by Niall Douglas. Last updated .
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Tuesday 19th December 2006: 12.38pm. Tis the night before I go home for Christmas, and despite the coming 6am start I am not in bed yet despite being very tired given I was up till 5am last night and was up since about 10am this morning. At least I will sleep well!
I am more or less back on form after the worst semester I have been at St. Andrews - these would be my academic daughter's words, but I generally agree. After a good number of weeks of reflection and asking myself if I understand the world correctly, I have moved from self-doubt to creating change. While it is good to deeply question one's motives & interpretation of the world, it is rather incompatible with not getting kicked out because you failed a class test.
The future is what we make it, and I've let that slip the last few months. I will be making up for that during the coming semester when my workload also increases by 50%. It's all good. And it's also time I got moving with the long term vision - I had intended to network for the first two years, now it's time to prune that network of deadweight down to the core nexus points and start leveraging it.
A thought which occurred to me a few nights ago is still speaking to me. Somewhere far off, at the edge of the macro-Universe, energy coalesces into hydrogen gas and in doing so releases massive amounts of high energy gamma radiation (this is not the Big Bang cosmology, it's my own which is the simplest extrapolation of the rule "what goes on Earth goes everywhere"). These high energy gamma rays are immense and make up much of what we call cosmic rays (orthodoxy holds they come from the poles of black holes, but I disagree). That hydrogen is heavily ionised by that radiation, and so organises itself into all the sorts of structures that plasma does (ie; plasma cosmology). As the plasma coalesces, partly through magnetic fields, partly through electric fields and partly through gravity, you get galaxies and stars.
What is a star? A star consists of hydrogen at a high enough pressure that it coalesces into helium and emits yet more gamma radiation (sunlight). That helium may coalesce with other elements to yield all the heavier elements which make our planet up, once again with every step yielding more gamma radiation.
What I find so amazing is the pattern of it all. Energy clumps itself together into denser and denser forms (atoms). Every time it does, it releases the gamma radiation that in turn causes the reorganisation of those atoms - primarily through plasma effects, but also things like gaseous motion which we see as wind. That continual clumping together of energy moves the same energy around! Not just that, but it also organises that energy - much like the far from equilibrium effects you see in plasma, you also get chemical clocks, mimicry and of course DNA and therefore life. You therefore have the process of clumping generating structure!
There is something in this. I feel there is - in there somewhere lies the answer to my puzzle with my Economic model - how precisely does the expending of energy entropy convert into structure entropy? I know I'm seeing it too linearly - we tend to see the degradation of entropy as the "consumption" of energy, but all input energy gets reemitted as heat. Could it be that gravitons are really photons? Is perhaps gravity created by the fact that all macro-matter is continually outputting as many photons as it receives, just at a much higher entropy (lower frequency)? I wonder if the deformation of space-time is really the concentration of photon exchange.
Somehow, in my mind's eye imagining a large lump of cold matter, if you shine a light on it it converts it to heat - it converts the entropy to being internally excited. The matter expands, becomes less dense by an amount proportionate to the amount of energy entropy being consumed by the mass. It also organises itself, building structure - yet that structure increases in complexity forever so long as the same amount of entropy is consumed - which implies that each part of that structure must become more entropy efficient over time. Note that only mass can consume entropy - that is the purpose of mass, to get excited by the clumping together of mass. There is some relation here between space, entropy and time I am still missing - and in it lies my answer.
Anyway, I am off to bed - it is now well past one, and I get up in just over four hours. Be happy!