Vanity thought #1795. VC – Putting Vedas back into Cosmology again

Link: “Mystic Universe: An Introduction to Vedic Cosmology”.

We are near the end of the section on problems with modern science. I think most of them have been presented already, leaving only a discussion on dark energy and dark matter which be the subject of the next couple of chapters. So far we’ve covered things like speed of light, Doppler effects, parallax, luminosity, thermodynamics, general relativity and some aspects of quantum theory. I might be missing something but it’s a long list as it is. In every case the book highlights problems with each discipline and explains them through semantic theory where these problems do not arise. Semantic theory, in turn, needs an induction of several principles so far completely absent from modern science and in today’s chapter there’s an attempt to describe these principle in Vedic terms, then somehow the discussion shifts to dark matter and conversion flows gently into the next chapter where some outrageous things are stated, but all in good time.

Should dark matter and energy have gotten their own chapter instead of stealing the show in the middle of the Vedic explanation of things? Probably, but the reason they are brought here is that there’s a nice semantic explanation of what “dark” means which ties it up back Sāṅkhya. Should I follow chapter’s narrative or should I re-organize the ideas in some other way? Probably, but I’m not sure my alternative would be better. Reorganizing ideas is a good exercise which leads to deeper understanding so I’ll try for a change. There are two hooks into Sāṅkhya in this chapter and we can start with semantics first and then describe these hooks later.

First of all, in Sāṅkhya the universe is a space-time tree and objects in this tree represent not only mass, which is the view of general relativity and gravitational theory, but any kind of semantic information. Various forms of semantic information are related to each other as abstracts and contingents. The most contingent forms are sense objects and that’s all we can perceive directly. Sense objects are produced from sensations which, in turn, are produced from senses.

We all have senses, there should be no argument about that, so we can perceive colors and sounds, but the author makes an interesting twist here – can we see color itself? We can see red and we can see blue but those are properties of color, as in “red color” or “blue color”. We see red and blue but not “color”. Similarly, we can hear musical notes but can’t hear the tone itself. To make tone perceptible it must have added details to produce a contingent object, like C#. In the same vein we have vision but can’t see vision itself not can we hear hearing. Concepts such as color and tone are abstract and by adding details to them we can produces perceptible contingents, such as sense objects, and it works in the down-up direction as well.

In this way the universal tree can be traversed up to the root. From sense objects to sensations, from sensations to senses, from senses to mind, from mind to intelligence, and from intelligence to ego. Each step is more abstract than the next. When we go from the top down we get progressively contingent objects with more details added to previous abstracts.

In our everyday life we all have language terms to discuss those abstracts and our common sense understanding of reality is not that different from Sānkhya. Consider intentions, for example. We all have them but we can’t see them directly. To demonstrate one’s intention it has to be converted into perceptible actions with perceptible sense objects. That way intentions can be “proven”. Intentions are causes of our actions but they are not seen, only their effects are visible.

Problem for science here is that intentions are excluded and ignored, except for humanities maybe. In hard science causes are attributed to visible objects and their properties, e.g. mass causes gravitational pull. All other things like intentions, guṇa, karma, mind, intelligence etc are physically imperceptible and therefore, from science point of view, are “dark”.

That’s where there’s a hook between Sāṅkhya and science in this chapter – empirical observations of movements of stars and galaxies do not conform with predictions of gravitational theory and their causes are attributed to “dark matter” and “dark energy”. Dark matter pulls stars together and is responsible for celestial objects rotating slower than they should, as if planetary systems or galaxies had a large core of invisible mass. Dark energy works in the opposite direction and forces galaxies to speed away. We can see that, no one is denying it, but the causes of these effects remain hidden and called “dark”. It’s worth repeating that together this dark mass and dark energy account for 95% of the total matter in the universe.

If only they could accept existence of abstract objects instead of only physically perceptible ones everything would become so much easier.

