Noesis 76 - December 1992

Robert Hannon to Chris Langan

ROBERT J. HANNON [address redacted] 31 Aug 92

Chris Langan [address redacted]

Dear Chris, Just a few items to be sure that you properly perceive me:

a) I am 67 and a retired electronics engineer and corporate CEO. I have been a student of many things for most of my life, concentrating on physics and cosmology. I have been studying relativity intensively for the past 2 years.

b) I grew up a poor boy in a New England mill town (Webster MA). I never would have attended college but for the US Navy V12-NROTC Program during WWII. I am now neither rich nor poor, and I worked for every dime I ever got.

c) I have an extensive vocabulary of the English/American language and of the jargon of several technical fields. My preference is to avoid jargon and even unusual words except when I am quite sure that my audience will understand, and that the words I use have a widely-accepted meaning in their field of application. I spent most of my business career in the most advanced areas of electronics, a field in which many in recent years have adopted the view that use of obscure (and usually very local, and egregiously misleading) jargon clothes them with an aura of vast intellectual superiority. There are commonplace circuits and concepts that have been renamed at least a dozen times in a half-dozen years.

d) My mathematical education extended through differential equations, plus some specialized studies in Laplace/Fourier Transform calculus. I even remember some if it!

e) I always respect the "right" of others to disagree with me, but, like you, I prefer them to offer rational, possibly even illuminating reasons for disagreement, and hope for rational, scholarly, alternative views.

f) I try at all times not to take the position that my view is the "right" one. I attempt to put forth my opinions and my logic and let the other person decide their merits.

g) I resent the use of positions of power to impose "authority" and to reject or even ridicule my serious work on such absurd premises. I too have encountered such boorishness in "high IQ" groups.

h) I doubt that more than a small fraction of the members of high-IQ groups are "geniuses". A correspondent who has belonged to many such groups for many years says, "getting high marks on IQ tests is a measure of one’s ability to get high marks on IQ tests." I am particularly unimpressed by those who think that purportedly being in the 99.999th percentile makes them vastly more intelligent than others in the 99.99th, 99.9th or the 99th. The ISPE says I scored in the 99.98th on their W87 test; I could care less. I have taken many IQ tests over the years; none were true measures of intellectual ability. The simple fact is that I have known all my life that I am "smarter" than most other people. I have had the pleasure of working with a few who were my peers. I have yet to meet anyone I honestly consider my intellectual superior, although I have known many with specific enviable talents.

i) I have never questioned the current wisdom just for the fun of it. My studies in science have revealed what appear to be significant flaws in several fundamental beliefs of the science establishment.

j) There is no such thing as an "authority" in any area of knowledge. There are "experts" in the sense of people who have a vast store of information in their heads about specific subjects. I hold no one in awe, but do respect people with great knowledge combined with open minds and imagination.

k) My writing style is direct and unapologetic, but I never knowingly offer personal affront. Please, never imply any denigration in anything I may unwittingly say. If I want to offer insult (which I do, on rare occasion), I will make it plain that such is intended.

l) I try not to pretend expertise on subjects of which I have little or no knowledge. (This sets me aside from many members of most high-IQ groups).


Since I have no specific information on CMTU, I will offer no comment I'll try to obtain your seminal papers from NOESIS.

There are many other things in your interesting letter of late Aug on which I will offer some comment.

1) I disagree that reality is complex and therefore requires a complex theory of its nature. I have long believed that nature/reality is as simple as it possibly can be{ it is the philosopher (or scientist) who makes it "complex".

I have discovered that physical reality is composed of but two "things": space and action. There are three dimensions of space and three of action, which interact in simple ways to produce the entirety of physical reality. The three dimensions of action are those parameters we call time, electric charge, and magnetic intensity. The latter two are the sole constituents of "energy".

My theory explains many of the "unexplainables" of today’s physics, including the nature of mass, inertia, the particle-wave duality, and why mass alters the geometry of spacetime.

My theory does not deal with any kind of non-physical phenomena, as such things do not exist.

2) I used "likely" in its conversational context, not its mathematical. I believe that any theory of physics which is irreducibly complex, and/or which increases in complexity as it is expanded to encompass new observational evidence, is invalid.

