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Sunday

VIEWS: 3 PAGES: 46

									J.S.Bach appreciation in Duvall, WA
 From Bach to Einstein and Beyond
National Gathering of MENSA, July 3, 2011


              Vladimir Chaloupka
                 Professor of Physics
   Adjunct Professor, Henry M. Jackson School of
                International Studies
         Adjunct Professor, School of Music
(and, BY FAR, the most modest professor at the UW)
    www.phys.washington.edu/users/vladi
              vladi@uw.edu
Summary of yesterday’s talk:
Physics indeed is Different.

Its range covers the unimaginably small particles such as quarks
and neutrinos, subject to the strange laws of Quantum mechanics,

all the way to the unimaginably large structures such as clusters
of galaxies, governed by the strange laws of General Relativity.

And in the middle of that enormously wide range, there is the most
complex object known to the human brain:
                           Human brain

producing the mess we call Human Affairs, governed by laws of
such complexity that Quantum Mechanics as well as General
Relativity seems like a picnic in comparison.

This will be our subject today.
 From Bach to Einstein and Beyond
                       or
Variations on Science, Music and Human Affairs
                       or
  Making a Coherent Whole out of Science, Music
               and Human Affairs
                       or
      Science, Music and Human Affairs,
        with Exuberance and Humility
                       or
   What Is To Be Done? A challenge for MENSA.
                       or
          Dr. Chaloupka Sunday Service
     A test: (from my recent SIS201 lecture):


         What Is To Be Done?
             Vladimir Chaloupka
[1] Readers well versed in the history of
  political philosophy will have recognized
  my title as identical to that of the most
  famous piece by my infamous namesake.
  Well, he was a rebel, and so am I. But the
  similarity ends there, I hope.
Antiproton-proton
annihilation
As seen in a
Hydrogen Bubble
Chamber
                                    Fig. 19: Marvelous Molecular machines contd.
                                    Left: ―spontaneous‖ assembly and disassembly
                                    of a microtubule
                                    Above: a kinesin molecule walks[sic] along a
                                    microtubule, carrying an organelle


See http://multimedia.mcb.harvard.edu/anim_innerlife_hi.html

And recall spliceosome, topoisomerase, …
 The Andromeda
 Galaxy: 2 million
 light years away.
 The most distant
 object visible by
 naked eye (you
 have to know
 where to look, and
 find a really dark
 place, but the
 experience is very
 much worth it!)



Note: for details on when and
how to see Andromeda, see
http://www.physics.ucla.edu/
~huffman/m31.html
Each white dot represent a galaxy (with about 100 billions stars each) as determined by
the measurement results of the ―2df galaxy survey‖. Note the distance scale.
Black hole (2.6 billion Suns) at center of M87, with globular clusters
(the faint yellow cloud is the galaxy itself; globular clusters (see next
slide) are the visible dots)
Globular cluster Omega Centauri
Hubble telescope photograph of a center of a globular star cluster.
Stars orbiting a black hole (with a mass of 3.6 million Suns)
 in center of Milky Way. (You have to view this in the slide show mode to see
the animation.)
Hubble Ultra Deep Field
   Only one thing comes to mind:
• Psalm 19.1
• [For the choir director; a psalm by David.]
The heavens declare the glory of God,
and the sky displays what his hands have made.

(and this comes to mind of believer and
  unbeliever alike)
   In some respects, science has far surpassed
religion in delivering awe. How is it that hardly any
major religion has looked at science and concluded,
"This is better than we thought! The Universe is much
bigger than our prophets said, grander, more subtle,
more elegant. God must be even greater than we
dreamed"?
   A religion, old or new, that stressed the
magnificence of the Universe as revealed by modern
science might be able to draw forth reserves of
reverence and awe hardly tapped by the conventional
faiths. Sooner or later, such a religion will emerge.
                                  Carl Sagan in Pale Blue Dot
             J.S.Bach as Amadeus
• The Bach genetic phenomenon
• Bach myths: BACH = 14 JSBACH = 41*
  even (from a doctoral Thesis [sic]):
  ―the Unfinished fugue breaks off at bar 239
  because 2+3+9 = 14‖ !
The central Theme of Amadeus (play/movie)
  applied to Bach

