Time Path – Exploring the past

How can we know that this Which caused that What?  It depends on how we use the timepath.

We continue where we stopped our discussion in  Time Path – The Flow of Time. and discuss how we identify what happened in the past. The timepath visualization of Fig 1 helps us understand the past.    (Click any figure for full resolution.)

Time path Slice

Fig 1 A vertical slice across the timepath establishes an instant for examination

Our timepath is formed out of the the Past (the unchanging record of events that have occurred) the Now (where possible actions are actualized to the events that form reality), and the Future (the open possibilities for potential actions that could become realized in the Now).

The horizontal direction ( ) is time direction leading from the Now, when such things started, into the Past.   A vertical slice ( | ) separates the timepath into left and right regions.  The perfectly thin slice is an instantaneous 3 dimensional  image of the entire universe.  The moment Now is an example of such a slice.

We start with a quick summary of what the timepath means, then examine how use slices and look at our Past to discover activity patterns.  We will reach 3 conclusions:

  1.  A timepath slice should be an instantaneous view of the universe, but – because every event loses contrast as it moves deeper into the fog of the past – the width along the timepath must increase as we move into the deeper past. Such a 3D separator marks an interval about a specific time in the past so we can label events as before and after.  Our choice of a boundary will effect our judgement of cause and effect.
  1. We cannot identify every last thing that happened on any chosen boundary, so differences in interpretations are inevitable.
  1. Since Now is the beginning of the timepath, it is NOT a “boundary” – it does not divide realized events into before and afterNow is one-sided, having only the entire Past before.

Continue reading

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Time path – the flow of time

What are the Past and Future? What is Now? The time path is interesting

Our experience of time is focused around what we describe as Now.  Before Now, there is no time containing any realized structure, just interconnected potential actions each with variably possible chances that coalesce into becoming the actualized events that are finalized Now.  After Now there are no probabilities for new things to occur.  There is just the past, as a record of events that have already happened.

I hope you are still with me after the twisted language in that paragraph, I have been working on the concept of time for many years.  Human words were not designed to discuss the structure of time, itself, so we will begin exploring what words imply.
Click any image for full resolution.

The path of time

Fig 1:  The time path. Activity flows from future probabilities to realization Now and into the past

Fig 1 is our picture to help focus the discussion.  The flow of an activity is from right to left in the picture, with Now being the focus of where things happen.

3 states of reality

  • Future (or potential), the assembly of all the possible ways potential events could happen. Reality happens when the amorphous ensemble of possibilities converge into actual events.  So the future is the potential for all that could happen,not a tangible, real condition.
  • Now (or becoming), the location where all the myriad possibilities solidify into real and unchangeable events.  This coalescing of all possible actions into real events has been called the ‘glowing,’ or ‘burning’ edge of time. It is where new actions form and our awareness happens. The flow of time does not stop because there is no firm paved path to walk along.  Time flow occurs because there newly crystallized events that becomes the new Now.
  • Past (or being), the location of fixed reality. The newly forming events push the ones that have firmly happened out of Now. This action generates the sequence we call the time path and forms the “past.”

This picture means that the future is not predestined, that it is the myriad formless ways that things could happen. Continue reading

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Obama, Overtime and Saez-Piketty

Obama’s new overtime rules will change business practice. What does they speak to: injustice, inequality or something else?

The July 1, 2015 New York Times Business section carried an analysis by Noam Scheiber on proposed new Overtime rules, Obama Overtime Rule Scratches the Surface in Helping the Middle Class.

Noam Scheiber, New York Times

Fig 1  Noam Scheiber, New York Times

Obama proposes new Overtime (OT) rules to help to push back the income inequality that has been growing in our country for decades. The Rule raises the threshold for people who may be exempted from additional compensation for more the 40 hours work in any week. These exempt workers are paid by salary, not by time clock records, and are not compensated for any additional work hours beyond the those 40.

Mr. Scheiber’s first comment is very accurate – Obama’s new Rules will have almost no affect on Middle Class income.

This is because it changes how to improve compensation for job related work hours beyond the standard 40  hr/wk. OT pay is not part of a contract, it is fortuitous money that occasionally arrives but cannot be included in a budget.  This rule will do little to nothing to offset the social income pump that shifts money from the lower wage workers into the accounts of the ultra wealthy.

Noam Scheiber ties the lack of effectiveness to the income inequality studies published by Emmanuel Saez and Thomas Piketty. The analysis ends with a solid discussion of what really is needed to begin addressing our ongoing income shift.   We examine his points with observations to underline his basic conclusions. Click any image for full resolution.

Overtime (OT) Pay

Currently, a salaried worker who makes above $23,660 may be classified by the company as an exempt employee (not eligible for OT pay).  Let’s examine whether a change would make a difference. Continue reading

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TPP to Piketty – The Slow War

Trans  Pacific Partnership, Retirement Security, and Piketty income inequality are backdrop to slow but very real warfare.

The TPP issue is not an isolated topic but part of deep background to an unspoken but real efforts to change the structure of the American republic.  We discuss it with 2 other issues. Our Outline:  TPPRetirement SecuritySaez Piketty inequality trends

The TPP negotiations are connected to the economic security now and in the future for retirees which is also tied to Thomas Piketty’s results on inequality. Click any image to see full resolution form.