The second hook into Sāṅkhya, actually the first in the chapter, is that all interactions in Vedic universe are governed by guṇa and karma. These two have no equivalents in modern science and they are also dark and imperceptible but in this chapter they are linked to quantum theory. Remember that chapter on slit experiment a while back? The conclusion there was that the number of slits affects the outcome and this is what guṇa is compared to here.

Guṇa is part of our existence which modifies incoming information and which determines how it is perceived. In my mind I keep comparing guṇa to goggle with which we filter our existence. In slit chapter it was compared to base counting system – decimal, binary etc, but this kind of notation doesn’t change transmitted number itself the way pink glasses affect our vision.

Karma is channels established in the transmission of light, or any kind of information. These channels were discussed when we talked about light not going in all directions but being transmitted straight to the destination. There was source S, destination D, and cause C. Karma is this cause which connects S and D and enables information transfer. Guṇa, for some reason is compared here to D, or the part of our body which receives the light. It could be a leg or mind or eyes, I figure, but it’s an unusual way to talk about guṇa that’s for sure. It will make sense in the section on astrology, I guess, where guṇa and karma are described as two distinct celestial systems. This will come up in the next chapter as well but only briefly.

That’s it, a rather long chapter is done in one post. I might have missed a couple of paragraphs but nothing important. next chapter is very short and there’s a chance of finishing the entire section this week.


Vanity thought #1794. VC – Getting off the gravi waves

Link: “Mystic Universe: An Introduction to Vedic Cosmology”.

Next up for assault and reinterpretation in semantic terms is discovery of gravitational waves, which was the major news as the author was writing the book. He clearly couldn’t restrain himself from making this late addition and this probably explains why this chapter gets somewhat fuzzy in the end.

Gravitational waves are not a new theory and their discovery doesn’t affect general relativity in any way but detecting them for the first time was nice. According to general relativity two black holes orbiting each other lose some of their energy in the form of gravitational waves and this amount increases as black holes come closer and closer. This was the first time when our instruments were sensitive enough to catch the wave generated by black holes in the last second of their lives before they collapsed into each other.

The discovery deserves a Noble Prize but the difficulty lies in crediting because people who first showed how it could be done have gotten their Nobels decades ago and the current effort can’t be attributed to any one individual or a group. What made the difference to waves being detected this time lies in increasing equipment sensitivity and that was a financial decision, not an even an engineering one.

Two long tunnels at the right angle to each other were used to shoot lasers and when space contracted due to gravitational waves these tunnels length changed and that caused a change in lasers phases, which was detected from a change in their interference as their waves blended. In short, gravitational waves make space bigger or smaller, and that’s what the book aims to explain from a semantic perspective.

If there’s transfer of information between two nodes of a semantic tree than the node that emitted the information would become “smaller” and the node that received the information would become “bigger”. Not the nodes themselves, I figure, but whatever is branching out of them. More information means more branches, less information means less branches with less details. Information transfer, therefore, would cause expansion and contraction of “space” where by space we must mean “everything that exists from that node down”. This is true for ANY information exchange, not just for gravitational waves.

Then there’s a floating half paragraph about detecting these contractions and expansions on the macroscopic level. I say “floating” because it is not anchored anywhere. What is the threshold for detecting macroscopic addition of information, for example? What would “information” mean in case of space expansion in general relativity? What is it that we are supposed to detect? Instead the book simply says that this information transfer need not be caused by two rotating black holes but it could be created by either a massive transfer of detailed information or a transfer of an abstract from which all these detailed information is produced.

How does that follow? There’s no connection whatsoever. In this case it would be nice to explain how amount of information translates into the size of space. It’s not obvious at all, though as I think about it I can see how what we call “space” can be expressed in terms of information describing it, pretty much like digitized images. I’m still not sure whether space expansion would affect its digital representation or not, or what space expansion actually means. As I understand it’s not about fitting more stuff in it but rather the time it takes light to travel through. Maybe one day I’ll stumble upon a clear explanation of this but today let’s move on with book.

