As this is my last post for 2014 (Christmas in summer is for relaxing and being indolent!) I thought I might look back at what I have posted. At first sight it might seem as if it is all over the place, but the primary theme that I hope I have got through, both here and in my fiction, is to show, when appropriate, why it is better to think logically. I know that logic has a hard time in Hollywood productions. In the original Star Trek series, Spock was proud of being logical, and he was often critical for dealing with problems for the ship and crew, even if the crew sniggered at him. But in a certain later series, a certain ship’s Vulcan had as his only form of entertainment the requirement to sit down and solve abstract puzzles. To get one thing straight, there is no reason why someone who applies logic to problems cannot enjoy themselves in more general ways. As an example of logic, one goal in life is to enjoy it, after all, what is the point of being miserable? Therefore it is logical to do things that maximize one’s enjoyment. This is why I put in, “when appropriate”.
I made a number of posts about the unrest in the world, and one place I focused on was Ukraine. The general attitude from a lot of people in the West is that Putin is some sort of tyrant, invading here and there, but let us look at the logic of it. To whose benefit is it if he should sit back and be a good little Russian and let NATO come in and get more missiles pointing into Russia? Which raises the question, why does NATO want to get missiles into Ukraine? The only possible target is Russia, so, in logic, why should this not worry Russia? Recall when the old Soviet Union put some missiles into Cuba? President Kennedy was prepared to set of a nuclear holocaust, so serious was he to have them removed. So why shouldn’t Putin be a little concerned? As it happens, now the Russian economy is hurting, and no doubt the West will feel pleased, and argue their sanctions are working. My question now is, who does this please, and why are they pleased? Who benefits? Or who thinks they will benefit? I suspect the answer to that question would be very illuminating.
Actually, the problem with the Russian economy would have happened anyway. The reason is that the US has suddenly become a major oil producer again, thanks to fracking, and the price of oil is tumbling. So, this is good? Well, in my view, no it is not. One of the biggest problems we all have is climate change (although, paradoxically enough, Russia is likely to be a major beneficiary). Suddenly, more cheap fossil fuels will probably kill the various projects that are trying to develop biofuels, those developments risk bankruptcies, and the bad part of all this is that all the knowledge they have accumulated gets lost. I know this happens because it happened in the 1980s. In the late seventies/early eighties I was involved in developing a process to make biofuels, but that ran out of money and interest, and there were a number of other promising technologies that all folded. When we became interested in biofuels again, only too much of that knowledge was lost, and all the previous mistakes had to be made again. To my mind, that was a major waste of money.
Towards the end of the year, I let my interest that came from my ebook Planetary Formation and Biogenesis intrude into this blog. This has been interesting for me because the standard theory of the formation of planets starts by assuming a starting position where planetesimals (bodies like moderate-sized asteroids) are evenly distributed radially from the sun. Nobody knows how these planetesimals could possibly form, but the distribution is used to computer model how they might form planets through gravitational interactions, even though the only time asteroids collide, the energy of the collision fragments them. So why did this not happen to the planetesimals? In my view, this is wrong, and the initial formation of bodies forms through chemistry, with relatively low energy coillisions fo small particles onto larger objects. The major difference between the theories is that there is no such even distribution of bodies in the chemical accretion model, but rather accretion occurs in narrow zones at different temperatures. Once you get an idea like that, of course, you tend to try to push it, after all, either you believe it or you do not. If you do not, why publish? If you do, why not tell everyone. Which may explain why I am enthusiastic about my own ideas. Which finally gets me to the point: you too should be enthusiastic about your ideas.
With that thought, I wish you all a very merry Christmas, and all the best for 2015. There will be further posts in mid January.