Friday, December 28, 2018

Let's Be Holographic for a Planck Time

One of the foundations of my science fiction and fantasy world, Tarn, is its ability to be defined by either science fiction or fantasy, depending on the perspective of the character. I also play with parallel universes and manifestations of the same character in parallel universes.

To engineer the story correctly I've needed to update my cosmological knowledge, especially in terms of unification theories, such as string theory, emergence theory, and other holographic representations of the universe. I'm going to post a few of the videos I've used here. Here is my favorite so far. It's the express pass version, a mainstream video to be sure, very accessible but introducing concepts that are good fun (like E8 lattice crystals etc):

So basically, the theory is our universe is a holographic representation based on a specific crystal, the E8 Lattice Crystal (shape is E8, and it’s projected into a 4D quasi crystal then convert that to a 3D quasicrystal.) Its shape is a Gosset Polytope of 230 vertices in 8 dimensions. When it is projected into 4d it creates two shapes that have a proportion equal to the golden ratio 0.618.

Space and time are constructed through pixels of Planck Constants, because reality cannot be smaller than the Planck Length it must be pixelated. In essence, this defines space as an accumulation of Planck Time and Planck Length, by stipulating their existence as the smallest unit, and therefore the universe is pixelated. It seems somewhat a tautology to me, and I'd love to be moved from this perspective. Also, after studying the emergence theorem and how the dimensions are assigned, I feel they are arbitrary to some degree. I will elaborate later.

One interesting aspect from the video is the role of consciousness, a pure observational role. The universe exists because it is observed.

We need to be skeptical. To help let's review Neil Degrasse Tyson discussing eyewitness observations:

So, this is a great introduction to reality, consciousness, and emergence theory:

A theory of everything where the universe is an expression of a language with Klee Irwin that also discusses free will, consciousness, and the perception of reality:

We need consciousness in the universe to observe the universe, but was it really? Let's put consciousness in the barrel:

Now this may seem pretty far-fetched but if we look at the universe as a collection of information, our perception of said universe, what we call "reality," does resolve to our ability to observe, which is very near where we started.

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Stories of Modern Slavery for my Latin American Studies class.

To celebrate the end of the project I will post chapter 1 of the book I started 4 years ago. I read this now, and it's a bit tough. I'm a better writer I hope. :-)

