Main site for That Little Hardback
Pictures are included here now.
Some editing still going on to get it to screen correctly.
The entire book is here to read for free.
Go to the shopping cart to purchase the book if you like it.
To Shopping Cart
($14.95 - includes shipping in USA)
That Little Hardback
Copyright © 2007 Chuck Borough
All rights reserved
No part of this book may be reproduced, stored in
a retrieval system, or transmitted by any means
without the written permission of the author
ISBN: 978-0-9779708-0-3 (hc)
Married to a woman who encourages thinking, and living in the USA, I speak freely.
Thank you, Leona, and our country, for that inspiration and liberty.
That Little Hardback
Dedicated to our Children and to our Grandchildren, and to our Great
Grandchildren, yet to be born.
The photographs are available for download at:
* Contents *
Numbered from 1 to 876 - - - - - - - - - 8
What We Must Own to Exist - - - - - - 245
The Real Beginning - - - - - - - - - - - - 251
Kick a Rock - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 256
Santa Claus - - - - - - - - - -- - - - - - - 278
(In this book, the thoughts have been kept, as much
as practical, as they occurred and as they were written
down at the time, from teen years to the present.
Some thoughts do not include what we have come
to expect regarding "politically correct" usage. It is
said that, in polite company, religion and politics are
not discussed. Plenty of both are found here.)
When thoughts or pictures are from other than
the author, the names are included with them.
* 0 *
Please enjoy the thoughts that follow, and think
with the complete freedom that we all deserve.
This book probably would not exist were it not for
the encouragement and prodding of Benita Silas, of
Canada. Sometimes people we have never met apply
influence enough to get real jobs done. Thank you,
Benita, for a little shove, and for believing in having
these thoughts exposed.
The following editors graciously read through the
manuscript for this book to suggest changes. They
have made the book better. Thank you to:
Leona Smith - Heather Campagna - Benita Silas
Professional file format editing by David Jess Borough
By the efforts of these editors and the use of modern
editing tools, there have been corrections of grammar,
spelling, punctuation, format, sentence structure, over-
used words, and a list of other things beyond the author's
scope. There were a few changes in the interest of
better taste and more than a few changes to make things
clear. For a physicist, writing with clarity is sometimes a
challenge. There was concerted effort to keep meanings
These are the thoughts more of a man than of a physicist. There is no
calculus here and little reference to such a language. I am free. I may
think and speak critically, and some of that free speaking is
"That Little Hardback." The earliest thoughts came from age 13,
found in the essay, "Kick a Rock." There is no intent to induce any
reader to agree with anything, with one exception: each person should
be in charge of his or her own thoughts and beliefs; we should not let
other people determine what we are to believe. All our other freedoms
are made possible by having freedom of thought. There is an intent to
stimulate thinking and debate, which, for me, are useful and enjoyable.
Younger, I thought I knew many things with certainty. Having grappled
with physics for more than 50 years, I know how little I know. I will
never again believe that my opinions establish facts.
They are points of view.
Each thought is given a number and space enough to write notes.
Controversy is not unfriendly just because both sides are heard,
but when someone
wants only one side to be heard. Friendly controversy is one of
our most valuable tools.
There is a little sarcasm in these pages, but not much, and there
is a little devilís advocacy, but not much. Though these thoughts
often run counter to the mainstream, they are nonetheless actual
houghts, not insincerely contrived. Some will be ideas repeated on
other pages, in different words. Others appear a contradiction to
some other, and they probably are. The book is not laid out
chronologically. The order was determined using a computerís
random generator, with only a few then re-positioned to fit a
picture, or to make repeated ideas not too near each other.
Since boxes of books like these sometimes end up in authorsí
garages, they may be handed out at my funeral. I would like
that better than any stone.
Do as I have done, and write your thoughts down. Journals,
diaries, or thoughts put in writing, are more valuable than we
know. If not a single copy of this little book is ever sold, it
will be worth it to have it for my own family, including those
not yet born, and for friends.
I know things I would be better off not knowing, but
I often argue against secrets, and if nature shares
with me, I cannot reasonably complain. I find myself
sometimes unwilling to share what has been shared
with me, causing me to question my arguments
against secrecy. I am not absolutely sure that my
positions and beliefs are ok. Silence feels selfish,
but broadcasting appears a dangerous wrong.
T-Top Ice David Kennard Borough
David Kennard Borough
David Kennard Borough
Bill Borough (8)
The Sun Ė David Kennard Borough
David Kennard Borough
David Kennard Borough
David Jess Borough
What We Must Own to Exist
If we divide the Earth into even parts for all of us, each of the six billion of us will have approximately one trillion tons of it. At just one dollar per ton, it would take 1000 billionaires to buy just your portion or just mine.
