The work of a curious fellow

large changes from small actions How can we do anything in no time at all? Time is a twisted slippery thing.

.: Background

A few years back I began writing short web pages on topics I had been wondering about. I called these "observations". They appeared more or less in the order in which I thought of them. Each pretty much stood on its own but after a while I found that many of them would fall under the heading of "Life on Earth" and would be a lot more coherent if I reorganized them and added some transitions from one to another. I have done that, so if you are a return visitor to these observations you will find the order of the pages has changed a bit and most have been slightly modified.

In thinking about when and how people can take action to change their futures, I had to think about the nature of "now", that boundary between past and future. These thoughts are collected under "The Nature of Now" heading. These pages are a bit more technical than those in "Life on Earth". I had to invoke some strange results from Einstein's relativity theories. Generally I have tried to express my thoughts without wandering too far into the swamp of math and physics. To help the reader keep his feet dry, so to speak, I have hidden some of the details behind hyperlinks where the sense of the story allows.


.: Disclosure Statement

The ideas expressed in these pages represent my best understanding of the topics addressed. It is very likely that there are errors and certainly there are omissions, not surprising since the pages are written by a retired sailor dabbling in mathematics and physics. See the bio. My object in writing these pages is not so much to instruct anyone as to encourage thinking about large questions and ideally to prompt some discussion of these ideas.

I come to this work with certain biases. I am a Christian and learned faith before I learned much science. As a person who loves understanding, I am still comforted that I can know things that I do not understand. Although I find comfort in the Christian faith, I do not believe that people of other faiths are any less entitled to their beliefs than I am. Such science as I do know reinforces the notion that this universe was not an accident. The odds against that are huge. I have no problem with the theory of evolution. After all, what humans perceive as visible light is exactly that portion of the spectrum that happens to penetrates sea water. Still I would not be surprised to learn that evolution may have been given a few tweaks along the way by a creator who knows what she is doing. I do try to keep an open mind on the subjects and look at things from different angles.

Life on Earth
Pebbles and People -similarities and differences between pebbles and people
Matter Behaving Well -even a brick knows how to follow these rules
What is Life -defined by its activities
Getting Improbable Results -showing that chance is a pitiful organizer
Can Evolution do the Job -of making live stuff from not-live stuff
Economy and Extravagance -of Nature in her apparent confusion
The Will of God -the first answer to unanswerable questions... and the last?
Why is there life -return on the investment
Getting Things Done -breaking into the flow of time... or not
Forming an Intent -projecting ourselves into the future based on the past
Acting on Intentions -in which we see that everything is done in the same way
The Predictability Principle -connecting action and reaction
Unlikely Universe Part 1 -the awful second law
Unlikely Universe Part 2 -the the slimest chance
The Nature of "Now"
Introduction to The Nature of Now -relocating the topic
That Simultaneity Situation -playing tricks on the idea of "now"
Where is "Now" -perhaps not everywhere?
When is "Now" -perhaps at the temporal boundary of an evolving universe?
What Happens at "Now" (part 1) -covering large scale objects
What Happens at "Now" (part 2) -covering the smallest objects
Odds and Ends
Why is there music - to lead us to mathematics?
Genesis Revisited - an eyewitness account
Why People Die - speculation on the "natural causes" excuse
Page Last modified: 04-May-2013 12:26 PM
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