed a trade system, shipping enabled, extending from the British isles to India, and even Black Africa; for example tin was shipped from Britain, and salted fish, from Black Africa).

There is no doubt that Rome had industry. The first Roman fleet, 200 warships copied from Carthage, was constructed in a few months, while the crews were trained in the dirt to move oars and obey commands (Carthage promptly sank that first attempt.) Rome had an enormous industry and economy.
But did Rome see an industrial revolution? Well the Industrial Index jumped. Roman dams are still in use today. Yet, the Greco-Roman empire mostly cheated. It split the population in two: the free, and the slaves. The Industrial Index and the II(AWE) applied mostly to the free.
***

ARE THE INDUSTRIAL INDEX AND THE II(AWE) PERTINENT TODAY?
Extremely. There are, or ought to be, two industrial revolutions in full swing, one of intelligence, axed on II(AWE), the other of energy, axed on II. The first is still in infancy, the other, in trouble.

The present Artificial intelligence revolution is blossoming, but, like an infant learning to crawl, it is far from fully capable yet. Its potential to augment II(AWE) is very far from fulfilled. That will happen when all the tasks requiring NON CREATIVE and NON CONSCIOUS intelligence can be done by robots. No more driving; the car will do it for you. No more cooking; the kitchen will serve you what to eat. Etc.

What about the energy revolution? It’s somewhat in regress. Although so called “sustainable” energies are developed, they stay an epiphenomenon, and will stay so, as long as they cannot replace base energy. The USA has decided to go the other way, full blast, burning the planet for its own profit, encouraging China and India to do the same with coal.

The new energy source was, of course, nuclear energy which has energy density greater by a factor of one million. A succession of red herrings have mentally unbalanced civilization about nuclear energy, and this is having the disastrous consequence that the biosphere is in the process of quick irreversible destruction. Nuclear waste fades to nothing dangerous after a while. But not so for the poisoning by coal combustion, which permeates the biosphere with eternal contaminants such as arsenic and mercury. Or CO2, that will stick around for millennia.

The Industrial Index is actually in danger of collapse. How? Because the population is augmenting fast (II is obtained by dividing total energy commanded by the number of people), while the catastrophic consequences of fossil fuels burning have reached a tipping point. So energy production may have to shrink. Better AWE (such as more efficient planes, high speed electric trains, photovoltaic electricity) may compensate for this enough. Or not.
***

SO WHAT TO DO? II AND II(AWE) NEED TO GO UP.
To get out of the deepening depression the world is entering, we need a jump in Industrial Index. Why? For the same reason as imperial Rome needed one: the resources accessible with deployed technology are getting exhausted (the case of Rome, and also our case). Solution: new technology, with a higher II, thus capable with greater energy to reach further resources (say bottom of the ocean nodules or Helium3 on the Moon).

Otherwise we can do like the Romans and wait until we don’t even have the resources to conduct war. By the way, India and China have understood this, and their policies are axed around augmenting the Industrial Index. Whereas, stupidly, in the West some have claimed we have reached the “post-industrial age”. Apparently that means that the factories are in China.

We are also experiencing a problem that Rome did not have, namely the collapse of the biosphere.

A greater II means a greater massive energy source. There is one, and only one. It’s energy intensity is a million times greater than fossil fuels.
So start a crash program to make high temperatures (hence high efficiency) thorium reactors (the radioactive waste of that energy type is neglectable). They would give massive amounts of clean base energy.
India and China have them, but the West has more capital and expertise at the ready. Maybe Japan can show the way? (Japan needs energy but not 1950 tech Uranium 235/Plutonium plants, which are too polluting and dangerous.)

By all means, pursue sustainable energy. But, as it is, for a huge variety of reasons, it stays a sideshow, or an invitation to disaster: watch Germany go coal crazy.
***

THE USA THINKS IT’S CRAZY LIKE A FOX, TO OPT FOR CATASTROPHE, JUST AS IN 1939:
Already in 2008, and before, I explained that “Energy Is the Foundation Of Economy”, and I introduced AWE.

That the USA has chosen a catastrophic energy policy goes according to American historical know-how. War has been good to the American Anglo-Saxon colony. Four centuries of war have brought unending success. The bigger the war, the bigger the success.