The Earth is only a small part of what we must own to continue our existence. We know we need the Sun. Its mass is about 5 million trillion trillion tons. If we were to divide the Sun among the human inhabitants of Earth, what would your portion be? About a billion trillion tons. Offering a penny for a thousand tons, with all the money on this planet, just your portion could not be bought.
The Sun and the Earth are only a small portion of our needs. The Sun needs its galaxy for it to exist. Perhaps the galaxy needs other galaxies for it to exist. There is, for all practical purposes, no end to what is needed for you and I to exist. What we consider to be our possessions here on Earth are such a small portion of what we "own" that itís like a joke. This is not to say that we donít need our
food and other necessities, but all the wealth we accumulate beyond our actual needs Ė and that we use to compare our wealth to the wealth of others Ė is a paltry sum compared with all we already own and must own even to continue living.
Consider some different styles of ownership. We own the house. If weíve paid to the bank whatís owed, then we possess a clear deed that says we own the house. This ownership has the strength of whatever state supports it. Anyone more powerful than that state can take it, and then it would be his. This deed has only the strength we and the state may use to hold it. This "ownership" is much limited by the very state which supports it. I "own" my house, but the state says I cannot build a grocery store there. Someone in the energy business owns the mineral rights; I can't dig for oil. I can't burn trash on it. My "ownership" is simply a list of rights, and the state and deed tell me what those rights are. I may live in it and sleep in it. I may restrict others from entering. I may sell the list of rights to another. I cannot really sell the dirt to anyone. If I owned that, I could dig to the center of the Earth, but surely as I dig, I will be stopped by the state less than a hundred feet down. All we can own is a list of rights, and
they can only be kept if the state is strong enough to keep them for us.
Thereís an old story about a man in the south who camps out on someoneís estate. The estate holder comes out to the manís tent and asks the man what he thinks heís doing there. The man then says, "Oh, this is your land? Where did you get it?" "From my daddy, thatís where!" "Oh, and where did your daddy get it?" "From my grandpappy, thatís where!" "Oh, and where did your grandpappy get it?" "He fought Injuns fer it!" "Ok," says the camper, retrieving his rifle from the tent, "Iíll fight you fer it!"
Those have always been the rules of ownership. The deeds and things came to organize and enforce, with the state behind us, our holding on our possessions. The truth is, the rules are still the same, but it takes more than one rifle to take anotherís land.
Another style of ownership is the condominium. This is a style that usually includes independent ownership of some small portion of a property and social ownership of the whole property. There may be a hundred dwellings (like apartments), each of which are occupied by an "owner," but then that
same owner also owns the whole complex together with the 99 other owners. Even in oneís own unit, the two-by-fours within the walls are not his alone, but belong to the group.
The universe is like a condominium. We own it together. We must own it to exist. If someone somewhere were able to take it from us, we would be gone forever. We do not own any particular piece of it exclusively. Instead, we own all of it along with all the other owners. The redwood tree owns it also, and could not exist without it. Any living thing on any other planet must also own it all.
If, by some magic, most of the universe were to perish into nothing, what was left would still exist as matter in some form, but no life would survive. Living things must own it the way it is, tolerating only slow and small change. We need no state to enforce our ownership of all this. Indeed, it would take an extremely powerful force to take it from us, and we are not aware of any force at all with a purpose to do so. We don't try to protect it and have no idea how we could. This ownership is the most complete we may imagine, not just a list of rights, but actual ownership in need of no enforcement. Think of it. We own the Sun. We don't lock it up or try to protect it in any way, and
we know we are with no need to do so. We are wealthy beyond the ability of any of us to begin to imagine. When we try to separate out some infinitesimal portion of this universe to call our very own and no one elseís, we play a silly game. Each of us must own a trillion trillion trillion trillion times what the whole Earth is, just to stay alive.
The lizard, who cocks his head a little looking at us in the garden, may not be able to develop a notion of the infinite. That lizard must own the whole universe to exist, the same as we do.
The concept of infinity is not well understood even by us, and much less still by the little lizard. Our ownership equality with the lizard may be hard to acknowledge.
We may come to think that we own more or less than our neighbor, but in truth, we own an infinite and indefinable amount, essentially the same as every neighbor and the same as that lizard, for otherwise, none of us could ever have come to exist.
