Saturday, September 17, 2016

Quora Questions #1

Is it possible that there are physics that we will never discover because our limited biological senses?

Answer - Not so much biological senses as we can build better equipment to increase the range but there are likely order of magnitude restrictions as we approach the extremes of the micro and macro world - Planck Time and Planck Length for example. We are already aware of the various innate limitations associated with Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle.

Why did earlier scientists not guess about the gravitational force?

Many of them knew about it they just talked about it in different terms - such as a natural attractor. Newton’s greatest breakthrough in this area was not so much gravity itself but the universal notion of gravity, or his realization that the same force responsible for the terrestrial phenomena acts as well in the celestial sphere and is key to our understanding of planetary/lunar motion.

If the Philosophers' Football Match from Monty Python actually took place, would the Greeks beat the Germans?

No because the Germans cheated and included Beckenbauer in their line up.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

The Alt Right

The banter around the political grouping Alt-Right seems to be trending lately largely as a result of its association with Trumpism and more recently Hillary Clinton’s reference to this linkage. But what exactly is the Alt-Right?
I first became aware of the phrase Alt-Right about a year and a half ago and have since learnt much about the streams of ideas that surface in the political sphere that it dominates. What follows is a combination of my observations, realizations and opinions regarding this movement.

  1. The Term ‘Alternative Right’ was first coined by the Paleo-Conservative thinker Paul Gottfried about a decade ago. However the derivative Alt-Right is more commonly used on the net. The term Dark Enlightenment is often employed synonymously with the Alt Right (read the work of Nick Land) but many Alt-Righters are not fond of the sinister implications of this designation.
  2. Alt-Righters tend to be unified in their opposition to both illegal and in many cases legal immigration (which sets them apart from most conservatives). Many are hostile to liberal democracy in its current form, champion isolationism, oppose free trade and as a whole are guided by a philosophy of a rigidly defined Race Realism that is opposed to miscegenation.
  3. Many Alt-Righters are White Nationalists and believe in a shared European identity that needs to be cultivated through education, political activism and ultimately the physical separation of race groups. Ingroup preference, it is argued, is followed by all ‘races’ therefore it should not be wrong if whites act accordingly.
  4. The movement is very much driven by the philosophy of decline (as are some Conservatives) but their race based ‘solution’ to this realization sets them apart from mainstream conservative support. For Alt-Righters the rot has set in and Western Civilization as it stands is heading toward an abyss driven by incompetent politicians, feminist shrills (SJWs), political correctness and toxic liberalism.
  5. Alt-Righters largely detest mainstream conservatives who they see as sell outs to a liberal establishment and thereby worthy of the crude epitaph cuckservative (a derivative of cuckold and conservative).
  6. Leading voices in the Alt-Right include Jared Taylor (of American Renaissance and Richard Spencer (a promoter of the Identitarian Movement) however Alt-Righters are largely decentralized and exert most of their footprint through the internet which has proved to be fertile ground for many of its ‘techsavy’ ground troops.
  7. It is incorrect to label Alt-Righters as Neo-Nazis, while some certainly align with this mindset the framework is broad enough that it includes Libertarians, traditionalists, paleo-conservatives and a host of other peripheral positions. It is not a Christian specific grouping and seems from what I have observed to contain many atheists, agnostic theists and European pagans. The commonality being an affection for European Civilization rather than a metaphysical belief system. Oddly enough many Alt-Righters are fairly liberal on social issues such as gay rights and abortion.
  8. Alt Righters are very much opposed to Islam however many are not fans of Judaism and in particular the Jewish impact on Western Civilization either. In the mind of many Alt Righters the Jewish elites have supported a policy of liberalism in order to water down establishment based anti-Semitism (a thesis advanced by the controversial academic Kevin MacDonald). The Jew is seen as the internationalist whose ultimate impact on European Civilization is negative (borrowing from Henry Ford). This opinion however is not shared by all Alt-Righters.
  9. Since it exists on the periphery the Alt-Right (just like the leftist radicalisms) has attracted more than its fair share of wackos, conspiracy nuts, hatemongers and marginal voices however it has several reflective thinkers who are well versed in philosophy, critical thinking and reasoned argument. Taylor comes across as such an individual as does the rising blogger star Millennial Woes.
  10. Alt-Righters tend to support Trump although some have probably come to their positions from various source backgrounds (not necessarily Republican). Most are Millennials or Gen Xers but don’t necessarily hold to the same positions of nostalgia that defines Paleo-Conservatives such as Pat Buchanan.
  11. While News Outlet Breitbart does at times articulate the Alt-Right position on some issues - particularly illegal immigration and Islamism - it is not seen as an Alt-Right publication by adherents to the movement.
  12. Genetics plays a key role in Alt Right philosophy which views almost all issues through the prism of race as a hereditary construct.
  13. While some Alt-Righters are white supremacists many are not preferring to couch their white Nationalism in the same veneer as any other type of nationalism viz. Asian, Black, Italian, Thai etc - That is the focus should be more about the in-group than the other.
  14. Many Alt-Righters are anti-capitalist and most are opposed to free trade. In this respect they again differ from Conservatives. In fact on economic issues some of the anti-capitalism drivers are not too distinct from that of the Radical Left.
  15. The Alt-Right is not (yet) a significant force in and of itself and would probably vanish into the political ether if it were not for the pro-Dem media and indeed the Clinton’s campaign to exaggerate their association with Trump.

