Been thinking lately about physics and politics.
Why? With a life long passion for astronomy and democracy, I am perplexed by Einstein's Theory of Relativity and the President's views.
Yes, this is an odd combination.
Trying to understand both has led me to a philosophical quandary. What methods of thinking should I use to understand both.
Here are current tools in my Thinking Toolbox.
Please suggest additional ones or comment on my list of tools.
Let's start discussion with a definition: Belief is acceptance of a view that can neither be proved or disproved.
God is an example. There are arguments for and against her or his existence. I have never found one that definitively ends this disagreement.
As I said on first page of this website: "Ability to believe in something that cannot be seen, like God, is what separates people from other animals."
Tautology is a statement that has been universally accepted as true.
My favorite tautology is mathematics. Entire concept of Base 10 math depends on our fingers and thumbs (digits).
Example: "2 + 2 = 4". Humans have agreed that "2" and "4" represent certain number of digits. Symbol "+" adds them together and "=" provides an answer. Sounds simple. It is not. That's why we start teaching math before kids attend school.
It takes a long time to memorize math rules and most of us never understand it conceptually. Myself included.
Language is a tautology. A group of people accept common definitions for different words. Look that up in your dictionary.
Let's start by giving examples of binary: 0/1, On/Off, Yes/No, True/False and Right/Left.
Binary thinking only allows you to choose between two answers, that typically are opposites.
Normally I respond with Binary answer to most questions. For example, I say "Liberal" when asked the question: "Are you a Liberal or Conservative".
If I used an advanced level of thinking, my answer would be several pages long.
Visible light is made up of a spectrum of colors from roughly Blue (violet) to Red. Science says these colors are electromagnetic wavelengths from about 400 to 800 nano meters (nm).
This scientific concept intrigues me because it represents a method of thinking, that allows a range of answers to most questions. One example is politics. Blue is used to identify Democrats (liberal) and Red identifies Republicans (conservative).
Why these colors represent certain political or philosophic leanings is a mystery to me.
What is notable about a spectrum is the large range. You can be a Blue Democrat or a Red Republican. But there are so many colors in between.
For example. I'm a Blue Democrat. However, my financial views are Red Republican. Other views are just left of center or Green.
This is not a scientific approach to thinking, but life is a combination of human logic and beliefs.
Most rigid method of thinking is science. You start with a theory and form a hypothesis that can be tested.
After conducting experiments, you analyze data and arrive at a conclusion.
Other scientists can repeat experiment and either confirm or reject your theory.
I like rigidity of science with one exception. Science believes in Time. They have not, to my satisfaction, proven it exists. Scientists use Time as a measure. It does not have any properties like Energy.
Set Theory is a mathematical construct that has been loosely adopted by many social sciences.
For example, a group or set of people can be defined in sociology. Data is gathered from this specific group and conclusions made.
Like any science, the experiment can be repeated and similar but not precise results should be obtained.
Last and most complex method of thinking is Swirling. My best description is a group of intermingled clouds passing through each other.
All clouds have similar characteristics, all are unique in size, shape and location.
Men and women are an example. Most of their DNA is similar. They have legs, eyes and arms.
Yet their sexual DNA is radically different.
Add in cultural differences plus individual experiences and each person is unique.
How do you think and answer questions by Swirling. Carefully.
To my lovely wife, I apologize for not taking trash out last night. Again, my head was "Swirling" with ideas and I forgot the time.
Genius is an individual who sees the obvious before other people do.
Written By: Dennis Wilmeth
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