India, China, Japan, Europe and even Iran know differently. They know that there are wars that bring extermination rather than satisfaction. The Mongols hesitated to destroy China, and replace it by a steppe (Genghis Khan’s generals had the souls of geoengineers!). Just like Sparta saved Athens at the last moment, so did Genghis with Northern China. Iran and Iraq were not that lucky.

The present leadership of USA believes it will always be lucky, and war is a friend, so the more CO2, mercury, arsenic, coal, oil, gas, and rising, acid, lifeless seas, the better. Well, the Greco-Romans went down that road before. All the way down. In the end, they licked obsequiously the toes of the Franks for the next 15 centuries. That was not so bad, but this time is different; the planet is at stake.

If the USA were truly wise, it would opt to increase the Industrial Index instead of military know-how. The former implies the latter, but not conversely.

This is so true that even the U.S. Navy got it, and tried to conduct war exercises in 2012, using algae fuel. That fuel augments the II, because it produces energy from sun and air. It also sucks the CO2 out of said air (so plants making algae fuel could be fossil fuel plants’ best friend! algae fuel is basically the only method of Carbon Capture that could work significantly). The U.S. Congress, more controlled by plutocracy than the U.S. Navy is, was furious, and tried to block the Navy’s efforts. Funny how everything connects.

The military has long been partial to a higher Industrial Index. The first ‘automobiles’, in the Eighteenth Century, were commissioned by the French military. Earlier than that Middle Ages gunners found that Aristotelitian ballistics were false (physicists abstracted that generations later).

Even earlier Constantinople was saved “Gregian Fire” a long range flame throwing system based on fossil fuels. Gregian Fire allowed the Greco-Romans to beat back Muslim fleets for three centuries, sometimes burning up to 2,000 ships in one battle below Constantinople’s fortifications.
Meanwhile in France three full scale Muslim Arab, Berber and Syrian invasions were beaten back in 30 years, because the Franks succeeded to establish a slight industrial edge, using a number of techniques, from better steel to gigantic war horses, to a nationalization of the Church (to pay for the largest and better trained army since the heydays of Rome).

Plutocracy does not like revolutions, industrial, economic or political: they are all related, all having to do with ideas. All what the plutocrats want is to rule. And the way for them to do that, 2,000 years ago, or now, is by paying no taxes. That the world needs an industrial revolution and a paradigm breaking jump in II(AWE) is of no use to them, just the opposite. What’s good for the world, is not good to those who find their call in other people’s misery.

Ultimately, the industrious disposition of a society depends upon the psychology of its leadership. In a real democracy, that should be that of the People, but “representative” “democracy” often represents the People in name only. And industry is not the call of plutocracy, quite the opposite.

Carnegie himself, the USA’s first billionaire, pointed that out, and advocated, in writing, 50% tax on the rich’s income. Carnegie said that it was so that the rich pay back the society that allowed them to become rich in the first place. Carnegie also advocated confiscatory taxes on inheriting wealth, because, he said, the children of the hyper rich, per their psychological upbringing, are adverse to industry.

So why can’t “democrats” in the USA at least preach the way Carnegie did? Because they are “democrats” in name only?

***
Patrice Ayme
***
Work Note: apparently more sophisticated definitions just integrate work, as defined as above exactly, but infinitesimally, along paths.

Measure Note: I am using the word measure in the mathematical analysis sense. So I have equipped civilization, progress, industry and even technology with two measures: II and the more sophisticated II(AWE).
(I chose Industrial Index II, and not Industrial Coefficient to avoid a confusion with IC, Integrated Circuits, a good example of jumping II; besides, II is indeed an index, not a coefficient.)

Right Makes Might?

August 31, 2011

WHEN CONFRONTING EVIL, BIPARTISANSHIP IS NOT THE ANSWER. 

Witness against himself Obama has made bipartisan thinking infamous, and rightly so. When confronted to the worst extremism, such as the Tea Party, he crosses the bridge, and offers himself as a target. This way Tea Partisans need not vote for Perry, they may as well vote for Obama. Hey, everybody will win! The audacity to win! As one of the “senior advisers” of Obama, 40 years old, had the impudence to point out.

Bipartisan thinking was not invented by Obama, even in Anglo-Saxon countries. Some notables of the American revolution switched sides. Bipartisanship was already practiced by Pontius Pilatus. Earlier Plato befriended the tyrant of Syracuse, while claiming to be a partisan of the “Republic“. (Thus Christian despots did not burn Plato’s books, recognizing in him a kindred spirit.)