(* Note: a quick thinking MENSAn pointed out that J+S+B+A+C+H
   = 43. But in the alphabet used at the time, I=J=9, giving sum of
   41)
     Einstein as Scientist, Musician
              and Prophet
• Einstein as scientist: In 2005 we celebrated the
  Centenary of Einstein’s Annus Mirabilis
• Einstein as musician: from a review: “Einstein
  plays excellently. However, his world-wide fame
  is undeserved. There are many violinists who
  are just as good.”
• Einstein as prophet: “Nuclear weapons
  changed everything except our way of thinking.”
             The Basic Problem
• For the first time in human history, the capability
  of causing extreme harm is, or will soon be, in
  the hands of individuals or small groups. This is
  the 'Basic Problem'. The actual manifestation
  of the problem will come as an intentional or
  accidental misuse of our new powers.
• Illustration: knowledge of nuclear physics is not
  sufficient to actually build a nuclear weapon
  (expense, detectability).
• Contrast with molecular biology
                          (which I love !!!)
• the Basic Problem is a reflection of the Big
  Gap: the ever-increasing gap between the
  cumulative, exponential progress in
  science and technology on the one hand,
  and on the other hand, the lack of
  comparable progress in our ability to use
  our new technological tools thoughtfully
  and responsibly.
• Musical illustration: who was mobbed in
  the 18th Century ?
                      (Farinelli: a spectacular 1994 movie)
• Aristotle as a case study:

Aristotle Physics:             F = m times v
Oops: forgot about friction    F = m times a

Aristotle Philosophy:
"of the above mentioned forms, the perversions
  are as follows:
of monarchy, tyranny;
of aristocracy, oligarchy;
of constitutional government, democracy."
  What Is To Be Done? A challenge for MENSA.
• Education
• Risk Assessment (instead of ―relinquishment‖)
• Defensive and Preventive measures
  (intentional acts / accidents / natural )
• Coping with the aftermath
• Strengthening of the International Law
See www.phys.washington.edu/users/vladi/bp.doc

We cannot wait until people become more responsible – and it is
  hopeless to try to accomplish that by preaching. We must take
  people as they are, and figure out an arrangement of our
  affairs compatible with science and technology.
And it is here that I see a challenge for MENSA. Instead of (or: in
  addition to) playing poker and games and convincing each
  other how clever everyone is, perhaps MENSA could help to
  figure out the Basic Problem.
Implications for International Studies
 • As argued in ―What Is To Be Done‖, the unrestricted
   national sovereignty is not compatible with modern
   science and technology
 • In particular, the idea of the USA as a benevolent
   hegemon is not applicable
 • Restricting national sovereignty is NOT equivalent to a
   ―World Government‖: in fact, some decentralization may
   be necessary, and even the US itself may be have
   become too big for a central government
 • If this difficult but well-defined problem is addressed (as
   our Founding Fathers did two hundred years ago) then
   perhaps the even more difficult problems of Human
   Security can be solved
   Was Einstein a naïve scientist?
• `When Kansas and Colorado have a quarrel
  over the water in the Arkansas River, they
  don't call out the National Guard in each
  state and go to war over it. They bring a suit
  in the Supreme Court of the United States
  and abide by the decision. There isn't a
  reason in the world why we cannot do that
  internationally.'
                                  Harry Truman

see www.phys.washington.edu/users/vladi/naive.doc
Do we, occasionally, and temporarily,
                               stumble upon the Truth?


We stand today at a unique and extraordinary moment. … . Now,
we can see a new world coming into view. … A world where the
United Nations, freed from cold war stalemate, is poised to fulfill
the historic vision of its founders.

                                 The (former) US President George H.W.Bush,
                                                  reacting to the 1st Gulf War

―The gravest danger our Nation faces lies at the crossroads of
radicalism and technology.‖

                                              National Security Strategy 2002

(and then we invaded Iraq …)
              What Is To Be Done redux:
• From the proposal by professors Acharya (Bristol) and
  Chaloupka (UW):
• Many important and urgent issues of Science, technology and
  Society are not being adequately studied by the current
  research in Human Security. The proposed Initiative aims at
  strengthening this critical area.
• Our approach broadens the concept of Human Security and
  addresses the needs of Humanity Security as well.
• One of the main tasks of the project will be to figure out how to
  deal with the “democratization of science” which gives
  enormous power to individuals. Preventing catastrophic misuse
  of these new powers, without sacrificing the benefits which
  widely-available science and technology can bring, may require
  a re-thinking of some very fundamental societal arrangements
  and concepts.
             Danger from Mad Scientists
    (funded by Venture Capitalists, and the Military)
• ―Singularity‖ / Transhumanism:
• Let an ultraintelligent machine be defined as a machine that can far surpass
  all the intellectual activities of any man however clever. Since the design of
  machines is one of these intellectual activities, an ultraintelligent machine
  could design even better machines; there would then unquestionably be an
  'intelligence explosion', and the intelligence of man would be left far behind.
  Thus the first ultraintelligent machine is the last invention that man need ever
  make.
                                                                                  I.J.Good
[Whole Brain Emulation] could do more thinking in one second than a normal
  human can in 31 years.