As a Classic Liberal (Modern Day Conservative) I myself take issue with the Alt Right. Their fascination with race is wrong-headed, destructive and ultimately corrosive to Western Civilization. In a sense they are advocating a modern version of Fascism that is utopic in structure and at odds with the fundamental tenets of Burkean Conservatism. I am not convinced that the Alt-Right is even a philosophy of the right but more a mutation of identity politics, pseudo-science and a national socialism. However they do raise some valid points about the collapse of traditional structure within the nation state, top down social engineering and the challenges to our value system brought about by ill-conceived government policy. While I wouldn’t give the movement more credit than they deserve a free and open discussion of some of these ideas (however harsh they are) should be part of our own self-reflection, not necessarily for acceptance but to increase our propensity for informed decision.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Quick Note

I am working on a website that should be up and running by month's end. It will include a substantial amount of my writings on History, Philosophy and Science.

Saturday, July 02, 2016

Brexit III

The EU in itself is not an economic success at all and the fact that certain areas have been successful (parts of England) and the turn-of-the millennium Irish Celtic Tiger (in the past not as much at present) are a consequence of much needed free market reforms (Thatcherite revolution in the 80s and competitive opening up of the Irish economy) that occurred despite, rather than as a result of, the EU influence. In fact the Left largely rejected both of these drives when they were proposed.

Defenders of the EU often point to historical German (or West German) success however the economic groundwork for this country can largely be attributed to the pro-free market (less regulation intense) policies that came to define the Wirtschaftswunder (Economic Miracle) after WWII. These were engineered by Konrad Adenauer and his economic minister Ludwig Erhard and preceded the formation of the Common Market in 1957.

The claim that that the EU is in a better economic state than the US also lacks foundation. The numbers don’t bare this out both at present and in the past. Unemployment (U3 numbers) in the US is less than the EU average and regularly sits at a lower level than its Euro rivals (only 4 out of the 28 European countries currently have a lower unemployment rate than the US).  Spain for one has an unemployment rate that sits at a horrific 21.4% with youth unemployment residing in the stratosphere at the unbelievable number of 51%.

As for Scotland and Ireland both their respective unemployment rates are above the UK average. In fact at present Ireland sits at 9.6% well over double the German average.
Norway and Switzerland, both non-EU members, boast unemployment rates of 4.6 % and 3.4% each of which is ahead of the US.

In addition GDP per capita is 1.4 times higher in the US than it is in EU with only the Banker’s Republic of Luxembourg (hardly representative of the Bloc) exceeding the US. In fact 49 out of 50 US states have a higher GDP per capita than the EU Average. If the UK were an American state it would rank about somewhere around the 40 – 45 mark in state GDPs per capita. Forbes takes an even grimmer view.

Economic issues aside. The key driver for the population’s rejection of the EU mandate ie. The loss of local autonomy. For me this was the greatest concern (followed closely of course by the over regulation hysteria of the EU). I am surprised that a proud Celtic nationalist would not be more concerned? What’s the point of winning independence from the UK only to hand it over to faceless bureaucrats in Brussels? The Scots especially will be deeply impacted especially with regards to their North Sea Oil. This is one of the big reasons that Norway stayed out of the Union to begin with.

For more reading outside the echo chamber check out

Friday, July 01, 2016

Brexit II

This is my reply to an Irish Nationalist who pretty much damned the English to hell over the Brexit result and then called for union of the various Celtic Nations....

The EU is far from the success that you make it out to be. It has failed to stall the drop in European clout that has seen a drop in the region's Global GDP footprint from 25 to 15 % over the last thirty years or so. Many of the countries in the EU consistently demonstrate high levels of unemployment and wealth disparity in England in particular has actually widened (compare London to the rest of the country). 

My biggest problem with the EU and is that it has added a layer of government that is overwhelmingly bureaucratic. This has decreased the efficacy of grassroots activism and fostered a new elite focused on entitlement. Key autonomy has been lost and this is anti-democratic.It also has created unnecessary barriers to potential imports from outside the Bloc which have been particular tough on African and Asian producers (Is this fortress Europe concept not racist in itself?) while ensuring that prices in Europe remain high (fine for the elite but not everyone else). 

