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philosophy

The face on Mars – and other questions

Aug. 07, 2014, under history, opinions, philosophy, puzzling, space t/e/d

As it circled Mars on the 25th of July 1976, NASA’s Viking 1 orbiter photographed the Cydonia region of Mars. One of the frames included an image of a 2 km (1.2 miles) long mesa, situated at 40.75 degrees north latitude and 9.46 degrees west longitude, with the appearance of a humanoid face.

The 'Face on Mars' photo captured by NASA's Viking 1 orbiter on 25 July 1976
The “Face on Mars” photo captured by NASA’s Viking 1 orbiter on 25 July 1976

When the image was originally acquired, Viking chief scientist Gerry Soffen dismissed the “Face on Mars” in image 035A72 as a “trick of light and shadow.” In a press release issued on 31 July 1976, NASA provided a caption for the picture stating “The picture shows eroded mesa-like landforms. The huge rock formation in the center, which resembles a human head, is formed by shadows giving the illusion of eyes, nose and mouth. …”

Since it was originally first imaged, the “face” has been nearly universally accepted as an optical illusion. On 8 April 2001 the Mars Global Surveyor turned so it was looking at the “face” 165 km to the side from a distance of about 450 km. The resulting image has a resolution of about 2 meters (6.6 feet) per pixel in its full-resolution (2400 x 2400 pixels) version. As noted on the Malin Space Science Systems page, “If present on Mars, objects the size of typical passenger jet airplanes would be distinguishable in an image of this scale.”

MGS view of the 'Face on Mars' mesa, MOC image E03-00824, 8 April 2001
MGS view of the “Face on Mars” mesa, MOC image E03-00824, 8 April 2001
Click the image to see the full-resolution frame (2400 x 2400 pixels)

The region was also studied by ESA’s Mars Express orbiter. Combining the MGS and Mars Express data, a three dimensional model of the “Face” was constructed.

3D computer-generated model of the 'Face on Mars' mesa
3D computer-generated model of the “Face on Mars” mesa

After examining the higher resolution Mars Express and Mars Global Surveyor data NASA stated that “a detailed analysis of multiple images of this feature reveals a natural looking Martian hill whose illusory face-like appearance depends on the viewing angle and angle of illumination.” That certainly seems a plausible conclusion, especially in a universe where humans are the only intelligent species in a solar system which has never been visited by extraterrestrials, and civilization spontaneously appeared in Mesopotamia around 4,000 B.C.

In the high Andes mountains in South America, the Nazca plateau is covered with drawings that are best seen from the air. Popular belief is that they can only be seen from the air, but “more reasoned” analysis asserts they can be seen from the surrounding hills.

Monkey image, part of the Nazca plateau lines, Peru
Monkey image, part of the Nazca plateau lines, Peru

The designs are shallow lines made by removing reddish pebbles from the surface to uncover the whitish/grayish ground beneath. Hundreds are simple lines or geometric shapes; more than seventy are zoomorphic designs of animals, or human figures. Other designs include phytomorphic shapes such as trees and flowers. The largest figures are over 200 metres (660 ft) across. Who made them, and why? Theories abound, but every one of them is just that – a theory. No one really knows.

How were Egypt’s pyramids built? I don’t know, I wasn’t there at the time. Opinions differ, but I have a hard time swallowing some of the “scientifically acceptable” ones. Those stones are just too big and there are too many of them for the technology level that was supposed to have built the pyramids. There are also assertions that the Sphynx was thousands of years old when the pyramids were built. If that is true, who made the Sphynx? While we’re on it, where did the technology come from that was used to build Machu Picchu, nearly 8000 feet above sea level? A lot of those stones are so big we’d have a hard time moving them today, let alone placing them well enough that you can’t fit a piece of paper between them – yet there they are, built up for us to look at. How did that happen? Again, I wasn’t there at the time, so I can’t express anything more than an opinion on the matter – and my opinion is that we don’t have all of the answers.