Our concept of value is amazing. That lizard would not, by choice, trade places with any of us, and one of us, as a mate, would appear terribly ugly to the little fellow. The wealthiest person on Earth has not so much as a tiny speck more than that lizard.
So far as we know, only we humans have developed covetousness, wherein we might wish to be another, often because it is our perception that the other person owns more. Not so. Itís simply not true.
The Real Beginning
The following is not the real beginning:
The first verse of the King James Bible, Genesis 1:1: In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth.
This assumes a "god," who was already existing. Religion never approaches the question of a real beginning, before which there was nothing. It's immensely difficult to imagine a true nothing, and from that, something happening or coming into existence. Religion finds that it must start with an amazing and quite impossible god.
The following is not the real beginning:
The Big Bang Theory is the dominant scientific theory about the beginning of the universe. The Big Bang was the beginning of both time and space, a giant explosion around 16 billion years ago which expanded rapidly, cooled and coalesced into the universe of today.
This assumes a "point source" already existing, the single point containing all that would become the universe. Science never approaches the question of a real beginning, before which there was nothing. It's immensely difficult to imagine a true nothing, and from that, something happening or coming into existence. Science finds it must start with an amazing and quite impossible point source.
In 1927, the Belgian priest Georges LemaÓtre may have been the first to propose, in a scientific way, that the universe began with the explosion of a primeval atom. In 1848, however, Edgar Allen Poe wrote: "In the Original Unity of the First Thing lies the Secondary Cause of All Things, with the Germ of their Inevitable Annihilation." Itís interesting that, when we go back far enough, we often find the seeds of new science in more or less religious or poetic thought process.
To speak of a real beginning, we must think of a time when there was no matter at all, no mass, no energy, but also of a time when there was no time, (an internal contradiction), no space, nothing, no god, no point source, nothing. Not even a vacuum could exist nor the concept of a vacuum nor any other concept of anything at all. No place for a
point source could exist either. No possibility or condition could exist.
Most of us, probably during our childhood, experienced frustrating thoughts of the impossibility of all that is and how it could come to be. How could it have just always been? How could it start from nothing? Nobody, it seems, finds a way to justify the existence of anything at all. Matter, as we know it, is by any practical thought, impossible, yet here we are; here is the universe! Whatever do we do about what is impossible and still happening all around us?
We can entertain many interesting but insufficient thoughts about how this might be. An example is the thought that before the beginning there was nothing, and that from nothing came a minus 1 and a plus 1, a bit of anti-matter and the same amount of matter, the two parts exactly the opposite of each other, the total still being nothing. This includes a time of an event, a separation of the two parts, space and time, distance, the concept of opposites, and many other things. From nothing, if truly nothing, all these "ideas" and all this "stuff" could not come. At least, none of us has figured out a way for this to be. All our theories, religious
or scientific, start with something already existing. Thoughts or faith; it all falls short.
Then we are left only with, "It has always been - there was never a beginning," and this thought is equally frustrating. Imagine it all existing not 16 billion years ago, but a trillion times that, and then that to the trillionth power, and on and on. So far as we know, only humans, among all the living things, have ever or could ever be bothered by such questions. There may be other intelligent beings somewhere in the universe, grappling with such thought, but we are not yet aware of them. We develop many different answers, but all of them are answers about some secondary beginning, not a real beginning.
When we search on Google for the words "Real Beginning," we find thousands of articles about these beginnings, but in every case, they are not real beginnings; they all start with something already existing.
A few of these articles purport a third case, wherein nothing actually exists even now, but is all imagined. Then our consciousness of it still exists, and the question is fully still alive. You may all be my imagination, but there is I, and that is just as
impossible as all the rest. This option seems even less reasonable than the other two, for why would this imaginer be writing an article for imaginary readers, and why would he argue his case in a philosophy class of imaginary students? You, of course, would not be reading this, for you are my imagination. No no, if I didnít think you were there to read this, I wouldnít write it.
If there were ever a time when nothing existed, then it would necessarily be the same now. The possibility for it to have become what it is now would need to have been there, and possibility is not nothing. Possibility is a set of conditions. At the least, a possibility had to always exist, and thus there must have been no real beginning. No real beginning? Thatís not possible, but neither is anything else. We may not know the answers, but no other species even asks the question. We may be proud of the question itself.
A real ending is just as illusive. What is, is, regardless of our inability to understand it.
