Tuesday, August 31, 2010

false Tao

René Magritte - "The False Mirror" - 1928

Monday, August 30, 2010

Tao level 0: relativity of Tao and Tao relative

In 1905, in what can be described with the same words Einstein himself used for the Newton's Principia as the "largest single contribution produced by a single individual in all the history of physics", Einstein introduced a revolutionary new paradigm, laying the foundations of Special Relativity.



June 30, 1905

It is known that Maxwell’s electrodynamics—as usually understood at the
present time—when applied to moving bodies, leads to asymmetries which do
not appear to be inherent in the phenomena. Take, for example, the reciprocal
electrodynamic action of a magnet and a conductor. The observable phenomenon
here depends only on the relative motion of the conductor and the
magnet, whereas the customary view draws a sharp distinction between the two
cases in which either the one or the other of these bodies is in motion. For if the
magnet is in motion and the conductor at rest, there arises in the neighbourhood
of the magnet an electric field with a certain definite energy, producing
a current at the places where parts of the conductor are situated. But if the
magnet is stationary and the conductor in motion, no electric field arises in the
neighbourhood of the magnet. In the conductor, however, we find an electromotive
force, to which in itself there is no corresponding energy, but which gives
rise—assuming equality of relative motion in the two cases discussed—to electric
currents of the same path and intensity as those produced by the electric
forces in the former case.

Einstein started from the consideration that the classical Newtonian mechanics transformations that bind space and time between inertial reference frames, who have between them a relatively constant speed, without acceleration, were the Galilean transformation, where time and space are absolute. In other words, the laws of Newtonian mechanics are invariant under Galilean transformations, that is co-variate with them, while this is not the case with the laws of classical electromagnetism.
Einstein showed that the
correct transformations for electromagnetism that make invariant the Maxwell's field equations, are the Lorentz transformation where, unlike those of Galileo, time and space are no absolute but relative: both depend on the relationship between the relative velocity in relation to that of light between the two systems of reference .
When the Lorentz transformations are applied to the Newtonian mechanics to
create relativistic mechanics, a new series of phenomena occurs against the common sense, which is based on the experience of objects which are large (compared to the atomic nucleus) and slow (compared to the speed of light), typical of classical physics, such as length contraction and time dilation measured between two reference systems that travel together to relative velocities close to that of light.
A typical apparent paradox due to the relativity of time is the
twin paradox, a typical thought experiment (Gedankenexperiment), an experiment that is considered impossible to perform experimentally, or for its intrinsic structure or due to inadequate technologies, but the result, even conceptually, is significant: of two twins on earth one starts with a spaceship and reach speeds close to that of light. When he returns to earth he finds the other twin has aged, or he is younger. This is a direct consequence of special relativity largely confirmed experimentally. The paradox is that the twin on the ship could be argued that the other twin has left with the earth at the speed of light, so both should be rejuvenated to return. The paradox is only apparent and assumes that the situation of the twins is symmetrical why it is not: only the twin on earth has remained in an inertial frame, while the one on the ship in at least two times, acceleration and deceleration, is was in a non-inertial reference frame.
The extension of relativity to non-inertial systems and the integration of the last part of classical physics, the theory of gravity, was made by Einstein in 1916 as a theory of General_relativity, central to any cosmological model of the Universe.
As speed becomes smaller than the light, Lorentz transformations are reduced to those of Galileo, and Relativistic mechanics reduces to the Newtonian, in which case the Theory of Relativity is considered as an extension of classical physics.

purely acoustic Tao

Tao level 0: Observing the Tao and the Tao which observes

In defining a system is central the role performed by the Observer.
It is in fact the observer which determines how and many are the system elements, which are the relations/processes to be observed and defines the system boundary. Furthermore, to discover and define the system - to measure it at level 0 - the observer must interact with it, and therefore modified it, so the original system is never known but only the detected one can be described. More, also the system under observation may interact with the observer. It is therefore necessary to consider a broader vision at a higher-level system which consists of observer-observed system.

