In Defense of Hope

It is a time of great promise, and a time of terrifying consequence. It is in the contradiction of hope and certainty that we teeter, lifted by the thrust of hope at times in defiance of the captivating passivity of those who are certain. It is a time when our great scientists, led by numerology, proclaim an infinite collections of universes, none reachable, none palpable, a phantasm. By their predictions, we are led to spend many tens of billions of dollars in search of the useless Higgs Boson, the only value of which would be to further fortify their position as ministers of gloom. Billions more to build bottles for the sun, with magnets and lasers and a stellar record of failure.

We live on a planet losing the stability of its climate in a fascistic, idiotic debate of its cause. The debate is led by those who profit greatly from that cause and used as a distraction from the obvious fact that, whatever the cause, we are in a position to do something about it but fail to act because it would be difficult and uncomfortable, especially for the promoters of confusion and greed.

Our numbers are far too large for this poor planet to support the way in which we have chosen to live. At the same time the suicidal and fatalistic spiritual leaders would banish birth control AND deny a woman’s right to decide to have or not have a child. The many millions of homeless, suffering, orphaned and ill roam the refugee camps and die in our alleys. Our religious institutions and spiritual leaders are bankrupt. They not only lack relevance to the problems of the modern world, they perpetuate them. None in the midst of the so called spiritual leadership has the ability to look this squarely in the eye and proclaim their failure.

The great inventions of the computer age have interconnected us in unimaginable ways and have put the collected knowledge of the human race at our very fingertips. However, a dispassionate look at it shows a degeneration into advertising, self indulgence, warfare, hatred and mind control that are truly the stuff of despair. We are willfully building the tools for becoming a race of zombies living in an artificial world. “The Matrix” was not far off in some very important ways, but I fear that the human race, in the end, will not be subjugated but will volunteer to live in a fantasy world until the tree that was the human race rots at the root and falls to decay. I could go on and, so too, I suppose could you.

The pathoskeps in their relentless drive to discredit and defuse the advent of LEARN, have sometimes accused me of believing in LEARN research because “I want it to be true,” and that my position is based on hope alone. I am guilty as charged and, further, I not only agree that that is true, I present the idea that OF COURSE I advocate for a huge project, bigger than the Manhattan Project, to understand and master the forces and reactions involved in LEARN based on that HOPE. I defend my hope, and accuse the pathoskeps of being without hope, fatalistic and moribund!

Look for instance to the Cosmological Anthropic Principal. It is a rich and important new area of philosophical reflection on the nature of the reality in which we find ourselves. Briefly it examines the concept that in order for us to exist, the various constants which make up the assumptions used by science to describe reality must have values in a very tiny range. The “standard model” requires 25 such constants, and many other constants are needed to explain the various and many emergent properties. The question is “why is it that the universe has those values required for us to be here observing it?”

See Anthropic Principal on Wiki.  The following is copied from that article.

Paul Davies’s book The Goldilocks Enigma (2006) reviews the current state of the fine tuning debate in detail, and concludes by enumerating the following responses to that debate:

1. The absurd universe: Our universe just happens to be the way it is.

2. The unique universe: There is a deep underlying unity in physics which necessitates the universe being the way it is. Some Theory of Everything will explain why the various features of the Universe must have exactly the values that we see.

3. The multiverse: Multiple Universes exist, having all possible combinations of characteristics, and we inevitably find ourselves within a Universe that allows us to exist.

4. Intelligent Design: A creator designed the Universe with the purpose of supporting complexity and the emergence of Intelligence.

5. The life principle: There is an underlying principle that constrains the universe to evolve towards life and mind.

6. The self-explaining universe: A closed explanatory or causal loop: “perhaps only universes with a capacity for consciousness can exist.” This is Wheeler’s Participatory Anthropic Principle (PAP).

7. The fake universe: We live inside a virtual reality simulation.

Out of hand I reject 1, 5, 6, and 7. You may not, but I do. If anyone is interested send me an email, and I will briefly tell you. That leaves #2 The unique universe, #3 The Multiverse and #4 Intelligent design. In fact, I also throw out The Multiverse because I just find it to be insane to use our existence as the basis for proposing an infinite number of other universes, none of which we will ever be able to detect. So, IN MY VIEW, either we have a universe in which there is a yet to be discovered unifying mechanism which makes it necessary that the universe is that way we find it, OR, there is, to be brief, a GOD who created the universe in such a way as to permit our being here.

