Sunday, July 18, 2010

Engines of Creation.

by Louis B. Shalako


All Rights Reserved

Editor's Note: This is a marriage of science, religion and philosophy which should not be taken as a divinely-revealed truth.

An intelligent man might look at a grain of sand and deduce the universe. Is it such a stretch to look at the universe and deduce the presence of God?

The Bible versus evolution debate is always fun to watch. We must exercise our freedom of expression from time to time, to keep it strong, flexible, and adaptable.

Scientists theorize that the universe sprang into being through a singularity. A singularity is an infinitely small point in space from which infinite matter, energy, space and time exploded outwards in all directions at extremely high velocities. Public opinion, so often wrong, believes this happened in the centre of the universe, but this is a contradiction.

Where is the centre of infinite space?

Philosophers and scientists believe that if there is an effect, there must be a cause. The ancients called this ‘the first cause,’ or the ‘first principle.’

People who make statements regarding various religious faiths call this ‘God.’

It seems to me that evolution is one of the engines of creation, no matter how it all came about. And if God created the universe, He would have needed an impressive set of tools. These tools are the ‘almost-always immutable’ laws of nature.

Man may have been created ‘in God’s own image.’ I’m not competent to say. But man was clearly an imperfect being, as Adam and Eve quickly demonstrated. The truth as I see it, is that we are still evolving, at times perhaps not quickly enough. If we did not evolve, how could we account for nipples on men, the appendix, our relative hairlessness, wisdom teeth, or even just the crowding of teeth in our jaws, for that matter?

Anyhow, if God exists, surely He permeates and encompasses all things; including the infinity of the universe. He transcends everything—everything. He transcends everything by written definition. There's really only one other place to look. If you wanted to find God, the first place to look is in your own hearts. And if He’s not there, well, now you have your answer. Sometimes I go out back at night, have a smoke and look up at the stars. That’s when I figured out that time is like a Moebius strip, in the sense that it doesn’t have a top or bottom. Oh, and when people refer to a parallel universe, they fail to take into account the fact that it came from the singularity. There are no parallel universes—they’re all at a slight angle to each other. People like that tend to forget that a straight line is really just a curve of infinite diameter.

Yes. I just sit there and look up; wait and listen to those engines of creation.

Did you know there is another dimension? It’s a kind of force that cannot be measured or quantified, or proven in any way. I like to think of it as love—perhaps even God’s love. What could be better than that?

I suppose I really should quit smoking, but then, I don’t want to live forever.

That would just be crazy.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

You can train your brain.

by Louis B. Shalako


All Rights Reserved

Every interaction with another human being changes us in some small way.

We get another piece of information. We get another impression, another argument, another opinion, another question.

We get another piece of the puzzle.

And then we go on to the next person. When we arrive there, we enter this process as a new person, because the last encounter has changed us in some way. What this means is that we see the next person with a whole new perspective. Then the process unfolds again, and we get another new insight.

In this way, we grow as human beings.

In the words of popular self-help author Dr. Daniel Amen, you can ‘change your brain.’

What this means to me is simple.

‘Seek out new things, new people, and new ideas, for not to do this is to be isolated, and ultimately one will be the loser for it.’

It is not necessary to contradict every point of view one does not agree with. Sometimes it is enough just to sit back and listen, for surely the other person arrived at their present destination for a number of reasons.

And sometimes it is not necessary to draw any conclusions. One might just keep listening. One of the great challenges we face is that everything we know, is taught to us by other people. We have the right to pick and choose what we learn from them.

The key thing is to choose wisely.

Any other knowledge we have is a conclusion that we have made ourselves. If we are to protect ourselves in some way by being objective about conclusions drawn by others, then surely in the interest of protecting others, we should try to be objective about our own conclusions.

(For your own reading safety, comfort and convenience you might want to take everything I say with a grain of salt.)

'Draw your own conclusions.'

And, it might be wise to 'consider the source.'

In the interest of ‘factual accuracy’ I Googled Dr. Amen’s name to check the spelling. I originally wrote, ‘Dr. Gregory Amen.’ I had to change it. This is not ‘dogma.’ This is what the man himself honestly believes his name to be. I really can’t do any better than that, although I clearly don’t know everything.

I can assure the reader that Google did not write this for me.

The Neutrino. And Equilibrium.

by Louis B. Shalako


All Rights Reserved

Editor's Note: The following is science parody and should not be used as a cheat-sheet for college or university exams.

The neutrino is a particle with no mass or charge. It must occupy time and space, or one wonders how it was detectable with anything other than purely theoretical, or mathematical means.

First postulated in theoretical terms, the existence of the neutrino was later demonstrated in the lab. Certain characteristics, predicted mathematically, held true under experimental conditions.

A neutrino may be a kind of spherical force field, one which demonstrates the characteristics of both a wave and a particle. Considering other aspects of quantum physics, this requires a minimal stretch of the imagination.

Think of it as a bubble of force, analogous to one layer of an onion, but also exhibiting some aspects of a soap-bubble as well.

If you prick a soap bubble, the skin is punctured. Surface tension is held in equilibrium at a given size, by temperature, the amount of soap, and the amount of air blown in, and other similar physical factors, 'mathematical factors.'