If humanity and its civilization were to disappear (e.g., through nuclear war at the end of the oil supply, a disaster I’m trying to avert through Space Power Now), the pyramids would most likely still be there on the Cairo plain, even though effectively all of the other signs of our existence would be gone. The pyramids would probably be eroded, but their form would be easily distinguishable from space if the lighting and viewing angle were right, even in a low resolution image. If, for some reason, Earth’s atmosphere leaked away in the mean time, as has apparently happened to Mars, the recognizable life expectency of the pyramids would grow rapidly.

When a bullet hits a ball, different outcomes will occur, depending on the speed and size of the bullet, and the composition of the ball. A high speed bullet hitting a solid, brittle ball will cause the ball to shatter, for example. A slower projectile, such as a BB, will make a crater and embed itself in a softer ball. Somewhere between those extremes there’s a class of collisions with bizarre results: If a bullet going just the right speed, fast enough to tear through but slow enough to not completely explode it, hits a ball with a relatively soft center and a tough skin (think of an orange), a “mountain” will form at the entry point, and the skin on the opposite site will be torn off. The center of mass will change, conceivably to the point where the now-rough side that lost its skin is farther from the center of mass – at a “higher elevation” even though it just had its face blown off. The surface of Mars is remarkably close to this description: Olympus Mons, the tallest known mountain in the solar system, is in the smooth northern hemisphere, nearly diametrically opposite the giant Hellas crater situated in the southern highlands that have some of the roughest terrain on any planet in orbit around the Sun. I haven’t done an extensive analysis, but I have to wonder – was Mars hit by a cosmic bullet some time in the past that almost destroyed it?

Let’s consider for a moment a situation where our astronomers found a comet whose orbit was going to intersect the Earth’s in, say, ten years, and that the nucleus of the comet was big enough so there’d be no way to divert it: The Earth was going to die in ten years, and there’s nothing we could do about it. What would we do, in that case? I, for one, would be pushing real hard to build spaceships to carry at least some people to another planet. When they got to their destination, it could be thousands of years before the refugees would be able to start exploring out into the universe again: Chances are that something critical would be missing at their new home, and although humanity would survive, civilization would collapse. Recognizing that, what would be the best thing for the rest of us to do, so that once the survivors did get back on their feet, they could find their way home to see if anything was left of the world they came from? Put up a sign they could recognize from a long ways away, something to say “Hey you – come look here!” A face looking out into space would do the trick, I think. If there was uncertainty about which direction the comet was going to hit from, I’d even go as far as building four faces at the apexes of a regular tetrahedron, 120 degrees from each other in any direction, to improve the chances at least one would survive the impact.

It would probably be tens or hundreds of thousands of years, millions even, before the expatriats might come back, looking for something they couldn’t define. Over that time, anything smaller than the great pyramid of Cheops would probably erode away – it would take carving a mountain into the shape of a face to have any real hope of keeping the sign up long enough for it to be found. Before actually landing on the planet, our distant relatives, while initially startled by finding the Face, would probably get a closer look then dismiss it as “a natural looking … hill whose illusory face-like appearance depends on the viewing angle and angle of illumination.”

Wait a minute. What was that the NASA analysis decided?

Maybe it’s time we went and took a closer look – time for humans to go and look, not just our robots.

An interesting coincidence is that in 1958, almost two decades prior to the first images of the Face from the Viking probes, comic book artist Jack Kirby wrote a story entitled “The Face on Mars” for Harvey Comics (Race for the Moon Number 2, September 1958), in which a large face served as a monument to an extinct humanoid race from Mars. While Mr. Kirby’s face was standing vertically, and much smaller than the one found by Viking 1, his tale is eerily prescient of the discovery – something to make you go “hmm…”


We are going to run out of oil. Before that happens, we MUST have a replacement source of energy and feed stock for our civilization that has become so dependent on plastic. The time to act is NOW!! Please visit SpacePowerNow.org to help build a solution.

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Let’s save America!

Jun. 30, 2014, under call to action, opinions, philosophy

When I was in grade school, I pledged allegiance to a nation with “liberty and justice for all.” I also learned to speak, read and write English well, since that is the language the citizens of the “melting pot” of America are supposed to communicate with.

