Technology is great, but…

Ever wonder where the information you are reading comes from? Has it ever occurred to you that you really do not know? I spend a lot of time doing research and I try to cover a wide range of sources to gather facts. It is not easy since much of the data comes from the web and there is virtually no hard and fast way to confirm that the data you read on the web is 100% factual. This raises all sorts of questions. People are attached to their mobile device 24/7 and are sharing enormous amounts of information each second of each day without confirming authority. I’m not talking about kitten videos or talking oranges!

Is it possible that much of what we read on the web is false? If this is true, then what does it say for our future? Where does it lead the millions of people who are learning things that are false? Years ago, to be published, you had to have verifiable data to back up your claims. It was typically vetted by numerous people. Even the press had certain standards before they published news stories. Now we see fabrications being published on Fox, CNN and CNBC every day.

FACT: First developed by researchers at MIT, who wrote a script that would go out onto the Internet and grab data on a specific subject and then re assemble the data into official looking science papers complete with peer reviewed acknowledgements and a high ranking scientist authors. The script would then automatically re-write and re-publish these fake papers and post them all over the web.

If this was done back in 2005, what on earth is possible today? The embarrassing lapse was exposed by French computer scientist Cyril Labbe of the Joseph Fourier University in Grenoble. He also spotted more than 100 other “nonsense” papers unwittingly published by the New York-based Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE), the journal Nature reported.

Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2014-02-science-publisher-gibberish-papers.html#jCp

It’s no secret that scientists have ego’s and they all want to share what they have learned and be acknowledged for their work. Still, there are thousands of examples of fraudulent information being released for two things. Notoriety and money. Since Global warming began it has fueled a heated debate. First that it was a lie and within just 10 years became the subject of billions in study grants. Follow the money, it always leads to the human condition. Fast forward from 2005 to 2013 and we are now in the troughs of the topic of Global Climate Change and the many recent news reports from the IPCC and others of glacial loss, sea level rise, increase storm activity and agricultural catastrophe. Arguments still abound on the cause, but it is happening and will affect us all. We are going to see a lot more changes in the way the Earth treats us, but for many of us who have been paying attention, this is not new. There are many things we can do to mitigate our own personal risk.  I suggest starting with a few informative documentaries.

Ethos, and I Am are both very well done and each tells a different story of what we all face and what we should be prepared for without over reacting to doomsday.

ETHOS tells of the fragile foundation the worlds financial system is built on and the dangers of over consumption and debt. Two topics I have been speaking about for seven years. Far too many people are being influenced by mass media trickery and can’t seem to pull away from the negative energy that will certainly be their demise. I sold 90% of my possession in 2009 and have been light ever since. There is much freedom in that. Learning about Aquaponics, clean water and various energy sources will serve me and enable me to care for my children in the future.

I Am, explains how each living thing on Earth (as well as in the universe) is connected through a powerful hidden field of energy. How the disruption of community came to be and the toxic nature of competition and how it is unraveling socio-economic balance. Both of these films can be found on Netflix and You Tube. Tom Shadyac a producer of many leading box office comedies found himself faced with a debilitating condition that lead him to ask a few philosophical questions which changed his life.  Tom takes us on a journey that teaches and inspires us to what really matters in the world and how everything we do as individuals does “affect” the entire world. Again, something near to my heart.

So although science is awesome and progress is good, we all need to embrace more of the  Ethnosphere and how we are all connected to it. Just like the sun is the key to our planets heartbeat, (and may be connected of all our weather and earthquakes) so to is the human heartbeat the connection to the Earth and everything on it.

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Milky Way’s Magnetic Field Mapped

If the Milky Way were one giant magnet, sprinkling iron filings around it would trace the galaxy’s magnetic field. Scientists have found a more practical way to map the field using the Planck telescope. Planck measured the polarization of microwave light that permeates space. When light is polarized, its electric fields all point in the same direction. Light reflecting off interstellar dust grains becomes polarized in the direction the grains are aligned; that direction, in turn, is steered by the galaxy’s magnetic field. Planck’s map, reported in four papers posted May 5 at ArXiv.org, shows the entire sky with a dark band through the center representing the plane of the galaxy. Darker shading reflects more-polarized light. The lines mark the direction of the magnetic field. The galactic magnetic field is about 100 million times as weak as a refrigerator magnet, and yet it may be crucial to the formation of stars. The field map is also important for understanding the polarization of the cosmic microwave background, the flash of light emitted 380,000 years after the Big Bang, which the BICEP2 team recently used to see gravitational waves from the primordial universe (SN: 4/5/14, p. 6).