This apparently lapalissade view is not so obvious since still today persists the myth that the reality of scientific description, particularly for the "hard sciences" such physics - described in the formal language of mathematics - is "objective" therefore not dependent from the observing subject. In this myth the observer never modify the observed system by observing it, and can always know the "original" physical reality
This gross confusion of one of the foundations of Galilean scientific method

that is the result of an experiment to be considered valid must be independent and agreed by all parties that carry out it, is the result of seventeenth-century Descartes'dualism between res extensa and res cogitans, mind and body, subject and object at physical level 0.

"No amount of testing can prove I'm right, a single experiment can prove that I was wrong."

Albert Einstein, letter to Max Born, 1926 december 4

The myth of objectivity, at least at level 0, is also a consequence of the enormous success until 1900 of the newtonian classical physics (classical mechanics and gravitation) and Maxwellian (classical electromagnetism) to explain virtually all the physical phenomena observed, from the motion of the planets to the propagation of light. Even today almost all the technologies developed in 800s and 900s, from mechanics to electronics, have their foundation based on these two classical theories, which are the basis of our experience of "subjective" reality of the physical level 0.

In classical physics, the observer does not exist, or rather has no influence, if not for the fact that all laws/equations are to be defined in a given coordinate system, specifying the location and the time reference from which one points. All the laws of classical physics are invariant to any reference system in space and time, that is are valid for any observer at any place and at any time. Space and time are therefore considered absolute.
The conceptual paradigm of classical physics was radically revolutionized at the beginning of 900s when "places" of physics not yet studied previously where examined theoretically and experimentally, particularly those of high speed/energy (comparable to that of light) and picodimensions such as the inside of the atomic nucleus and of its constituents.
In the two theories developed during the 900s for these areas of phenomena, the theory of
Special Relativity and of Quantum Mechanics, the observer's role is central, and denies any possibility of beliefs as "objective reality" and of commonsense already at the level 0.

The figure shows the scope for the various theories. Horizontally is shown the size of objects d, vertically their velocity v. As the upper limit of speed is shows the speed of light c and as the upper limit of size below which quantum phenomena are involved is given as the length (diameter) of an atomic nucleus Lp. For dimensions larger than Lp and speed lower to about half that of light c/2, that is in the world of our experience, classical physics CF is valid; for dimensions smaller than Lp and speed lower than c/2 quantum physics QF applies; for dimensions larger than Lp and speed higher than c/2 is the relativistic physics RF that applies; finally for dimensions smaller than Lp and speed faster than c/2 are valid both quantum theory and relativity, or the quantum-relativistic physics Q-R F, is to be used .
The integration between Quantum Mechanics and Theory of Relativity was initiated by the work of Paul Dirac
in 1928 and followed with the development of Quantum Field Theories.

Some relevant experiments that demonstrate the key central role of the Observer and rule out the commonsense of the everyday experience described by classical physics are:


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

no Tao for old men

Sailing to Byzantium


That is no country for old men.
The young In one another's arms, birds in the trees--
Those dying generations -- at their song,
The salmon-falls, the mackerel-crowded seas,
Fish, flesh, or fowl, commend all summer long
Whatever is begotten, born, and dies.
Caught in that sensual music all neglect
Monuments of unageing intellect.


An aged man is but a paltry thing,
A tattered coat upon a stick, unless
Soul clap its hands and sing, and louder sing
For every tatter in its mortal dress,
Nor is there singing school but studying
Monuments of its own magnificence;
And therefore I have sailed the seas and come
To the holy city of Byzantium.


O sages standing in God's holy fire
As in the gold mosaic of a wall,
Come from the holy fire, perne in a gyre,
And be the singing-masters of my soul.
Consume my heart away; sick with desire
And fastened to a dying animal
It knows not what it is; and gather me
Into the artifice of eternity.


Once out of nature I shall never take
My bodily form from any natural thing,
But such a form as Grecian goldsmiths make
Of hammered gold and gold enamelling
To keep a drowsy Emperor awake;
Or set upon a golden bough to sing
To lords and ladies of Byzantium
Of what is past, or passing, or to come.