In the time since, it seems both of those principles have been cast aside. I want to fix that, and I need your help to make it happen.


Over the past hundred years or so, our liberty has been chipped away, with the very concept of justice often falling victim in the process. As justification for taking our liberty, governments have promised us “safety” in return, with plausible seeming arguments and statistics to mask the true effects of their actions. However, as Ben Franklin is often quoted as saying, “those who would give up liberty to purchase a little (temporary) safety deserve neither, and will soon find they have lost both.” Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain) also observed “there are three forms of lies – lies, damned lies, and statistics” – and it is frequently those most heinous forms of lies – statistics – that are used to “encourage” us to surrender our rights.

One of the cornerstones of the process that has eroded our liberty came in the form of the introduction of driver licensing: The argument was made that by requiring all motorists to obtain a driver license before being allowed to use the roads, the government could insure only safe drivers would be operating a vehicle on a public way. History has proven otherwise: There are far more accidents with a horrifically greater cost caused by licensed drivers all the time than those due to unlicensed ones.

Consider what happens when you buy a “driver license” from the government: In signing the application, you are agreeing to obey any and all laws in effect, whether you know about them or not – AND any and all that may be enacted in the future. Isn’t that rather absurd? It would be like telling a credit card company that they could add whatever they wanted to your bill, and you’d have to pay for it, even if it never showed up on your itemized statement. Would you put up with that from a commercial vendor? Why do you put up with it when the government does it?

The government has conditioned us into thinking we have to get a license – to get permission to travel in public in the peaceful conduct of our own affairs, even when we aren’t intruding on anyone else’s rights: We have been led to believe that a license is required to exercise THE RIGHT TO TRAVEL IN PUBLIC. That right, however, is such a fundamental part of freedom that it cannot be removed in a nation of free citizens. In effect, we have been told we need a license to be free. Are you happy with that?

Once we accepted the idea that a license is needed to travel in public, and we have to obey any rules attached to that license whether we know about them or not, it became a LOT easier to knock other large holes in our liberty: We are no longer the beneficiary of our own labors, the government can steal part of our wages – oh, sorry, that’s tax, not steal – and we have to pay because a law has been put forth telling us about it. We cannot raise our children as we see fit, because if we do something out of line with the government’s rules they will take our children away. It doesn’t matter if we disagree or not, if we don’t play the game their way, our children will be gone – and possibly our “driver license” as well, if they can figure a way to make that happen, too.

I wish I could say I’m making this up – but I’m not: I see it going on around me every day, and hear horror stories from all over the country with the same sort of tales. The situation is only going to get worse unless we start to fight back, to demand that the government return our rights to us.

Since this erosion of our liberty has a fundamental basis attached to driver licensing, that’s where one of the defensive attacks has to come from. I have set up StopHighwayRobbery.com as a focus point to build a community around. I want it to grow into a grass-roots efforts to RESTORE THE RIGHT TO TRAVEL IN PUBLIC IN THE PEACEFUL CONDUCT OF YOUR OWN AFFAIRS WITHOUT QUESTION. I can’t do it alone, though, so I’m asking for your help – contribute time and support if you can, and PLEASE tell people about it!

Here’s a quote from Sam Adams:

In a state of tranquillity, wealth, and luxury, our descendants would forget the arts of war and the noble activity and zeal which made their ancestors invincible. Every art of corruption would be employed to loosen the bond of union which renders our resistance formidable. When the spirit of liberty, which now animates our hearts and gives success to our arms, is extinct, our numbers will accelerate our ruin and render us easier victims to tyranny. If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquillity of servitude than the animating contest of freedom – go from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains sit lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen!


For over two hundred years after it was founded, English was recognized as the language with which everyone in the United States of America was expected to be able to communicate. While visitors were given a degree of latitude when they could find someone to speak their foreign tongue, anyone planning to stay was expected to learn our language. This helped to insure a common basis was available for conveying information, wording contracts, and a host of other communication applications.

