Wednesday, March 26, 2014

How Easily Your Mind can be Subject to Ideas

Have you ever noticed that the word "phonetically" is not spelled phonetically?

Have you ever noticed that a large blank space between phrases often makes you pause, just a little, to comprehend the first phrase?  It's as if the large empty space is the pause itself.

Have you ever noticed those little, colorless and transparent, circles that float in front of your eyes?  Apparently, so I've heard, they're dead blood cells.

Have you ever noticed how susceptible your mind is to ques and subliminal messages, how subjective it is?

Have you ever wondered if your thoughts were your own?  I believe everything is connected: that everything that happens or will happen is unquestionably the consequence of something or a combination of things that happened before.  So, if that is the case, are your thoughts really your own or are they the consequence of all the many, countless things that have happened in your life?  This brings up other questions: are you really in control of your own life? how easily can your mind be manipulated? how would you define the word "you"; what is the word worth?

If you're like most people who have read this post, you will at least ponder the questions mentioned here for at least a second: repeat them in your head, take a moment to absorb them and ask what they're worth to you.  (However, if you're a busy teacher skimming this over who has multiple classes-worth of work to grade, an exception can be made in your case.)   This is one example of how easily your mind can be controlled.  And the crazy thing is that you would have most likely thought a bit about how easily your own mind can be manipulated after reading this post; but after reading this sentence, there is no doubt you will.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Time Reversing; Aging Stopping; All of Time Happening at once

It was brought to my attention that my thought process was incomplete in my last post about change changing.  A comment, left by Gianni Dicintio, pointed out that change can change without stopping entirely.  However, exploring the possibilities of change changing without stopping leads into even more abstract answers: either time going in reverse, aging stopping, or all of time happening at once.

The first example of change changing without stopping would be time going in reverse.  This would suggest  that aging itself would be reversed: living things would start out dead, become old, then young, then return to the womb.  However, the word "reversed" implies that something has changed to operate or
be in an opposite state compared to the norm; this would mean that the natural way of life would have to have been to be born and  then die before it was changed.  And this change would only be significant in living things.  Other things like concentrations of elements that are not considered living, if we are to accept the theory that the Universe explodes and implodes over and over for eternity, do not have a death or a birth because it is natural for them to form and deform in ways that are not so easily defined as either death or birth; it is much easier to identify the death and birth of an organism because they operate in a much more organised and methodical way than  most other things of the world.  There is one other way that time reversing could happen: living things could remember all of what will happen as they work their way backwards through life.  In this way, it is much easier to say that change has changed.  However, this possibility is still only relative to the way things once were: if time had naturally operated this way or if it worked differently before.

The second example is aging stopping.  In this way change would not have stopped altogether, rather it would have stopped only in particular areas.  Change could still happen as movement would still be possible. On the other hand, nothing would ever grow old and die.  Not even the stars would burn out, black holes would never disappear, carbon dates would never alter, the water cycle would come to a halt, erosion would stop, and so would the rock cycle.  This example of change changing is only possible if aging had once existed but for some reason ceased at one point in time.

The last way change can change is all of time happening all at once.  This theory would be disproved as a way change can change because, as we all already know, two objects cannot occupy the same space;
thus, all of time happening at once, according to the laws of physics, is impossible.  Despite the facts, if time were to have all its parts operate at once, this would be another way change could (in the imagination of the human mind) change.  This idea is the most abstract theory of them all, I think.  I'm unsure how the world as we know it would work in that kind of setting.  I guess we can just watch Doctor Who's 5th season finale, The Big Bang, to find the answer.

Unlike in the last post, I am unable to put forth any scientific or theoretical explanation for these anomalies to ever occur.  How time would ever reverse or aging would cease is beyond my knowledge.  Even so, if any one of you who read this post has more to offer in terms of explanations for the anomalies I have listed above, or if you can think of other ways change could change, please leave a comment below.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Can Change Change?

Here's an interesting thought: can change - becoming different, taking use of one thing over another, the act of deviating - change?  Everything we as modern humans in this American society know about the world involves change: Darwin's theory of evolution and natural selection, chemical reactions, politics, economics, our own emotions and relationships with other people, aging, seasons, health, the time that passes in a day, and of course death; all of what we do revolves around keeping time and finishing projects on deadlines, getting to work on at the proper hour, remembering to eat breakfast and lunch and dinner, and fitting in a little TV before bed.  All of the above are various forms of change.

