Friday, June 29, 2007

Why we can't travel in time.

It just occurred to me why time travel may not be possible. That is because time isn't necessarily a dimension.

The main reason people think of time as a dimension is because physics models use time as a dimension just like space, and it works well.

However, just because you can model time as a dimension, doesn't mean that it is a dimension. I can model an image on a flash disk using *.jpg format. However, the binary conforming to the jpg format isn't an image at all. In the same way, time doesn't have to be a dimension, and the past and future don't necessarily exist.

By the way, really the same may be true of the other 3 dimensions as well.


Friday, June 22, 2007

Legal Hirearchy as a Source of Stability & Accomidation

A stable legal system has many benefits. Lets list some:

1. Stable laws help businesses and other organizations formulate long term plans.

2. Many times laws are created as a result of cultural norms and sentiments. However, often cultural norms and sentiments are a result the laws. For instance, in the US, freedom of speech isn't just a law that is a result of a general cultural sentiment. The fact that is encoded into the constitution has become the source for the validity of that sentiment. Over time, US citizens have come to identify th US Constitution as a definitive source of moral standard and good culture. This sort of bond between culture and law can only be attained over a long period of time. Among the benefits of this bond are respect for the law, and patriotism.
That being said, the benefits of a stable legal system are a stable culture.

3. Stable laws promote the image of the government as an authority.

4. Stable laws promote the image of a correlation between the laws and objective good or bad. If representatives were to arrive at some objective truth to base the law on, the law shouldn't change ever. If the laws change often, it means that there is no real basis for the law.

5. Stable laws reduce the number of new, un-refined laws. Some of the problems with new laws are that they haven't been tested (so they could be wrong) and that thy may contain loopholes.

The problem with a stable legal system, is that it can be un-accomidating to changes in culture & moral sentiments and changes in facts on the ground. An un-accomidating system could lead to the following problems:

1. Statewide instability. If the moral and cultural sentiments that a law is based on change, than a large part of the community will not be satisfied with the legal system.

2. Legal Inaccuracy: If the facts on the ground (such as economic facts) warrant an unmade change in law, an un-accommodating legal system can harm the country.

The way to properly blend stability and accommodation is via a hierarchal legal system. That means that the government should have a system composed of different grades of laws. The most fundamental laws be more difficult to establish and change, and the less fundamental laws be easier to change. With a carefully designed system like that, any government should be able to weather the changes of time, without having to sacrifice cultural stability.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Israel as a Government Research Center.

Israel is positioned to become THE developer of significant advances in Governmental systems. This is because the situation in Israel is so challenging.

The world is faced with 2 options concerning Israel. If we are to divide the land in 2, one side for Arabs, and one side for Israelis, that we are giving up on government. We are saying that it is impossible for one government to accommodate that specific demography. Should we say that? Is that true? Is it true that sometimes people simply can't coexist under one army and government?

In my opinion, if we can put a man on the moon, we can come up with a government that can handle the situation peacefully. I think its just a matter of taking all the intellectual efforts invested in cutting the place up into pieces or plotting the destruction of much of it and directing them to devising a new government system that can accommodate everybody.

The reason why development of such a system is essential for mankind is very simple. The modern era has given birth to diverse cultures within one geographic entity. Muslims live in London too. So do Jews. So do Christians. I am sure that the sort of political upheaval and religio-cultural struggle occurring in Israel today will present its ugly face in many parts of the word. The world must devise a solution better than cutting countries apart, or it faces great dangers.

Civil War & Israel.

Upon consideration, it seems to me that the Civil War might have been a mistake.

Essentially, there were 3 possible ways the struggle over slavery could have been resolved:
1. One side forcing the other to comply.
2. Splitting the union in two.
3. Letting the south decide for itself whether it should legalize slavery or not.

Was option number 1 the best one to pick? Options 2 or3 would have saved the 100,000 or so soldiers who died in the war. Furthermore, I have a feeling that international political developments and trends would have effectively forced the South to end slavery eventually.

Why is it so obvious to Americans that the best way to handle the slavery crisis was with option 1?

Taking analogy to the present political situation in Israel, we are presented with the same 3 options. It seems obvious to the global audience, and the Israeli government, that the proper way to handle the crisis is via option 2. Option 1 is ruled out due to the negative effects of war.

What's wrong with option 3?
Neither Israeli's or Palestinians like #3 because both prefer segregation over coexistence. Option 2 is impractical because the geographic areas involved aren't big enough, or naturally distinguished.

I think that highlights the main difference between the Civil War and the Israeli crisis:
Israelis don't like Arabs, and Arabs don't like Israelis. On the other hand, Northerners didn't have a problem with Southerners, it was just a relatively superficial policy they didn't like.

While I'm on the topic, I'd like to point out that the Civil War really highlights the fact that much of what the US has come to stand for didn't really exist until recently. The constitution should have implied a ban on slavery, but didn't. In fact, the ideals of equality for all weren't really implemented until the '60s. It took America 200 years to figure out what it stood for. (?)

That said, it seems to me that the discovery of the American style government, with a constitution, checks & balances, and democratic representation was stumbled upon not because of the great moral vision of the founders, but only because the practical situation necessitated it. The situation of 13 weak colonies desiring independence obviated the need for such a system. Without that system, the colonies wouldn't have been able to band together despite cultural, religious, political and geographic differences like they did.

Going back to Israel, we can arrive on a couple of points:
1. It can take a long time for a country find itself.
2. Twisted morals and gross errors can thrive for long times too.
3. I'll leave this one for the next blog.

Democracy, and Government as a service.

Here are some thoughts on government.

1. One of the key developments of modern government is the definition of the role of the government as a lowly provider of service to the people.

That said, loyalty to the government should only go so far as that government is acting in the best interests of its people.

2. Democracy is the tool by which the populace expresses its opinions. A perfect democracy wouldn't have Representatives, it would simply defer all the decision making to the public. In the modern era, this would really be possible using the Internet. The main problem with this is that the public is often wrong. Ultimately, we end up with a conflict between expertise, and good intentions. That means, that if we leave the decision making up to the public, we'll often end up making unwise decisions. However, if we give experts unequal weight in the decision making, we increase the risk of corruption.

In the end, it seems that there must be some sort of compromise, or combination of the two.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Socialism & Capitalism.

One of the problems with socialism, is that it appeals primarily to 2 groups: the idealistic wealthy, and the poor. Some poor people are genuinely oppressed by the system, but most are poor because of their poor contributions to the public. Hence, most poor supporters of socialism are looking for a free ride. So, socialism appeals to most as a way to distribute the wealth in disproportion to contribution, which is a spell for disaster.

Because Socialism is forwarded most strongly by those who will benefit financially from it, it can't claim to be any more altruistic than capitalism.

Another problem is that the same problems which cause capitalist economics to become abusive also cause socialist models to be abused. That problem is the selfish human nature. Because man's intellect can find loopholes in just about any system, a socialist organization can succumb to selfishness as well. It just has a different expression than in capitalism. In capitalism, its form is underpaying employees, cartelisms and cheating others. In socialism, it is lack of motivation, and abuse of resources by governing bodies.

I think the real deciding factor between socialism and capitalism, is that capitalism is self-maintaining. That means that capitalism can iron out any new developments and problems without re-building the system. Socialism, is fixed and artificial. Whenever a socialist structure is encountered by new realities, it tends to fold.

In the defence of socialism, I'll state the following idea. People are social animals for a reason. That is, social behavior has its place. I think when resources are truly scarce, the benefits of social behaviour outweigh the problems. When there is plenty, the benefits of capitalism outweigh the problems.