Some time in the 1970’s or ’80’s it suddenly became not “politically correct” to require everyone to speak English – and America’s Tower of Babel started to be built. Icons replaced text labels on control knobs, government agencies became expected to provide translators for immigrants demanding services, and voice prompts began telling us we have to “press one for English” with other prompts in other languages. Whereas human operators could usually tell if the person they were talking to understood them or not, voice menu systems don’t.

Part of what made America great was the fact its citizens COULD communicate with each other: If you could speak English, you could expect to find a job or a meal without undue effort anywhere you went. If you could read English, you could go to a library and learn just about anything you wanted to. With being able to write in English, you had the opportunity to get your message to anyone and everyone in the country. Learning English and becoming proficient with it provided a basis for measuring progress in our educational system, and gave students and teachers a common ground to work from.

Now we have fragmented communities where (often large) parts of the population don’t speak English – and have no intention of learning how to do so. Their expectation is that if anybody who doesn’t speak their language will have to provide a translator or just stay out of their clique. This behavior leads to misunderstandings, at best – and even to violent conflict. Meanwhile, those of us who do speak English, using it as our primary language, are expected to “be tolerant” of those who are willfully choosing to not be able to speak with us. To add insult to injury, rather than being able to walk up to an ATM and get access to our money, for example, we have to “press one for English” to tell the machine that we’re using the language that SHOULD be the one that IT is using.

I’m tired of this. There is NO REASON an American should ever have to “Press one for English” to communicate with anyone else in this country.

  • If you cannot communicate in English, learn the language!
  • If you do not want to learn the language, go back where you came from!
  • If you want to preserve your cultural heritage, you’re welcome to do so: Open a museum, and preserve as much as you want.
  • If you don’t want your cultural heritage preserved in a museum, go back where you came from, and preserve it there!

I have set up BoycottPressForEnglish.org in an effort to restore language unity within the United States of America. I think it’s a critical part of restoring some of the necessary standards that have fallen aside due to the laps of sanity that is resulting in so many “Americans” being unable to communicate with each other. I can’t do it alone, though, so I’m asking for your help – contribute time and support if you can, and PLEASE tell people about it!

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In defense of the right to travel, Dewitt Town Court, May 9, 2013

May. 08, 2013, under opinions, philosophy

My name is W FRED KOSCHARA, which is the name shown on my driver’s license.  My name is not FRED W KOSCHARA as was written on the UNIFORM TRAFFIC TICKET I received that is causing me to appear in Dewitt Town Court on Thursday, May 9, 2013 at 7pm.  FRED W KOSCHARA is a fictitious person invented by the author of the UNIFORM TRAFFIC TICKET, apparently Officer DAVID A JOHNS, for the convenience of filling out his paperwork.  In addition, my driver license clearly shows that my address is 11 DELL COURT, LYNN, MA, not PO BOX 15571, BOSTON, MA as written on the UNIFORM TRAFFIC TICKET.  I am being forced to appear to defend my license from an accusation against a fictitious person.

The right to travel in public in the peaceful conduct of one’s own affairs is a fundamental part of freedom.  If a natural person, especially a sovereign citizen, cannot travel in public without question, interruption or punishment, liberty has been lost.  If that loss has been at the hand of the government whose job is to protect the rights of the public, this can no longer be called a free country.

On the morning of November 22, 2012, I was traveling westbound on Interstate 90, a Federally funded public way.  At approximately six o’clock on that morning, I was stopped by an armed man, hiding by the side of the road, whose intent was to present a demand for money:  The UNIFORM TRAFFIC TICKET I received is not a criminal accusation, it is a civil complaint in which the State of New York is suing me for failing to obey a law.  My assailant, dressed in an ill-fitting coat and what looked to me like a sloppy wool ghetto hat, did not identify himself or who he was working with or for, but I did observe a patch with the words “State Police” sewn onto his jacket.