3) My experience with high-IQ groups is similar to yours. There seem to be certain individuals who have convinced themselves that they are vastly more intelligent than the rest of us. They seem to do this by taking their own "super IQ tests". These boors consider the opinions of lesser beings to be ridiculous unless they agree with theirs, we are as microbes compared to them! In my view, such persons can not be as intelligent as they presume. During my career, I worked with a fair number of people I considered to be truly genius intellects. None of them ever assumed an air of superiority, but rather were friendly, imaginative, open-minded, and genuinely interested in the ideas of others. They were lucid in their discussion of the most sophisticated ideas and were continual sources of new approaches to complex problems. They had a knack for reducing the most complicated situations to their simple elements.

I have read many theories of nature/reality devised by people of varying degrees of sophistication. Some are, in my view, naive; but this does not mean that they are "wrong". I simply disagree with them, and when asked, I offer my specific reasons as to why I disagree. I have learned something of interest and/or value from almost every theory I have read and/or discussed with its author.

3) Your statement that critics of CMTU have been "set straight immediately" gives me the feeling that you consider CMTU to be unquestionably valid. If so, then you are being as unreasonable those you criticize. On the other hand, your words may mean only that you pointed out the errors in their understanding of CMTU. Certainly you recognize that the "superior intellects" with whom you are dealing are likely (that word!) to be very insecure people who react negatively whenever someone disagrees with them. I find it a lost cause to try to convince such boobs of anything; they obviously are not worth the trouble.

4) In my view, truly superior minds can always reach each other and interact in an objective, imaginative, and scholarly manner. Idealism? I hope not! The difficulty is that truly superior minds appear to be extremely rare, and very, very, very, few belong to high-IO groups.

5) Your article in NOESIS 71 was all but incomprehensible to me. I always find such situations disturbing, so I took the trouble to why that was the case. It seems to me that you used sentences, even paragraphs that were so replete with jargon that I simply did not understand, and thus your meaning was not conveyed to me. This may be due to the fact that I am not a student of theoretical epistemology and/or formalized modes of philosophical discussion.

6) I think I made it plain that I believe our minds are constructed as to reject the idea that we are automatons, and that even I (most of the time) indulge in the conscious attitude that there is such a thing as "choice". Such seeming inconsistencies are necessary in discussing almost any subject with others. This social necessity in no way implies uncertainty or "quandary" or inconsistency at the real level. If I were to apply my belief in inescapable determinism to my daily life, I would probably become suicidal!

7) The "uncertainties" surrounding human thought processes arise solely from the fear of the consequences of what we think are our "choices"; this arises from our ignorance which is the sole cause of our inability to accurately predict the future (and thereby the "consequences" of our "choices") and thus understand and overcome our fears. This is a subjective kind of "uncertainty" and has no relationship to the objective "uncertainty" postulated by Heisenberg et al. He dealt with the non-sentient "particles" (they were indeed non-sentient at that time) of physics, which did not make "choices" but only obeyed the laws of nature* His theory is based on several mathematical and physical fallacies, which were extended by the mysticism of Nils Bohr and many others. I consider the term "indeterminacy" more properly descriptive of Heisenberg and Bohr's ideas: "uncertainty" conveys a degree of anthropomorphism or sentience to me.

Being a man, and unable to precisely know the effects of my "decisions" in advance in no way implies that reality/nature is indeterminate. My "uncertainty" about my actions is but a facet of my incomplete knowledge of nature; it does not impose indeterminacy on nature/reality. In my view, my every action, decision, choice, etc, is inescapable and inevitable without regard to my conscious feelings of "uncertainty".

I do not accept the view that there is any aspect of nature/reality which is non-physical, or that any aspect of nature/reality is beyond my comprehension. There may be some aspects of nature/reality of which I am unaware at the present. This ignorance is itself an inevitable result of everything that has happened in the totality of nature/reality since time began.

Your "computative and set-theoretic justification of uncertainty" is predicated on what I perceive as a confusion of the purported subjective "uncertainty" of human thought processes with the physical-mathematical "uncertainty" of Heisenberg's idea. You justified neither.

