Thursday, July 26, 2012

A Larsonian explanation of "Entanglement"???

A Larsonian explanation of “entanglement?

Paul F. deLespinasse
Corvallis, Oregon

Author’s note: This tentative analysis  is work in progress.   I put it  forward for discussion and criticism.

The theoretical universe of Dewey B. Larson rests on a scalar space-time progression that,  in the context of a 3-dimensional Space Arrested Reference System (SARS) or a 3-dimensional Time Arrested Reference System (TARS),  moves “outward”  at the speed of light.   A SARS is established by material atoms whose motions cancel the outward progression of space and form aggregates.  A TARS is established by cosmic atoms whose motions cancel the outward progression of time and form aggregates.     

In the Larsonian universe what we conventionally regard as “space” is nothing more than locations in a Space Arrested Reference System.    As in Einstein’s universe,  nothing can change its location in this “space” faster than the speed of light.

Entangled photons, however,  appear to “communicate” with each other instantly no matter how widely they are separated.   This is considered something that cannot be explained since it appears to violate the speed of light limit accepted by Einstein and Larson.

When a photon originates from a location in space,  in Larson’s system it does not change its location in space-time but is swept outward at the speed of light  relative to a SARS centered on the material aggregate from which it originated.  The direction in the three-dimensional SARS taken by a particular photon is determined by probability considerations.

Two photons originating simultaneously at the same space location and therefore possibly entangled will therefore remain at the same location in the space-time progression no matter how widely separated they become in the context of a Space Arrested Reference System.  There is therefore no need for them to “communicate” through the SARS, and no violation of the speed of light limit for such communications, since they remain in the same location in the space-time progression.

Comment:  It is unclear to me how this explanation of entangled photons, if it is correct, could apply to entanglement of  particles which have mass, since in the Larsonian system such particles do change their locations relative to the progression, unlike photons which remain in the same location in the progression and are swept along relative to a SARS or TARS by the speed-of-light  progression.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The dangers of overdoing rational ignorance

In "The logic of willful ignorance" (July 7), columnist David Sirota tries to explain widespread ignorance about our history, Constitution and current affairs. The grounds upon which he tries to justify "willful ignorance," however, are incorrect and, if widely believed, would make things worse.

Sirota argues that ignorance doesn't mean people are stupid. Rather, they have "logically concluded that the information no longer matters." This, he opines, is because "elections are bought and paid for by huge money, ... presidents of both parties ignore the basic tenets of the Constitution, ... the lifetime-appointed judiciary spends much of its time helping Big Business tilt the law against the population, and ... the major parties resemble each other on most policies."

Sirota concludes: "Many Americans so accurately perceive the fraud being perpetrated on them that they have decided to simply tune out."

But public ignorance can be explained on general principles, without relying on any of Sirota's dubious explanations.

At some point, the costs of seeking further knowledge may outweigh its benefits, and at this point, it becomes rational to stop seeking extra knowledge. It is not paradoxical to speak of a "principle of rational ignorance."

This principle has special applicability to politics. Each voter is one among thousands or millions, and can often be outvoted. As a consumer, this same person is one of two parties to every transaction, and because private transactions require mutual consent of both parties, the consumer actually has a veto over every transaction. Knowledge gained about matters subject to private decision -- what car to buy, whom to marry, which church to join, which doctor to go to -- is therefore worth more to the individual than political information costing equal time and effort to acquire. Although many people overdo "rational ignorance" about politics, it is easy to see why the quality of public opinion is not very high.

Sirota lambastes "huge money" but ignores evidence that elections are often won by the lower-spending candidate and that we have had no presidents named Rockefeller or Perot. He ignores the fact that candidates often raise more money precisely because they are expected to win. He cites no examples of presidents ignoring "basic tenets" of the Constitution.

Sirota's complaint about the parties resembling each other suggests that he doesn't understand the logic of competitive elections. Of course they do, precisely because both must appeal to voters whose views cluster around the middle of the road. When a party nominates people too far from the middle (examples: Goldwater, McGovern), they lose big.

When I was a student at Willamette University, a group of us met with Gov. Mark Hatfield. I still remember his comment when asked about the belief that politicians are all crooks: If people believe that, said Hatfield, the honest won't seek office and only crooks will do so. To the extent readers fall for Sirota's cynical analysis, which suggests we are fools if we don't tune out, it will render us even less able to vote intelligently in our own interests than we are now.

Paul F. deLespinasse, who lives in Corvallis, is professor emeritus of political science at Adrian College in Michigan. His college textbook, "Thinking About Politics," which attempts to teach students how (not what!) to think about politics, is available online for free reading at . He can be reached via this same website.

This piece has appeared in the (Portland) Oregonian.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012