Challenge 1 – the answers

Challenge One

Hi Domus

Your explanations for 2, 4, 6, 8, & 10 are clearly falsified in my understanding.

The real systemic issue in 2 is not credit, but interest on debt. It is only stable if the system maintains exponential growth. As soon as exponential growth fails (for any reason), then the entire system collapses.

In 4, the explanation of a gas bubble from heat generated by fission is physically impossible. It is not possible to contain gasses with crustal material to generate the sorts of accelerations required to reach escape velocity.
The most probable scenario for moon formation is the impact of a Mars sized proto-planet with earth, and subsequent tidal capture of asymmetries formed by tidal action.

In 6 your figures are clearly false.
The sun delivers enough energy annually to form a layer of oil 6 inches (15 cm) deep over the entire planet. If plants were only 1% efficient at capturing that, and only 1% of that material ended up as oil, then it would equate to over 1m of oil every 100,000 years, or 10m every million years.
Your figures are out by many orders of magnitude.

In 8, Fermi’s guesses are just that – guesses.
There are an infinite number of possible scenarios.
Freeman Dyson gave a general class with his Dyson Spheres, emitting only low grade infrared energy from their suns.

In 10 the whole thing hangs on the concept of essences, for which there is no evidence whatsoever – so it is simply a speculation in nonsense.
Mandelbrot has shown clearly than simple patterns that involve recursion can lead to infinite complexity.
All that is required for complexity is recursion, not gods or designers.

[followed by]

Hi Domus

On point 2, economy.
The cause of the problem does not seem to be credit as such.
If credit expands at the same rate as the supply of goods and services, then money is in balance, there is no problem, and there is no bubble.
The problem comes about because of the charging of interest on debt.
It is the charging of interest that causes a hyper-inflation, and it is only by exponentially inflating the money supply that the current interest bill can be paid.
If there is no interest, then there is not necessarily a problem.
If interest is allowed, then there is a necessary concentration effect, and a necessary requirement for exponential growth (irrespective of credit).
Money is just a token, it is not a thing of value in and of itself (as was once the case when money was made of metals).

On point 4 – the angular momentum argument is completely bogus – the numbers simply do not stack up. Escape velocity is about 18 thousand miles per hour. Even with a day length of only 6 hours, that only gives a velocity of about 4,000 miles per hour. When you do the math on the sort of pressures and distances required to get a lot of mass to accelerate 12,000 miles per hour, it just isn’t going to happen.

The same tidal forces that are slowing the rotation of the earth, and speeding up the moon and moving it away, would have happened in reverse to the moon, but much more so. Thus, whatever the moon’s initial angular momentum, it would rapidly have been lost to tidal forces, as the moon was captured into lockstep rotation showing one face to the earth.
This would not have occurred had the moon been a solid body before being captured by the earth, but must have occurred if the moon was a liquid body that then cooled. The tidal effects on a cooling liquid being orders of magnitude higher than for a solid.

Thus the collision scenario seems to me to be orders of magnitude more probable than a gas explosion hypothesis (which has massive improbabilities to my mind).

This becomes a major input to the Fermi paradox later.

On the subject of oil.
There are some algae that form diesel like hydrocarbons, and there can form fossil beds at relatively low temperatures and pressures.
However, if we are talking about large scale metamorphosis of oxygenated hydrocarbons to deoxygenated hydrocarbons, then thermodynamics has a lower limit of about 15KBar (deep).
The physics and chemistry is proven beyond reasonable doubt.
It is not however entirely an abiotic process, as the necessary limestone formations that are part of the process do have a biotic origin.

It also appears that the formation of oil also requires the collision which led to the formation of the moon – and the sequence runs thus:
Without the large moon forming impact, the earth would have had a stable mantle form, much like the other known rocky planetary bodies (Mercury, Venus and Mars) which show no sign of plate tectonics.

If it is possible for water to stabilise on a world without plate tectonics, then such a world would rapidly erode to being a water world, with occasional small volcanic land masses.
Without plate tectonics there is nothing to carry the limestones to the required depths to form oil.

It also seems very probable that the early evolution of life, in terms of the evolution of RNAs pre cellular life, and the evolution of early cellular systems, both required a replication driver, and that driver appears to have been the early massive tides (100m high with a 3 hourly period) that would have provided regular heating and cooling to power replication, and also regular sources of agitation to provide a certain level of homogeneity in the replication of early cellular life.

And I digress somewhat into the obvious flaws in Fermi’s conjecture.
which is, that given the obvious that we do not observe a lot of ET life signals, it seems clear that there is something very special about the earth that has allowed life to evolve. I strongly suspect that it is the collision that lead to the formation of the moon.

As to the conjecture that no substance can lead to another substance with different attributes – this is clearly false.

Any system, which has as one of its characteristics the output of the system at one point being part of the imput to the system at some future iteration, will have unpredictable outcomes. The Mandelbrot set is one obvious example of this simple truth, life is a somewhat more complex example.

Once one has a system that allows of both recursion and replication, then given time and variation, infinite possibility is the necessary outcome.


About Ted Howard NZ

Seems like I might be a cancer survivor. Thinking about the systemic incentives within the world we find ourselves in, and how we might adjust them to provide an environment that supports everyone (no exceptions) - see
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1 Response to Challenge 1 – the answers

  1. Clearly out of my league…


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