in the beginning there was an infinity of choices
don’t worry it could get infinitely worse
there are a million reasons to be depressed by an infinity in lockdown
little do they know,
but you’re never alone with paranoia
infinity welcomes careful physicists
you might think it’s a long way down the street to the chemist, but that’s just peanuts to infinity
Life is Difficult and Painful.
This is a great truth, the first of the Four Noble Truths.
Most people cannot, or will not, accept that this life is a vale of tears, and will often seek to escape from themselves and their pain into drugs, booze, sex, junk food, gambling, religion, mental illness… However, there is no real escape from suffering other than unconditional acceptance of one’s own true identity and the realisation that we cannot change what happens to us, we can only change how we react to events and what we ourselves do. But, what we do will, in some way, change what happens to us.
With acceptance comes change. ~ Jaco Snoek
Yet, even in this deterministic universe there is no real cause and effect, at least none within ordinary human understanding. Ordinary human understanding tells us that a chicken is just an egg’s way of creating another egg ~ this idiotic theory is perfectly in agreement with the Principle of Causality. So which is wrong, our idiotic theory or the principle of causality? It doesn’t matter, it’s just semantics, and words are poor tools with which to describe infinity. Anyway, the cosmos doesn’t care either way.
Sadly, very early in life we learn to have expectations of reward for our actions, and this is what motivates most of what most people do most of the time ~ this is called the Expectancy Theory, and it’s fundamentally flawed in the same way that the eternal law of cause and effect is flawed. There is no Divine Omniscient Consciousness to ensure that the law of cause and effect always applies.
If you do something good, you may not get a good result. If someone does something bad or evil, they may not get a bad or evil result. It is not always possible to determine in advance the end results of our actions. And, no matter what we do there are some things we cannot change. For example, by your actions alone you cannot change another person, most certainly you cannot make someone love you.
So, what’s worse than knowing you want something, other than knowing you can never have it. ~ James Patterson
No matter how good and competent you are, you may suddenly find yourself up to your eyebrows in deep shit, and there may be nobody to blame. Sometimes things just happen. Sometimes there is nobody to blame, and sometimes there is nobody to thank. This is part of chaos theory.
Mankind has as much difficulty in accepting chaos ~ the disorder, confusion, and unpredictability of life ~ as a man has with unconditionally accepting himself. The sun rises, therefore there must be a Sun God. The Nile floods, there must be a Nile God. Some women are beautiful and loving, there must be a Goddess of Love. Man created Gods and Goddesses to escape from, and make sense of, the pain, disorder, confusion, and unpredictability that surrounds us.
The path to freedom from pain and suffering lies not in trying to escape into drugs, booze, sex, or whatever. The Warrior’s Path to enlightenment is through acceptance of oneself and simple self-discipline in body, mind, and spirit.
There is an ultimate truth for each of us, and it is this; we are who we are, and the only thing we can change is ourselves in order to reach our absolute and fullest potential.
If you cannot, or will not, open yourself to unconditional acceptance of who you are, and become willing to change and grow, then the only person who will really go on suffering is you. The Cosmos doesn’t really care one way or another.
SOMETIMES, SELF-WILL AND EFFORT ARE JUST NOT ENOUGH
In 12 step recovery programmes this is step 2. In Alcoholics Anonymous the full text reads;
We came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity. ~ The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous.
For many people trying to recover from an addiction to alcohol, street drugs, prescription drugs, gambling, shoplifting…, this is where it all falls apart. One may have been dry and clean for a while, (although cigarettes and candy will have taken the place of the primary addiction), but here we begin to flirt with the idea of God.
Addicts and people under great stress have poor memories, they will have forgotten that when they were at their nadir they will have said something like; ‘Please God, get me out of this one…’ In any event, in the quotation given above where does it say God? It doesn’t, it says; a Power greater than ourselves. Addiction is self-will writ large; egotism, egomania, narcissism, conceit, and vanity are all part of the psychology of an addict. Addicts and the otherwise mentally ill believe they are the most important person in the Cosmos ~ that belief has to be smashed.
Addiction, stress, anxiety, depression, bi-polar disorder, anorexia, binge eating disorder, psychotic disorders, exhibitionism…, (the list could go on and on), all produce a state of desperation. A state where the sufferer is willing to do almost anything to escape from the see-saw of euphoria and misery that they endure. Anything, except believe that there is more in this Cosmos than themselves ~ addiction and self-absorption go together like ham and eggs.