My new way of thinking began with a dream about a tortoise in the California desert. In the dream, we were traveling from Las Vegas toward Barstow. Our car was a 1937 Buick Special, a big sedan with a straight-eight overhead valve engine. I was with my family, with two younger brothers. Dad was driving the car, and Mom was with us also. I saw a tortoise lying upside down on its shell near the side of the road, its short legs, head, and tail flailing.
"Stop," I said, and our Dad stopped the car. (I was dreaming. One does not need to back up to a tortoise in a dream; we were still just at the right spot.)
I went to the tortoise and turned him upright. I wondered if the tortoise knew what a good deed I had done. I had heard tortoises could die from this, unable to right themselves, and either starving to death or dying from exposure.
The dream continued. We drove on, I think, but I could still see the tortoise and the events continuing. The tortoise began walking across the road. Another family dodged the tortoise and left the roadway. They were all killed. This event waked me. I was at home in Riverside on a lovely morning. The Buick was in the driveway. I was glad I was only dreaming. The day became a day of thought.
From then until now, a thought and a "knowledge" has often numbed me. I have developed it into a physicistís thoughts, but all the foundation for it was laid on that day. I was 13 years old, in 1953. Now it's the year 2000, and I am now retired after 31 Ĺ years as a physicist working for the United States Navy.
The principle came to be known within the family and among friends, as "Kick a Rock."
Kick a Rock: "If I kick a rock, a whole bunch of stuff afterwards will be changed."
In the dream, I had turned over a tortoise, but soon after, the example we used in discussions was what might happen if a person kicked a little rock.
Something now known as the "Butterfly Principle," is similar. This has to do with initial conditions and how great an influence they seem to exact on weather conditions days or weeks later. I believe the principle is often viewed incorrectly Ė or incompletely.
Restated years later:
Kick a rock: "Any and every infinitesimal or quantum event occurring anywhere in the universe affects the whole universe in an infinite way."
Iím going to go through some arguments for consideration. These things are part of my thoughts now and for the past 45 years.
The first thought is a simple one and straightforward. If understood, it will be accepted (I think) by anyone who does not believe in a "controller." By controller, I mean a god or other power predetermining events Ė especially, for this case, the births of human beings. Some people, of course, may believe in God, but not believe this god controls things in such a way. That will work also. For those who believe that all things are controlled, the arguments of physics must be pretty much useless. Being the open minded person you are, the next few paragraphs will enter, and if you are like me, you may never get rid of some of them.
Consider our sperm and our ova. We males possess billions of sperm. They swim about all the time, and their success in finding an ovum to bring about fertilization is mostly a random process. Consider the instant in time when the sperm makes its contact with the ovum and a new human begins with its "definition." Now consider a time one second before the sperm, along with millions more of them, were deposited. If that guy kicks a rock or wiggles a toe or hesitates in the slightest, millions of sperm will swim about for a small amount of time, and with almost complete certainty the eventual contact will not be made by the same
sperm individual as would have had the success otherwise. A different child will be born nine months or so later, or maybe no child at all.
This is a small event Ė wiggling a toe Ė not infinitesimal, but very small. Now consider the result.
The child that did not come to life would have met thousands and thousands of people and had at least small effects on them if it had been born and lived its life. None of these meetings will occur. All these thousands of people will have their own thousands of contacts altered, and all the sperm in all the male ones will not be stirred exactly the same as they would have been. These thousands will meet thousands of others each Ė thatís millions Ė and they thousands each Ė and thatís billions. None of these could provide that the same sperms in them would reach ova as would have otherwise without the differing contacts and experiences. The result is that in a hundred years, there will not be a single person anywhere on the Earth under ninety nine years and three months old who would have been there had this man not wiggled that one little toe. Let that sink in before reading further.
The principle of Kick a Rock is stated above with clarity, I think. This much I thought as a teenager. There is now more.
This event, the wiggling of a toe or the kick of a rock, is a huge event compared with the quantum event of physics. "Quantum Leap" is often misused to represent a large event, but in physics, the quantum event is the smallest event possible. Itís called a "leap," because nothing smaller can happen. Nothing can happen in between, so a leap is made of one quantum size. An ant taking a step is comprised of trillions of these quantum events, or leaps. Thatís how small a quantum leap is.
