Sunday, January 22, 2017

Picking up threads
( .. "for to make a clothy stew" .. )

Readers of this blog will know that it has (sort of) fallen in a heap recently.  Reconstruction is proving difficult.  That's because after having been writing for a number of years I still haven't worked out exactly what it is really about.  And that's because it's been evolving from its original geological roots to something more 'comprehensive', spilling over into areas that maybe it shouldn't, if streams of consciousness are to be curtailed.

It began with the dismantling of Plate Tectonics and its replacement with Earth expansion, but once it's pointed out that the Earth's surface is 2/3rds mantle breaking through a retrofittable 1/3 crust - and it's pretty obvious what that must mean -  then other than some mechanistic detail about the way it's all come about (which I've done) there isn't much else to say about it.  It's a bit like in school if you ask children, "Now children, .. who can tell me why there is day and night, and the teacher's pet in the back row says, "Yes-sir / me-sir (/three bags full sir) - it's because the Earth is rotating, sir",   and you say, "Yes, thank you, pet.  That's very good".

It's a bit like that.

["Ma.a.am, .. the teacher called me his 'pet'."
"Oooh!  Did he now.]

Now, what the child says is perfectly true.  And if the radiation from the sun is included then there isn't much more to say on the matter.

But what if the child lived long ago and didn't know what we know today about the Sun in the morning and the Moon at night - and rotation and all that?  History tells us there would be all sorts of answers, particularly regarding that bit about the Sun coming and going.  And what then about the seasons fitting in the picture?  And even more particularly if the whole socio-political backstory was added in.  I mean 'day-and-night', .. it can get to explain a whole lot of things.

What the kid just said in four or five words you could write a book about, .. about the science and the people doing it and the related religious slaughter that happened.  But where would you begin?  With so many interwoven threads and themes the whole thing gets to be like a symphony, but a symphony that sounds and harmonises all at once - like a standing wave.  Or maybe more like a love story :-

"Say it loud and there's music playing,
Say it soft and it's almost like praying."

Trying to unravel structure in a love story of symphonic proportions is not easy.  It's the same with Earth expansion and the resonance that gives it dimension.  What is the thread, the lead-in, when every part of the whole is as relevant as the next?  If it were to be strung out as a story what would be the theme that moves it along?  And what too might be the take-home message?  A story that you can sum up in (literally) three words, ["EARTH IS EXPANDING"] is hardly one to write home about.  Extending it to five bullet points makes it a bit more like the bible, but if it is much more than that then it's not long before you find yourself in over your wellies, particularly if the omissions ("the biggest lies of all") that Plate Tectonics is rife with, are added.  What are the facts, what are the implications, and how do you reconfigure your world view when you get home and discover that our most revered truth-teller (science - with its inbuilt safeguards of peer review to ensure validity) has been leading us up the garden path for the last half century?

Well that's where it spills out into needing a few books, not just one, and is the reason why I'm having difficulty working out how to revise my old first draft, because I am not really very sure what it is all about, really, .. the first book or the last one, .. or where to put the divisions, .. or even if there are divisions..  It's moved on somehow since its geological inception to include a backstory that has little to do with the original bullet points, but is nevertheless highly relevant to the intention of this enterprise of writing about it.

They do say, "ignorance is bliss", and there is more than a little truth in that because understanding things can be a fraught business.  Think back to school days.  The kid answering the above question only knew the answer because somebody told him.  But if he had to work it out for himself then he'd have much mileage to cover before even beginning to ask the question, much less answer it, as indeed people of earlier times had to do (and suffer onerous consequences on account of their curiosity).

In an earlier attempt to deal with this potpourri I came up with a header -  "The Meaning of Life and Everything" to signify the connection between science and religion and the narrow difference between navel-gazing about our place in the world and examining the world itself.  That was the first divergence. The second one followed shortly after with a variation titled, "The Pathology of Connectedness" as perhaps signifying a better way of describing the situation of the individual in the group generally, .. how the group gets constructed then works to deny the volition of the individual, and the caution that the individual must exercise in confronting the group when anything arises to seriously disturb its equilibrium.  Kicking it off was a train of thought highlighting the nexus between science and religion and the guaranteed isolation of the transgressor of both.  The whole rubric goes under the tribal mores of society generally.  We only need to look at the rise of I.S. as a case in point.  And even now as I write there's Marine le Pen in France, seconded by Gert Wilders in Holland latching on to Trump's proposal for a "Patriots Day", thereby resurrecting that bugbear of European tribalism much beloved of the far right - the fetishisation of gratuitous nationalism.  ['Ubermensch']  A kind of gastrulated insecurity, .. normality turning itself inside out.