Confronted to Hitler, many crossed the bridge to him, in the name of openness, bipartisanship, and thus enabled him (among the first to do so was G.W. Bush’s grandfather Prescott, one of Hitler’s closest collaborators, head of American-Silesian; thus it was not surprising that Bush covered his family’s tracks by exhibiting the opposite attitude, loudly proclaiming a vast gap between himself and evil! Very crafty.)

Facile, or bipartisan, or not partisan, thinking incites some people to still make the case for Auschwitz. That they do not understand this does not excuse them. After all, most of the Germans who enabled Auschwitz did not understand that they did so. Actually they did not even know what Auschwitz was, nor wanted to conceive of it. That would have been un-German.

 People who keep on making the case for Auschwitz can persevere in this, because not enough contempt, condemnation, and, first of all, revelation, has been heaped over them, their deliberate obscurantism and confusionism, and their criminal attitude of tolerance for “infamy”. (To use Voltaire’s non bipartisan semantics.)

 Roger Cohen wrote an editorial, “Score One For Interventionism” in the New York Times. As Roger puts it:” Libya will not end the debate on intervention. But it confirms that the West must be prepared at times to fight for its values.”

 Yes. One should not even have to wait for such a confirmation anymore. May 8, 1945 should have been enough confirmation. Remember Auschwitz? The threat thereof incited the most famous intervention of the spirit of the enlightenment of the West: when France and Britain declared war to Hitler and his criminal supporters. It took five years and eight months, but, ultimately, Western democracy, and the enlightenment of the West, crushed the Nazi barbarity.

 So I expressed in a comment to the NYT, my agreement with Mr. Cohen:

“Score TWO for interventionism, as France threw out the dictator in Ivory Coast a few months earlier. So let’s recapitulate; France won two wars in a year, and the USA lost two, in a decade. Something else: France and Britain started the intervention in Bosnia, but, at the time, were too insecure to push it to victory quickly. France also intervened way late in Rwanda. Of this, no more.
Civilization needs to be enforced.

 I was a bit taken aback: just one reader of the NYT approved what I said, whereas more than 80 clueless individuals approved what I view as a tissue of the usual irrelevance, lies and stupidities from a  guy called Richard Brauer, based in South Africa. That was more than twice the number of approvals any other comment got, which means that such mass murderous friendly thinking is widely shared by many who read the NYT.

 Brauer made his mass murdering criminal friendly thinking transparent. It rests on a confusion of notions, and inventions.

 1) The first point Richard Brauer made was that “Bosnia is still  a mess“. Thus, according to Brauer, keeping order is more important than preventing holocausts. The West should not have saved millions in Bosnia, because it is still a mess.

  Presumably, if Hitler had killed another 200 million people in Europe, it would have been less of a mess, and, thus, according to Brauer, and his admirers, a greater success. Mass murdering fascists, such as the Nazis are always fond to celebrate the “New Order“. (I was myself bombed, once, by a French fascist organization called “Ordre Nouveau“.)

 Only fascists worry about order, rather than worry about human lives. So, actually, Brauer is somebody who has embraced a central tenet of fascism. To great applaud of the pseudo left wing readership of the New York Times. OK, Stalin, a genuine fascist, was also pseudo left wing (and boasted to Churchill that he killed even more Soviets than Hitler did.) Hitler too: not only did he invent the expression: National Sozialist, but he craftily borrowed socialist and left wing themes all over, to improve his appeal, as he cynically explained himself!

 It is as if Brauer wrote this from the perspective of an old South African white racist supremacist fascist. Richard, tell us ain’t so.  

 That Bosnia is, or is not, a mess was not the reason to intervene in Bosnia for those whom superior morality guides (by opposition to those that Hitler, Ghadafi, and the like, guide). Of course if the Serbian fanatics had been left to their own instruments, they would have killed all the Muslims, and all the Croats. Indeed, as Brauer implicitly points out, order in Bosnia would be much better by now.

 Similarly if whites South Africans  had done like the white North Americans, and killed all the Indians, I mean, the black, order would reign much better in South Africa, and Brauer would rest easy. Much better order, mein Fuerer, and purity of essence, besides.

 Historically, under a UN mandate, French and British troops were interposed between the civilians in Sarajevo, and the rogue (“Bosnian”) Serb army. Heavy Serb guns reached encircled Sarajevo, impacting it with thousands of high explosive shells, from 30 kilometers away.