8) I did not postulate anything even remotely resembling "hidden variables" in my statements. Be 11 s theorem has been "confirmed" only in the minds of those who accept the "results" of experiments involving the theoretical constructs called "photons" and the theories surrounding their purported behavior. The quantum "mechanics" naturally interpret everything in terms of their theories. Heisenberg and Bohr s ideas were initially flatly rejected by serious scientists because they left reality/nature completely devoid of causality and determinism. It was only when Heisenberg subverted Schrodinger's equation (which subversion Schrodinger never accepted) by replacing its electromagnetic waves with entirely fictitious "probability waves" that some theoreticians became advocates of his theories. "Probabilities" do provide some with the warm feeling of a limited kind of determinism in quantum mechanics. (Isn't it odd that "probability waves" obey the same mathematical processes as electromagnetic waves? least they did in Heisenberg’s days). Of what "fields" are "probability" waves composed? what "exchange particles" "mediate" them? Has any experiment ever incontrovertibly demonstrated the existence of "probability waves"? Or are they but immaterial mathematical constructs designed to rationalize ignorance?

The "hidden variables" crap was devised by quantum "mechanics" to derogate the arguments of sceptics like me. I postulate no "hidden variables", just a degree of complexity and interaction that makes some situations appear to be "probabilistic" (or, recently, "chaotic"). My view calls for no "unknowns" (this does not mean that there may not be some). I am appalled by the naiveté that has spawned the utter lack of effort on the part of our "scientists" to truly understand what is going on. It is much easier to babble about the "collapse of the probability wave-function", than it is to try to fathom the actual but very complex causal-deterministic processes involved in all seemingly "probabilistic" situations. (Why is there is no probability theory that is applicable to any single event?)

9) The "operators corresponding to complementary observables" that do not commute in quantum mechanics are but the fallacies derived from Heisenberg and Bohr's errors. As I said in my THE UNCERTAINTY OF UNCERTAINTY, Heisenberg eventually made the non-commutation of q and p and of E and T a conditional situation, without defining the conditions under which non-commutation may exist. He simply did not want to admit that he had propagated a serious error as a scientific fact. Assuming that [p][q]-[q][p] has some actual physical significance, what inescapable logic demands that δ p and δq are dependent or complementary? Both p and q are determined by other relationships. Why did it not occur to Heisenberg that δpq may be a "quantum of action". (Note: do not read into this any inference that I accept the idea that [p][q]-[q][p] has any real physical significance). There are many other "complementary pairs" to which even Heisenberg never attempted to apply his nonsense. Example: C = frequency times wavelength.

The uncertainty/indeterminacy principle does not stand up to logical scrutiny. The concept of non-causality, which is intrinsic to the uncertainty principle, defies logic.

Do you really believe that there are causeless events? That Bohr was right when he said that any amount of energy can spontaneously come into existence, for no reason, and from nothing, so long as it (decides to?) disappear in in exactly the interval required for δEδT to exactly equal h/2πi? How is it possible for the product of two (pure) real numbers to equal a pure imaginary number? Ah, the new math!

The "uncertainty principle" and therefore everything premised on it, is invalid. Do you know of a single experiment ever conducted to validate the uncertainty principle per se7 what ever happened to the Scientific Method?

10) "Past certainty and future uncertainty" assumes the validity of the uncertainty principle. In my view, the past is certain; the future is certain but unknown to our present level of science. If our science ever rids itself of the fallacy of uncertainty and indeterminacy, we may make progress toward being able to predict the inevitable future.

11) Heisenberg "inferred" zilch from "matrix non-commutativity". He did not understand his results and proceed along quasi-mystical lines to synthesize physical meaning where none exists, [what I have read about Heisenberg (which is not a great deal) makes it obvious that he was a brash and arrogant person who considered himself inherently superior to his colleagues in the then very small physics community. He was one of the leaders of Hitler's effort to develop a nuclear weapon, which failed because it was on the wrong track]. There is no inescapable logic that leads from "matrix non-commutativity" as it was misapplied to describing the behavior of a single electron within a Hydrogen atom, to the behavior of all physical objects under all circumstances. Indeed, there is no such logic that demands that matrix non-commutativity have any algebraic or physical significance at all, except when properly applied to its initial role of geometric transformations. In that role, the correct order of multiplication is invariably obvious and even decidable.