The rule of law must be based on objective measures – observation of empirical facts which can be held against a common standard applied to all.  Otherwise, if subjective matters, based on opinion, are allowed to determine the outcome of a legal decision, the question becomes one of whose opinion is “more correct” – which is the mark of a dictatorial regime.  When laws are used to codify subjective decisions, that merely masks the opinions behind them with the color of law, but it does not change the fact that any legal decisions based on those laws are in fact not based on objective measures, and are therefore an inherent danger to liberty, and to civilization itself.

By their nature, objective measures are not something that can be used to predict unrelated results.  For example, speed is an objective measure of the relative rate of travel between two objects.  By itself, speed can be used to predict the time the two objects may be in proximity, or how long it will take one to strike the other if they are on a collision course.  However, by itself, speed cannot be used as a measure of safety.  For example, if two railroad trains are moving toward each other at a speed of half a mile per hour and a person is standing between them with no chance to escape, their slow speed is unsafe because the person will be crushed.  However, light traveling more than 186,000 miles per second washes over us all the time and we continue unscathed.

Accidents are measurable events, an objective measure of safety – which is why the expression “safety is no accident” is so common in motor vehicle department literature.  Speed limits, on the other hand, are an expression of what someone has determined is “an acceptable level of risk” – an OPINION of what is safe vs. what is not.  Speed limits were determined some time in the past by someone who probably never was on the road in question, and who certainly had and has no idea of what the conditions of the road, vehicle, weather and/or driver were at the time of enforcement.  Statistics are cited as the basis of the decisions behind setting speed limits.  Statistics is a branch of mathematical science used for categorizing the past behaviour of large groups.  If you ask any competent mathematician, however, they will tell you that statistics are completely useless for predicting the future behaviour of an individual.  Doing so is scientific fraud, and when it is used as the basis for speed limit enforcement, it becomes a crime against every person who receives a speeding ticket that is unrelated to a specific accident.

When I sit down behind the steering wheel, I am assuming responsibility for the safety of everyone and everything in front of me.  If someone makes a claim that I am an unsafe driver without an objective measure of my performance, they are slandering my good name.  I take great offense to such a defamation of my character.

My accuser told me that he was going to write me a ticket because of my unsafe speed.  From my perspective, that meant that not only was he presenting a demand for money, but he was saying I was an unsafe driver, adding insult to injury.  I logically asked by what objective measure was my driving unsafe, and received a brusque reply of “by the same objective measure as used for everybody else on the road!”

Upon examination of the UNIFORM TRAFFIC TICKET I received, I was astonished by reading the opinion that I “aggressively challenged the unsafe nature of [my] speed” – I hardly think that calmly asking a legitimate question for which I was seeking a rational answer is “aggressive” or belligerent.

When I was stopped on November 22, there was no accident involved, and since we were the only ones on that westbound stretch of the road at the time, I believe there was no question of whether I had been involved in an collision.

There are two things a person has when they come into this world that they are fundamentally entitled to: their time, and their abilities.  This is the basis of their personal wealth which they must trade for their survival, comfort and happiness: everything they need and want to live their life.  The only proper way a person will lose some of their time and/or abilities is through voluntary mutual trade for mutual profit with another entity, or as a voluntary gift to someone else:  If another entity initiates the use of force to deprive a person of their time and/or abilities, the perpetrator has committed a crime against the person.

With the amount of driving I’ve done over the course of my lifetime, I could have driven to the Moon and back and around the Earth ten times without an accident.  I am not claiming that my past behaviour predicts my future safe driving:  The reason I expect to continue driving safely is because of why I have successfully driven that much without causing damage along the way – I pay attention to my driving, to the road and conditions around me – I think about what I’m doing, and I moderate my behaviour based on what is appropriate:  I know what I’m doing, and I use my abilities to make the best use of my time that I can.  I find the idea an extreme offense to my sensibilities that some petty bureaucrat, sitting in a cubbyhole “forty” years ago who never met me and never saw the road or vehicle I’m using, would be allowed to dictate my actions and deprive me the use of my constructive abilities.