 The French, allied to Serbia in 1914, were leery to counter-attack the descendants of their ex-allies. But they had to save the population Serb fanatics were determined to exterminate.

 The French finally used counterforce strikes: once a flying Serbian shell was detected on radar, the computer found where it originated from, and French shells were directed there. This destroyed the Serb guns, and allowed to stop the destruction of Sarajevo. The depredations of the fanatics kept on going, though, in the rest of Bosnia, and the siege of Sarajevo was not lifted. Years later NATO had to intervene in full. (Now Serbia is 99% collaborating with civilization, and improving by the day, in its anxiety to integrate the European Union, which is the final solution to the Yugoslav problem, for all concerned.)

 2) The second point that the fascism loving Brauer made was that “It’s way too early to judge the USA a success, even on idealistic Western terms. We’re pretty far from a stable and democratic country at this point.” OK, I replaced in Brauer’s original version, the word “Libya” by “USA”. It sounds just as pertinent. If the USA is neither stable nor democratic at this point, why to require it for Libya?

 3) The third point Brauer made was that “the rest of the world sees it [the intervention in Libya] as a naked grab by Western governments on behalf of their energy companies.”

  Brauer does not seem to have observed that most of the world is the West. At least, officially speaking. Indeed, the UN Charter reflects the basic credo of the West. All the Americas are in the West (except for Cuba, which is not too clear about where it wants to be). Most of Africa is in the West (OK, except Zimbawe, Sudan, and a few limbo states). Most of Eurasia is in the West, too, philosophically speaking (even Russia, officially speaking; the notable exception being China, which is a collaborator and accomplice of the West, or, at least, its plutocracy). Did I forget Australia and Antarctica?

 This is exactly why France was able to persuade most powers to support, or the rest to tacitly approve her intervention in Libya. France acted in the name of the principles of the West, id est of the principles of the Rest. This is by now the standard French tactic. It works if and only if genuine. 

 For Brauer, and his ignorant, or malevolent admirers, if the “rest of the world” believes in a complete, counterfactual idiocy, we should consider that a problem. However real problems are not defined by counter-factual idiots.

 As I said many times, Ghadafi was giving the West all the oil it needed. 80% of Libyan oil was going to France and Italy, which had, therefore no motivation to engage in war according to those who think that the war was about oil. Actually the oil flow from Libya has been stopped for more than 6 months now, so the oil men ought to have been on Ghadafi’s side, which they were, indeed.

 The historical development of establishing a set of reason for revolution in the Arabo-Muslim world and in Libya in particular, was due to philosophers, not to oil traffickers, and other plutocrats.

 This is something important to understand. In the 1930s, when France tried to do something against Hitler, American officials argued that France was being imperialistic, and that Germany should be left to be all it wanted to be, preserved from the terrible French imperialistic intervention.  That argument was entertained as early as 1934.

 There was just one fly in that ointment; the Ambassador of the USA in Berlin, the historian Dodd, agreed 100% with his imminent colleague, the French ambassador in Berlin, Francois-Poncet. What did Washington do? In 1939, it replaced Dodd by a pro-Nazi ambassador. The best way to encourage Hitler to be firm with France.

 The fact remains that philosophers were singularly silent in the 1930s (many, most of a new generation, fought courageously, in the 1940s, against Nazism, and died that way; but by then the infuriated Nazi dragon had escaped the grotto).

 In the 1930s, Anglo-Saxon plutocrats collaborated with Hitler and other fascists, because they augmented their profits that way. This collaboration was so enormous that it allowed Hitler to survive the initial shock against France and Britain (although the Nazis losses, by the time France fell, were already considerable, comprising more than 50,000 elite troops and officers; by the time Hitler had to attack the USSR, he had won in Greece, but his victorious paratroops had been wiped out; by the time American soldiers fought their first shots with the Nazis, the French had inflicted the decisive defeat to Rommel’s Afrika Korps, deep in the desert).

 Plutocrats collaborated with Ghadafi intensely. Thus they had no interest to fight him. Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal gives an example, August 30 2011. Here we go:

  TRIPOLI—On the ground floor of a six-story building here, agents working for Moammar Gadhafi sat in an open room, spying on emails and chat messages with the help of technology Libya acquired from the West….