W. B. Yeats (1865-1939)

Monday, August 16, 2010

Tao level 0: Total Interconnection

The research currently most advanced at the zero level is the experimental verification on Higgs boson, a hypothetical elementary particle, massive, scale, provided by the Standard Model of particle physics.
It is the only Standard Model particle not yet been observed.

This particle plays a key role within the model: the theory shows it is the carrier of the Higgs field that permeates the universe and is believed to give mass to all particles.
The Higgs boson was theorized in 1964 by the Scottish physicist
Peter Higgs, with François Englert and Robert Broût while they were working on an idea by Philip Anderson, and independently by G. Guralnik, C. R. Hagen, and T. W. B. Kibble.
It is equipped with its own mass. The theory gives an upper bound on this mass of 200 GeV. In 2002, particle accelerators have reached energies up to 115 GeV.
Although a small number of events that were recorded could be interpreted as due to the Higgs boson, the available evidence is still inconclusive. It is expected that the most powerful
particle accelerator ever made, the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, should be able to confirm its existence.

In classical and quantum physics of the 20's the mass of a particle is an intrinsic parameter, properly defined as 'rest mass' in the reference frame where the speed and energy of the particle is zero. There are two classes of particles for what mass, is concerned: those where the rest mass isnon-zero and those where it is zero and therefore they always travel at the speed of light, such as fotons- the particles of the electromagnetic field.

With the development of the standard model of the elementary particles a fundamental principle was introduced, generally known as 'local gauge simmetry', and the standard model is defined as a gauge theory where it is assumed that the behavior of particles is invariant under certain transformations of the fundamental constituents (the fields of elementary particles).
It appears that the introduction of a simple parameter like the rest mass is inconsistent with this fundamental symmetry (explicitly breaks the gauge symmetry) and then render inconsistent the whole theory.
The problem can be solved by assuming that all particles have no intrinsic mass, in addition to postulating the existence of a
Anderson-Higgs field or mechanism that permeates all space and with some very special features: all the particles which are coupled to the Higgs field acquire a nonzero rest energy, which for almost all intents and purposes is completely analogous to a rest mass and can therefore be conveniently and consistently described by a mass parameter. The difference is that the coupling between the particles and the Higgs field meets, at a fundamental level, the gauge symmetry and thus allows to explain simultaneously the fundamental interactions between particles, as well as the presence of nonzero rest masses. Furthermore, the reintroduction of the mass parameter has the consequence that the gauge symmetry is no longer explicit, it is said that symmetry is 'spontaneously broken' or 'hidden'. The particles that do not mate to the Higgs field, such as the photon, continue to behave in all respects as particles of rest mass zero.

The structural coupling of the particles with mass with the Anderson-Higgs field, and more generally the exchange of virtual particles from a particle with any other, and vice versa, well represents the metaphor of the Indra Net of about 2600 years ago.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

a wild sheep Tao

Wednesday Afternoon Picnic

It was a short one-paragraph item in the morning edition. A friend rang me up and read it to me. Nothing special. Something a rookie reporter fresh out of college might've written for practice.

The date, a street corner, a person driving a truck, a pedestrian, a casualty, an investigation of possible negligence.

Sounded like one of those poems on the inner flap of a magazine.

"Where's the funeral?" I asked.

"You got me," he said. "Did she even have family?"

Of course she had a family.

I called the police department to track down her family's address and telephone number, after which I gave them a call to get details of the funeral.

Her family lived in an old quarter of Tokyo. I got out my map and marked the block in red. There were subway and train and bus lines everywhere, overlapping like some misshapen spiderweb, the whole area a maze of narrow streets and drainage canals.

The day of the funeral, I took a streetcar from Waseda. I got off near the end of the line. The map proved about as helpful as a globe would have been. I ended up buying pack after pack of cigarettes, asking directions each time.

It was a wood-frame house with a brown board fence around it. A small yard, with an abandoned ceramic brazier filled with standing rainwater. The ground was dark and damp.