The whole Universe is even in a state of change.  Almost everything orbits around the other: moons around planets, planets around stars, stars and their whole solar system around the middle of their galaxy.  Only galaxies, according to Newton's 1st law of motion, will travel in a straight line.  The Big Bang theory by Edwin Hubble states that the Universe is constantly expanding, stretching farther and farther across the vacuum of outer space.

With this in mind, can change, the very thing that keeps life as we know it continuing, change?  What would it even mean if change changed?  If change changed then everything would cease to move, progress, develop, adapt, or evolve; in other words, change would stop.  The world would forever be in a complete standstill; nothing new would ever happen.

The next question that arises from such an idea of change changing is could it ever happen?  A popular theory is that the universe periodically expands and contracts: exploding and imploding over and over and over again.  This is an explanation for how the universe maintains constant change.  Another theory is that the universe will continue to expand forever.  In this theory there is a possibility for a near complete standstill of all the many parts that create the universe.  If the universe continues to expand forever, eventually as all the pieces of the universe become too far apart to interact with each other anymore then what is called the Big Freeze will occur.  Stars will burn out one by one, black holes will disappear, and all that will be left is a universal value temperature covering the remaining world filled with only dark matter.  Even then, the dark
matter's protons and neutrons will all eventually decay into photons and leptons that are so unimaginably far apart from each other that essentially they will never interact.  Even then, since movement is derived from the changing - key root word: change - of position between two or more objects then technically speaking change would never have changed (stopped).  But this is the closest way that change can ever come to changing to my understanding.

Hypothetically speaking, disregarding the science behind what would have to happen for change to come close to changing, if change changed (stopped) in this very moment, what would it be like for all things on Earth?  Would we humans and other lifeforms even be aware that the whole Universe has come to a halt?  Would we have essentially died?  Benjamin Franklin once said: "If you are finished changing, you're finished."  Could this be true?  If everything in the world as we know it stopped changing then time would stop, leaving us unaware of our own very presence in the world.  And once change has changed, can it ever revert to normal?  If at any point in time change changed, would that mean we and everything else would remain frozen - dead - forever?

I have a limited understanding how true or plausible any of these theories or possibilities I have listed above are.  If you would, leave a comment below giving your own opinion: tell if you think any of what I have described above is possible and why or why not.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Can Communism Work?

Is it possible to have a non oppressive communist society?  My friend, Spencer Morton, and I took another poll on this topic.  We have talked about communism many times and how it has never proven to be a viable option for a governmental system.  No countries have successfully upheld the idealism of communism; they've all devolved into oppressive, dictatorial nations.  But just because communism has yet to prove its viability, does that mean it cannot work at all?

Communism is the idea that all citizens of a particular society receive equal share of all resources owned by the government.  Ideally, this system will remove poverty and the over wealthy so that all citizens have the same benefits as the rest; so that they are all one class.

Though it is a great ideal, it usually fails in the long run for several reasons: lack of innovation, lack of a market, and the fact that communism is a form of a totalitarian government.  To explain what I mean, because everyone gets equal share of resources owned by the government in a communist society, there is no drive to improve: no innovation.  This means that nothing progresses in the country.  The economy of the country turns into a downward spiral because there is a lack of motivation for the citizens to improve their efficiency in their work.  Also, as an effect of equal share of resources, products manufactured in communist countries are often shoddy; and the fact being that they are all equally priced, there is no way of telling what brand of a product to buy or invest in, no way to tell which one is better or worse.  What's worse is that the shoddy brands of a product never go away because bankruptcy is an impossibility.  In short, marketing becomes a lost art in communist societies, eventually becoming nonexistent.  The last point to be made is that communist societies have too much power in their government.  There are no procedures set in place to remove incompetent people within the government.  The imbalance of power is to great to be handled with responsibility.  The government seems to instinctively take advantage of its overabundance of control.

I have found no facts or examples that suggest communism can work as a societal system; however I haven't gone as far as I can in search for answers.  Debatably, tribal communities can be considered communist; such communities gather as much food and water and other various resources as they can and share it equally with their members; tribes usually have a chief that holds all the power in the tribe; but it is also debatable whether or not tribes are oppressive, or free, societies.

The question my friend and I took a pole on was if there could ever there be a non oppressive communist society.  In theory, the overall consensus of the people we surveyed was yes, there could be.  Here's a table of the ratio of yes to no answers:
I don’t know