Amesys, a unit of French technology firm Bull SA, [which] installed the monitoring center. A warning by the door bears the Amesys logo. The sign reads: “Help keep our classified business secret. Don’t discuss classified information out of the HQ.”…..The room, explored Monday by The Wall Street Journal, provides clear new evidence of foreign companies’ cooperation in the repression of Libyans under Col. Gadhafi’s almost 42-year rule. The surveillance files found here include emails written as recently as February, after the Libyan uprising had begun… VASTech SA Pty Ltd, a small South African firm, provided the regime with tools to tap and log all the international phone calls going in and out of the country, according to emails reviewed by The Wall Street Journal and people familiar with the matter. VASTech declined to discuss its business in Libya due to confidentiality agreements.”

 Maybe Mr. Brauer is somehow related to VASTech, or to the oil companies which lost money due to the Libyan rebellion?

 Conclusion? France intervened in Libya not because her plutocrats wanted it, but because (some of her) philosophers made an irresistible case for it. To French president Sarkozy. Contrarily to the 1930s, when the USA was systematically hostile to France’s higher thinking, Obama’s USA cooperated, and France was able to convince enough of the rest (to get the 9 votes at the UNSC she needed; she got 10).  

 By the way, genuine French philosophers are not in love with French plutocrats, although at least two individuals (BHL and the father of Bruni’s first child), belong to both categories. Usually there is strong, solid, professional and intimate enmity between both groups.

 Mr. Brauer neglects the interventions of the Western powers sometimes assisted by African allies in the Sudan (where French troops died in Darfur), Sierra Leone, Liberia, Chad (where France fought Ghadafi for decades, recovering a part of Chad occupied by the guy with the bad hairdo), Rwanda, Ivory Coast and Libya (the two French led interventions of 2011). Among other things. Intervention also worked against racist South Africa (but failed to replace racist Rhodesia by the better regime, as Zimbawe is clearly a terrible place).

 So what motivates the likes of the ignorantly aggressive Mr. Brauer? Does Mr. Brauer, and his supporters regret, deep down inside, that France intervened against the genocidal, racist, fascist Hitler, and his Neues Ordnung?

 Or is Mr. Brauer happy to join a herd of the ignorant and facile, thus creating cheaply in him and his flock the illusion of strength and wisdom? In other words, naturally enough, Mr. Brauer whines when one attack fascism, because he indulges in the fascist reflex.

 Thought crime ought to not send people in jail always, but it certainly should not go without condemnation, and evisceration, when it boils down to making a shrine to the concept of holocaust.

 Thus those inclined to idiotic lies of the mass criminality inducing type have to be answered, even if we have to stoop very low to do so, and engage in a shouting match. Ignoring the stupid brutes all too long is what made Hitler, Stalin or Pol-Pot possible.

 Right now the partisans and practitioners of torture in the USA are loudly claiming that torture is the best way to go forward. Never mind that it is a direct violation of the Third Geneva Convention, never mind that the U.S. Army, and the most elementary logic, are against it: Cheney and Yoo (the UC Berkeley professor of law who wrote the legal opinion giving the green light to Bush) preach torture, with more boldness than ever.

 They have been encouraged to do so by the ambiguous attitude of the ever bipartisan president. Confronted to torture, Obama crossed the bridge, and said: we don’t do that, but we will not do anything about those who did that, and want more of it. Instead of dragging Bush, Cheney, Yoo, and a Federal judge I forgot the name of, to court, Obama said: let them be, let’s not rush to judgment. Actually, let’s not go to any sort of judgment.  Obama let torture walk free, as he let the banksters walk free. And now he is surprised that society is captive, and people feel that it is his fault.

 French general Paul Aussaresses admitted in his 2001 book, “Services spéciaux, Algérie 1955–1957“, to the use of torture during the Algerian war (he claimed under civilian orders from subalterns to F. Mitterrand). Subsequent to his gloating, for justifying the use of torture, the elderly Aussaresses was condemned in court, stripped of his army rank, stripped of the right to wear a uniform, and he was stripped of his Legion of Honor. All of this happened decades after Aussaresses apparently advised South American militaries about his methods of torture. In other words, torturers breed torturers. Worldwide.

 Of course, convicted criminal Aussaresses went on major media of the USA to justify the use of torture against Al Qaeda. His defense of torture arguably incited the American proponents of torture. Thus thought crime propagates. Bipartisanship about torture, as bipartisan about anything else dubious, under the pretext of coolness, is encouraging torture, and all other sorts of evil.