Now a little more about science and what people know and do not know about it.

Take the origin of the universe question. Asked if the universe began with a big explosion, 39 percent of Americans polled (in 2012) said yes. But if you said “according to astronomers, the universe began with a big explosion,” the correct response rate jumped to 60 percent.

It’s well-known, of course, that the phrasing of a question can greatly influence polling results, which is one of the reasons why all such surveys should be evaluated skeptically. So it might be a good idea to rethink the relationship between polling questions and the scientific knowledge that members of the public really ought to have. Is it really necessary for the ordinary citizen to understand cosmologists’ consensus on the universe’s origins, or how lasers work? Well, maybe not. But pollsters point out that such questions are merely meant to be indicators of broader comprehension of science and its principles. Trumpeting concerns about ignorance on any specific question misses the point. It’s the more general understanding and appreciation of science and its methods that’s really important — and that really should be the emphasis of general science education.

In fact, I’d contend that the problem with science education is not that it fails to inculcate enough facts, but that it tries to inculcate too many. Science classes in high school and intro classes in college seem to be taught as though everyone needed preparation to pursue a Ph.D. Seriously, calculating solubility constants in high school chemistry classes is about as useful as teaching drivers’ ed students how to maneuver an F-16 fighter jet. Important general principles that could (and should) be retained for a lifetime are diluted to the point of homeopathic impotence by a flood of excessive technical detail. Same hold true for  a basic understanding of fiscal knowledge. Our current youth have no idea how destructive debt and consumption will be in their life.

This science topic was inspired by the physicist Richard Feynman’s famous remarks on the one sentence about science that would be most important to pass down to future generations.

He said “All things are made of atoms — little particles that move around in perpetual motion, attracting each other when they are a little distance apart, but repelling upon being squeezed into one another.” Everybody should know that much about science.

And here are a few more basics that are useful to know.

  1. Science successfully explains natural phenomena through rational investigation and logical reasoning rather than by recourse to superstition and mysticism.
  2. When scientific disputes arise, the ultimate arbiter is not expert authority or common sense but experimental evidence, guided by theory.
  3. Scientific theories are not “guesses” but are logi­cally rigorous attempts to explain the observed facts of nature and to predict the results of new observations.
  4. When a theory’s predictions are confirmed, it becomes an essential tool in the further practice of science, but even good theories may someday be superseded by theories more comprehensive or more accurate. In other words, we never know as much as we think!
  5. The universe is vast and old, with our sun only one of bil­lions of stars in a local galaxy, joined by billions of similar galaxies occupying the depths of space beyond.
  6. Life has changed over the eons, with complex creatures evolving from simpler precursors, and human beings therefore occupy one branch of an immense fam­ily tree of living organisms — all sharing attractor fields, and a common molecular machinery driving basic life processes.
  7. As Einstein demonstrated, conceptions of time and space based on everyday life don’t apply accurately to all speeds and all realms of space.
  8. The microworld of the atom, and realms even smaller, obey “quantum” laws completely at odds with common sense, and notions of cause and effect and the very nature of reality are inherently blurred on that scale. ( I like to call these “God’s Laws” that we still know very little about )
  9. The way a thing works is often influenced by its connections to other things and the ways that they work, a principle that applies to everything from the networks of cells in the brain and the body’s other organs, to ecological and economic systems, to human interactions and social institutions. ( Yes it’s all very complex and there is beauty in that )
  10. Little is certain in science but much is highly probable, and the proper quantification of probabilities is essential for inferring facts, drawing conclusions and formulating sound judgments.

Finally for me, I think we all need to stop arguing about things we don’t yet understand, and instead focus our attention on how we can work together to solve the glaring problems of our world like war, famine and greed.

Be well everyone.