So, it could have been a massive transfer of details or a smaller transfer of abstracts. One deep enough abstract can cause massive changes because it will affect all the contingent details so it’s not the size of the transferred symbol itself that affects the resulting change in size but it’s the type of this symbol. This is clear enough but has nothing to do with detection of gravitational waves, just a general principle.

In gravitational theory there’s an assumption of space made up of physical points and expansion and contraction are changes in the metrics of that space. In semantic theory space doesn’t exist a priori but is constructed from information for each particular point and “physical distance” between points is pointless itself because creation of two points doesn’t mean all points in between have been created as well. I mean we can create this point and that point but they won’t be connected to each other, as gravitational theory assumes.

The unlimited number of points making up straight lines is impossible even from quantum theory point of view and so any theory that supposes this will be inconsistent with quantum physics, which is another reason why general relativity can’t be reconciled with quantum theory and why we can’t create a unified theory of everything.

In the last paragraph the author drives the main point home, which is that in semantic theory there’s no contraction or expansion of space but there are differences in distance between two objects which we can measure semantically and translate into “physical distance”. How exactly it happens is not explained but let me try again.

What we call physical distance is, in fact, a difference between semantic description of two objects. I suppose the location property would be the main difference here but there could be other differences as well. To fill that informational gap a certain amount of information needs to be exchanged and the amount of that information could be expressed as “physical distance”.

What complicates this is that amount of transferred information doesn’t matter as much as its type so that some cosmetic changes to details might require a bigger transfer of detailed symbols while one abstract symbol would change the entire system at once.

At the end of the day another achievement of modern science has been explained in a semantic way, which we should not forget is the good old Sāṅkhya expressed in modern language, and that this approach does away with conflicts between relativity and quantum theory but it needs an induction of a new theory of abstract vs contingent “atoms”. Once we have those we can explain pretty much anything science throws at us.

We, of course, already have this new theory, it’s part of Sāṅkhya, but we need it to be accepted by scientists before they can unify their irreconcilable theories of atomic, macroscopic, and cosmic size objects.

Vanity thought #1627. Gravitational waves

The entire internet is buzzing with unexpected discovery of “gravitational waves” and this subject is sure to come in our discussions on science. I’m not a scientist but, out of personal vanity, I sure have an opinion that I consider valuable and worth sharing.

What happened was that two labs running LIGO project noticed a spike in their readings which indicate influence of magic gravitational waves no one has ever been able to detect before. Existence of gravitational waves was predicted a hundred years ago by Einstein himself but so far they have been elusive.

The problem is that on quantum level gravitational force is too weak to be studied in the lab and on this occasion fluctuations in this force have been spotted from interaction of massive black holes spinning around each other and then coalescing into one. Each of them was about thirty times heavier than our Sun do I suppose it was an exceptionally rare event on the universal scale and scientists were finally able to detect its effects with our existing technology.

What they used was lasers bouncing of mirrors and it’s the laser beams that were affected by spikes in gravitation. If you imagine a flat line that was interrupted by a single spike you would be wrong. The reality is that we have pretty loud gravitational noise in the background all the time and what scientists managed to achieve is register one little spike lasting milliseconds which resembled what they expected from the collision of these black holes, and not only that but the same spike appeared in two different labs thousands of miles apart at the predicted time interval. Right now they are convinced it couldn’t have come from anything else and this discovery has gone very public.

Could they be wrong? There’s no way to check and we should go on trust only. LIGO project is not nearly as massive as Large Hadron Collider but it’s still beyond the abilities of any single person to double check their findings. Officially it employs nearly a thousand scientists from a variety of fields as well over forty thousand volunteers working from home. Only very few people have the full overall picture and the rest do their own parts and do not fully understand the work of others.