 France, whatever France means, lost the Algerian war (some very close family members of mine died). Although, technically, the French army had won. But it was the wrong sort of victory. That war was not a military campaign, but a campaign about right and wrong, and the usage of torture guaranteed wrong.

 In 2011, France intervened, and won, twice: in Ivory Coast, and in Libya. Why? How? By being on the side of right, twice. If one wants to win, one better be right. To start with. That Obama forgot in Afghanistan, in his colossal naivety. But one would expect nothing else from someone whose moral sense is about being bipartisan, not attributing blame, and looking real cool, no matter what. Such a moral sense does not have “right” as a fundamental notion. “Right” is all about how it looks.

 Obama encountered Hitler. What do you think happened? “Enough blame  to go around,” confirmed the president. OK, pathetic, I agree.

 Being bipartisan about holocausts is no option for the morally correct. Non assistance to people in danger is one of the worst crimes there is. Once one has justified the worst, or let it go free, and unmolested, how much worse can one do? Indulge in infamy, instead of just entertaining it?

***

Patrice Ayme

*** 

(more…)

TAX, DRILL, AND THINK.

July 31, 2008

NOT DRILLING AT HOME, AND NOT AUGMENTING ENERGY TAXES SKY HIGH  IS IMMORAL, SHORTSIGHTED, SELF DEFEATING, IMPERIALISTIC, AND STUPID.
***
Abstract: a few critiques of the energy conversation the USA is having with itself during the presidential campaign, in a somewhat broader perspective.
***

Some on the US “left” have recently discovered that the USA has 3% of the proven oil reserves, and uses 25% of the energy, and strangely conclude that the USA should not drill for oil and gas anymore. Supposedly that would feed the “addiction” (and then they say it would make no difference anyway: being from the “left” is all too often supposed to be about having the “right” emotion, not the right logic).

The numbers are correct, and outrageous. Still, axing one’s attitude on energy around “not-drilling” is more of the same old mentality of exploitation of others. Instead the correct attitude ought to be to get oneself into energetic shape. Not-drilling is rather like not-thinking, and it’s even emotionally and morally wrong.

Indeed, what’s the idea around “not-drilling”? We will not drill in our backyard, because drilling is dirty, and so we prefer drilling in other people’s backyards? And then go invade them if they get an attitude?

The USA gets more than 70% of its oil from overseas in 2008 (long time ago, all the oil used in the USA came from the USA). This percentage is augmenting quickly as US oil production collapses. In other words, the USA, to feed what president G. W. Bush called its “oil addiction”, DRILLS and EXPLOITS other countries. Ever more. The plan of the “left” is to to do more of the same (whether it understands that or not; probably not) . Soon one thing will happen on present trends: 90% of US oil will come from overseas (in France 99% of the oil comes from overseas).

So the so called American left’s main energy plan is to keep on digging down the same hole ever more. And that hole is overseas. The only thing new that will happen: $300 per barrel oil. And after that: $500 oil. And so on. And then what will happen when the foreigners ask “too much” for their oil, according to Mr. Average American Joe?

What will the so called “American left” then do? Go invade some more overseas? Military “solutions”, like in Iraq and Afghanistan? However unreal that sounds, why not? Imagine the US invading Iraq or the Middle East for oil. According to most people around the planet, it already happened…

To use less of a product, one has to augment the price of the product, that’s basic home economics. Clearly the USA does not understand basic economics, its economic pundits are too busy giving each other the Nobel prize in economics, to do some basic thinking.

Europeans have long organized themselves according to that elementary knowledge: higher price to use less. Europeans reduced their energy usage by inflicting onto themeselves enormous energy taxes. And guess what? This economic strategy rose their living standards. Because it turns out that sharing one’s life with belching trucks is less enjoyable.

France reacted to the latest rise in the price of oil in 2008 by rising further energy taxes on cars emitting too much CO2, and then rose energy prices all over (while compensating with massive subsidies for the poor). Of course, the USA should have been doing the same. But nobody on the so called “American left” thought of it (OK, the “American left” is led and advised by hyper billionaires).

