Michael Wharton There Is Always A Theory: politics, anarchy, religion, atheism and science. now with poetry!

24Oct/170

Noah 2: Ark of The Convenient

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Get To The Lifeboats; The Planet Is Sinking!

Okay, so maybe this is an exaggeration of the truth but many organisations are obsessed with archiving plant seeds and the DNA of animal species in case of a global disaster of some kind. The concept of our way of life being restored from a back-up is a key theme in many science fiction stories, but in reality there are actual back-ups out there. The Svalbard Global Seed Vault is perhaps one of the more well known examples of an attempt to preserve biodiversity of plants, whereas The Frozen Ark Project has loftier goals, to preserve genetic material for all endangered species of animals so that if their extinction is caused by mankind then they can be brought back by us too, by cloning them and reintroducing them to their natural habitat. I'm not aware of any projects which preserve human life itself, like the plot of someĀ Science Fiction Television shows, books and films.

This is all very idealistic and obviously doesn't take into account the massive amount of work or time required to correct whatever we did to the natural habitat of such creatures to drive them to extinction in the first instance. My own personal idea of an "Ark" of sorts would be for humanity itself, if for some reason the Earth becomes too hostile to support human life and we can't evolve fast enough or genetically modify ourselves enough to keep up with the pace at which the environment of Earth is changing. This would be to build thousands of city sized airships to live aboard with every resource being produced aboard the airship. The canopy would be a giant greenhouse providing the oxygen required to breathe, and the food required to eat. The main gondola would be residential and leisure with all modern amenities. I have something in mind along the lines of The Laputa Floating City by Wang Nifu which the concept art just absolutely blew me away in terms of similarity to an idea I have had for some time now.

Imagine a city 2.0, untethered by geography, like Cloud City from Star Wars or Cloud 9 from Battlestar Gallactica, a place where people live, work and play in the sky. Immune to earthquakes, floods, droughts, severe weather, wasps at your picnics, hayfever, and even rained out sports events. At first I can imagine that it would only be the very wealthy who could afford to live aboard such luxury cruise ships of the sky, with their own personal flying vehicles shuttling them back and forth from the main ship. Over time they will be holiday destinations that working class families would aspire to save up to get to or even get into debt to visit. Some international business people will be tempted to stay there permanently when they realise that they can travel anywhere quickly from such a high vantage point. After some time I envision that more and more of these giant floating cities will be built, some will love them and want to live there more than anywhere else, but just like the modern city, some will hate them but still live in them for the convenience, or for work, or for the amenities they have, for the school system, even for the culture. Then after the inevitable decline of the monetary system, they will seem like a very logical option for most people who prefer to live in cities, well there is always a theory.

Better Safe Than Sorry!

We have all heard that it is always best to err on the side of caution, or prepare for the worst and hope for the best, better to have and not need than need and not blah, blah, blah, you get it right? Insurance is basically the principal I am getting accross here, if a supervolcanoe at Yellowstone goes off, everyone residing on the surface of Earth will suffer the same agonising fate, whereas the Cloud dwellers may escape the worst impact. The same could be true of an asteroid impact raising a cloud of dust that blocks out the Sun, Cloud Cities would ride above the worst of it and grow their own food and raise their own livestock just above the dust clouds which are choking the natives on the surface. The more we prepare to live isolated from the global ecosystem the less we will affect the global ecosystem in a negative way, if we develop a closed system which is still providing an excellent quality of life, then we can move more and more of the population over to this way of living until no human on earth negatively impacts the environment in any way.

Next Stop Mars!

The project I mention, lets call it Cloud Commuting, is also a fantastic solution to interplanetary travel from Earth to other planets in our solar system such as Mars. Vehicles with powered landing struggle to land on Mars, and the atmosphere is too thin to land wings, or a parachute. Would an airship work? Would we have to make adjustments to the pressures, the lifting gas? Would we be able to land an airship on Mars or would it make more sense to leave the main ship in orbit and send down shuttle craft of some kind? Probably, but that is Elon Musk's problem to work out, which he probably will. In fact;

Dear Elon Musk,
Please build city sized airships, for us all to live in!
kthxbai
Michael Wharton

So if this doesn't work, we can get the Chinese to build them for us on the cheap!

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23Jul/120

An Ode To Fate: Poem By Michael Wharton

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An Ode To Fate: A Poem By Michael Wharton

Heisenberg was a man of principles,
In uncertain times he has many disciples,
There is no way to know what lies ahead,
We can not predict the future in our shed,

The path of each particle may be a pre-destined,
Unavoidable path which is pre determined,
But as external observers we can only see,
The present and past paths of its journey,

Free will versus determinism is an epic debate,
Either we control our lives or we're slaves to fate,
Can we override our base impulses and choose,
Load the chance cube of life and never lose,

Many theologies claim to control the odds,
Through prayer, human will, favour of the gods,
True mastery of fortune is not to seize the controls,
However to embrace your path, drift with its flows,

A little poem I wrote idly considering whether my actions or decisions have any effect on the direction of my life. I hope you enjoy the inner turmoil of my personal existential debate with fatalism and determinism!

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12Sep/102

An Ode To Science: Poem By Michael Wharton

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An Ode To Science: A Poem by Michael Wharton


The scientific method is the most logical option available,
For gaining new knowledge and understanding the real truth,
Empirical evidence; data, is collected, measured, verified,
Hypothesised, tested, and retested to determine the proof.

Proof of a theory that includes it in a far wider concept,
To explain a natural phenomenon of the observable universe,
With matter, gravity and energy, explained by methodology,
To attempt to do so any other way would just be perverse.