So what is it (this blog) all about?  I suppose I could say something lofty about it being an attempt to change the world, but in all honesty a tantrum on the floor of the supermarket is probably closer to the mark. [Narcissism, standing out from the crowd, promising to make the world (well, geology) MEGA again ("and only I can do it") .. is Risky Biz if you can't deliver to people's expectations.]

I don't think I could be accused of that though, since it's taken me half a century to begin to try.  (Mind you, so has it taken the other guy.)   It's more like passing on the interest that accrues through a working life - and (maybe just as bad) thinking others might be interested.  So I'm not trying to impose on anyone, just try to interest them. Well, .. coerce them maybe.  Who knows what the connections are that makes things interesting to us, and changes our point of view.  What exactly is being reinforced when we do 'connect'.  And what makes those connections transmissable to another, 'across a crowded room' so to speak when it's not the 'bullet points' that count but the interest conveyed that is the nexus - the pivot of connectedness.

"Just as bad"?  Well, maybe, but it's intended to be about social cohesion of the sort that unites, not the lower sort that fragments into tribalism.

If I can impart the alternative that Earth expansion offers to geological understanding in such a way that it is interesting to others, then the purpose of this blog is served.  As the example of the child (above) shows, knowledge is not the same thing as understanding.  Indeed the deeper questions pertaining to day and night as accessed through the facts of gravity and rotation still escape us. Where knowledge of our environment is acquired largely by rote learning on the back of the work of others, understanding is accessed differently through the patterns of cognitive connections that capture the imagination and interest of the individual, which differs greatly in people.  By definition consensus is essential to 'normal science', in setting the rules of connectedness for enlargement of the field.  But likewise by definition, consensus hinders its development into other fields.  The intention is therefore not didactic (though I hope in the geology there are instructive differences from the learned rote of Plate Tectonics] but to spark interest and curiosity, and, if possible, a more heightened awareness of connectedness of all things than perhaps the reader might already have.

At the present time there is no ready mechanism within consensus science to explain the underlying cause for the increase in the Earth's size and accompanying mass.  Nevertheless the formation and deformation of the Earth's crust asserts that expansion is indeed happening, and that it appears to be closely tied in some as yet unknown way to gravity, rotation and electromagnetic force.  At the same time, classical physics is looking for a Grand Unified Theory that links gravity to electromagnetism. It is as if both are talking past each other about the same thing, while the Earth is in a state of slow explosion illustrating the connection that no-one is noticing, but are looking for.

An interesting point of entry to geophysics?  Perhaps. But it is one that both geophysics and physics are ignoring.  Readers might care to visit Gene Ellis's Blog for a view that might connect both, and make a geological connection as well.

But quite apart from this, .. and the nature of ancient worlds to be discovered in deep time, geology underpins our material well-being in the control it imposes on energy and material resources, our food security and the like, as well as having determined much of the course of human history.  Its bearing on civilisation is more indirect but is just as (or even more) relevant to our everyday lives.

So I think that's what this blog has come to be about - the connectedness of peoples seen through the lens of global geology.  It has spilled out well beyond the confines of its original intent but still remains (for me at least) solidly connected.  However the leg-in to dealing with this "symphonic standing wave of the Meaning of Life" (/love story /pathology) remains problematical, so perhaps it is best just to let it unravel and speak for itself.  It is unfocussed but not undirected.  Its intentions are positive.  It's not healthy to be cynical, but hints of it that might occasionally show are a small cost to pay for locking horns with monolithic consensus views that are founded on calculated denial and tribal self-interest.

Dissent from the views of Plate Tectonics began for me nearly half a century ago, but it is only recently (once I started delving more into the backstory) that I've come to realise that it was cobbled together by a cabal of self-confessed [ their words, not mine ] "outsiders who didn't have a geological clue - and didn't need any",  and, because they had no understanding of what they were seeing denied it, and, further, to resist falling into mental and spiritual acedia, concocted the most incredible Heath Robinson story in an attempt to provide an alternative explanation of what was plainly obvious - that two thirds of mantle breaking through a retrofitable one third continental crust  means exactly what it says - what we see is what we get.  The Earth is getting bigger.

And perhaps right there is the theme I am looking for, .. capturing both the overture and the recitative foundational arc of vibration of this 'Standing Mexican Wave' :-

"Hey, everybody, .. Look!!"   [Raises banner /waves hands]  "Outsiders - No Geological Clue.  Power to the Peepul. .. Power to Patriots."]

Yeah?  Why?

[Oval leather and vegemite.] Certainly not science.

Or is it?

What can this mean for vegemite?
Follow this blog and see.   🗽 Peepulpops
 


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