Applying the rising pressure of ever dearer energy for decades has led to spectacular results. The French car fleet is by far the most efficient in the world. The Peugeot 308 currently holds the record of the most fuel efficient mainstream car, averaging 3.13 L/100 km (75 mpg in U.S. units) over a distance of 14,580 kilometers (9,060 miles). That’s much better than Toyota’s Prius and the car is much prettier too (Peugeot is going to commercialize cars above 83 mpg, and Renault has worldwide plans for electric cars, and explicit contracts with Israel and Denmark to deploy the infrastructure of electric service stations).

Curiously the USA reacted to the first energy crisis, in the 1970’s, with non free market solutions. It is often the case that the USA bellows a capitalist song to drown all intelligent conversations with foreigners, but, when it comes to its internal economics, the US, instead, applies completely bizarre economics (to serve the special interests that truly rule the country).

Thus, instead of augmenting the price of energy, and letting the free market handle that constraint, the usual free market strategy in a civilized country, a bunch of weird puritanical measures were taken.

President Carter, a democrat, spoke on TV wearing heavy clothing to resist the cold. It did not come to his puritanical mind that the higher housing efficiency standards of Europe could be imposed instead. Better to suffer in heavy wool, God prefers those who chose to suffer. It was decided that Americans were to crawl on the freeways at a maximum of 55 mph (90 kms/hour). Never mind the risk of falling asleep, and never mind the immense economic cost of wasting one’s life inside one’s car, crawling along! Besides, crawling along augments traffic jams, and that augments fuel usage. But never mind logic; it’s all about emotion, as found in the Bible. Flee mileage standards were imposed (except on trucks, that’s why so many US citizens drove trucks for decades, feeling really manly). Then fleet mileage was not touched for 30 years!

By contrast, European governments have been very motivated to augment energy taxes, since they are such good sources of revenue. So European energy efficiencies and technologies kept improving, with a lot of subsidies for the poor and money for public transportation (from the energy taxes), while the US fell asleep at the wheel.

US consumption of oil is now going down, hence so is the tax revenue, used for repairing roads and paying for public transportation. Thus giant cavities are developing on crude roadways, inviting people to negotiate them with giant trucks and starving public transportation some more.

Now the American right has proposed to make the situation even worse by “taking a vacation” from energy taxes outright. That’s the American style vacation: don’t do anything for yourself, or your fellow man (just help the oil companies, whose profit margins go UP as the price of crude oil goes DOWN, contrarily to what the “left” has been insinuating!).

The question one is led to is: how come US politicians are so stupid? Well, just as economic efficiency comes from free market competition, mental efficiency comes from competition in the free market of ideas. But the US has long used the MENTAL equivalent of trade barriers, blocking the penetration of exterior ideas. It’s the usual addiction to hubris (what Greek and Athenian democracies died of, before they reached enough critical mass to survive). First thing US opinion makers are anxious to express, is that the USA invented everything (hint: it’s basically completely false).

Whereas Europe, deeply shaken by the monster fascist wars and regimes of the twentieth century, has become humble, and has acquired a deep respect for philosophically correct thinking.

The European Union with its 27 countries (plus many more or less associated to the E.U., and on a steep learning curve, such as Turkey), has been mentally open. European politicians are often under heavy, aggressive  mental pressure to perform better intellectually (presently Ireland, Poland, France, and the U.K. are particularly causing and receiving mental pressure). But all US citizens start from the principle that their country is so superior, it has nothing important to learn from anyone. We are told constantly most thinking mankind ever made happened in the USA, and then the self satisfied critters go to church, and pray (just like in the Middle ages). Besides, the US vision of culture in other countries is wine, cheese, the occasional old castle, and Disney like stuff. No appreciation whatsoever for the existnce of alien mental cultural depth.

US superiority was, and is, a real thing. But a lot had to do with geography, it was nothing mental (although wealth allowed better education, so it ended up being mental superiority, at least until around 1970, when plutocracy hiding behind Christian right wing fundamentalism took over, and ever since praying has overwhelmed thinking).

If the distance between France and the USA had been a mere 34 kilometers, as it is between England and France, no doubt that, instead of supporting Hitler in 1939-1940 (as it strongly did, in practice), the USA would have been a good ally of France, right away, as Great Britain was (instead of waiting until it had no choice, and it was safe, 38 months after France attacked Hitler). But, being safely 6,000 kilometers away, the USA could leave the Brits and French to their own instruments, while amusing, and enriching itself, with massive dual use and military technology transfers to the Nazis. So the US became hyper rich, while France and Britain were getting devastated (and indebted to the USA, which was busy stealing all their colonies, while exciting the Muslim fundamentalists).