There are a plethora of time travel stories. In these stories, one may go back fifty years and become concerned about making changes like keeping their father from marrying their mother. This concern will come about because of a "great" scientistís warning. Each time I read these stories or see a movie, "No no," I say, "if so much as one atom of anything goes back to a time before your conception occurred, your mom and dad are not going to conceive you." No matter what small event occurs before that conception, "Bye-bye you," along with every other future conception from there "forward." If so much as a single photon is
stopped by your retina rather than going where it would have gone, everything random from that time on is changed. Why canít the writers of stories get this right? Of course, you would not exist in the "future" to go back in the first place. Itís interesting to note we are "back there" "after" we are here Ė making that not the past, but the future. This is dumb stuff. No travel backwards in time is possible. Iíll keep my mind open, but for now, Iíd need to give up all I "know" to allow for this absurdity. Travel "forward" in time at differing rates is a different question, and appears possible to me.
During numerous discussions with family and friends over these 45 years, "Kick a Rock" is what we called this phenomenon. Kick a Rock is a joke in our family. We say it when someone says "What if this," or "What if that," had happened. "Kick a Rock," someone says, and everyone looks my way and enjoys a laugh. I also get into the fray. If my mother speaks of her dating days with my father and has something to criticize, I say, "No no Ė remember kick a rock Ė please do not wish for any changes before my conception. If he flirted with another girl that day, thatís fine with me! Everything that happened was perfect." One of my brothers has enjoyed getting into it on several
occasions over the years, and Iím afraid I live with no full supporters, though there has been a partial appreciation of the concept. Thatís a long time to "know" something "significant" and not find corroborators or "friends." Many physicists and engineers among my friends, exposed to these thoughts, while having a little serious thought, still end up ribbing or nay-saying. I believe the whole thought process involved is uncomfortable for most people, scientific and religious alike.
Now letís go to another example concerning Kick a Rock. A statement hard to swallow: "If Iím watching a ball game sitting in front of my TV in California Ė a game being played in New York, and I eat a potato chip, the game is changed in an instant. Every random event from this time and forward is a new random event. If the teams are evenly matched and at the time I eat that chip they are tied with equal innings to play each, the result is like a new coin toss."
Nothing is special about the potato chip being eaten. Billions of other small events in the same living room bring about the same effect on all future random events. This is also true for every other potato chip eater in the world, whether watching the game or not. Each and every event anywhere in the world affects the game in a
"macro" way Ė with respect to all the random events to occur in the game after any one of these events. There are also non-random events. If one team is the Yankees and the other a Little League team Ė the result with or without the potato chip will be that the Yankees will win. Still, every ball hit and every action of the game will be altered from what it would have been were any one of the billion potato chips not eaten or eaten differently or if one grain of salt on any chip were in a different orientation. This would be true even when the teams are so unevenly matched. We would expect the same "winner," but not the same "game." Any person cutting the finger nails, turning the car, blinking, or any atom taking a different turn would bring about another comparable result. If someone had eaten an extra potato chip two seconds before Hitler was conceived, there would have been no Hitler. This would not have been significant to any of us, for we also would not have come to exist. Humans probably would still have been born Ė there are non-random processes over such a small period of time having their effect, like the Yankees against the Little League team. A billion years later, however, if life still exists, will include a whole different set of species from what would have developed without any one of those
potato chips being eaten Ė or considered or just smelled or thought of.
When we shine a flashlight in San Diego, photons reach New York almost right away (small part of a second). There will not be enough photons arriving in New York for any person to observe, but even a single photon is sufficient to bring about the alteration of the flow of random events in New York and of those everywhere in between. All those random events will provide many more photon-sized differences to travel elsewhere Ė even to every other galaxy and to anyone who may live in any of these places. When I eat that potato chip, many photons are reflected from my hand differently from how they would have been without the chip-eating. Those photons affect others, and the effects speed about at the speed of light. Photons in the whole neighborhood are different now, and in every other neighborhood, and in New York in less than 1/50 of a second, limited to the speed of light.
Even at the speed of light, however, the effects of any Kick a Rock could not be in play a billion light years away until a billion years pass. We think now, however, though "things" cannot travel faster than the speed of light, certain kinds of mass-free
"information" can. There are "pairings" of little particle-like guys which appear to "know" each other. Altering the state of one appears to tell the other in an instant, with no time of travel required. Is information a wave, or is it particles? Is it energy or mass, or is it not matter at all? And if it is not matter, is its velocity limited? The population of such pairs is infinite. If this turns out to be so, Kick a Rock gets new life. Sperm are not the only "seeds" for which we may respect Kick a Rock. Every quantum event is a seed.
The "stirring" of the sperm is an easy example to follow, but stirrings are happening all the time with all the random decks of cards in the universe. The movement of photons or electrons works as the movement of sperm works. In the case of sperm, the effect is to alter which sperm meets the ovum. In the case of photons, the effect is to alter other little random events Ė multiplied and multiplied until in an instant, visible events are altered. With those, larger and larger events become affected, and eventually, but not instantaneously, all the events we regard to be non-random are changed forever also.