I realize that the New Hampshire state constitution does not have legal authority over the actions of the State of New York, but it contains sage advice that is relevant in the matter at hand.  To wit, Article 18 of said document, entitled “Penalties to be Proportioned to Offenses; True Design of Punishment,” states “All penalties ought to be proportioned to the nature of the offense.  No wise legislature will affix the same punishment to the crimes of theft, forgery, and the like, which they do to those of murder and treason.  Where the same undistinguishing severity is exerted against all offenses, the people are led to forget the real distinction in the crimes themselves, and to commit the most flagrant with as little compunction as they do the lightest offenses.  For the same reason a multitude of sanguinary [[bloodthirsty]] laws is both impolitic and unjust.  The true design of all punishments being to reform, not to exterminate mankind.”

Let’s consider the severity of punishment with regards to today’s driving environment.

If a “minor” collision occurs between two vehicles in rush hour traffic, the drivers will most likely exchange papers without police involvement, and subsequently file claims with their insurance companies.  There may be thousands of dollars of damage as a result of a minor “fender bender,” and the claimants will pay more insurance premiums for some time, but there won’t be any motor vehicle department actions against their license.

On the other hand, look at what a person suffers after being “convicted” of speeding:  In addition to the fines imposed and any court costs, and the cost of appearing in court, a portion of their “driver license” is held in ransom through the system of “points” the motor vehicle department assesses for the “offense.” Furthermore, the price of the person’s mandatory insurance purchase rises, and remains at an elevated rate for a period of years.  By merely trying to reduce their travel time, not by causing any damage or harming anyone, a burden measured in hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars is cast upon this hapless soul.

This means a person “convicted” of speeding often suffers more punishment than if they had been in an accident and had caused tangible damage – which is precisely the condition against which the authors of the New Hampshire state constitution had warned.

Enforcement of unpopular or unjust laws for the sake of their enforcement is a tool used by tyrannical governments to gain control over their subjects:  A free, innocent person is not easily ruled, but if you can convince someone they are guilty, you can use that guilt to get them to do just about anything you want them to do.  Whether it is stated or not, that is one of the primary reasons behind motor vehicle law enforcement – the government “needs” to have a “guilty” populace in order to keep them under control.

I am sure there will be no drivers in the court room who have never driven above the speed limit.  I also believe it is highly likely that the police officer who wrote the UNIFORM TRAFFIC TICKET causing me to appear in court routinely drives above the speed limit.  If the general consensus of the populace is that speed limits do not need to be obeyed, if the police officers writing speeding tickets are among the most flagrant violators of the law they are enforcing, how is justice served by speed limit enforcement?  Who is the person without sin who can throw the first stone?

In my considered opinion, speed limit enforcement where there is no accident involved must be one of four things:

  • Prior restraint, i.e., punishment before a crime has occurred, which has been ruled unconstitutional by the United States Supreme Court, and is further a fundamentally unsound principle:  If prior restraint is to be allowed, we must ban eating utensils, because someone might use a spoon to stab their neighbor.  Chairs must be outlawed because one could be used to beat another person.  Indeed, civilization itself must be prohibited, because the only time a crime can occur is when two people interact, and if there’s no civilization, there won’t be any more interaction between potential criminals and their victims.
  • Punishment because someone else committed a crime, which would per se be an abrogation of justice:  How can one person be held responsible for the deeds of another over whom they have no control, and probably never even met?  The abuse of statistics to support punishing individuals because of observations of large groups in this way is nothing more than scientific fraud, merely compounding the injustice.
  • Enforcement for the sake of enforcement, the mark of an autocratic regime which has no place in a free society.  At best, such behaviour is an attempt to impose uniformity onto a populace of individuals, which results in holding the best back to the level of the worst, and leads to punishment for possession and use of ability.  Any society that condones the use of force to prevent the best among them from doing their best has committed suicide, and will not last long.
  • Revenue enhancement, (its common name) wherein the legislature sends police officers to rob the public (so they can give away money they do not have), a conspiracy to commit armed highway robbery, committed by the government against the people it is supposed to protect.  The fact that state governments have enacted laws as a thin veil of apparent propriety over their actions does not alter the fact that their actions are indeed criminal violations of so many Federal laws that the perpetrators should be spending the rest of their lives behind bars.