Trust me on this, one does not have to believe in the God of our childhood, or the God of our parents, or the God of whatever church or religion we theoretically belong to. Lapsed Christians, lapsed Jews, Agnostics, atheists, sun worshipers, druids, can all come to believe that there is a power in the universe that is greater than they are. In 12 step recovery programmes this sometimes known as ‘finding your higher power.’
I believe in a higher power and I believe in good and bad, right and wrong. You sleep in the bed you make. ~ Leif Garrett.
Lief Garrett, singer, actor, television personality, one time drug addict, member of the Church of Scientology, often in legal difficulties.
So we’re in physical and mental torment of one sort or another. In order to recover we need to give up some of our egomaniacal self-will, narcissistic denial, and the conceit that we can stop doing whatever destructive behaviour we suffer from, whenever we want to. Whether one believes in a Deity, or not, recovery from addiction and a range of other destructive behaviours depends on faith and spirituality. The human mind finds it much easier to believe in something, rather than believing in nothing, (although one could believe in nothingness and infinity.)
There is something about modern man and woman, particularly men and women who are suffering extreme distress, which makes it difficult for them to accept that there is anything beyond what they can see, hear, taste, touch, smell, or otherwise detect with one of our many other senses. Very well, what if I quote from one of the most brilliant minds of the 20th Century? A man so smart that 99% of the people in the world don’t even understand what he was getting at.
The most beautiful and most profound experience is the sensation of the mystical. It is the sower of all true science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead. To know that what is impenetrable to us really exists, manifesting itself as the highest wisdom and the most radiant beauty which our dull faculties can comprehend only in their primitive forms ~ this knowledge, this feeling is at the center of all true spirituality, (geistigkeit). ~ Albert Einstein, The Merging of Spirit and Science.
Albert Einstein, theoretical physicist and philosopher of science.
Quantum physics and probability theory are both pretty wedded to the fact that nothing is impossible. People being what they are, if one gives a lot of them three choices;
- There is definitely no God, Goddess, Higher Power, or a Power greater than me.
- There may or may not be a Higher Power, Earth Goddess, Power of the Cosmos, et alii.
- There is a Higher Power, Mother Goddess, Power of the Universe, Isis and Aphrodite. I know because I have faith.
There is no possibility whatsoever that they would be able to come to a consensus of opinion. The proof of this is in Arrow’s impossibility theorem. Therefore, it doesn’t really matter what one believes in, as long as one believes in something that is greater than a single human being ~ that is, greater than you. We cannot go on just existing, we need faith and spirituality in order to live ~ after all, we are broken human beings.
Personally, I walked the road of recovery from my disease by believing in the power of the Cosmos. It didn’t matter what I believed in, as long as I believed that there was a Power greater than myself. If you can’t even manage that, then believe in the fact that you want to believe in something, because that will put you on the road to spirituality and recovery from whatever syndromes you suffer from.
The absence of evidence is not the evidence of absence. ~ Carl Sagan, in Cosmos.
Carl Edward Sagan, astronomer, astrophysicist, cosmologist, author, science populariser, researcher into extraterrestrial life.
All of human life requires faith. Faith in gravity, in the laws of physics, in birth, love, life and death. To recover from serious addiction, mental illness, extreme stress, also requires faith and spirituality.
Given that I am currently not only on planet weird, I am deep in the jungle on planet weird, after experiencing reincarnation into my own life, I need a hell of a lot more faith and spirituality than most. Currently it suits me to believe in my vision of the Goddesses Isis and Aphrodite. They are my higher powers, not yours. You need to find your own higher power for yourself to achieve true spirituality.
NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE ~ THEREFORE MAGIC IS POSSIBLE
Magic; The power of influencing events using mysterious forces.
Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
Impossible; Not able to occur, exist, or be done.
The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to attempt the impossible.
Science; A systematically organised body of knowledge on a particular subject.
When a distinguished scientist states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong.
I believe in intuitions and inspirations… (Einstein)
There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy. (Shakespeare)
These quotations and definitions are from unimpeachable sources. Studied closely they don’t make sense. But then, even the Bible says that nothing makes sense, (Ecclesiastes 1). Some things just do not make sense. Some things in science do not make sense. Nothing in quantum mechanics makes any sense at all. Infinity does not make sense in this universe. And, any competent practitioner of quantum electrodynamics can prove that water does not exist.