So, one source for my “hope” is just this: The origin and evolution of life, the emergence of self awareness, of consciousness, the march to civilization, the advent of the scientific method, the hand in glove connection of scientific insight and technology, the fact that reality is understandable at all in mathematical terms, the appearance of solutions to problems as if the universe were a giant puzzle put here to test us and reward us, and lead us to a further development of consciousness and further existence all lead to believe in some mystical, spiritual content to reality itself and our being here at all.

Now, all of the dark, unavoidable problems sketched out at the beginning of this article cannot be denied and, yet, looking backward in time, ala Richard Dawkins in “The Ancestors Tale,” reveals not only a universe which is uniquely suited to our existence but also to a HUGE series of improbable events, real long-shots, which all needed to have occurred for us in particular to be here. Again, we are here, so all of those unlikely things must have happened. I am aware of the paradox of “survivorship bias”, but hope springs to my heart from the faint possibility that we are, in fact, SPECIAL! Not only is the universe constructed in such a way as to make it possible for us to exist, our particular history of countless unlikely events, each of which needed a particular unlikely outcome, has made it such that we DO exist. So, I have hope, and use that as a source of energy to continue looking for the next miracle to continue the sequence, the unlikely run of luck that has put us here and me at this keyboard. The pathoskeps can spin on a divot in their relentless efforts to return us to the putrid passivity that has come to define the stagnation of our entire world culture.

Oh, and if you don’t think it is possible that professional bloggers are used to influence public opinion in a number of areas, including LEARN, read this. Anyone who cannot understand that a conspiracy to silence LEARN is POSSIBLE, even LIKELY is a self-deluded patsy. In fact, I see the existence of many of the relentless propagandists attempting to control public perception of the advent of LEARN on some other sites as strong evidence that LEARN is real. In an interesting and quite enlightening post on another site, one of the more notorious and infamous propagandists was recently called out because his campaign of disinformation had become so over the top and, quite frankly, obvious. Click here to read (comment by user “Barking Monkey” on April 2, 2012 at 8:23 pm). This prolific pathoskep never returned in defense of himself (or his team) …but I would expect that is only a temporary respite as the advent of LEARN marches forward.

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25 Responses to In Defense of Hope

  1. Ben says:

    A conference entilted “The Atom Unexplored” is to he held in Turin, Italy on May 4, 2012. Speakers will include Prof. Peter Hagelstein of MIT and Prof. Francesco Piantelli. The conference will cover both high-energy nuclear reactions and low-energy nuclear reactions. Read commentary regarding this conference on 22Passi. There is a web site but there is nothing there of substance as of yet.

    Of note, presentations from last week’s conference in Siena are now linked on Cold Fusion Times. Right now they are the second item down on the left-hand side of the page.

  2. Ben says:

    Sen. Bruce Tarr Visits the JET Energy NANOR IAP Demonstration at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

    Dr. Peter Hagelstein, MIT alum Dr. Brian Ahern and others meet with the Massachusetts state senator.

    Cold Fusion Times

  3. VaporVacuum says:

    Now times is mature: every day you will see new sites asking for money to give the dreamed cold fusion to humanity….Rossi 45MW plant will not be that cheap -. would not you give him 50 millions dollars for that? C’mon, is free energy… And look around: you will ever find an Open Source Lern Project from a smart one in Nevada…he needs only sometimes to organize a thailandhia Trust to tell you where to send money (even a penny could help, as long as more than a billion of people send him…); the italian Celani already asked for investments in research (not only private, also public ones) and it was not a small request (oh, yes – a cheap one for free energy, a big one for university while crysis still stand across Usa and Europe). Would not give money yourself?…

    • Ben says:

      I’m not really sure why you feel researchers asking for money is something wrong or to be suspicious about. Where do you think people who do scientific research get their money from exactly? Usually the money comes from the government or investors, sometimes both. And to get the money you have to ask for it. Governments and investors most often do not give money to those who don’t ask for it or act like they need it. Certainly as more researchers enter this field, there will be more people asking for government and investor money. It only stands to reason. It is not really that complicated.

      Nobody said anything about free energy. That is your assertion, not anyone’s who actually is involved in the field in serious capacity The assertion is merely troll bait and I won’t waste my time responding to it.

