What happened before the Big Bang?

What happened before the Big Bang?: Was the Universe before the Big Bang of classical nature, described well by a smooth space–time? Or was it in a highly fluctuating quantum state? This is one of the most basic questions that we may ask once it is accepted that there was something before the Big Bang. Loop quantum gravity applied to isotropic models has shown that the quantum evolution of a wavefunction extends through the Big Bang. Although a general demonstration is still lacking, this may suggest that calculations, and possibly future indirect observations, may allow us to see the Universe as it was before the Big Bang. Here, we analyse an explicit model with a pre-Big Bang era, indicating limitations that would imply that it is practically impossible to answer some of our questions. Assumptions (or prejudice) will remain necessary for knowing the precise state of the Universe, which cannot be fully justified within science itself.

Note: To read the full article you need a subscription.

Why do I blog this? It ties in rather nicely to what I hinted at in the last paragraph of “social architects and practical visionaries” in tensoriana.org.


Climate Change

I stumbled upon this little blurb about an upcoming report on climate change that has invited me to think out loud about this issue.

This is not new is it?

I remember that in my student days in California, and that was about 30 years ago, there was already considerable debate on environmental issues and climate change. To put this in perspective I have to remind myself that then I was programming in FORTRAN and using a teletype terminal to access timesharing or using punched cards, however I was also wearing western cowboy boots that are so much en vogue these days. I do remember that there were classes being offered in the likes of topics like environmental chemistry and what not.

My observation is however that climate change is a global issue. Humans by their very selfish nature are not sensitive to global issues, and in addition humans are very adaptable and can live in just about any kind of climate. Humans respond to the immediate, not to the global. If it is not in their genes, it certainly is in their habits, but the global is not a concern for anybody other than a scholar, intellectual or philosopher. The global is however bartered and negotiated by another subspecies of the human race, l’homme politique, not the scholar, not the intellectual and certainly not the philosopher. The rest of us folks just watch the show – the disconnect between politics and reality – and continue either to struggle for existence or else in pursuit of our own hedonistic goals; the global is however very seldom included in our own personal agendas, we are into the immediate and that which brings us direct positive feedback towards reaching our goals.

We, this we being the human populace, have fiddled with our resources and we have transformed what we found laying around so as to fit our immediate needs and gave very thought as to what consequences or impact our doings would have on the very ecosystem that is feeding and maintaining our habitats.

I wonder what it is that is going to change our thinking and more importantly our plan of action?


Long tails, short sight, big business, small wonders and “Trust”

JP Rangaswami in his “confused of calcutta” blog has something very interesting to say:

If you (re)build it they will come “… The “long tail” implies that the Internet is ushering in an age when micro-niches will dominate, at the expense of mass-culture monoliths. Sure, the Net makes it easier for us all to find the bizarre fetishes and tiny cliques that we are longing for. But one thing has always bugged me about this theory: How do you make a business out of that, unless you’re a big aggregator? I read that, and somewhere in my head a bulb fused. Or maybe it lit up. Pretty much every serious argument we’re having, every conversation we need to continue, is about some form of Big versus some form of Small. Blefuscu versus Lilliput. And we use concepts like expertise and authenticity and reliability and affordability and freedom and choice to try and win the arguments. And the concepts we use land up polarising the debates. Which made me think…. …. .It’s all about trust .” (for the whole argument do go to the original post)

The original post contains all the relevant hyperlink background on this ongoing discussion of what marketing might be, could be or ought to be when the advancing edge of communication is instantaneous and available to all. I think JP nailed it.