So: Stated again:
Kick a rock: "Any and every infinitesimal or quantum event occurring anywhere in the universe affects the whole universe in an infinite way instantaneously."
This word, "instantaneously," requires the possibility of an infinitesimal event. If each event takes a quantum of time, we are limited to the speed of light for the travel of information as well as matter. Still, a quantum event brings about the shuffling required for all to change. Larger events do also, as they are made up of many of these quantum events.
All events are made up of random events. The extinction of mammals, should it occur in the future, is not reasonably expected to occur soon. So much has been lined up to allow more mammals to be born that many random changes are required before such a "macro" event could come about. Another macro event could bring it about Ė like the collision of a comet or planetoid with the Earth, but it is not reasonable to expect this. Which individuals are born is almost random, but that a horse will be a horse rather than a new species is much less random. Your next serve on the tennis court is also a non-random event, but not so non-random as the existence of mammals.
In recent years, we saw a movie about a guy who won a lottery. He had eaten at a restaurant and when finished he had no money for a tip to the waitress. He told her he had bought a lottery ticket and for her tip he was going to share the winnings on this ticket if he won.
He did win the lottery, and the ensuing issues were handled without any understanding of Kick a Rock. His wife was divorcing him; she and her lawyer were irate about his promise to share his winnings, arguing that these winning belonged to his wife as well. They got this all wrong. There would have been no winnings at all (but for another new chance in many millions) without his promise to the waitress. In fact, the event was made up of millions of tiny events any one of which would reshuffle all the random events to occur after.
The lottery selection is made after a "random" shuffling of some kind. Balls are stirred and then selected, or some other method of shuffling is used. This is not perfect randomization, but it is random enough that it may reasonably be known that with any Kick a Rock occurring before the shuffling, itís a new game.
These Kick a Rocks are not "causes." Causes are events that non-randomly affect non-random events. A person runs a stop sign, and an accident occurs. Random events are mixed in here, but the running of a stop sign greatly increases the odds of a collision, and some cause is here. The sharing of the lottery ticket is not attached to any odds in any known way. No one can use Kick a Rock to decide what to do to bring about or stop any future event. We can, however, use Kick a Rock to make many decisions regarding how to treat things after a significant event occurs which is the result of random events.
What was "given" to the waitress was half the worth of a lottery ticket; that is all. If the ticket was worth $1.00, then the tip was fifty cents. Thatís all. If there was any lack of sureness as to whether any eventual winnings would be shared, then the gift was for less than fifty cents. The lottery winning was as much a gift from her to him as it was from him to her, but it was actually not a gift in either direction. It was an accident that never would have happened without any one of the infinity of infinitesimal events occurring before the shuffling and selection of the numbers. His promise to her was made up of many of these
events. If he had only "thought" of making this promise, the result in the lottery is a new one.
Should this man have given the whole ticket to the waitress for her tip, there would have been no argument at all. Of course, she would not have won the lottery Ė at least there would only be the expected one chance in several million. Iím sure the wife would not have sued for the fifty cents. If the story were changed, and the waitress were given the entire ticket, and she did win the lottery, then Kick a Rock tells us that all the man lost was his $1.00. He would not have won the lottery with the same ticket. The wife might sue and be considered to have some kind of case, but this is only because the courts do not understand kick a rock. The man gave over only $1.00, and had he kept the ticket, would have had only a $1.00 value chance at winning the lottery.
"Oh no," one will say, "if only there hadnít been that one bad call in the second inning, we would have won." Not true Ė without that event, it would have been a whole new game from this event forward. "We" might have won and might not have won. No one can know. Again, no cause. Kick a Rocks are not causes. No one can relate any Kick a Rock to any result. We know only that each Kick a Rock changes everything.
When I turned upright the tortoise in my dream, I did not cause the accident that occurred after. Now here it is, amazing as it is: There was no accident for this other family; it was a dream. Nonetheless, that dream and every detail of it changed forever all the accidents to occur later Ė for the entire universe. That dream and every detail of it changed forever the population of the earth. Each and every child born more than nine months after that dream will not be the same child that would have been born without that dream or any detail in it. I told people about that dream Ė all of them have been "stirred." They cannot have the same children now. For all they speak to, the same, and so on. Anyone's dream changes everything in the future. Every random event is changed immediately, and all events are changed later.