Another way the US was special has to do with oil. The USA had a lot of it, starting in Pennsylvania (smack in the middle of the industrial centers of the Northeast US). So much oil, it cost very little developing US industry with 100% US oil (by comparison, France has 1% of oil coming from France). So much oil, the USA could send plenty to Hitler, from Texas (old friendships spring eternal in these pages, sorry).

Now this is all over. A lot of the American geographical exception is fading fast. The USA cannot afford US stupidity anymore. Soon the US may have to adopt the French slogan: “we have no oil, but we have ideas”.

The simplest way to get ideas is by looking at what other people are doing. A lot of French politicians have been looking at what Denmark is doing to reduce unemployment and have a stellar economy. Never mind that France has 12 times the population of Denmark, Danish solutions are imported to France. And Danish politicians, reciprocally have been mulling joining the Eurozone. Better economics and society is all about freely trading ideas. That starts with humility and hunger for thinking. Forget the big Dog in the sky, He is not barking for you. 

Civilization is improving, because drilling for ideas is increasingly done all over.

Patrice Ayme,
Tyranosopher.
https://patriceayme.wordpress.com/
http://patriceayme.com/
***

Critical addenda: 1) Drilling will just provide with some relief for the next few decades, and, mostly, make it a bit less probable that the US will insist to invade and occupy the Middle East with as much enthusiasm as it has now, because it will share the pain with these countries it wants to invade so much. Drilling for oil is no panacea: it just buys time. The transforming factor for the economy will be to rise energy taxes, as in Europe. That will force the rise of new energy technologies massively, as in Europe.

2) Nobody has talked about a potentially lethal consequence of not drilling. Indeed, there are other forms of drilling, like exploring the possibility to extract METHANE HYDRATES. Not only those could provide (potentially, perhaps) with a lot of clean energy, but they are a AN IMMENSE REAL DANGER in case of runaway greenhouse. They would erupt in the later case, making a bad situation immediately abominable (super giant tsunamis, and horrid rise of temps). We may as well burn them before we get cooked by them (Japan has given the green light to search for them).

3) What are the “thinkers” on the left thinking? Do they really think that the presence of an absence of drilling will be transformative? Is their idea really to make anti democratic theocratic aliens overseas always richer and in charge of fixing the cost of energy inside the USA? Or is it that they are just weak, and do not dare defend the newer and better ideas?

4) French like solutions, such as very high speed trains or 95% of French electricity from renewables, non carbon sources, and recycled nuclear waste, cannot be developed overnight. They require enormous investment. The fastest electric trains could take only ten hours coast to coast in the USA, but such lines cost billions of dollars per one hundred miles, even on the flattest ground. Simply put, the USA does not have that kind of money. One more reason to rise energy taxes stratospherically (European high speed rail is self financed to a great extend, but that would take time the USA does not have anymore).

5) Another silly and immoral argument from the right has been that the US proportion of pollution is equal to its proportion of world GDP. But developing countries have to feed themselves first, and that requires a lot of cheap energy, and the cheapest way to make energy is to poison the rest of the planet. But they have an excuse. By contrast, since at least 25% of the US population is obese in the USA, feeding is more of a nuisance there, so the argument that Americans need more food can’t be used, except the other way: the cheaper the energy in the US, the more obese the Americans, so, to help Americans recover their health, they should go back to bicycles. More seriously, the USA should want to develop efficient energy technologies, otherwise it will have to buy them in Europe (this is already happening).

6) We did not mention coal as a solution in any way, because it’s not: the CO2 burning it creates cannot be re-injected into the earth, contrarily to the myth of “clean coal”.  The technology (which thrives in four special cases) simply does not exist in general (we do not know if it could exist, whereas we know that sea currents exist, and could be exploited; actually there are French companies deploying that technology further). The final outrageous number is that, per person, the USA uses emits more than three times as much CO2 as France (a rather big country arguably richer per person).

6) The strategic argument could be made that not developing the reserves of hydrocarbons the USA has is prudent, just in case. But if not used in the next 50 years, it is unlikely these reserves will ever be used. Indeed the Europeans are completely running out of old style energy, and developing very quickly new energies and efficiencies, so the USA is just left increasingly behind. Should this emergency unfold further, it is likely that the USA will become ever more aggressive in a military style way, a very bad example for others (such as the democratically challlenged China, Iran or Pakistan).