She'd left home when she was sixteen. Which may have been the reason why the funeral was so somber. Only family present, nearly everyone older. It was presided over by her older brother, barely thirty, or maybe it was her brother-in-law.

Her father, a shortish man in his mid-fifties, wore a black armband of mourning. He stood by the entrance and scarcely moved. Reminded me of a street washed clean after a downpour.

On leaving, I lowered my head in silence, and he lowered his head in return, without a word.

I met her in autumn nine years ago, when I was twenty and she was seventeen.

There was a small coffee shop near the university where I hung out with friends. It wasn't much of anything, but it offered certain constants: hard rock and bad coffee.

She'd always be sitting in the same spot, elbows planted on the table, reading. With her glasses--which resembled orthodontia--and skinny hands, she seemed somehow endearing. Always her coffee would be cold, always her ashtray full of cigarette butts.

The only thing that changed was the book. One time it'd be Mickey Spillane, another time Kenzaburo Oe, another time Allen Ginsberg. Didn't matter what it was, as long as it was a book. The students who drifted in and out of the place would lend her books, and she'd read them clean through, cover to cover. Devour them, like so many ears of corn. In those days, people lent out books as a matter of course, so she never wanted for anything to read.

Those were the days of the Doors, the Stones, the Byrds, Deep Purple, and the Moody Blues. The air was alive, even as everything seemed poised on the verge of collapse, waiting for a push.

She and I would trade books, talk endlessly, drink cheap whiskey, engage in unremarkable sex. You know, the stuff of everyday. Meanwhile, the curtain was creaking down on the shambles of the sixties.

I forget her name.

I could pull out the obituary, but what difference would it make now. I've forgotten her name.

Suppose I meet up with old friends and mid-swing the conversation turns to her. No one ever remembers her name either. Say, back then there was this girl who'd sleep with anyone, you know, what's-her-face, the name escapes me, but I slept with her lots of times, wonder what she's doing now, be funny to run into her on the street.

"Back then, there was this girl who'd sleep with anyone." That's her name.

Of course, strictly speaking, she didn't sleep with just anyone. She had standards.

Still, the fact of the matter is, as any cursory examination of the evidence would suffice to show, that she was quite willing to sleep with almost any guy.

Once, and only once, I asked her about these standards of hers.

"Well, if you must know . . . ," she began. A pensive thirty seconds went by. "It's not like anybody will do. Sometimes the whole idea turns me off. But you know, maybe I want to find out about a lot of different people. Or maybe that's how my world comes together for me."

"By sleeping with someone?"


It was my turn to think things over.

"So tell me, has it helped you make sense of things?"

"A little," she said.

From the winter through the summer I hardly saw her. The university was blockaded and shut down on several occasions, and in any case, I was going through some personal problems of my own.

When I visited the coffee shop again the next autumn, the clientele had completely changed, and she was the only face I recognized. Hard rock was playing as before, but the excitement in the air had vanished. Only she and the bad coffee were the same. I plunked down in the chair opposite her, and we talked about the old crowd.

Most of the guys had dropped out, one had committed suicide, one had buried his tracks. Talk like that.

"What've you been up to this past year?" she asked me.

"Different things," I said.

"Wiser for it?"

"A little."

That night, I slept with her for the first time.

About her background I know almost nothing. What I do know, someone may have told me; maybe it was she herself when we were in bed together. Her first year of high school she had a big falling out with her father and flew the coop (and high school too). I'm pretty sure that's the story. Exactly where she lived, what she did to get by, nobody knew.

She would sit in some rock-music café all day long, drink cup after cup of coffee, chain-smoke, and leaf through books, waiting for someone to come along to foot her coffee and cigarette bills (no mean sum for us types in those days), then typically end up sleeping with the guy.

There. That's everything I know about her.

From the autumn of that year on into the spring of the next, once a week on Tuesday nights, she'd drop in at my apartment outside Mitaka. She'd put away whatever simple dinner I cooked, fill my ashtrays, and have sex with me with the radio tuned full blast to an FEN rock program. Waking up Wednesday mornings, we'd go for a walk through the woods to the ICU campus and have lunch in the dining hall. In the afternoon, we'd have a weak cup of coffee in the student lounge, and if the weather was good, we'd stretch out on the grass and gaze up at the sky.