I am not convinced that Scotland will leave the UK (despite your wishes). I think that you are overselling the numbers. If they do so the Scots would likely have to forgo their investment in the British State mechanism (pensions and all) and drop the Pound (which is still a solid option as a currency for Third world investors particularly the Middle East). The Euro is highly volatile and has already been rocketed by several crises in Greece, Italy and Portugal to name a few. Others are likely to follow. It seems to me that your position is more motivated by an anti-English Irish jingoism than anything else although I could be wrong. Damning the English to history considering the brave stance of this people in facing Fascism in WWII is particularly galling (where were the Irish nationalists then?) . 

As for your take on Northern Ireland a closer breakdown on results from the referendum indicates that the vote was split along sectarian lines with many Protestants (who regard any union with Ireland to be toxic) voting to leave. I doubt as well whether the large Scottish protestant core would also back such an alliance with Ireland in a Greater Celtic Band.

Life thought

I think that one of the most important realizations one has to make as a parent is that your kids are not, nor ought they to be, a replica of yourself.

Brexit I

I think its too early to judge what the long term ramifications of the exit will be. Economists have a poor track record in long term forecasting and markets have a tendency to readjust rapidly (look at the Dow). One cannot judge any decision in purely economic terms as there are other numerous factors involved but I think that the Brexit vote is a welcome win for grassroots democracy.


Point to consider.....At a dermatology conference focusing on Acne do they have breakout sessions?.

On Diversity

Why is it when so many people talk about diversity its almost always diversity of skin colour or sexual preference? More important than that in my opinion is diversity of class or socioeconomic status. However what supersedes them all, and what is very rarely mentioned, is diversity of thought.

Soccer them or hate are a few

15 Greatest Cinderella feats at the World Cup or European Championship

  1. Denmark obtaining a late invite into the 1992 European Championship (Yugoslavia was banned from playing) and then going on to win the competition.
  2. Greece fighting their way to the final and then defeating hosts Portugal in the 2004 European Championship.
  3. Czechoslovakia defeating World Cup Winners and defending champion West Germany to win the 1976 European Championship.
  4.  North Korea defeating Italy 1-0 in the World Cup group stage in 1966
  5. The US defeating England 1-0 in the World Cup Group stage in 1950
  6. Uruguay defeating hosts Brazil in front of a crowd of almost 200,000 to win the 1950 World Cup
  7. Northern Ireland defeating hosts Spain in the 1982 World Cup Group stage
  8. Algeria defeating West Germany in the 1982 World Cup Group Stage
  9. Cameroon defeating defending World Cup Champions Argentina in the Group stages in 1990 and then going on to reach the quarterfinal
  10. Senegal defeating defending World Cup Champions France in the Group stages in 2002 and then going on to reach the quarterfinal
  11. South Korea defeating Portugal, Italy and Spain on route to reaching the semi-finals of the 2002 World Cup
  12. Costa Rica defeating Uruguay and Italy to reach the quarterfinals of the 2014 World Cup
  13. Bulgaria beating Argentina and Germany to reach the semi-finals of the 1994 World Cup
  14. Iceland 2 England 1 European Championship 2016
  15. Wales 3 Most expensive team in existence Belgium 1

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Free Trade Liberals

Its time for free trade liberals to be honest with themselves and admit that at the most fundamental level they abhor the nation state, which is ultimately why so many are enthusiastic about such trans national behemoths as the EU. For you see Nation States are impediments to the single market. They create barriers to prevent the free flow of goods and labour (the cheap kind especially) thereby producing complexities that stifle the uniformity that the ease of production ideal craves. In short, the nation state in the liberal view is an anachronistic nuisance that has survived from an earlier era but in the world of bloc trade ought to be relegated to the dust heap of history. Once it disappears then the market can truly dominate. The market of course being the very essence of liberalism.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Some more cool moments in Physics

James Clerk Maxwell unifies the world of the electricity and magnetism on a theoretical level and shows how the speed of light in a vacuum is a function of two key constants that govern each of the electric and magnetic fields. Maxwell’s work gives rise to the notion of electromagnetic waves two types of which will be identified by Heinrich Hertz (Radio Waves) and Wilhelm Roentgen (X Rays)

Max Planck solves the Blackbody Radiation Problem by arguing that energy is produced in discrete packets called quanta and that the Energy of each quanta is directly proportional to the frequency of oscillation of the quanta. Planck’s model answers the challenge of the UV catastrophe which classical physics had failed to adequately address. I developing his concept of the quanta Planck borrows heavily from the work of Ludwig Boltzmann, the father of statistical mechanics.Planck, himself is regarded as the Father of Quantum Mechanics (and indeed Modern Physics)

JJ Thompson determines the ratio of the mass of the electron to its charge. Robert Millikan will follow on later with a determination of the charge of the electron (through his oil droplet experiment) allowing for the eventual determination of the mass of the electron. Quantum nature of charge will play an important role in future developments in Modern Physics.

Henri Becquerel documents the realities of radioactive decay. Work will continue thanks to the research by Pierre and Marie Curie

Michelson and Morley Experiment shows that the Aether wind (thought to be the background of space) does not exist.