Foolish men have attempted to subvert these noble efforts,
To know the mechanics of all existence with experimentation.
Abusing obsolete beliefs to admonish human intellectualism,
Science prevailed against this offensive with determination.

For aeons we have pondered on the purpose of our existence,
On the origins of humanity and beginnings of time and space.
We organised life into Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family,
Genus and Species, in taxonomy there's no such thing as race.

We catalogued and categorised the visible celestial bodies,
They were then personified, deified, fortified and beatified.
Philosophies and ideologies were attributed to these deities,
These teachings sanctified to identify those to be vilified.

Scientific teaching now teeters on the edge of a precipice,
Created by folk ignorant of evidence contrary to their belief.
What they all fail to realise is right before their very eyes,
Science fabricates a pair of wings and flies up to its relief.

Every single individual is fully capable of discovering truth,
Through experimentation, examination and observation of reality.
The truth will out repeatedly until uncovered in its entirety,
Fundamentalist individuals won't be ready for this eventuality.

When reason replaces dogma as the predominant belief structure,
Humanity will emphatically embrace a new dawn of enlightenment.
No longer will sophisticated society acquiesce to myopic piety,
Human civilisation will be emancipated from dogmatic arraignment.

More poetry from Michael Wharton, this time on the subject of science and scientific endeavour. Science; like all things (at present) is a commodity for enterprise, to research and develop products for making money. If only this were not the case, every scientist developing better shampoos and face creams should be working on diseases like Cancer and Alzheimer's.

More recently, science has come under fire from fundamentalist religious groups who advocate "creationism" or "intelligent design" as competing "Theories" to Darwinian evolution through natural selection. They really need to start to grasp the meaning of the word theory in science...

On top of the onslaught from the evangelicals, Vince Cable is now threatening the budget for scientific advancement in research and development.

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19Apr/102

An Ode To Poverty: Poem

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An Ode To Poverty: A Poem by Michael Wharton


There are of course the few who have,
Those who want or need for nought.
They are a privileged minority class but,
Poverty is a more popular food for thought.
A pleasure sought is a problem halved,
A whim or wish is too easily bought.
Money is a strange disease; whose
Symptoms are societally wrought.

Imagine the future world possession free,
When resources aren't commoditised.
No wars for stuff and junk or this and that,
A world where you're not hypnotised.
We can build it, fix it and just do it better,
Our utopian future can now be realised.
Technology will facilitate the transition,
To the world where wealth is synthesised.

This lump of rock belongs to none alone,
To co-exist here we need to better share.
Close the gulf betwixt have not and have,
Give up all of our possessions if we dare.
Do not horde what we can not consume,
Or stockpile spoiling foodstuffs; it is unfair.
If we can't eat it we destroy or waste it,
We could feed the starving poor everywhere.

Our road to redemption lies ahead in time,
We need to march along it in cooperation.
We need not leaders political or spiritual,
To distract us and break our concentration.
With motives unpure and greed provoked,
They attempt to weaken our determination.
They forestall the day that freedom prevails,
Using fear, peer to peer, and malign litigation.

So there you have it; my first foray into internet poetry and I'm getting political! This poem is of course an indictment against capitalism and the false scarcity, that perpetuate the dichotomy of rich and poor. Anarchy is either the only means to the end of a Utopian world without poverty, or a direct result of a gradual shift of paradigm. We're moving towards a more free society due to massive technological advances and the collapse of money, as an obsolete, arcane control system.

UPDATE! I have Recorded a video of me READING this poem ALOUD! OMFG!

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30Jan/100

Name The Decade! Teenties? Tweens? Eleventies!

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What is in a Name? 1910 -2000 Back In The Decade!

Over the past hundred years, it has become more and more popular a cultural phenomenon to name the decade. There was the Roaring Twenties, the Thirties and Forties, Fifties and Swinging Sixties. The Seventies, Eighties and Naughty Nineties were relatively straightforward. Right up until the new millennium it took little imagination to perpetuate this new-found tradition.

Some kind of social genius, with a degree in semantics, came up with a name for the decade following the Millennium; The Noughties. It's not like it was entirely on the money (not many people say nought-one, nought-two etc...) but it was quirky and kitsch and it rolled of the tongue. That's what we need for this decade, something that sounds cool. It doesn't have to be massively accurate, just passably sensible. Oh, and it has to end in "ties", you know, to fit in with all of the other decades rhyming scheme.

What Shall We Call This Decade 2010-2019 ?

There are a few suggestions out there on the internet, and let's face it, that is where this will be decided. We have the "Teens", now obviously this doesn't come up to the standard of ending in "ties". We could add "ties" to "Teens" and get "Teenties", but that is a really unwieldy word, also it doesn't cover the period of 2010 to 2012 with the numbers ten through twelve not actually being classified as teens. We could take what we know so far to make a new word "Tenties", but that sounds really awkward and like a vague reference to camping. The list of examples in this ball park is fairly short so I might as well include all of them, here is the last runner up, "Tweenties" (shudder).

My favourite concept word for this occasion is definitely the "Eleventies", it may surprise you, as it seems to defy any definition itself, let alone as a defining term for this decade. My favour is spawned from the repeated utterances in the literary classic series Lord Of The Rings, and lead furthermore by the repeated references of the word such as "111EleventyOne!111!1!!" etc on internet messaging boards due to its overuse in on-line gaming. The word eleven (11) refers to the number between ten (10) and twelve (12), the word Eleventy refers to the number range of a hundred and ten (110) to a hundred and nineteen (119).

Why Will Eleventies Work?

I believe these factors; previous knowledge of the word amongst a large sub-culture (Examples of its use in context already found here , here and here) and the numerical logistical applications of the word itself, will contribute to the word Eleventies becoming the defining term used for this decade.

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