Our Wednesday afternoon picnic, she called it.

"Everytime we come here, I feel like we're on a picnic."

"Really? A picnic?"

"Well, the grounds go on and on, everyone looks so happy . . ."

She sat up and fumbled through a few matches before lighting a cigarette.

"The sun climbs high in the sky, then starts down. People come, then go. The time breezes by. That's like a picnic, isn't it?"

I was twenty-one at the time, about to turn twenty-two. No prospect of graduating soon, and yet no reason to quit school. Caught in the most curiously depressing circumstances. For months I'd been stuck, unable to take one step in any new direction. The world kept moving on; I alone was at a standstill. In the autumn, everything took on a desolate cast, the colors swiftly fading before my eyes. The sunlight, the smell of the grass, the faintest patter of rain, everything got on my nerves.

How many times did I dream of catching a train at night? Always the same dream. A nightliner stuffy with cigarette smoke and toilet stink. So crowded there was hardly standing room. The seats all caked with vomit. It was all I could do to get up and leave the train at the station. But it was not a station at all. Only an open field, with not a house light anywhere. No stationmaster, no clock, no timetable, no nothing--so went the dream.

I still remember that eerie afternoon. The twenty-fifth of November. Gingko leaves brought down by heavy rains had turned the footpaths into dry riverbeds of gold. She and I were out for a walk, hands in our pockets. Not a sound to be heard except for the crunch of the leaves under our feet and the piercing cries of the birds.

"Just what is it you're brooding over?" she blurted out all of a sudden.

"Nothing really," I said.

She kept walking a bit before sitting down by the side of the path and taking a drag on her cigarette.

"You always have bad dreams?"

"I often have bad dreams. Generally, trauma about vending machines eating my change."

She laughed and put her hand on my knee, but then took it away again.

"You don't want to talk about it, do you?"

"Not today. I'm having trouble talking."

She flicked her half-smoked cigarette to the dirt and carefully ground it out with her shoe. "You can't bring yourself to say what you'd really like to say, isn't that what you mean?"

"I don't know," I said.

Two birds flew off from nearby and were swallowed up into the cloudless sky. We watched them until they were out of sight. Then she began drawing indecipherable patterns in the dirt with a twig.

"Sometimes I get real lonely sleeping with you."

"I'm sorry I make you feel that way," I said.

"It's not your fault. It's not like you're thinking of some other girl when we're having sex. What difference would that make anyway? It's just that--" She stopped mid-sentence and slowly drew three straight lines on the ground. "Oh, I don't know."

"You know, I never meant to shut you out," I broke in after a moment. "I don't understand what gets into me. I'm trying my damnedest to figure it out. I don't want to blow things out of proportion, but I don't want to pretend they're not there. It takes time."

"How much time?"

"Who knows? Maybe a year, maybe ten."

She tossed the twig to the ground and stood up, brushing the dry bits of grass from her coat. "Ten years? C'mon, isn't that like forever?"

"Maybe," I said.

We walked through the woods to the ICU campus, sat down in the student lounge, and munched on hot dogs. It was two in the afternoon, and Yukio Mishima's picture kept flashing on the lounge TV. The volume control was broken so we could hardly make out what was being said, but it didn't matter to us one way or the other. A student got up on a chair and tried fooling with the volume, but eventually he gave up and wandered off.

"I want you," I said.

"Okay," she said.

So we thrust our hands back into our coat pockets and slowly walked back to the apartment.

I woke up to find her sobbing softly, her slender body trembling under the covers. I turned on the heater and checked the clock. Two in the morning. A startlingly white moon shone in the middle of the sky.

I waited for her to stop crying before putting the kettle on for tea. One teabag for the both of us. No sugar, no lemon, just plain hot tea. Then lighting up two cigarettes, I handed one to her. She inhaled and spat out the smoke, three times in rapid succession, before she broke down coughing.