Magic is obviously impossible and nonsensical. Flight by machines heavier than air is unpractical and insignificant, if not utterly impossible. (Kelvin) Any student of classical aerodynamics can prove that the bumblebee cannot fly. Then the Wright bothers flew right though the smoke screen of impossibility.
Dragons are mythical creatures. One definition of dragon is a mythical monster like a giant reptile. If you were to travel to London’s Natural History Museum you will be able to see the skeletal remains of a mythical monster like a giant reptile, right there in the entrance hall. A lot of good Christians don’t believe in dinosaurs. A lot of good Christians don’t believe in nudity and Pan either.
The point is that it is much easier to claim that something is impossible than it is to prove it. Conversely, even if I could prove that magic was not only possible, but that it existed, and that I know how some of it works, (through practical experience), most respectable scientists would simply ignore the evidence. The Boomerang Effect shows that any evidence I could possibly present will only strengthen the attitude of someone who doesn’t believe in magic ~ they will become someone who really doesn’t believe in magic.
We all agree that your theory is crazy, but is it crazy enough. (Bohr) There is a t least one perfectly respectable area of science which is basically the study of magic. Psychology is the study of the human mind and its functions, especially the functions which affect behaviours. Some say that the most practically effective branch of psychology is Neuro-Linguistic Programming, (NLP). Some others say that NLP is a discredited pseudoscience. I have hard evidence that NLP works. From personal experience I can also state that the widely accepted Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, (CBT), is so close to parts of Neuro-Linguistic Programming that you couldn’t get a cigarette paper between the two.
Why is psychology a branch of magic? Proper practical psychology embraces all aspects of the human experience, from child development to the actions of nations in conflict. Large elements of practical psychology have to be taken on trust by the end-user. Psychological therapies often work because the patient, (and the therapist), believe they are going to work. Believing you can recover is vital to recovery from mental illness. How far different is that from a voodoo witch doctor telling someone they are going to die on Tuesday, and because the victim believes they are going to die on Tuesday ~ send for the undertaker. Show me a sane man and I will cure him for you. (Jung)
In Neuro-Linguistic Programming there is a basic technique for self improvement ~ Act As If. You want to stop drinking, gambling, and turn up for work looking and smelling clean. You are not going to cure your alcoholism overnight, but Act As If you were cured. Don’t drink as soon as you get out of bed, take a shower, shave, put some clean clothes on the clean body, Act As If you were a normal human being instead of a shambling alcoholic. The power of belief will carry you a long way. As well as in NLP, anyone who has been around Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) will have heard this Act As If mantra. The thing about AA is they only use stuff that works. Alcoholism is a deadly disease, they don’t dick around with fashionable slogans or do things for the sake of it.
The power of self-belief is a very basic form of magic. It is also unbelievably difficult. All magic is unbelievably difficult until the user really knows how. The application of practical magic will often require a great deal of sleep, mental preparation, meditation, subconscious thought, and massive self-belief. I firmly believe this is why cats are associated with practical magic, they have mental preparation and self-belief in bucket-loads.
One of the main principles of scientific method is Reproducibility. If Lab A can make rats drip green slime by doing B, then if it’s real science Lab C can also make rats drip green slime if they follow the same methodology. This is different from magic. In real magic, just because I can do something doesn’t mean that you can do the same thing ~ not unless I show you how, you have talent, and you work at it. There is no reproducibility in magical engineering.
One useful definition of magic is; the ability to cause an observable effect that cannot be reproduced by anyone else, but can by you. Give me a place to stand and I will move the Earth. (Archimedes)
Black holes are where God divided by zero. (Wright) Some things are probably impossible. Magic isn’t one of them, depending on how you would like to define magic. The application of magical engineering merely requires a suspension of disbelief, concentrated instruction, talent, and hard work.
I will explain how some of it works in later posts to this blog.
LUCKY STREAKS ARE REAL,
BUT WHEN LUCK DESERTS A GAMBLER SHE MAY NEVER RETURN
The people in white coats have been at it again. Juemin Xu and Nigel Harvey from University College, London, claim that in some areas of gambling lucky streaks exist. They also claim that losing streaks are irrecoverable ~ that if a losing gambler continues to bet he cannot expect to even recover his losses, let alone come out ahead. The ‘research’ is based on real-time on-line sports betting and has detailed results which may be of interest to statisticians, behavioural scientists, and bookmakers. For the average gambler the results will come as no surprise at all. If your luck is in, then you seem to be able to do nothing wrong. If Lady Luck is against you, then whatever you do you will just go on losing.