Patriots and Pebbles

Chapter 1

It is hard to know that exact moment when ideas gain their own initiative. One thing certain, however, it is also at that point you can no longer take them back. They are unfettered, no longer fledglings, but ready to soar aloft and hunt alone, so it behooves us all to take the utmost care choosing which principles we feed, especially if our work is on the stage. In politics, the biggest stage of all, tiny visions can harden into unyielding gospel, defining generations, and leaving history strewn in tatters. Letting your ideas sally forth, thus, is a dangerous business. As Ethan Mason learned, sometimes what we sow can return to haunt us all.
He sat in his second floor office with Barton Overton and Michael Thomasson. Grizzled Overton was his campaign manager in the mayoral race he had just barely lost. Michael, a skinhead in his early 30s, was his personal assistant and part-time strategist, the co-chairman of the Patriot Party, Ethan’s renegade political organization. By law, Mayor Mason would remain in office until January 1, but the events of the last few days had put Ethan into the national spotlight in the worst possible way, and the subject of this morning meeting was damage control.
Protesters had scheduled a march that afternoon along Bay Street, and it looked like the weather would cooperate. The last two days were unseasonably warm for November — almost 80° F — and though a storm would arrive later, now outside it was the kind of day that attracted the tourists. Soon beneath the 23-karat gold leaf dome gilding, with the tranquilizing sound of the dolphin fountain in the background, the Hostess City of the South would witness a thousand or more of its citizens clamoring for his resignation, the chief of police’s head, and the arrest of four police officers, who, Ethan Mason believed, might have only been doing their jobs. The ubiquitous cameras would film the march, so this morning they met to discuss their message to the world, to win the discourse even if they lost everything else. At the moment Thomasson and Overton argued and Mayor Mason, as was his wont, waited for one to prevail.
Thomasson, impatient and annoyed with Barton, did not disguise his wrath. “To be an effective leader, Ethan, you need more than a moral compass. You also must show the important people loyalty. Nobody governs alone. Chief Snookers has always supported you. When you had few friends that man stood by your side. Perhaps we lost the election, but, goddamnit, the police force still backs you one hundred percent. They didn’t desert you when everyone else did, and you may need them sometime. What is their motivation for helping you if you didn’t support them when the chips were down?”
What does it matter if the police force are happy, if you lose the people? You want to be bold, Thomasson? Be right first.”
Barton had responded in his characteristic drawl. Sometimes Ethan guessed he exaggerated its down-home quality to bedevil Thomasson, for the ambitious younger man, born and bred in the Coastal Empire, strived to bury his roots.
Ethan, if you back down, everything we’ve done to promote you as a voice against crime is lost. You must show commitment to public safety.” He wiped the glistening sweat from his brow before going on. “It’s not just the officers, Ethan. Law-abiding citizens will remember you supported the police in their time of need long after all those thugs are forgotten. Most of the criminals can’t even vote. Why do this?”
Ethan noted the role reversal. Thomasson was usually the human calculator that urged caution, whereas he could always rely on pompous, self-assured Barton, the survivor of dozens of political campaigns, to make his choices by instinct.
Thomasson, you cannot be more wrong. Is it possible you don’t see what’s happening? All across America we have one case after another of race-provoked police brutality and murder. Open your eyes. It’s getting worse. Protesters are marching and screaming ‘Hands up! Don’t Shoot!’ or ‘I can’t breathe!’ plastered on the shirts of professional athletes. If you defend these unprincipled policemen, Ethan, what people will remember is your short-sighted loyalty to bigots. Don’t you recall how hard it was for you to get elected the first time? The census for this city shows over 55 per cent African-American and less than 40 per cent whites. Ethan, a rainbow coalition elected you. We worked for that trust. Lordy! Why would you throw all we built away to show loyalty to Chief Snookers, one of the most dishonest men in all of Georgia?”
Incensed, Michael Thomasson hammered his fist on the mayor’s desk. “Don’t you even care about the rule of law, Barton? Does everything have to be about how many votes you can get?”
Barton guffawed. “Ha! Are you attacking my ethics? At least I decide what’s right before I determine if it works with the electorate. In this case it’s easy. You are right, kid. People do want to see criminals prosecuted, but what about those who abuse the public interest? Aren’t they criminals too, Thomasson?”
Michael ignored Barton Overton and placed his soft hands upon Ethan’s. The mayor had an instinctive reaction to pull them away. Sometimes the young man had odd behaviors, especially when passionate. He softened his voice, and Ethan repressed an urge to shudder from the strangeness. “All I am saying is to grant them a fair trial, Ethan. Don’t let the media be the judge and jury.”
Barton scowled. “Fair trial? What the hell is the record of grand jury acquittals of police officers? Ninety-nine per cent? Ethan, ask yourself one thing: Do you want to be on the wrong side of history?”
The mayor shook his head. “I am just confused. That’s all. Okay, what would you advise, Barton?”
Immediately demand their resignations, put together a committee to scour the police department for more bad apples, call in the Justice Department, and, then, implement every one of their recommendations. Do it before you leave office and I’ll get you elected congressman.”
Don’t do it, Ethan! You yield and, so help me God, you’ll get a reputation for being soft on crime. That’s the first rock of an avalanche. Soon all of the hardship cases will rally out there in the street. You will see everyone that is not our constituency protesting. You’ll have the darkies first, but then you’ll have potheads, faggots, and lesbians. Soon enough, the whole fucking country will be fucked. Is that what you want, Ethan? Will that be your legacy? To give this country to the fucking people we are morally opposed to?”
Barton opened his mouth to counterattack, but Ethan, distracted, missed his reply. This argument about what to say bored him. Mason, an expert at finding solutions, hated discussing them. Besides, he had other problems. In fact, at the moment he cared more about figuring out how to unsay a few things.