12) Godel's theory is a formal mathematical-logical analysis dealing only with formal mathematical-logical systems. Its extrapolation to other domains has no premise, just as the extrapolation of the uncertainty principle to domains other than the purported behavior of an electron within a Hydrogen atom has no premise. "Undecidability" and "uncertainty" in this sense have no connection other than the irrationality of their extension to domains to which they can not and do not pertain.

At least one serious and highly-respected theoretician I have read considers Godel's theory to invalidate itself. This, of course, engenders paradox; a sure sign that something is awry.

Frankly, my hackles rise when people attempt to apply "computability" to domains to which such a concept is intrinsically inapplicable. I find this particularly presumptuous because of the implication that those people have an infinitely-comprehensive understanding of the entirety of all possible "computers" and computational processes. I hope that this idea is not involved in CMTU. I guess I am genetically-resistant to theories that purport to tell us what is not possible. I hold a 3 patents based on doing what was theoretically "impossible".

13) My belief that reality/nature is totally, inevitably, and inescapably deterministic and that the entire future of all lines of action in the universe was totally determined at the instant time began places no obligation on me to define determinacy or time or any other pertinent term. I use those words in exactly the same context as thousands of others have used them before me; I use no "hidden variables" or "hidden definitions".

14) Time is a member of the three dimensions of action. It is interactive with the three dimensions of space as well as with the other two of action. Being mathematically "orthogonal" to x, y, and z does not demand that time is "a line perpendicular to space" When Minkowski (and others) synthesized their theories of space-time, they had no mathematical means to interrelate space and time except by "transforming" time to a pseudo-spatial "dimension". In doing this they made two entirely unwarranted assumptions: first that C is the ultimate velocity, and second that time is "physically" orthogonal to x, y, and z, and that this is truly represented by multiplying time by i [=√ (-1)], producing the iCt term of the four-vector. This is a convenient fiction, and I include it in my theory, up to a point, but it is only a mathematical-representational tool. It is not possible for a non-spatial "dimension" to be physically perpendicular to x, y, or z. In my theory, I recognize the interdependence of time and space and that of time with the other two dimensions of action. This relationship can be expressed in a simple vector-algebraic equation. It may be the same that you derived via the CMTU. In my theory, time gives me the impression of being the ultimate or "dominant" dimension. Consider: there is no real object that has less than three spatial dimensions; there is no real object that has spatial dimensions and no time dimension, or a time dimension and less than three spatial dimensions.

15) I was fairly fortunate in that I worked in a field which gave me considerable intellectual satisfaction, first as an engineer and later as a professional manager and corporate executive. I never felt that my pursuit of material rewards interfered with my intellectual life. While I never made a vast income, I did adequately well. As I mentioned earlier, I had the rewarding experience of working with a few extraordinary people.

Having grown up poor, and with few prospects, I learned first-hand about the have-nots of our society. For the most part they are people of limited abilities with little to contribute for which they can earn becoming "haves". Unfortunately, this is also true of the vast majority of the "haves". I have compassion for those who strive mightily and are rewarded with a kick in the face, but I feel no great moral obligation to most of mankind. I do not believe that all men are created equal, nor that man is perfectible. The overwhelming majority have expectations that far exceed their merits. And far too many consider their fellow man to be fair game.

16) My, oh. My! If I am ever going to emerge as a thinker of the first rank, I'd better get busy.... I may not have many years left' I know you intended your comment to be complimentary and encouraging, but you presume too much on your limited exposure to my thought processes. I understand the logical foundations of SR better than 99.9% of those who hold forth as experts. You attribute an order of logical development and sophistication to special relativity that did not exist, for the most part, when it was promulgated by Einstein. Most of the "sophisticated thinking" now allegedly associated with SR consists of mostly useless but befuddling appendages added by later theorists who wanted to be looked upon as the intellectual equals or successors of Einstein. It is this kind of fog of seeming erudition that today’s theoreticians seem to feel necessary to impress the natives. Unfortunately, many of them come to believe their own malarkey.

The simple fact is that SR is premised on only two basic postulates (one obvious, the other entirely presumptuous): a) the laws of nature are the same in all inertial frames of reference, and, b) the velocity of propagation of light (and all other EM radiation) in a vacuum is "constant". ("Constant" is not further defined). Any "deep thoughts" pertaining to the physical nature of space or time is inferential, not specifically stated, and largely unnecessary. Space exists; time exists; both are assumed the same everywhere and everywhen. without it ever entering into Einstein's SR ruminations, he obviously believed Maxwell's equation C = l/√(€oμo) to be a universal, invariable truth. Isn't it odd that empty space has electrical and magnetic properties?