TPP  Trans Pacific Partnership trade agreement

The TPP is desperately wanted by Obama and top Republicans.  There has been strong behind-the-scene maneuvering to give Obama fast track negotiation authority.

Barack Obama 2009-2016Barack Obama‘s fast-track negotiation authority has past through the House and Senate. He can now do with it as he wants.  He claims it will boost our trade, increase our net wealth, and be very good for the other signatories.

He may be right about that last point. You might agree with his other points, if you are one of the leaders of our largest corporations, or are the scion of one of our “old wealth” families.

Our Slow Revolution   It is bad for the rest of us, though.  The TPP is the current battle ground in our 35 year (and counting) struggle to convert our populist democracy into an hereditary oligarchy.  There has been much written about the trap TPP represents.

James Surowiecki

Fig 2 James Surowiecki, Columnist, New Yorker

Dean Baker

FIg 3  Dean Baker, Co-director, CEPR

James Surowiecki, Columnist for the New Yorker Financial Page, highlights  the frightening  issue of the Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) mechanism.

Dean Baker, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR), posted his analysis of TPP implications.

Our opposition follows both arguments. Continue reading

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NIF Notes_Hohlraum Spring-2015

Tiny target chambers may become rugby footballs. Will these save ICF/IFE?

During the early spring (2015), the National Ignition Facilty (NIF) at LLNL released/published several modifications to the target design that are worth mentioning.

  • One is the realization that the gossamer tents used to hold the spherical targets in place actually cause detrimental asymmetry in the resulting implosions. Report
  • One is the demonstration that thinner ablative shells around the targets implode faster, with better spherical symmetry and with no shell mixing into the fuel that that might poison ignition. Report    most exciting of the three.
  • One was the future shift to a new hohlraum chamber shape, changing the current (nearly) open cylinder to an egg shaped one with holes in the two ends.

These are all good steps forward; here we discuss the Third point, on the chamber that surrounds the target to be imploded.This is called the hohlraum (German for hollow cavity).  Click any figure to see its full sized image.

Fig 1 shows both the old and newly proposed designs. The images are of the two assembled hohlraums in their mounting frames.

  • Old:  Standard style:  cylinder with rounded end caps.  10 1/8 mm long by 5 3/4 mm inside diameter (ID), with rounded end caps and large hole for the laser beams. Images show the symmetry is damaged by very large diagnostic ports in the side.
  • New:  Proposed prolate spheroid rugby design:  11 mm long  by 7 mm maximum ID (one published proposal).  Diagnostic ports are not as visible – must be present!
Holhraums cylinder + rugby NIF

FIg 1  NIF hohlraum designs.  Left– standard cylinder, 5.75 mm ID.   Right– new rugby, 7 mm max ID.  Top– concept designs for the two types, with 2.2 mm capsule located at center of cavities.  Bottom– images of actual chambers. Hohlraum photos:  LLNL

For reasons we discuss here, cylinders have not worked very well. So NIF scientists propose replacing the standard shape with a larger and more interesting one. Continue reading

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Physics – Science or Ideology?

Should physics theories be tested – or just accepted?  So asks essay the in New York Times

Adam Frank  and Marcelo Gleiser discuss whether Physics has moved beyond the need to be checked.  Their essay (Sunday New York Times 2015-Jun-7) is on science vs empirical evidence (experimental verification)

“Today our most ambitious science can seem at odds with the empirical methodology that has historically given the field its credibility”

2015 Marcelo Gleiser 450x450

Fig 1B  Marcelo Gleiser, physicist

Frank Adams, astrophysicist

Fig 1A  Adam Frank, astrophysicist

“How did we get to this impasse?” they ask.  Then they discuss the Higgs particle that generates a core part of any particle’s mass.  It was predicted 50 years ago and measured last year.

The Higgs is the “lynchpin of … the Standard Model” of particle physics, a powerful mathematical theory that is known to contain problems, but can not be extended.  New theories have elegant math, are each hailed as “the” organizing principle of the universe, but have not predicted anything new.  Are our standards for science changing? Continue reading

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NIF Notes_tents Spring 2015

The NIF fusion lab reports that their target support structure could hurt implosion results – our discussion.

During the early spring (2015), the National Ignition Facility (NIF) at LLNL released/published several modifications to the target that are worth mentioning.

  • One is the realization that the gossamer tents used to hold the spherical targets in place actually cause detrimental asymmetry in the resulting implosion.
  • One is the demonstration that thinner ablative shells around the targets implode faster, with better symmetry and with no shell mixing into the fuel that could poison ignition. Report    most exciting of the three.
  • One was the future shift to a new hohlraum chamber shape, changing the current (nearly) open cylinder to an egg shaped one with holes in the two ends. Report

These are all good steps forward. Here, we discuss the First result on tents.  All our links are to no-charge reports from phys.org, an important source of physics updates, out of the U.K.

Gossamer Tents

Support Tent

Fig 1  Support Tent

A tent is the support structure that holds the spherical target capsule in place. Made of 2 very thin plastic membranes that encapsulate the target.  You can see for yourself how this works using a ping-pong ball and sheets from a roll of kitchen plastic wrap.

Fig 1 is my (very slight) markup of an image LLNL makes available.  Tent sheeting has been tested with thicknesses from 12 to 300 nm. Very fragile since a molecule of “plastic” might be only 10 nm in mean diameter — sheets 1 to 30 molecules thick!  They mention that the thicker ones are more reliable with heavy targets. Continue reading

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