When you puncture a bubble, it is no longer in equilibrium. All of the skin retracts due the the phenomenon of surface tension. It withdraws in a spherical fashion, and all the air rushes out through the hole. This is because of the light compression of the gas inside, (air,) due to the effects of elasticity, and surface tension.

The air pressure is what held the bubble at a given size, after all. Otherwise it would have shrunk in size until it was again in equilibrium.

What happens next is that the drop of soap jets off in the opposite direction from the jet of air. (Then gravity pulls it to the ground. That's why it falls in an arc, and not straight down.)

For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. Isaac Newton's First law of Motion, as I recall.

So when a neutrino is bombarded, another 'particle' may be dislodged, or loses coherence, and goes flying off someplace else. At some point the soap bubble analogy runs dry, but it might be best not to think of the neutrino as a particle so much as a force field.

The fact that a neutrino is 'uncharged,' may easily be accounted for by the notion of equilibrium. The neutrino has both a negative and positive charge of equal strength. In mathematical terms, these will simply cancel each other out.

One of the interesting things which I would like to know, is what is the temperature of an atom or particle at the core, or nanoscopic level, when all around, at my own level of 'reality,' it is 20 degrees Celsius?

Because that would affect my theoretical visualizations profoundly. Also, I just read something about ionizing radiation, and I need to go back and check that out again.

To report a typo, please e-mail

Friday, July 16, 2010

The Future Lies In The Past.

by Louis B. Shalako


All Rights Reserved

The papacy became vulnerable to attack in the 15th century due to the greed, immorality, and ignorance of officials at all ranks of the hierarchy.

Vast, tax-free church possessions, in some estimates amounting from one-fifth to one-third of all the lands of Europe, incited the envy and resentment of the land-poor peasaantry.

Humanism represented the beginning of classical learning in the 15th century. It displaced Scholasticism as the principal philosophy of Western Europe. It also deprived church leaders of their monopoly on learning.

More importantly, it destroyed their monopoly on teaching.

Ordinary people studied ancient literature. Scholars such as the Italian Lorenzo Valla critically appraised translations of the Bible. It wasn't long before people were challenging dogma and tradition that had stood sacrosanct for a thousand years.

If you substitute 'corporatism' for the papacy, and once you consider the fact that the internet is a great equalizer, then it is no wonder that mainstream media make fun of media such as the internet, facebook, youtube, bloggers, independent film-makers, self-published authors, and citizen journalists.

I see it as a kind of gallows humour.

I find the internet to be interactive, even kind of intuitive. And that's way better than passive and stupid.

At some point a show geared to 14 year old kids meant nothing to me.

Now I don't have to watch crap programming. If nothing else, I can create my own.

And sometimes, ladies and gentlemen, it's really good programming.

That's the part that worries me.

Because it is one hell of a responsibility.

Guys like me hold the fate of the world in our hands. That makes us thoroughly dangerous men.

Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

And you have to admit, I'm pretty ruthless.

In the world of the future, you will have six to ten billion channels to choose from.

And I promise not to bore you to death.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Excerpt from 'Core Values.'

After a long hot day in the sun, roasting on a roof at 30+ degrees Celsius, Chuck hit the button, and the windows of his medium-metallic blue minivan rolled down. The air conditioning wasn’t functioning, and he didn’t want to spend a hundred and eighty bucks for re-charging.

He could taste the flavour of a day’s work in his mouth as he drove. From that first cup of tea at five-thirty a.m., the Blim Blorton’s coffee, a large double-double on the ride to London; to the coffee out of the urn at his brother and sister in law’s place; and the pizza slices for lunch, and the doughnuts at nine a.m. and three-thirty p.m.. And a half a dozen doobies and thirty or so cigarettes. The taste of asphalt, the taste of insulation, the taste of blood, sweat and toil. The taste of grit. The smell of sweat wasn’t overly discernable, but the feel of dried sweat, the damp and tacky feel of the shirt in the armpits and chest areas was a reminder.

His nose was full of crust anyway, by the end of the day, and probably not working too well.

This time of year, there might be frost on the roof first thing in the morning. On bare plywood, it was very slippery. But you wore long johns, double socks, four or five shirts and sweaters. You warmed up pretty quick. Later, when the sun came out, if you were in a valley oriented to the sun, it got real hot in a hurry.

Sometimes you would peel off a few layers. Sometimes he brought his shorts and changed in the truck. To be too hot was just plain tiring. Bru absolutely despised the tickle of a ball of sweat, as it hung on the end of his nose, wobbling back and forth as he tried to do something.

Such was the lot of a roofer. Yet he liked it well enough. He sucked a bit on a skinned knuckle. That one would heal just fine. When the edges sealed up and began to heal, you had to make sure to let the pus out once in a while. Basically just lift up the edge of the scab with the tip of a clean pocketknife and push out the pus.

Cruising out of London’s north end on his way home, he used the cell phone to make a call. He felt like a good son, although he hated talking on the phone in traffic. After thirty rings or so; as he held on and gritted his teeth; finally the old man answered. Bru glanced at the dash clock as he greeted his father.

“I figure I’ll be home by about six or six-thirty,” Bru reported.

The elder Brubaker hemmed and hawed and said that was all right, and he would ‘wait until you get here before I start cooking…’

Spaghetti night, Bru recalled.

Fuck, why not start now?

But he kept silent.


Photo: Wiki. Author: vfu

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