Our research scientists say that lucky and losing streaks are the result of a gambler’s behaviour, rather than anything to do with statistical abberations in the results themselves. If a gambler is winning then he / she becomes more cautious and makes safer and better thought out wagers ~ the kind of bet that really should win more often. Conversely, losing gamblers tend to make impulsive, illogical, larger, riskier bets in a vain attempt to recover their losses. Well, who knew?
As a matter of fact, I’m not certain that sports betting is the best area in which to study winning and losing streaks. Strict probability theory deals with random variables, stochastic processes, (random processes), and non-deterministic events. Sports betting deals with non-random variables, in that a brilliant team will beat a rubbish team more often than not. What makes sports betting exciting for real gamblers is that every now and again the rank outsider will win at long odds.
Games of chance which have more quantifiable, yet more complex, random variables than sports betting include the financial markets. Around the world, in global cities, the financial markets are also huge games of chance. These days the successful players are most likely computer models, with the human element doing little or nothing to influence the bets one way or another. To avoid the fatal error of reinforcing failure, there are supposed to be end-of-day controls placed on dealers ~ these don’t always work. If you are wise, you will not play the financial markets.
Even more random games of chance than sports betting and financial markets have calculable odds, which is why good card players beat poor card players, more often than not. However, the odds do not always work in favour of the actual result. Every now and again some idiot will fill an inside straight-flush and coup a huge pot.
The fact that a rank outsider will win big is factored into probability theory. In essence, probability theory says that every possible result will happen, sooner or later. Just because the odds are a hundred, million, million, to one against doesn’t mean that it isn’t going to happen the first time the game is played, or the second time, or even the first, second, and third times in a row. Trust me on this, probability theory only really works when you factor-in infinity. However, some gamblers are ‘odds players’ and they know to a hair the chances of any given result happening. Sadly for odds players, knowing the odds does not allow them to see into the future, because they cannot factor-in infinity.
Because that’s what gamblers are attempting to do. Gamblers are attempting to predict the future, and as any competent quantum physicist will tell you, all possible futures will happen, sooner or later, or in an infinite time. Predicting the future is more difficult than your basic quantum physics, and even Einstein couldn’t make that work properly.
The best advice is ~ don’t ever gamble if you can avoid it. Sooner or later you will lose.
If you want to win at gambling, then there are some basic rules you should think about;
- Learn the game. Stick to one area of expertise and get good at it.
- If you can’t get good at one type of gambling, then quit gambling, for good.
- The House / Bookmaker always wins in the long run ~ even if the game is straight.
- The game isn’t always straight.
- Never bet more than you can afford to lose.
- Never bet with borrowed money.
- If you cheat you will be found out and there will be serious consequences.
- No matter how good you are, the laws of physics are not on your side.
- Nobody can accurately predict the future. How many weather forecasts are wrong?
- There is such a thing as dumb luck.
Back in the day, when I was a practicing card mechanic, (I could cheat if I wanted to), I came across a guy I just couldn’t beat. This young guy was as dumb as a doornail, but no matter what I did, he could always beat me at some well known card games. Even if I fixed the deck, this young guy would always take serious money off me. Eventually I gave up trying to work out how he did it. I couldn’t, because just there and then this guy was lucky. I haven’t gambled since then.
What Juemin Xu and Nigel Harvey of University College, London, have come across is that the biggest non-variable in gambling is the gambler. Gamblers are predictable. Experts can tell what kind of a gambler they have in front of them well before the first play is made. Sadly, most serious gamblers are also problem gamblers. Very, very few people can consistently win at their chosen game, and that includes traders on the financial markets. Even Gordon Gekko was brought low ~ he had to cheat to win. Most gamblers consistently lose, and those who lose more than they can really afford are the problem gamblers.
Problem gamblers usually have a range of other problems, most often alcoholism.
The hard truth is; Even if the game is straight, every gambler eventually loses big. When on a losing streak, gamblers will reinforce their mistakes in a vain attempt to recoup their losses ~ this tactic never, ever works. Have a flutter by all means, but if you become a serious gambler, you will lose big, eventually. You cannot change the laws of physics.