This discovery is sure to earn a Nobel prize but the question now is exactly who is going to get it because even two-three people this project is associated with in the media might not be responsible for the actual breakthrough. The science behind it was known for decades so they didn’t discover anything unexpected and didn’t add anything particularly new.

There are three major components of this success. First is the laser interferometer itself, second is the supercomputers processing signals, and the third is organizational power behind it.

Let’s say we credit engineers of the laser interferometer but they didn’t discover anything themselves – it was supercomputers that were able to analyze received data and produce the result. Obviously we can’t give sole credit to engineers who managed the computers and designed the software either. LIGO project started in 2002 and ran for eight years without discovering anything and it was the significant upgrades undertaken since then that enabled us to finally register the sought out spikes. They say interferometers are four times more sensitive now then they were in 2010 and they are still not at their full design capacity which they expected to achieve by 2021. This is the case for crediting organizers behind the project who simply employed engineers like we employ contractors to upgrade our kitchens.

Eventually they’ll figure it out, of course, and it’s not very likely that scramble for credits will get reported publicly. There probably won’t be any scramble at all due to compartmentalized nature of the project and the decision will be left to Noble prize committee, I’m talking about this not because of awards but to demonstrate that peer review of a project of this scale is nearly impossible. Large Hadron Collider is not much different in this respect but they seem to be better organizationally prepared to least double check themselves, and they put out their raw data online, too.

Ok, let’s say they did discover these gravitational waves, now what? No one knows exactly because we’ve never seen converting mass and energy into gravitational force and there’s a lot of theoretical knowledge here that now needs to be confirmed. Experimental discoveries should be able to affect theories as well so no one knows the shape of science in the decades ahead.

Since they can’t build any larger colliders than LHC perhaps this will be the future direction of scientific push attracting funds and people. Will this allocation of resources be justified? No one really cares as long as it stays exciting and generates theoretical and experimental discoveries. What’s this science for anyway? Does it make any difference if they watch collision of subatomic particles in Switzerland or black holes billions of light years away?

Do they push science where it needs to go or let their minds control its course? Politicians might express the desire to crack alternative fuel or global warming challenges but it won’t have a major effect on the overall course of science if these fields are considered relatively boring, which they are. We should not allow ourselves to be fooled that science somehow follows some special rules of human behavior. Nope, even if they are less interested in fame and money they are still slaves to their minds and their superior intellect offers them extremely compelling justifications for their choices.

What do gravitational waves mean in our Vedic framework? Perhaps a few years from now some devotee would discover interesting ślokas but judging by how things are going with astronomy we are unlikely to see major breakthroughs in uniting modern and Vedic science so don’t get your hopes up. Personally, I’m satisfied with interpreting gravitation as property of water and don’t want to pursue this subject any further.

I mean they know the space – property of ether, they know force – property of air, they know energy – property of fire, now they found connection between these three elements and gravitation. Gravitation is a binding force and so should be related to water but I might be wrong and I’m also pretty sure that these concepts can’t be directly translated one into another.

Vedic elements evolve one from another so connection between them must be there, they haven’t discovered anything new. Nor have they got any closer to Kṛṣṇa as the Absolute Truth because whatever big or little steps we take do not get us any closer to infinity by definition. They call it progress but it’s a misuse of the term because they do not know their final goal and do not measure their advancement in the big scheme of things. It’s as much progress as hamster running in the wheel and counting his rungs. Yep, he is moving alright, the wheel is moving, too, the movement is measurable – everything looks fine, but in the bigger picture he is not going anywhere.

They might tell us about exciting new discoveries, new horizons, roadmap to success etc etc. This mood of theirs never changes and they have been pushing it on us as far as anyone can remember. Enough already, grow up and realize that real challenges in life can’t be answered by gravitation or quantum mechanics, nor by childish excitement about these things. Try to conquer your mind instead and earn the mercy of the Absolute, everything else is just a hobby you pick up while in prison, don’t pay too much attention to it.