They were not the things to unsay that his advisers might guess. Ethan had argued with his wife the evening before. Jessica, a meteorologist, reduced to the beautiful “weather girl” by many Savannahians, a term she found offensive because first at thirty-two, she was not a girl any longer, and second, she had a bachelor’s degree in earth sciences, a master’s degree in environmental studies, and five years of tutelage at the National Hurricane Center, so meteorologist was a lot closer to the mark. In Ethan’s opinion, she was always a person with something to prove, never secure enough in her qualifications, no matter what. In other words, she was his exact opposite. Anyway, Jessica had informed him that if she discovered he ever “hid his sausage” with Madison Lee again, she would file for a divorce. Conflicted, he supposed that he still loved Jessica, or rather, he loved the idea of Jessica, but she never excited him anymore. Ethan, forty-four, believed that he deserved a little more after all his sacrifices. The problem was that all of Savannah loved Jessica, a sharp dresser, witty and charismatic, who memorably kept everyone safe and calm during Hurricane Justine, and so, if she divorced Ethan, he would never be elected the Representative of House District One.
It was easy, right? He should drop Madison in the right regrets bin. Long-legged Miss Lee, however, absolutely destroyed him in bed, imaginative, experimental, willing to take chances so much that all Ethan thought about was busting his nuts in her. She was so convenient too. They were neighbors on the circle of mansions (Jessica’s father’s money) fronting Guckenheimer Park, just outside the historical district. No, none of that was the real problem. He had done something even more stupid than taking a lover. He had fallen in love with her. So, it was not just the sex anymore. Madison Lee gave him confidence. She gave him pride and a reason to live. Was it so strange? With all that had transpired in his life, who could expect him to lust for the woman he met when he was young and naïve? He had tried to reason with Jessica, asking her to be practical, but she was so irrational now, and that made him lose his temper. She had never protested so much before about his extramarital sex, all those hollow relationships and one night stands, so why was she being a bitch now when he found a lover he cared about?
He had answered his own question though. Jessica must sense that this time his dalliance was no mere fascination. He also guessed part of her inflexibility derived from pathetic feminine rivalry. Both were on television, and they competed professionally, even if Jessica was on every day on WHHD, while Madison Lee was just a reporter at WGHV. Lost in contemplation, Ethan kept tuning the others out, while the sabal palms twisted in the wind and the marble columns down Bull Street glistened in the sun. Everything would be easier if heroic men who were owed more were allowed to live by different rules.
He heard Thomasson clear his throat and his attention tumbled back into the room where they somehow waited expectantly for him to comment. He suppressed laughter and announced, “I haven’t made up my mind yet. Let’s go over to Paula Deen’s and get some lunch before the rush. I asked Kate to make reservations at The Lady and Sons. After I have had some fried chicken and biscuits, I’ll be able to figure this out.”
The frustration in the room was palpable. Both of his advisers shouted at once, directed at each other, but really aimed at him. Thomasson won the shouting match (Barton tricked him by letting him win), and, without toning it down, he engaged Ethan the same way, yapping hysterically, “You need to take this opportunity to clarify your fucking position. You are a fucking war hero, Ethan! You fought for our fucking freedom. This is a discussion about our fucking values. You need to tell the fucking people that there is only one side, the right side, the side of order and progress. You are a politician! This is easy. Most of the ones this asshole is defending can’t even vote and those that can, don’t. We shouldn’t even be arguing.” Game, match, set, thought Barton.
The fucking people? You mean our citizens? You have a real potty-mouth, Michael.” Ethan sighed as if he could make the problem disappear by exhaling. “You’re both stubborn and this time, you’re also wrong. It’s not as simple as you say, Barton. Freedom also means you have a right to a fair trial by your peers and not a whitewash. These men have been tried by WGHV and the local papers. They haven’t ever had their day in court, and I, for one, am against vigilante justice, but, Michael, I am also opposed to hiding criminals whoever they are. If these men are guilty, they should face the full consequences, and I’m not a man that will stand in the way. So what do we do now?”

His cellular phone and landline rang simultaneously. He picked up the office line, and Michael and Barton went at it again. “Put him through, Kate,” he said, giving the men a hushing gesture.
The governor’s voice sounded different than the last time they spoke, right after his election. Back then he had been someone with who another politician wanted to be associated: a war hero in the family tradition, a 40-year-old decorated colonel, given his promotion a few weeks before leaving service, along with a Purple Heart he earned by saving the lives of four men — the driver from his unit and three Polish officers from Zgrupowania Bojowego B (Battle Group B) that they were escorting. Their vehicle hit an IED outside Kabul. The M1114, a humvee outfitted with the FRAG5 upgraded armor kit, might have already been replaced if it had been an American vehicle, but the United States transferred it to the Polish forces when they arrived in Afghanistan, so it was a softer target than it should have been. That hot dusty day the vehicle rolled over on its side and Captain Mason managed not only to remove the other passengers under fire, but also held their position against enemy rockets and gunfire until reinforcements arrived. Ironically, those officers had made the same trip safely two dozen times, but this time the Polish officers on their way to Kabul International to ISAF headquarters were headed home and their luck ran out. One of them died of injuries on the plane after surviving the goddamn war for six years and this thought still made Ethan angry. When Mayor Mason closed his eyes, like he did now, he could remember that blast, the screams, the reek of powder and death in the air. At such moments, all his surroundings went pale, even as the governor went on about explosions, fire, and civil disobedience, sounding less effective with every word.
It was so frustrating. All of these people only talked, but Ethan Mason loved action. The call was over in a few minutes. Jessica, another talker, had been on the other line, just as he assumed, probably wishing to continue their spat.
Alright, listen up. Something has happened in Washington,” Ethan told his men. “The story is fluid - but the National Guard has been called into several cities to control crowds. The governor’s theory is that it is some type of Al Qaeda operation because of the simultaneous attacks. Anyway, the skinny for us is that Governor Tanner wants us to stop the march. He says it’s a public safety issue. How are we going to do that?”
Barton said, “We’re not. If you stop the march, you will need to blockade the streets. You’ll be suppressing their right to free speech. You won’t get elected dog catcher if you do that. Be wise. Our governor, bless that old bastard, is setting you up for a fall.”
Mason had to admit that was good thinking. Tanner was an old-school Republican, while Mason’s allies formed part of the neoconservative branch, a visible proponent of restoring America to its past greatness: military power, morality, and financial stability. It did not matter that they used a romanticized version of the past as their standard. What mattered was getting people enthusiastic enough to vote. He had not lost because of his message. Circumstances had done him in.
Thomasson, of course, did not agree with Overton. “Nonsense! The governor is right. This is a public safety issue. This plays to your strength as a decorated military leader and, coincidentally, it also gives you a chance to repress the protesters, which the honest people of our city will support. Here’s what I’d do. Set up fire trucks down the street at the corners of Drayton and Whittaker, get squad cars to block both sides of Bay and deploy the SWAT team facing Bull. They will back off, especially if you make an announcement before about the reason.”
Ethan, exhilarated, taking action at last, could feel his blood pumping.
Ok, Thomasson, get a hold of Snookers and get on it.”
Michael replied with a sneer to Barton and a grateful smile to Ethan.
We better find out what’s going on in Washington,” Barton said, a little chagrined. “I’ll make some calls too.”
Barton, I’m way ahead of you," Thomasson growled from behind his notebook. “The internet seems to be overloaded though. It’s never been very good in this building, but I can’t even get Fox News’s page to load.”

