Headline at MindMatters:
Unexplained — Maybe Unexplainable — Numbers Control the Universe
In Carl Sagan’s Contact, the extraterrestrials embedded a message in the irrational number pi (the circumference of a circle divided by its radius). But some other numbers are critical to the structure of our universe too — and why they are critical does not make obvious sense.
Laurence Eaves thinks the number 1/137 would be good for starting communication with intelligent aliens as they would be likely to know about it and to realize they were dealing with other intelligent entities.
NO. NO. NO. Even between humans of different cultures, abstraction is EXACTLY THE WRONG STARTING POINT for communication. You need to start with discussions of shared physical objects and physical skills.
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Lately I’ve been listening to selections from the huge Wendy Connors archive of UFO material at bedtime.
I already mentioned the openness of the ’50s, contrary to modern idiotic fake history.
The UFO groups also show another contrary fact:
Women played a major part in scientific inquiry.
Connors arrived on the scene after most of the ‘live action’ and did the hard work of gathering and organizing audio.
The UFO movement was FOUNDED by Coral Lorenzen. Her story is inspiring and typical of great scholars and scientists. As usual, greatness started at 9:
On a sunny, warm day in the summer of 1934, three little girls, Coral Lightner, Barbara Stringer and Dorothy Wethern, were playing hopscotch on the sidewalk at the Ward School in Barron, Wisconsin. Coral finished her turn and was facing west when a movement in the sky caught her eye. She looked up and saw what appeared to be a parachute moving into the north. When she called the attention of her playmates to the object, one of them said it looked like a parachute to her and went back to the game. “But it doesn’t have any strings,” Coral said, and watched the thing until it went over the horizon in the northwest.
Coral Lightner was puzzled and she didn’t let it rest there. That evening she told her father what she had seen and he was so impressed by her tale and her puzzlement that he made inquiries the next day. Was there a pilot down in Barron County? The answer was no.
Note her instant focus on Constants and Variables, and her persistent need to find the answer. She was lucky enough to have a father who wanted to help her learn. The rest of her life was devoted to the quest, sometimes in the background and sometimes as a sole obsession. She married Jim Lorenzen, an engineer who could handle the math side of the subject, and became a newspaper reporter and later a freelance writer. Coral and Jim founded and maintained APRO, one of the two or three strictly scientific UFO organizations. She defended objectivity against the opportunists and hustlers like Hubbard, and against the Deepstate censors.
Truly a heroic ‘life in science’.
But no Nobels or rewards or federal grants.
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Sagan wrote positively about CONTACTEES, the disreputable side of the subject, and was treated with respect. Other high-status professionals assume that aliens exist and assume that aliens would want to discuss 1/137 with us.
One of the 1947 contactees claimed to have discussed farming methods and fertilizer with a Venusian. This makes sense. An explorer and colonizer would want to ask the locals about farming methods. There’s no point in discussing math because math is the same everywhere. Math does not contain any INFORMATION.
As fucking always, caste correlates with abstraction.
You get ridicule and censorship for investigating Unidentified Flying Objects.
You get Nobels and tenure for investigating Unidentified Figuring Objects.
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Graphics sidenote: I made the UFO last week as a biological joke, after NASA’s new Venus probe reminded me of a polychaete larva. The actual probe is scheduled to fly in 2029. Not exactly speedy performance. We can’t do anything now. We’re totally paralyzed by bureaucratic compliance and political lunacy and offshoring of skills.
Since then I’ve been reading Coral Lorenzen’s 1966 book, packed with precisely reported descriptions. The NASA model fits the median description of the 1947-1965 UFOs quite nicely. Is NASA reverse-engineering captured technology, or were the earlier UFOs also made by NASA?
Coral was fully convinced that the aircraft were coming from elsewhere, but she was not fully convinced that they were piloted by humanoids. Based on where the discs appeared and how they moved, she guessed they were engaged in mapping the planet’s terrain and resources for possible colonization.