A 1993 article by Vinge, "The Coming Technological Singularity: How to Survive in the
    Post-Human Era",[1] was widely disseminated on the World Wide Web and helped to
    popularize the idea.[30] This article contains the oft-quoted statement, "Within thirty
    years, we will have the technological means to create superhuman intelligence.
    Shortly after, the human era will be ended." Vinge refines his estimate of the time
    scales involved, adding, "I'll be surprised if this event occurs before 2005 or after
    2030."
Cf. Martin Rees on 50/50 probability of Civilization surviving this Century 
We will successfully reverse-engineer the human brain by the mid-2020s. By the
  end of that decade, computers will be capable of human-level intelligence.
  Kurzweil puts the date of the Singularity — never say he's not conservative — at
  2045. In that year, he estimates, given the vast increases in computing power
  and the vast reductions in the cost of same, the quantity of artificial intelligence
  created will be about a billion times the sum of all the human intelligence that
  exists today.

Within a matter of centuries, human intelligence will have re-engineered and
   saturated all the matter in the universe. This is, Kurzweil believes, our destiny as
   a species.

(yes, the same Kurzweil who (briefly) stumbled at the truth with the 50/50 funding
   proposal)

BUT: where are the ALIEN Singularitanians???
(cf. the Fermi paradox)
Two possibilities:
1) Singularity is impossible
2) Attempt to reach it results into self-destruction of Civilization
FUNDING is there:
In 2009, Kurzweil and X-Prize founder Peter Diamandis announced the establishment
of Singularity University, whose stated mission is "to assemble, educate and inspire a
cadre of leaders who strive to understand and facilitate the development of
exponentially advancing technologies in order to address humanity’s grand
challenges." Funded by Google, Autodesk, ePlanet Ventures, and a group of
technology industry leaders, Singularity University is based at NASA's Ames Research
Center in Mountain View, California.


Connection to the military:
―A brain-computer interface (BCI) is a direct communication pathway between
the brain and a computer device. BCI research is heavily funded, and has
already met dozens of successes.‖
―There are more the 2,000 robots fighting in Afghanistan alongside[sic] the
human troops.‖
              Rethinking the Enlightement
•  Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), US President 1801-1809 “was
  not comfortable with his characterization as a political figure. He
  saw himself first of all as a student of the sciences, philosopher,
  educator and scholar. Of Francis Bacon, John Locke and Isaac
  Newton he said „I consider them as the three greatest men that
  have ever lived, without any exception.‟ ”
• Enlightenment led to the American Revolution (1775), the
  French Revolution (1789), the scientific revolution (Isaac
  Newton (1643-1727). [ cf. J.S.Bach 1685-1750 ].
• Then came the industrial, agricultural and medical revolutions,
  still in progress, profoundly changing the human condition, but
  also creating unsustainable state of affairs.

• Enlightenment replaced superstition and ignorance by an
  exuberant confidence in the rational power of human beings.
• This exuberance has to be tempered with a dose of humility.
Some “philosophical” concepts:

1) The value of doubt and the beauty of search:

“Were I to hold the truth in my hand, I would let it go for the pure joy of seeking ”
                                                                       Ralph Waldo Emerson

2) It is OK not to know, but this is difficult for many people. So many people invent
―answers‖ and ―cling‖ to them …

Feynman on doubt
Now, we scientists are used to this, and we take it for granted that it is perfectly
consistent to be unsure, that it is possible to live and not know. But I don't know whether
everyone realizes this is true. Our freedom to doubt was born out of a struggle against
authority in the early days of science. It was a very deep and strong struggle: permit us
to question - to doubt - to not be sure. I think that it is important that we do not forget
this struggle and thus perhaps lose what we have gained.”


3) Once again: enlightened reasoning is providing us with a mirror,
and we (or most of us) are not sure we can cope with what we
see.
What about culture?

   ―what is the value of Elementary Particle Physics for National
Defense?‖
   ―none, except it makes the Nation more worthy of defending‖

(BUT: is the very small risk of a very large catastrophe worth it?)