      Ciao

      • alaincoe says:

        motivation and incentive are not so bad to orientate research, but the problem of todays regulation is that there is too much consensual rules to decide what is good or bad.

        in the old time, research was done with individual money (thus own motive), with differing sponsors, having different beliefs, religions, geography, idea communities, scientific beliefs…

        today from US to japan there are supposed good rules for research criteria. all the same across the world. there is a common accepted definition of pathologic science, of impossible things, of research goals…

        so same mistakes are done everywhere, and no escape for genial ideas that are not consensual.

        private or public cash is not the problem. over control and rationality is the problem.
        like Fleischman said, he did not find usable LENR because crazy sideway ideas were not allowed.

  4. Ben says:

    More from NETS courtesy of Cold Fusion Now

    Session 462 Advanced Concepts: LENR, Antimatter and New Physics

    http://coldfusionnow.org/?p=15644

  5. Ben says:

    Slide show presentation of Piantelli’s work from Siena conference

    Courtesy Akira Shirakawa on Vortex-l

    https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B6id5Hf-xMWOYXVjekJCN1ZkQk0/edit?pli=1

  6. Brad Arnold says:

    Since this appears to be a rather far out posting, I will return the favor:

    I personally think it all revolves around the coming Singularity, when machine minds are built that can engineer even better machine minds, and also to do scientific discovery better than humans. Obviously, the Singularity has happened before in this universe, and probably in the galaxy, so it is predictable that mind is practically transcendent.

    BTW, I also think that quantum entanglement is a partial explaination for the evolution of life on Earth (the other partial explaination is evolution – survival of the fittest). In other words, the structure of life on Earth is related to the life in other location in the universe because of interaction between molecules across vast distances.

  7. Ben says:

    Preliminary report from the conference in Siena. Nothing earthshattering but some interesting notes…like both the Shell and Exxon oil companies had representatives present. Still waiting for a report by Piantelli associate Roy Virgilio, who said he would provide a summation of the proceedings.

    http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=auto&tl=en&u=http%3A%2F%2F22passi.blogspot.it%2F2012%2F04%2Fnotizie-dalla-certosa-di-pontignano.html

  8. Ben says:

    More FUD from Mark Gibbs over at Forbes. Now Gibbs is trying to contend that blogs, like this one, are some kind of SCHEME to create the appearance of a grass-roots movement for LENR, when in fact no such interest exists. A quite unbelievable assertiion really, but Gibbs seems to have convinced himself that this is the case.

    Astroturfing Cold Fusion: Making the Promise Seem Real

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/markgibbs/2012/04/14/astroturfing-cold-fusion-making-the-promise-seem-real/

    • Alan DeAngelis says:

      Come on Ben, face the facts.
      “Anyone who expects a source of power from the transformation of the atom is talking moonshine”
      Ernest Rutherford

      • Ben says:

        LOL. Good quote Alan. I ain’t much for talking moonshine, but a sip now and then sets me right. Maybe this is what this story needs, moonshiners in the backwoods cooking up LENR fuel. Git-R-Done……

        There is a show on one the “smart channels” about a father and son who live in Alabama. The father spent his life working for NASA in Huntsville and his son currently works there and is a rocket scientist. No joke. They’re down home folk but they are really super intelligent as well. The show features them building all kind of odd machinery. I think I need to call them and get them on the case. Although, working for NASA, maybe they already are!

    • Anony Mole says:

      You don’t think Gibbs will be one of the first MSM reporters to announce irrefutable proof, once it’s available? Why even bother to keep the topic alive if there’s nothing really to report? His claims of “astroturfing” is shallow and insubstantial I’ll agree, every controversial subject on the net will have had similar treatment but that doesn’t mean intentional superficial media blanketing. Keeping the topic in the media will at least maintain the consciousness of the subject no? To me Gibbs sounds like the rest of us – hopeful skeptics.

  9. Anony Mole says:

    I’m a bit worn out regarding this LENR business aren’t you? Thousands of words, dozens and dozens of posts here and there; reading every tiny scrap that comes across the wire. Ye gads, if I could have been paid for all the mental and finger energy I’ve put into this topic I might be able to pay for a decent hobby by now. But instead, my only hobby is that I keep trawling the LENR sources thinking I might pick up the final telltale leak that squirts out and lets us all know that we haven’t been spending this time in vain.

