In America, anyone can become president. That’s the problem. George Carlin
Vitriol and Cynicism
I don’t know why it was important to teach this in Australia, but as a schoolchild, in Sydney, in my early teens I was taught that: “anyone in America can become president.” It’s an enduring memory from my early 1970’s period of schooling. I don’t remember the context in which it was taught to me, possibly social studies, or maybe from a teacher on an exchange from the USA.
“Anyone can grow up to be president” has been widely taught to generations of American schoolchildren but it’s always been a myth [1. 2]. You only need to look at the names of presidential candidates over the last few decades: Bush, George H.W. then Bush, George W.; and then Bush, Jeb made an unsuccessful run for president in the 2016 primaries; Clinton, Bill and then Clinton, Hillary (unsuccessfully); then Biden, Joe as Vice President and now Biden, Joe as a presidential candidate, and as I write, as likely President-elect.
This article is available exclusively on medium.com It is a unique review that combines factual physics with a review of the sci-fi fictional TV series “Dark“. Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 of this series are available.
In the Physics of “Dark” – Part 3 the concept of closed time-like curves CTCs will be further explained by considering how physicists since Einstein have understood causality — the nature of cause and effect.
Carter-Penrose diagrams will be introduced and used to highlight how CTCs, time travel and wormholes are consistent with our current understanding of general relativity.
The work reported here contains original insights into how time travel through wormholes for can be represented in spacetime diagrams.
This article is available exclusively on medium.com It is a unique review that combines factual physics with a review of the sci-fi fictional TV series “Dark“. Part 1 of this series is available.
The concept of circular time has arisen in the TV culture of Doctor Who and Star Trek as discussed in the free bonus material below.
In “Dark” the concept of circular time is more advanced than in the examples discussed in the Bonus Material and resemble the physics concept of closed time-like curves CTCs where the future communicates with the past and the past with the future. . CTCs are one of the weirdest concepts in all of physics .– and you thought that dark matter and dark energy were pretty weird.
indeed, the late, great, Stephen Hawking offered the chronology protection conjecture which basically states that CTCs are just too weird. Therefore the universe must have a way of protecting itself from them. Read more here:
This is not an article about politics but it is about the Democratic National Convention (D20) held in the last week. Specifically, it’s about one phrase in the speech by Vice Presidential candidate, Kamala Harris (see video). The phrase is “inflection point” that was also echoed the following day in the speech by Presidential candidate Joe Biden. It seems that the Democratic Party are hoping that this phrase will be a rallying call for them come Election Day in November.
“We’re at an inflection point. The constant chaos leaves us adrift. The incompetence makes us feel afraid. The callousness makes us feel alone. It’s a lot. And here’s the thing: We can do better and deserve so much more..
German Netflix series simply called “Dark” has been around since June 2017 (seasons 1 and 2) . The new season 3 has only recently become available. Watch out for the first scene in the first episode: a gruesome suicide by hanging which you might want to hit fast forward through. Very dark indeed. If you do fast forward don’t miss the short sequence in which the victim’s mother grabs the suicide note before anyone else can read it. The victim here is Michael Kahnwald and his mother is Ines. This whole scene, and the names of the characters, are pivotal to the whole story. We’ll return to the intrigue, setup by the first scene, after discussing some general comments about the time travel genre. Take the opportunity for a pause because “Dark” is a bumpy, head-spinning journey. (Edit: to be found in the continuation in Part 2).
It was sometime in mid-March that I started to become aware of the phrase “unprecedented times” being used as a descriptive term for the COVID-19 pandemic. That’s only a few weeks ago but since the pandemic was announced by WHO (12th March), we seem to be living in a time-frame where one week feels like one-month pre-pandemic time.
I started to take notice of the phrase “unprecedented times” during the announcements by our Prime Minister Scott Morrison concerning the Job Keeper pandemic relief scheme on the 30th March. At the time I was impressed that the leadership of Australia was stepping up to the mark in making appropriate and well-timed responses to the pandemic (see the YouTube video below).
This morning I was watching TV, the Today show. as Karl Stefanovic and Allison Langdon were discussing the concept of “herd immunity” which had been considered by the UK Government early in the COVID-19 pandemic. Their casual conversion considered whether it might be a good idea to deliberately infect younger Australians with the coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2)  whilst isolating and protecting older and more susceptible members of the community. This apparently casual conversation raised alarms for me as I’ll explain below (see after the jump). The infographic video that Allie used to explain the concept of “herd immunity,” seemingly made a compelling argument for it. Fortunately, they brought in sensible expert advice in the form of Dr Sanjaya Senanayake an Infectious Diseases physician and Associate Professor from the Medical School at the Australian National University (ANU) (see the YouTube video below).
I’ve been hearing the term “second wave” being used more and more frequently in connection with the COVID-19 crisis. For instance, in this article  about Singapore, Taiwan and Hong Kong facing a second wave of coronavirus cases from citizens returning from overseas. This seems faulty logic to me: it isn’t a second wave, it’s a continuation of the first wave relocating from a different geographical place. I don’t mean just to single out this article because numerous TV and radio newscasters, newspaper articles and websites worldwide are commonly using the same kind of wonky logic in connection with a so-called coronavirus second wave. When what they really mean is that the same source of the virus has either: (i) lead to a continuation of cases from another location or (ii) made a reappearance after initial efforts for containment have only been partially successful.
Why do we describe resurgence in coronavirus cases in an inconsistent manner with the phrase “a second wave”? What has happened that we can’t agree on the meaning of a term that is so important to the coronavirus crisis?
Thinking about updating my curriculum vitae today, I was triggered to reminisce about my senior high-school experiences back in 1974-5. Amazing how sharply some memories came flooding back through the eyes of a 17-year-old. I remember about being part of the Science, Mathematics and Technology group of 4 that all shared dreams of becoming scientists, technologists or engineers: Wayne, Geoffery B,, Jon and myself. At the beginning of senior high, one of the Industrial Arts teachers had suggested that the 4 of us take a lower level of English so we could concentrate on Maths, Science and Industrial Arts. As you can imagine, the English Department was not at all impressed that some of their students were taking a level of English that demanded less than their full capabilities. What happened next is far from what you might expect (read the full story after the jump).
There are spoilers ahead if you haven’t caught up with GOT season 8 episode 5 as yet.
I speculated about the (then) upcoming HBO Game of Thrones final season in a previous article. Turns out that I was right that episode 3 would contain the epic Battle for Winterfell against the Army of the Dead. I was wrong in that I didn’t predict that the Night King would be defeated and the threat from the north tied up in that same episode.
From my speculation, the other thing I did get right was that there would be treachery and betrayal from Varys and Tyrion. As Tyrion says: “thoughts aren’t treason” so he hasn’t, in his view, crossed the line yet. Though, after the apocalyptic-scale destruction of King’s Landing that Daenerys instigated in episode 5, it remains to be seen if Tyrion will continue to side with her.