-------
      ―what is the value of Bach’s Art of Fugue‖
   ―none, except it (or something equivalent for you) makes the
Civilization more worthy of preserving‖

(AND: there is no risk I know of …)

--------
              More about Music

Powerful synergy between Music and Science:
• Pythagoras: consonance if f1/f2 = m/n
• Kepler and his Music of the Spheres
• Superstring Theory and the Princeton String Quartet:
  all particles as modes of vibration of a string
• Laser Interferometer Space Antenna Listening to the
  Gravitational Symphony of the Universe, …)
• Music as example of ―emergent complexity‖
Exuberance and Humility in Music, and Science




                         The pipe organ at the St. Marks
                         Cathedral in Seattle, and the 1743(Bach
                         was just composing the Art of Fugue
                         then!) instrument at the College of
                         William and Mary in Williamsburg).
                         --------------------------
                         And wisdom and kindness of Victor Borge ….
          Science and Spirituality
• Science is compatible with Faith.
• Example: Francis Collins, Director of NIH:
• Slide 1: “Almighty God, who is not limited in
  space or time, created a universe 13.7 billion
  years ago with its parameters precisely tuned to
  allow the development of complexity over long
  periods of time.”
• Slide 2: “God‟s plan included the mechanism of
  evolution to create the marvelous diversity of
  living things on our planet. Most especially, that
  creative plan included human beings.”
• Slide 3: “After evolution had prepared a
  sufficiently advanced „house‟ (the human
  brain), God gifted humanity with the
  knowledge of good and evil (the moral
  law), with free will, and with an immortal
  soul.”
• Slide 4: “We humans used our free will to
  break the moral law, leading to our
  estrangement from God. For Christians,
  Jesus is the solution to that
  estrangement.”
But the principal aspect of evolution is suffering.


―So what happens in fact when there's too much crowding? Some responses
seem to serve a larger purpose. Sibling shark embryos fight to the death in
utero. In many nonhuman mammals, brothers and sisters of the same litter
compete for access to nipples; often, there is a least competent infant,
unsuccessful in elbowing its way to a nipple —the runt of the litter, who
becomes progressively weaker with each failed attempt to nurse. The Virginia
opossum has thirteen teats and, generally, more than thirteen pups per litter.
Only those who regularly get to a teat live. Such competitions weed out the
weak. Those species with more teats than pups permit weakling and
unaggressive young-sters to reach adulthood. If they are unlikely to compete
successfully as adults and pass their genes on, their mother has, from the point
of view of her genes, been wasting her time nursing such pups. Those mothers
with fewer teats or more pups have a selective advantage. Concern about
cruelty and suffering doesn't, so far as we know, enter into it.”
So, are you really comfortable with a God using Evolution as His tool?
(And then you perhaps feel some empathy towards the consistent creationists!)
• So science is compatible with Faith (or rather:
  Faith ―can” be made compatible with Science if
  you try hard enough, and if you interpret the
  Scriptures flexibly enough)
• But Science does not emphasize Faith
• Science emphasizes the importance of Doubt
                  Spirituality by the Road Less Taken


The worldview that Science inspires (does not prove or provide, just inspires):

     Not faith, but spirituality

     Not traditional, revealed religion:
            too arrogant
                            – ―Man was created to God’s image‖

     Not secular humanism:
           too arrogant
                         – ―Man is the measure of everything‖

Instead:
     Deep, humble spirituality, valuing Doubt and loving Search

In short: in this view, traditional religions are NOT too spiritual or too humble;
but rather: they are NOT SPIRITUAL ENOUGH, and TOO ARROGANT
(they ―know‖ the truth already.)
    Summary:

  Fermi paradox
Big Bang as Bonfire
  Homo Sapiens
                  Conclusions
• Science, when properly understood and taught, leads
  to a highly spiritual, idealistic, non-materialistic
  worldview.
• Physics is an excellent glue between different Science
  disciplines, and Music is a glue between Sciences and
  Humanities
• This may make it possible to re-establish the original
  meaning of the concept of a ―University‖ and of
  Science as ―Natural Philosophy‖ – so that we deserve
  our PhD titles!
• In human affairs, the basic problem we are facing is
  the Basic Problem: the gap between our science and
  our ethics, wisdom and foresight.
           The Grand Conclusion:
21st Century will witness an attempt at a birth of the
Homo Sapiens Civilization.
Science will be the driving force of that attempt.
Natural selection is a marvelous but very cruel process.
The possibility of escaping Darwinism and taking our
future into our own hands is unavoidable.
How we use science will determine whether the attempt
will succeed or not.

Informed and educated citizens, with sensitive detectors
functioning inside their heads, will have to take control of
their future.
•Science and Music, with Bach and
Einstein (and others, of course) symbolize
many aspects and dimensions of infinity
and eternity, exuberance and humility, and
wisdom and hope.


   E = mc2

								
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