"Tell me, have you ever thought of killing me?" she asked.



"Why're you asking me such a thing?"

Her cigarette still at her lips, she rubbed her eyelid with her fingertip.

"No special reason."

"No, never," I said.


"Honest. Why would I want to kill you?"

"Oh, I guess you're right," she said. "I thought for a second there that maybe it wouldn't be so bad to get murdered by someone. Like when I'm sound asleep."

"I'm afraid I'm not the killer type."


"As far as I know."

She laughed. She put her cigarette out, drank down the rest of her tea, then lit up again.

"I'm going to live to be twenty-five," she said, "then die."

July, eight years later, she was dead at twenty-six.


Wednesday, August 4, 2010


The development of the concept of feedback combined with the generalization to open systems was undertaken in '40s by a very eclectic group of people, first of all Norbert Wiener, who defined the term Cybernetics deriving it from the greek Kybernetes (helmsman, pilot) and interpreted as "Control and communication in the animal and the machine" with the hope of a "Human use of Human beings".

Simple cybernetics or first cybernetics, was proposed as a system synthesis to study the design and construction of artificial systems, not necessarily starting from an existing biological system, having as ultimate goal the creation of systems capable of self-organization, ie to offer themselves their own purpose. As analysis aims to provide a range of methods for describing the system. Cybernetics is a science typically interdisciplinary science that is a liaison between various disciplines such as engineering, biology, mathematics, logic, etc.., Who studies animal behavior and any system comparable to a living organism.
The formal theory of machines was developed from feedback Ross Ashby in two key texts:

Two papers are particularly important at this early stage of cybernetics, both of 1943.
In the first,"Behavior, Purpose and Teleology" by Arturo Rosenblueth, Norbert Wiener and Julian Bigelow in Philosophy of Science, 10(1943), S. 18–24, examines the behavior of the feedbacked machines and argues that the overall behavior of the system has characteristics of Teleology (from the greek telos, "end, purpose"), understood as the philosophical study that assumes that there is a plan, a purpose, a directive, a principle or a purpose in the works and natural processes, illustrated in the following levels of description:

In the second Warren McCulloch e Walter Pitts developed a logical calculus of neuronal activity.


Monday, August 2, 2010

Wich Tao?

the Teh of Tao

- 5 -

The Tao doesn't take sides;
it gives birth to both good and evil.
The Master doesn't take sides;
she welcomes both saints and sinners.

The Tao is like a bellows:
it is empty yet infinitely capable.
The more you use it, the more it produces;
the more you talk of it, the less you understand.

Hold on to the center.

Orange Tao

~Elexxibux on

Sorrow (9 of Swords)

The image is of Ananda, the cousin and disciple of Gautam Buddha. He was at Buddha's side constantly, attending to his every need for forty-two years. When Buddha died, the story is told that Ananda was still at his side, weeping. The other disciples chastised him for his misunderstanding: Buddha had died absolutely fulfilled; he should be rejoicing. But Ananda said, "You misunderstand. I'm weeping not for him but for myself, because for all these years I have been constantly at his side but I have still not attained." Ananda stayed awake for the whole night, meditating deeply and feeling his pain and sorrow. By the morning, it is said, he was enlightened. Times of great sorrow have the potential to be times of great transformation. But in order for transformation to happen we must go deep, to the very roots of our pain, and experience it as it is, without blame or self-pity.

This pain is not to make you sad, remember. That's where people go on missing.... This pain is just to make you more alert--because people become alert only when the arrow goes deep into their heart and wounds them. Otherwise they don't become alert. When life is easy, comfortable, convenient, who cares? Who bothers to become alert? When a friend dies, there is a possibility. When your woman leaves you alone--those dark nights, you are lonely. You have loved that woman so much and you have staked all, and then suddenly one day she is gone. Crying in your loneliness, those are the occasions when, if you use them, you can become aware. The arrow is hurting: it can be used. The pain is not to make you miserable, the pain is to make you more aware! And when you are aware, misery disappears.