The Lorentz Transformation is the entire mathematical premise of SR. There are many "different" derivations of the LT, some strictly mathematical-logica1, others quite subjective. ALL are predicated on two inertial frames of reference (Einstein called them K and K') moving at a constant, linear relative velocity (for which I use S). All assume that two things are separately moving, one relative to each frame of reference (this is not always explicitly stated as Einstein did, but is always intrinsic) at the same velocity called C, which is identified as the velocity of light in a vacuum. The velocities of these objects relative to their respective frames of reference is always defined as x/t = C = x'/t'. By several quite different mathematical procedures, the same "results" arise:

( 1-1 ) x' = (x+St)/ √( 1-S2/C2 )

(1-2) t' = (t+Sx/C2) / √( l-S2 /C2 )

None of the many derivations ascribe any unique properties to C: it is not a "constant" at all times and in all places, nor is it independent of the relative velocity of any observer. It is only the same relative to each frame of reference. It is nothing but plain old C = x/t = x'/t'. C enters all derivations only as x/t = C = x'/t'. The LT is a simple set of simultaneous mathematical relationships, derived by simple mathematical-logical procedures. It is not based on any obscure or profound "logic", or hairy definitions of space, time, or the color yellow. It's physical meaning has been grossly misunderstood by those seeking mysteries where none exist.

In fact, one may perform any of the various derivations using x/t = Z = x'/t' , where Z has no special relationship to C. The result is exactly the same as above, except that Z appears in place of C. This derivation violates neither of the postulates, and is as valid as the conventional derivation. Its implications are profoundly different.

One vital point that is invariably ignored by "relativists" is that the LT equations must be applied simultaneously, and they apply only to those objects moving at x/t = C = x'/t'. Instead they presume that x and t (and x' and t') are separate variables that can take on any arbitrary value. This is known as changing definitions in midstream.

Respecting the basic definitions of x, t, x' and t', it is immediately apparent that the so-called velocity Transformation equation is no such thing. That equation is derived most simply by dividing (1-1) by (1-2):

(1-3) x'/t' = (x+St)/ (t+Sx/C2) = (v+S) / ( l+Sv/C2)

In performing this "derivation", the conventional thinkers simply ignore the fact that x/t and x'/t' must, by definition, always equal C. Any other value will alter (1-1) and (1-2) and therefore alter (1-3).

If we substitute x/t = C, which is the defined and sole value of that quantity, into (1-1) and (1-2) and then derive (1-3), we obtain:

(1-4) x'/t' = t(S+C )/(t/C ) (S+C) = C

which is the sole valid result. All other results are spurious because they incorrectly assume that the LT equations are unaffected if x/t = something other than C. Does (1-4) mean that C is the same for any observer, even if the source of light is in one IFR and the observer in another? No. It says only that x'/t' = C = x/t, exactly as defined at the initiation of the derivation of the LT.

Be not deluded: SR consists of nothing but the LT and various interpretations of its physical meaning. The great mysteries and paradoxes ascribed to it arise only from the failure of our "scientists" to understand the simple algebra and the simple physical model on which it is based.

* All "clocks" count the same time duration.
* Mass does not increase with relative velocity.
* C is not a speed limit.
* velocities add in accord with the Galilean Transformation

Not having your seminal papers on the CMTU, I cannot discuss it with you. I am willing to pursue it, but only when I have your concepts set forth in a form comprehensible to me.

You and I and others like us must always remember that we are "outsiders" to the army of the scientific and academic establishments. In their views, we are "not qualified" to hold unorthodox views on any subject within their domain. They will not pay any attention to you, except perhaps to tell you that you are "wrong" and/or to offer ridicule. Young Albert Einstein wouldn't stand a chance in today's world.

I have offered you some views and opinions. If you want to correspond, we may help each other learn. The only constraint I will accept from you (and offer you in return) as a condition of a respectful, scholarly, our communication is that we interact in and open-minded manner.


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