I challenge anyone to demonstrate that speed limit enforcement where there is no accident involved is not one of the four cases described above.  Unless and until such an argument is made, I must demand that such enforcement be summarily prohibited.

I am being brought into court to defend myself not because I committed a crime, or did anything that is fundamentally wrong:  I was summoned to appear because crimes have been committed against me.

As an innocent victim of the crimes that have been committed against me that are drawing me into court, and because I have not done anything fundamentally wrong that would justify imposition of punishment, I am requesting that I be found not guilty of any wrong doing.

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Reaching for my dreams

Feb. 28, 2013, under call to action, goals, opinions, philosophy, space t/e/d

When I was five years old, I decided I wanted to be an astronaut. That’s still a core part of my objectives, but in the intervening years additional layers and other things have gotten added. Now when people ask me what I want to do with my life, I say “I want to build a privately funded space exploration and development company, move off-planet as a free and sovereign individual, and make [a lot of] money in the process.” (In this context, the meaning of sovereign being used is “independent of outside authority” rather than “supreme in rank, power or authority” – i.e., the way citizens of the United States of America are supposed to be “sovereign citizens.”)

My ambition is to build space colonies at L5, and manufacture solar power satellites for installation in geostationary orbit.  Accomplishing those objectives will be a bigger undertaking than anything that has ever been done before.  In spite of the daunting size of the project, it’s something that has to be done before we run out of oil or civilization will implode, and humanity itself may not survive.  Once the system is built, however, we can look forward to a reliable and effectively eternal supply of energy that’s cheaper than what we have now, with practically no pollution, and the whole investment could be repaid in 30 years at an extremely reasonable rate of ten cents per kilowatt/hour.

Humanity needs a frontier where misfits and malcontents can go to live their different lives without disturbing or being disturbed by the mainstream community.  There is no longer anywhere on Earth that can truly be called a frontier.  Life on a frontier also spurs people into a creative resourcefulness that yields innovation in often totally unexpected ways.  The Earth’s population is over seven billion people, most of whom live in or near poverty.  If everyone had the affluent lifestyle of the comfortably well-to-do of the industrialized societies, there wouldn’t be enough resources to go around.  The only way to fix that problem is to get more resources – which can only be done from beyond Earth’s boundaries – in space.  We have to go to space to survive!

I’m an extremely creative person – which is both a boon and a bane.  On one hand, it allows me to figure out a solution for nearly every problem that’s thrown at me – but not necessarily where to find the time or resources needed to implement the solution.  On the other hand, quite often in the process of solving one problem, I end up working on another one – often because the new problem is part of the solution for the first one.  “They” say that before you do anything, you have to do something else.  What “they” don’t tell you is it’s a recursive problem.  Some years ago I guesstimated that I had seventeen lifetimes worth of work that I need to get back to – stuff that got pushed to the back burner by something else having to be done first.  Sometimes it seems like I need to turn my creativity off to be able to get anything done.  That thought, however, falls smack in the middle of “be careful what you wish for” – it’s not something I would really want to have happen.  What has happened is that I’ve ended up with countless projects and ideas that I’m going to get to “one of these days” – when I have nothing to do, and a staff to do it with!

I don’t come from a wealthy background:  My parents made enough of their fortune to be comfortable in their retirement years, in spite of having five somewhat problematic children.  Without their pensions feeding the kitty, though, I don’t expect what they leave behind will last long.  I’ve “joked” for most of my life that my inheritance has fourteen zeros and a minus sign – but it looks like I might have underestimated the number of zeros.  I wish it were a joke, but the US national debt is so large that it’s approaching the point where it could never be paid back.  I dread the day when that happens – especially since most of the rest of the world is in the same boat, or even worse off.

The net result of all of this is I’m trying to figure out how to get from where I am, with effectively nothing, to being able to borrow trillions of dollars so that I can solve some of the biggest problems that have ever faced humanity.  This is probably the most important puzzle that’s ever been presented to my creativity, and I’m embarrassed to say that, even after all this time, I still haven’t figured it out.

