Thursday, November 24, 2011

Social revolutions need Software Solutions

A fine time to address the issue of social revolutions, lot's of them going on right now. The Middle East is aflame with them; Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Syria, Bahrain, Yemen - all in the throws of social upheaval.

Even in the Western World deep murmurings are to be heard, the political ground is beginning a tremble that may lead to social change that is right off the Richter Scale. The 99% are beginning to occupy the mind of the 1%, there is a strong difference of opinion in the air. I'll call anyone a fool who claims to know where all this will lead, but we all know it is leading somewhere.

When the Forces of Evil are overthrown, what then? Typically, revolutions are followed by stumbling attempts of a citizenry to come to grips with some sort of equitable social change, usually ending badly after which the power vacuum is filled by yet another strong man or absolutist institution. Some decades must now pass before the cycle repeats itself.

Already, the citizenry of Libya are thrashing about with no sense of how to go about setting up a means for the equitable distribution of resources, and the eventual outcome is more than likely fo be less than wholesome.
Egypt has always been dogged by dictatorship, backed up by an institutionalized army who's generals are for all intents and purposes, the reigning oligarchy. Behind them, the Muslim Brotherhood eagerly await their turn to wield their religious cudgel to bludgeon the population.

Over the past Century and on a grander scale, we observed Russia convulse with the overthrow of a Tsarist regime, only to be convulsed by the cult of personality in the guise of pseudo Communism. When the USSR nightmare dissolved, it almost immediately morphed into an oligarchy, and from there into a autocracy of ex-KGB cronyists.

In all these instances, what we see are a peoples momentarily casting aside their chains of oppression, but with no means of effecting an immediate legitimate procedure of public debate that may set in motion the proper institutions to secure their hard won freedoms.
Indeed, it is this floundering that attracts and brings forth the opportunists who are ready to fling themselves upon their vulnerable prey.

The main obstacle we need to overcome is our mindset. We have always thought of politicians as a necessary profession, and of course that was very true until the revolution in communication. Even in a republic democracy, politicians played a vital role. We elected them to represent us in the corridors of power, and a central location of rule was vital because of the limitations of distance and time.
What do you need a representative for, when you can do it yourself? The disadvantages of an elected representative are many:
The representative can never fully represent the myriad views of any individual citizen. Furthermore, a representative is prone to corruption, financial gain or blackmail, and finally there is always the lure of absolute power.

However, with this new age of rapid communication technology, distance and time have been swept aside. The only inhibitor that prevents every individual from representing their unique wishes as the sole sun of the representative body, is a means of organizational communication which would allow for such a system to function.

Is there a solution to this endless cycle of repression? Ironically, the solution to untying of this Gordian Knot, is the technology that allowed the Middle Eastern revolutions to succeed in the first place, namely the cell phone and the internet. What us urgently needed for the human race is a scalable 'Roberts Rules of Order' software so that large bodies of people can rapidly come together and make decisions that have the authority of a mandate.

This would make it hard for political predators to insert themselves into the process during this vulnerable window where a power vacuum exists.

In more benign situations where the governed have a stable government and the luxury of time, the citizenry can run a system like this as a 'shadow government', in parallel with the existing government. As it becomes apparent that the electronic system better represents the people, the transfer can take place in gradual stages.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Scalable online debate/discussion software

The World is on the cusp of change.
We have witnessed the revolutions in the Middle East and now, with the Wall Street Protests, there are murmurings for fundamental change in the US. Much of these sweeping changes can be directly attributable to technological advances in communications: The cell phone, the computer and the Web.

What we have now are huge groups of peoples who have effected an overthrow of an old system, but are unable to gather en masse to hammer out important decisions, such as the distribution of resources, human rights, etc. In short a a striving for a government of equals. What has typically happened in the past is that post revolution vacuums allow for strongmen and despots to fill the void. After that, it's the same old song.

The solution is, there needs to be an effective scalable software for very large groups of online people to get together, voice their opinions, discuss, debate - and most important - formulate solutions and agreements. Think of it as an online "Robert's Rules of Order" process. Imagine it working something like Wikipedia, being self-correcting, where the no group with an agenda can wrest control.
If successfully formulated, one possibility is that it could initially be an effective shadow government, paralleling problems governmental institutions face and proposing possible alternative solutions. I imagine folks involved in Occupy Wall Street would love to get their hands on something like that. The media would start paying close attention to the such an online process, because the results would be propagated by a mass of individuals, rather than talking heads and politicians.

Rough outline:
OK, imagine this decision making software is up and running and you want to participate in a particular issue. Let's say it is a new issue and people are just starting to log in to debate. First, the issue needs to be defined, and that is the first page you come to. The issue page is dynamic and subject to change, much like a Wikipedia entry.
Next, you go into discussion. This works very much on the lines of Google Circles: Let's say each circle consists of thirteen individuals, no tie vote, who are randomly thrown together. The volume of circles is scalable, so you may have thousands of individuals discussing the same issue, although each circle contains the same amount of individuals. The Circles have a 'circulating chairman' built in, so no individual, or group of individuals can dominate the direction of the circle discussion/debate.

If an individual simply has to leave feels alienated, they can opt out and return, joining into a new circle. When that happens, a joining member has the option of dropping in, thus retaining the quorum. The text of the discussion can be reviewed by the newcomer, bringing them up to date. Trolls and flamers can be bounced by 3/4 majority vote. That account will be penalized in some form or other, at least removing them from the subject of discussion as a whole.