    I read Paul Davies’ “The Eerie Silence” which tended to confirm my original beliefs that we/earth/universe are the result of one hell-of-a fantastically improbable roll of the dice. I’ve compiled a personal list of facts that layout what it took to get me here, typing away, wishing I was fishing somewhere instead. Let me just say that, we, the survivors, are an astounding lot. Mr. Davies was kind enough to even reply to a few questions I had about his book. I love when authors do that.

    Maybe, with LENR, we won’t need so much military. Energy resources seem to have been a major cause for conflict these last 30-50 years. But then again, with another billion people all trying to raise themselves up into the middle class, the new “Resource Wars” may be just starting. With nearly free energy arriving soon, energy won’t be the problem, it will be the lack of rare earths, diamonds and gold that we think we all will need that will be the new bottle neck in the world’s economy. “I want my MTV; and so do you, and you, and you…”

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  12. Len R says:

    Do you mean LENR? maybe your spell check changed it to LEARN

    • Thomas Baccei says:

      Sorry Len, that’s just my style: LEARN Low Energy (Lattice Assisted) Reactions – Nuclear. It’s not a very good acronym, but it just is more fun when I am writing. It’s a much better Meme, too.

  13. zvibenyosef says:

    Thank you for a most interesting post, I really enjoyed it. I also agree with most of what you say, however I believe that the multiverse may indeed be a real possibility, and should not be excluded just because the idea is rather counterintuitive. When quantum mechanics was first postulated Albert Einstein was quite sceptical and famously said “God does not throw dice”.
    If you allow that there exists a unifying principle underlying all existence, which we shall call God for want of a better word, and if this unifying principle is infinite, containing all possible universes and every possible outcome, then this model of reality actually corresponds quite closely with the 10 dimensional model proposed by string theory. There is a fascinating book called “Imagining The 10’th Dimension” by Rob Bryanton. He has a website with several videos to illustrate these ideas
    http://www.tenthdimension.com/flash2.php
    He also has a site in which he discusses the more spiritual aspects
    http://www.tenthdimension.tv/
    I recommend the book and these sites
    Best wishes
    Zvi

    • Thomas Baccei says:

      Zvi,
      You know what, I agree in principal about the multiverse having a lot of curious hints pointing to it as a possibility. However you may as well talk about heaven since no way will likely ever exist to verify the existence of even one “extra” universe. I simply cannot find any value in building a belief system which has no use, and no verification. While an “intelligent designer” will also never have any verification, the premise I have stated regarding the use of it as a philosophical factor in our decision making is that it can provide an optimistic framework in which to face the challenges of existence.
      The irrational continuation of the long string of improbabilities which has led to our being here, is to posit a solution to our current dilemma, this time based on human ingenuity in “discovering” an energy source which teases us over and over again with hints of its existence. If we fail to truly use our societies best efforts to get to the bottom of it, then in the end days, we can slap our collective foreheads, and understand that it was our own lack of will which, in the end, doomed us.

      • bkrharold says:

        Thomas
        I agree there is no way we can verify which of the different proposed models, more closely resemble reality, including the multiverse. My own approach to the question of how to understand our Universe and our place in it, has evolved over time. From being indoctrinated with the Jewish religion at an early age, to completely rejecting religion, and eventually to adopting an open minded attitude toward different philosophies, not blindly embracing any of them, but considering them on their merits, and accepting those parts which seemed reasonable and rejecting the rest. Building a belief system seems like an exercise in futility, since as you pointed out, it can never be proved, also I suspect that our minds are not capable of truly understanding reality. The challenge is to live in a world of uncertainty and ambiguity, but to be at peace with that. I really admire your willingness to consider the existence of a unifying principle, or intelligence underlying the Universe, even if it is just a device to remain optimistic. A mechanical Universe with no real meaning or purpose, is really depressing to contemplate, and after all why not be cheerful and optimistic? I suppose this is real basis of my current thinking.
        But getting back to cold fusion, I remember the original announcement by Pons and Fleischmann of their discovery. I was so excited, and looking forward to all the wonderful ways in which cold fusion would change our world for the better. Imagine my disbelief and horror, as I saw the dishonest and underhanded way the scientific community dismissed it and ruined the careers of those two men. I never stopped believing they had discovered a new form of energy. The developments of the last couple of years have been very promising, and even though there are powerful interests working against this emerging technology, I believe it will eventually prevail. For me cold fusion was proved in 1989 by Pons and Fleischmann, and I have never doubted it.

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