A study exploring the coupling between
heat and particle currents in a gas of strongly interacting atoms highlights
the fundamental role of quantum correlations in transport phenomena, breaks the
revered Wiedemann-Franz law, and should open up an experimental route to
testing novel ideas for thermoelectric devices. (1)
Irregularities between thermal and
Just an example of irregularities
Every time we try to imagine patterns
or similarities, something comes up to make us remember that the cosmos is chaos
and not order. And then, just when we thought we have understood everything, we
see order again. A whole universe balancing between two completely opposite
Chaos and order.
Order and chaos.
A cosmos trying to tell us the secret
we do not want to hear.
Liquid water is part of our everyday
lives and due to its lack of color, taste and smell, it is often assumed to be
very simple. On a molecular level the water molecule is indeed very simple,
However, when many molecules come together they form a highly complex network
of hydrogen bonds. Typically, we consider that water molecules in the liquid
state move randomly on ultrafast timescales due to thermal fluctuations. Now,
scientists at Stockholm University have discovered correlated motion in water
dynamics on a sub-100 femtoseconds timescale.
On this timescale, it was assumed that
water molecules move randomly due to heat, behaving more like a gas than a
liquid. However, the experiments (verified by computer simulations as well)
indicate that the network plays a role even on this ultrafast timescale, making
water molecules coordinate in an intricate dance, which becomes even more
pronounced in the so called supercooled state. (1)
Bali’s famous rice terraces, when seen from above, look like colorful mosaics because some farmers plant synchronously, while others plant at different times. The resulting fractal patterns are rare for human-made systems and lead to optimal harvests without global planning.
To understand how Balinese rice farmers make their decisions for planting, a team of scientists led by Stephen Lansing (Nanyang Technological University) and Stefan Thurner (Medical University of Vienna, Complexity Science Hub Vienna, IIASA, SFI), both external faculty at the Santa Fe Institute, modeled two variables: water availability and pest damage. Farmers that live upstream have the advantage of always having water; while those downstream have to adapt their planning on the schedules of the upstream farmers.
Here, pests enter the scene. When farmers are planting at different times, pests can move from one field to another, but when farmers plant in synchrony, pests drown and the pest load is reduced. So upstream farmers have an incentive to share water so that synchronous planting can happen. However, water resources are limited and there is not enough water for everybody to plant at the same time. As a result of this constraint, fractal planting patterns emerge, which yield close to maximal harvests.
“The remarkable finding is that this optimal situation arises without central planners or coordination. Farmers interact locally and take local individual free decisions, which they believe will optimize their own harvest. And yet the global system works optimally,” says Lansing. “What is exciting scientifically is that this is in contrast to the tragedy of the commons, where the global optimum is not reached because everyone is maximizing his individual profit. This is what we are experiencing typically when egoistic people are using a limited resource on the planet, everyone optimizes the individual payoff and never reach an optimum for all,” he says.
The scientists find that under these assumptions, the planting patterns become fractal, which is indeed the case as they confirm with satellite imagery. “The system becomes remarkably stable, again without any planning — stability is the outcome of a remarkably simple but efficient self-organized process” Thurner says. (1)
We believe that everything needs planning. We believe that we need to analyze things, to reach logical conclusions, to plan and then to re-plan in order to reach an optimum effect.
But these farmers did not plan anything and yet it seems that they managed to reach to a state where crops grew in an optimum way. (Unless of course you name the “I want to plant now in my field” as “planning”. The choice of words is always important for our civilization and it seems that we tend to name everything based on our view of the cosmos) But looking more closely, we will see that they did not actually manage anything. The system simply evolved as it is meant to evolve. Planning too much simply disrupts this natural evolution of things. Fractals emerge only to show the obvious; everything is the same everywhere. It is just your distinct perspective that creates the illusion of difference (and change).
All systems have the natural tendency to reach a balance.
And humans have the tendency to always be impressed by that simple fact.
But what we fail to see is that all processes at the end reach that balance.
Because the cosmos is not under our control.
We are under the control of the cosmos.
Let go1. Grow the crops without planning.
And it will seem2 like you have planned everything.
Harmonia Philosophical Explanatory Notes
1 “Let go” not in the sense of “Be lazy and do nothing because the crops will grow on their own” but in the sense of “Accept the nature’s cycles and trust the cosmos. Plan only when and at the extent required. Try not to change and control the cosmos”…
2 It seems cynical, but isn’t that what it is all about after all? At least for the western civilization? Appearances? We all care so much about the phenomena, that we have forgotten the simple fact that phenomena are a cloak which conceals the truth, even though nature continuously reminds us of our illusion. On the other hand, when something looks as if it is planned (even though it is not), wouldn’t that mean that is simply… is? A weird place the cosmos is. (and philosophy is actually a much weirder place)
The new Star Wars Episode VIII (8) is finally released.
All the fans are out there looking for a room to watch the new part of the saga and they will not be disappointed. The new movie is a quality addition to the Star Wars (SW) universe and delivers to the promises. Space chases, lightsaber battles (although not exactly with other… lightsabers), key characters dying, intense… spiritual battles, cool Jedi tricks which will make you gape in awe, the return of Yoda (OK, a Jedi is never really “gone”) and many cool funny moments. And the cherry on top: The promise for a new generation of young Jedi…
All in all the movie seems to move the story forward, but yet again it gives intense hints of something not many people anticipated: That the story does not move forward at all. Because it cannot. That the story is a story of balance, which is always there. From the beginning to the end, the universe will always be in an equilibrium no matter what Luke, Rey, Princess Leia or Kylo Ren do.
When Rey finds Luke and tries to convince him that the universe needs him, Luke at once dismisses any titles of grandeur. He does not want to be a myth. He knows the Jedi are flawed. He – as their leader once – most of all. He explains that there is no need to call for him especially. Rey does insist but in the course of action she does learn that the Force is nothing more than a field which penetrates everything and is interconnected to the balance penetrating the whole nature.
Where there is light, there is darkness.
Where there is good, there is evil.
Luke failed in many aspects. He gathered 13 students (rings a bell?) but one of them betrayed him; although not before Luke himself betrayed his student. The temple was destroyed (rings any bell?) and the darkness started to spread. At the end Luke did return. Only to sacrifice himself (rings any bell?) for the Rebellion to survive.
The key again is balance. Death is the seed for new creation. Sacrifice is the seed for eternal life. As in the philosophy of Christianity, the Star Wars saga is not a story which moves forward. It is a story where humans try to move backward and reconnect with what they once knew but they have now forgotten. People who see light and darkness instead of just accepting the cosmos and looking at the universal balance of everything in everything. Snoke did die. Only to give way to a new Supreme Leader. Luke did fight. Only to die. And give hope for the new fighters of the Rebellion – who will no question die someday. Rey did start to discover her potential. Only to balance the darkness rising from the other side.
At the end there will be no heroes. At the end we will just have new fights. And new islands of peace between them. With new heroes. With new leaders and new followers. At the end what one must seek from a Star Wars movie is not the resolution of something happening. But the epic journey of the cosmos that that equilibrium everyone seeks. A journey during which the protagonists’ only purpose is to discover “their place in the story”, as Rey so honestly craves for.
Seek not for grandeur. See balance.
See not for completeness. Seek the void.
Seek not the next episode. Embrace the ones you’ve seen already.
Because where there is emptiness, you feel complete…
The cosmos does not change. Everything is One.
From the times of Grand Moff Tarkin, to the days of Leader Snoke.
From the times of Darth Vader, to the days of Ben Solo.