There are many trials in our courts, which have incorrect results because Kick a Rock is not understood. There is a "fallacy of logic," probably the most commonly expressed "fallacy of logic," called "Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc." It means roughly, "After This Therefore on Account of This." Many things occur after one event that were caused by the first event, but many events are not caused at all by the first event, and thatís when the fallacy is called upon to negate evidence. Iíve
heard it at church. John broke his leg playing football. It was declared that it was because he had played football on the Sabbath day. The fact is, the statistic for injuries is the same or nearly the same regardless of the day of the game. This is "Post Hoc," the shortened version used when calling for this fallacy to be recognized. On the other hand, if the statement had been, "He broke his leg because they were playing tackle football when they have been instructed to play flag football," it would be more correct. "Because" is still the wrong word, but the injuryís likelihood was raised by this choice Ė non-randomly. This is not Kick a Rock. Iíve joked that "Kick a Rock" and "because" should never appear in the same sentence.
Kick a Rock "causes" only the shuffling of random events. All random events are changed forever. After a little time, mildly random events are also changed. After more time, less random events are changed. After lots of time, all events are changed. All from any one Kick a Rock and this from each and every one Kick a Rock.
Itís also important to understand that one Kick a Rock does not cancel any other Kick a Rock. Each Kick a Rock reshuffles the random events of the
universe. Surely we could not imagine that the shuffling brought about by a second Kick a Rock would return things to the way they were before the first Kick a Rock brought about its shuffling. Each and every Kick a Rock has its infinite effect, and no one can invent a special additional Kick a Rock to define a return or any other desired result. Kick a Rock is not useful for planning. It is also not useful for "fixing" things. In time-travel stories, it is often purported that one can go back, change things, and know the new results. Kick a Rock is most useful for understanding the significance of many events and for responding to them with wisdom.
Many people begin with the notion that we "must" be able to travel backwards in time, and have come up with ridiculous notions to support the assumption. "Infinite universes," is one of these. This theory purports that all these shufflings and combinations exist together, that one can go back, make changes, and find himself in another of these infinite number of universes. The word "universe" is quite useful to allow us to view the idea of "all that is." As soon as we think of more than one universe, we ruin the word and need another to speak clearly. Humans, and not excluding scientists, seem to like making an absurd assumption and then
building complex systems around them. Then people looking at the complex systems are convinced of truths that could be true only if the absurd assumption were true. And the absurd assumption is usually not on the table for discussion or even thought about. Example: People start with the assumption that the first human lived a mere 7000 years ago, taking this from a religious history, and then go on to reject all the research of thousands of dedicated hard-working people who have dug up libraries of evidence to the contrary. They do this without any study of that evidence.
My experiences for 45 years with Kick a Rock have led me to believe that there is only one universe, but that the future holds the possibility of any one of infinite possible flows in that universe. Only one of the possible flows will take place, but any flow is possible. Causes and effects function over relatively short time periods. Kick a rocks have just as much influence as causes do over long time intervals. This is a little complicated, the comparison of Kick a Rocks with causes. Causes are made up of billions of Kick a Rocks, but when we speak of the effects brought about by causes, we mean the extra effects that are predictable over a relatively short time. If the effect is not predictable, then we cannot reasonably see a
cause. (Koch's postulates.) Long-term evolution is the result of Kick a Rocks. There is no pre-destination. We live in a random universe. Weíre lucky to exist Ė beyond comprehension, we are lucky that all the shufflings before the Earth came into existence, all the shufflings before chordata, all the shufflings before mammals, all the shufflings before humans, and all the shufflings before our individual physical conception, were just such that they left us possible. Lucky, that is, if we are happy we exist.
"If great grandpa had bought that property, we would all be rich now." "No no Ė Kick a Rock Ė we would not have been born." If the man had connected his seat belt, he would be alive today." "No no Ė Kick a Rock Ė He would be alive, yes, but he also would not have been in the accident Ė he would have left his driveway two seconds later and had a whole different driving experience. Any number of changes would be the reality after the pause to connect the seat belt. "After" does not mean "because." If he had eaten a banana before he left home, the accident would not have occurred. A different accident is possible, but only with the same statistic as would be expected for any other similar drive. Someone who has an accident with his seatbelt on would have very
probably not had an accident if he had neglected to connect his seatbelt!
The above is not an argument against wearing seatbelts, as the "statistic" will be better for the group that wears them than for the group that does not. The safety added is not with regard to any specific accident, but only with the statistic for accidents. Accidents are not entirely random events. They are affected by things that are not random. Safety measures save numbers of lives, but they do not save any specified life.