The end result is a specific proposition or a set of propositions that is hammered out and voted on, the results appearing much like that of an online poll. If you are the first circle to make the proposal(s) and decision(s), the wording and polling results become available for all the proceeding circles to see, plus the procedure of the debate/discussion. They can also see how many circles there are at any given moment. This allows for continuity, in that successive circles can use the same polling wording if they choose, so as the circles report in, their polls are combined together, producing the final result.

Finally, a participant coming into the server can at any time skip to the chase: They can observe the debates, the polls, and vote without going through the debate and discussion.

I realize that this sketch may not look anything like a finalized end-result, I just wanted to whet everyone's imaginations.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Neutrinos preceding radiation and the promise of exact measurement

Of course, the tantalizing evidence that the velocity of light is preceded by the greater speed of neutrinos is all over the news at the moment.

It would seem that we stand on the cusp of being able to precisely measure the distance of powerful bursts of energy, such as a nova.

I recall a few years ago that a burst of radiation from supernova SN1987A was preceded by a burst of neutrinos three hours before the radiation.

It follows that if we can produce a source of radiation emission such as that created by the OPERA international experiment, then we can calibrate the exact amount of time it takes light and neutrinos to get from point A to point B,
By calculating the time delay between light and neutrinos, we would know with considerable exactness the distance if a given emission.

I went to and one of the brighter members had this to say, "If the 20ppm difference detected by CERN is true, then SN1987a was ~18ly away by this method.
First thing I did when I saw the first thread here was actually run the numbers. At 160000ly, the neutrino burst should have arrived 3 years beforehand..."

There are few easy answers in science, and this ain't one of 'em.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Dark matter Illusion - Hey! Where is MY validation?

Dark Matter Is an Illusion, New Antigravity Theory Says
National Geographic News

Is there some reason the scientific community doesn't review the web before they publish?

Splashed all over national Geographic News, this guy Dragan Hajdukovic essentially publishes the tenants of my paper, "Can Gravity be Induced? without so much as a nod of recognition, yet such concepts would not even be considered today were it not for my thirty years of work I have dedicated the subject.

Simply put, my concept of the induction of gravity is being railroaded.
I admit it is easy to do. I am not affiliated with the science community, my training is in fine Art. My idea, "Can Gravity be Induced?" (1979) was distributed to friends and colleges in the science community 1979. It was considered so absurd that it was deemed "fringe science" by the science community.
Nonetheless, if you type "Can Gravity be Induced?" and "Stephen Goodfellow" into a Google search engine, you will find about 3,160 results. Is my work really that hard to find? I have been active, interacting with plasma physicists for thirty years. Just because my concept was not deemed worthy of publication in a scientific journal does not mean that it is not valid. Thanks to the web, I was able to place my paper very early on, for all who wished to see.

If you need a specific entry that addresses this specific issue, you will find my comments on the Dark Matter illusion here on my blog May 6th, 2010, "Further thoughts on the Induction of Gravity" which states,

Dark energy: Particles in intergalactic space reach exceedingly high speeds and on those rare occasions when they collide, these produce temperatures of millions of degrees. At the moment of collision, a tiny amount of gravity/non-space is momentarily produced but collapses immediately, lacking any means of sustaining itself. However, by virtue of the volume of colliding particles over vast regions of space, a 'field' of gravity is maintained. Might this not explain the phenomenon that we call 'dark energy'?

Looking through the notes of his paper, I see no references to my work. You might say it is just sour grapes on my behalf, and you'd be correct. I have been espousing the induction of gravity over span of three decades and delineating how it comes about, together with suggested empirical, repeatable laboratory experiment.

I have already had to deal with a previous episode in which a Russian scientist actually accused me of stealing his work. Turns out he published in 1995, sixteen years after my paper and eight years after I had placed it on the CompuServe system, which ultimately was placed on the web. Easy to find, just didn't bother looking.

When it comes to a modern interpretation of the Induction of gravity, at least have the courtesy to give a nod to the grandfather.

Somewhat pissed off,
Stephen Goodfellow

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Stephen Goodfellow's off-the-cuff 13 steps to Happiness

1. Try not to damage your health having a good time.
2. Try not to let other people damage your health.
3. Try to not be afraid of death.
4. Walk, picknic and converse with friends as often as you can.
5. Be honerable.
6. Frequently reflect upon life, the Universe and everything.
7. When confronted with a revelation, try to let go of preconceived ideas.
8. Stay away from organized religion.
9. Uncompromisingly love those you surround yourself with.
10. Go to extreme measures to avoid people you find unpleasent.
11. Try to avoid being ensnared by the dreamscape of others.
12. Do what you want to do.
13. Try to avoid twelve step programs.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Nature and Sentience - Why is SETI not receiving signals?

My latest recreation. I had made a previous cruder version, this one is a little more fleshed out. the intro:
For years, SETI - The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence - has scoured the heavens for signals to no avail. Surprising, because by all accounts they ought to be abundant in our galaxy. The author, looking to the Force of Nature as his guide, suggests a chilling alternative.

Monday, January 10, 2011

A Culpable Universe?

A thought occurred to me.
Imagine if the concept of future and past is an illusion, that life is a parallel event.
By this means, in our cycle of life and death we are reincarnated at the beginning of our time-cycle; you become everyone you have ever touched deeply and must feel the interaction upon those lives upon which you left an impression, for better or worse.
Thus, you are born to become your best friend, or lover. The torturer becomes there tortured. Whatever the actions, we must live the lives of those we have interacted with.