Posts Tagged ‘2015’

Ten questions to address during 2015

January 1, 2015

Rather than making resolutions (which I won’t keep) I have listed the 10 questions that I would like to consider (but won’t) during this next year:

  1. Are not “rights not to ” integral to “rights to”? Rather than freedom of religion, would it not be better to have freedom from religion or perhaps the “right to be free of religion”?
  2. Isn’t the continuity of an organised religion entirely dependent upon the brainwashing of children to follow that religion?
  3. Is evolution constrained (imprisoned) by the Earth? or is Earth the prison planet for evolution?
  4. Why do we need priests to tell others what to believe? Aren’t priests  – by definition – an institutionalisation of inequality?
  5. Why do all societies have taxation on wealth creation instead of on wealth consumption?
  6. Why do we need or allow cost or price inflation?
  7. Why are concepts of equality not subordinated to justice?
  8. Could Shia (+US) versus Sunni (+Russia) start WWIII? or Russia versus EU? or China versus Japan? or China versus India?
  9. Do we need barbarism to exist to be able to define civilised behaviour?
  10. Why don’t physicists and cosmologists just admit that they cannot (yet) explain any one of the fundamental forces of nature (the strong interaction force, the electromagnetic force, the weak force and the gravitational force)  and instead of using jargon just call them Magic Force Types 1, 2, 3 and 4?

Seven years of plenty from March 2015?

December 31, 2014

Tomorrow is just another day, the first day of the month we call January after the two-headed (two-faced?) Roman God Janus. The day is just another day of the 365 ¼ days the Earth takes to orbit the Sun. The first day of January as the start of another orbit is an arbitrary choice and does not coincide with any special position of the Earth or the Sun. It is 9 – 10 days after the winter solstice and the lag can be put down to the fact that the solar cycle giving the year is not a nice, clean, simple multiple of the lunar cycle giving our months. The months of course have been massaged to have a variable number of days to make 12 months fit to a year.  In Roman times, the year started on March 1st of a 10 month year. The ten months were clearly too short for the solar year, and the 50 or so days between the end of December and the start of March were acknowledged but empty and unnamed. January and February were added later to complete the solar year.

But in spite of being just another day, the 1st of January is important, not because of the Earth’s position but because humans need to be able to draw a line and start anew. For most it has been a bad year or, at best, just another ordinary year. For only a very few has it been a “good” year. We crave something to look forward to, to better times. And what better way to define the end of a period and a renewal than the start of a New Year.

A year ago on 1st January 2014, I hadn’t heard about ISIS or IS. The video of the beheading of James Foley has been – for me – the single most disgusting clip of 2014. Human behaviour continues to vary from the sublime to the barbarous. My contempt for organised religion has only increased during the year. Every case of religious violence can be traced back to a rabid mullah or imam or priest or rabbi. Islamic barbarism has distinguished itself – again. My image of 2014 is dominated by barbarous Islamic extremists. The heights of Islamic culture and poetry and art and science have long since gone and we are now seeing the depths of behaviour Islam (among other religions) can inspire. But there has been too much talk about “human rights” and not enough about corresponding “human duties”. We continue down the misguided road of legislating for human behaviour.  The rich/poor divide has widened but politicians forget that this is because the poor lack the education and the opportunity to escape the poverty trap. It is not because the rich have taken from the poor as they would like to pretend. And yet global poverty and famine and malnourishment and homelessness have declined. Politicians have vacillated as usual. Barack Obama has not lived up to the high expectations he once inspired and the new Pope Francis is on a cheap popularity quest. Courage is not particularly visible. A new economic cold war between the EU and the US against Russia has started. There are no political leaders in Europe and the EU is becoming a bureaucratic monstrosity. China and India have been unable to be the motors for global growth.

The World Cup came and went. FIFA was shown -again – to be a deeply corrupt organisation. India demonstrated that frugal engineering could allow space to be within the reach of those not so well off. Big Science – exemplified by CERN – applies a bureaucratic rather than an innovative approach to Science. Science by press releases to secure funding is more important than thinking out of the box (which cannot get published). Peer review is more pal review or even self-review. There is more ice at the poles than for 40 years. There is more ice at the Antarctic than ever measured before. Oil price has dropped spectacularly as shale oil production has increased and demand has declined. We have a year of low fuel prices ahead. In 2014 there were many small but no major volcanic eruptions or earthquakes or tsunamis. A VEI5+ volcano eruption is now well overdue. The internet and internet English and internet crime are all still growing. War is increasingly being privatised and outsourced. In a post-modern world, political correctness is becoming obsolete.

All in all, just another ordinary year.

The astrological pundits tell me that a period of unprecedented antithetical planetary positions since the 1930’s started in 2008. Apparently planets were “opposed” to each other or at “right angles” to each other or were “antagonistic”. The financial crisis – they are quick to point out – began in 2008 and reached its depths in 2013 in accord with the antagonistic alignments! In any event these unpropitious alignments come to an end in March 2015.

The end of seven lean years perhaps and the start of seven years of plenty?

As they say here, “ett gott slut och ett gott nytt”. I wish all a

A Good End and a Good Start


 

Aliud orbita et hoc anno

December 23, 2014

Another orbit, another year.

Since the Earth – recognisable as a condensed planet – started rotating around the Sun, there have been an estimated 4.54 ± 0.05 billion rotations (4.54 × 109 ± 1% revolutions). From the time humans – recognisable as modern humans – walked the earth, there have been over 200,000 revolutions. The number 2015 is measured from an arbitrary and a rather meaningless point in time and – for the SUN or the Earth – has no significance whatever. It is just a label for the coming year.

In any event the lucky number for “2015”  is 8.

Sol et manet invictus. (And the Sun remains invincible).

sol invictus 2014

 

Have a wonderful year!


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