If you recognize now that after any accident involving a connected seatbelt, we know the accident would very likely not have occurred if the seatbelt had not been connected, and if you recognize once any accident occurs involving a non-connected seatbelt that the accident would very likely not have occurred if the seat belt had been connected, and if further, you understand that the advantage of connecting a seatbelt is statistically significant, but not significant with regard to any specific event, then you probably understand the workings of Kick a Rocks, and that they are not causes. Kick a Rocks, every single one, will change everything everywhere. The seed of change is instantaneous or nearly so.
Kick a rock: "Any and every infinitesimal or quantum event occurring anywhere in the universe affects the whole universe in an infinite way in an instant."
Any Kick a Rock re-seeds the random events of the entire universe.
He had his own suit. It had been carefully sewn, and all the parts of it were chosen with care Ė the fur for the hat, collar and cuffs were real wool, not woven, but with the real leather. There were real boots, not covers for shoes. The small glasses had real lenses in them, and the beard was thick and held well to the face, allowing even a little tugging by the children without coming off or going crooked.
His "Ho Ho Ho," was not too often, and exuberant, not like an act, but like a personality feature. He carried a real belt of sleigh bells - loud. Many children who were aware that there were many "fake" Santa Clauses still found him to be the "real" one.
This year, one little girl was standing a little off in front of him, while child after child came to sit on his lap and be showered with love and encouragement. He gestured several times for her to come, but she stood her ground, still and with
interest. She was at that age Ė doubts and wonder at the same time. She was just looking up at him Ė not particularly afraid Ė almost like she wanted something but a little shy about coming all the way up. It continued for the duration of a dozen more visits from other children.
He kept giving her a little smile Ė and then all of a sudden he let out, while having her attention, with an extra friendly "HO HO HO HO Ho Ho." She then finally showed a little more reaction Ė jumping a little Ė smiling a little Ė and so he reached out his hands beckoning her once more to approach. He noticed her little bare feet.
When she got to him, he picked her up and put her on his left side with his arm around her back. He sensed that something was a little wrong. Did she want to ask for her Mommy and Daddy to get back together for her Christmas present? He didnít know, but he was guessing possibilities.
He got near her ear and said, "Santa Claus loves you very much." She turned and looked up into his face. She appeared comfortable with what he had said, but still she responded, "Thereís no such thing as Santa Claus." She didnít appear angry Ė just a statement of fact Ė almost as if she were
informing him, in case he didnít know. She gently tugged at his beard.
"I know there is no Santa Claus," he said, near her ear again, so only she could hear. "but Santa Claus loves you very much anyway!" She beamed with doubting satisfaction, and her continued smile indicated perhaps she understood some humor in this also.
What he meant was that he, the one playing the part, felt to love the little girl. He couldnít know exactly what she thought, but she limped, and he detected her comfort. She gave him a big hug, took her candy cane, and asked for nothing at all for a present. She walked off with a big smile, still looking back several times from different distances.
Itís a fine job, being Santa Claus. At its best, there is no pretense of its being about truth. Itís about something much more important than truth.
A scientist all his life, Chuck has also lived with much exposure to religion. He finds the two worlds of inquiry often in conflict, yet both of great value. His individual life is full and busy, but nothing is more important to him than his family. Music is a big part of his life. He attends church each week and leads the music. He played clarinet for nine years in concert bands. He played one of 88 grand pianos at the 1988 Super Bowl. He rides a motorcycle almost every day. He walks with his dog, Scruffy, 3 miles each morning. He takes
pleasure in doing science demos for school classes. More than anything, he enjoys comfortable and open discussion.
Some of his experience came by his own desire to learn, while some came by indoctrination. Chuck tries to ignore indoctrination, succeeding part of the time. As a scientist, he is firmly against believing or pretending to believe things based on testimonials or on emotion or on obsolete data. Enthusiastic about physics from the ninth grade on, his thoughts are influenced by this emphasis.
Chuck served as a United States Navy physicist for 31 1/2 years, in defensive warfare. Before that, between college years, he programmed old mainframes, prior to their becoming commonly known as computers. He carries a California lifetime credential for adult classes in written and spoken communication. For the past 20 years and now, he is involved in political and market research as a computer scientist and researcher. In this capacity, he has worked in many countries, including the now bygone Soviet Union. He is a part of a thoughtful and remarkable team of people in a small and wonderful world-renowned company, Strategic Vision, of San Diego.
Purchase the book by using Paypal to firstname.lastname@example.org
($14.95 - includes shipping in USA)