An annoying vibration meant Jessica was ringing again. Why now? Ethan offered the two a gesture of helpless frustration and took the call.
Finally,” she greeted him with characteristic dryness from her office at WHHD. “So, you need to go to school and pick up Jacob and Liam, right now. I have already ordered Maneesha to pick up Ashley, but they won’t let the boys out without a parent or at least a note, and I’m in Hilton Head.”
Jessica, you could not have picked a worse time! I can’t go run errands for you now. We have a crisis.”
I have been trying to tell you about it for an hour. I can tell you what you need to do. Listen to me.”
In case you haven’t noticed, I’m the mayor.” The exasperation in his voice was almost poisonous. “I’ll consider taking orders from the governor, but not you. My responsibility is —”
So, you must be living under a rock. There is practically a civil war going on! Terrorists have already struck Philadelphia and Jacksonville with dirty bombs. People are dying and others have been exposed to radiation. There are also stories of hostage seizures and civil disorder in Washington DC, Atlanta, and even Charleston! Now, Ethan, I don’t think anything will happen in Savannah, but under the circumstances doesn’t it make a little sense, just a tad maybe, for you to guarantee our children’s safety? I have to do the News At Noon and then I’ll be on my way to Savannah. Right now you have to do your part.”
If what you are saying is true, Jessica, I can’t leave my office. My responsibility is to all the people of the town — not just my children. I have to break up the demonstration. That’s the governor’s orders, and he outranks you.” He hung up before she replied. Perhaps Jessica knew more than he did, but he had heard enough. As he told his advisors the latest rumors, he scribbled a note on official stationery and asked Kate to give it to Deron, his chauffeur, and send him off to the school in the limo to pick up the boys. It was an emergency, and the school would have to make an exception this time. If someone from the administration dared to challenge him, he would give them a piece of his mind.
I don’t envy you, buddy," Barton said. “Your wife is intelligent and absolutely a stunner, but is there any woman who needs more maintenance? Why does God make all the good pussy so hard to keep happy?”
That’s a question for another time,” Thomasson snapped. “We’re trying to solve real problems. Remember?”
Overton ignored him. “You are going to need to make a statement, Ethan. I’ll craft something for you, and you can read it in fifteen minutes.”
No!” Thomasson stood up fast and knocked his coffee off the desk. Ethan rolled his eyes. “Oh, fuck!”
Don’t worry about it. Let’s just get our jobs done.”
Thomasson could not be contained. “Let me write it, Ethan. I’ve just finished texting WGHV and they have a van in the street already, so at least it will be televised.”
No. Overton, it’s yours. Don’t mess it up.”
Ethan dismissed them and they exited, still arguing. During the meeting, Mayor Mason reached the conclusion that Thomasson had become expendable. He would wait until January 1 and then fire him. He needed someone smarter for the congressional campaign, ruthless like Barton but better with technology. His cell phone rang again, and he turned it off without looking, so Ethan did not discover that nearby Jacksonville and Atlanta had joined the list of nearly twenty cities attacked. He later thought about Jessica’s casually dismissed call and wondered if it would have changed anything, but by that time Ethan was getting ready for showtime and Jessica was about to get very busy too.