I would like to be spending my time on finishing the redesign of the L5 Development Group Web site, getting the L5 National Bank set up, building public awareness through Space Power Now, starting real development of the LunaRobots project, establishing SpaceColonists.com as a vibrant community of like-minded people who actually want to move off-planet with me – so many things to do, and I know I can’t do them all myself.  Financial reality, however, is preventing me from making significant progress on any of those goals:  I’m so busy trying to figure out how to cover this month’s bills that I can’t even begin to think about where to raise the first million dollars, let alone where to find the trillions that will be needed to bring this dream to fruition.

Now I find myself once again looking for projects I can use to fill my coffers, identifiable and (fairly) well defined tasks where I can come in, bring my diverse range of experience to bear to solve a problem, then move on once the job is done and I’ve been paid for my work.  I’m not looking for a “safe” career of spending a long time building an empire in someone else’s organization, doing their work:  I have enough (too many?) projects and prospects of my own that I want and need to be working on: My career is in my company.  In order to continue getting paying projects, though, I know that when I do a job, I have to do it well:  A reputation for shoddy workmanship is one I wouldn’t want to try to work past.

Instead of me working for an employer, I need to have other people working for me – hundreds of thousands of them, millions even.  If anybody has any solid, actionable suggestions about how I can get from where I am to where I need to be, I want to hear them – and sooner is much better than later.  Filling time covering nothing more than the current bills isn’t going to allow me to progress to the next level, and beyond.  I really do want to fix the world, and before we run out of time.  Your feedback, comments and suggestions will be sincerely appreciated.

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The sky is white

Feb. 24, 2013, under astrophysics, philosophy

The universe is infinite and an open topology.  This means you could start out anywhere in space and go forever without being any closer to “the edge of space” than you were when you started.

One of the objections posed against this concept is that if the universe were truly infinite, then there would be a light source in every direction you looked.  As a result, the sky would have to be white because there would be a light source somewhere in every direction.  The dark night sky is therefore taken as refuting the idea that the universe is infinite.

Well, the sky is white – if you’re looking in the microwave portion of the electromagnetic spectrum.

Does that count?  Well, yes it does:  The more energetic photons that started out as visible light some nearly infinite distance away have passed through an unfriendly universe on their way to us:  Collisions and near misses with other photons, space warped by gravity wells, other hazards we haven’t even discovered yet – these all suck energy out of passing light.  When electromagnetic energy is lost, the photons fall down the spectrum:  Extremely energetic photons of hard X-rays become soft ones, ultraviolet becomes violet, green shifts to yellow, red to infrared, infrared to microwave.  Given enough distance, a photon will eventually run out of energy, having dissipated everything it started with into the intervening void.  We’ve been taught that a photon starts out with a certain amount of energy and always has that same amount, but it doesn’t really work that way when you look on a large enough scale.

This doesn’t bode well for the evidence assumed to be supporting the Big Bang theory – red-shift:  Instead of being a result of accelerating expansion at larger distances, red shift is caused by a much more mundane effect – light running out of energy – its energy being dissipated into the void by the nature of the universe.

There are several other problems with the Big Bang:  If the universe is expanding, what is it expanding into?  Isn’t the universe (by definition) everything that exists?  The red shift is assumed to be a measure of the rate of the universe’s expansion:  Things that are farther away are all older and red shifted more because they have been accelerating longer.  Well, no:  It has taken the light from distant objects longer to get to us than from closer ones and the photons have just had more time and distance to lose energy.  Does it really make sense that there would only be extremely old objects in the great distances and none nearby?

Gravity isn’t the result of the surface of the Earth accelerating away from the center of the core at 9.8 meters per second per second.  A much more likely explanation is that the mass of the Earth is shielding us from the skyful of photons that would bombarding us from the other side, so those from the sky above us pins us down just as if there were a mysterious vacuum pump sucking us toward the center of the Earth.

I’m working on developing TheSkyIsWhite.org to discuss and disseminate information about the physics and philosophy behind, about and derived from the concept of an open infinite universe.  Feel free to check it out.

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