Law of Conservation

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pk’s Law of Conservation: the Part on Promotion

2005 01 01 Science over the centuries has come up with a series of laws of conservation. Everybody knows a couple of them. “Matter can be neither created nor destroyed.” Civilizations don’t last long. Neither do laws. Neither do scientific laws. The law just cited got blown to smithereens in the Twentieth Century. By 1945 more than a couple of people realized that matter had just been transformed into a mushroom cloud.
Madam Curie got on the track of matter leaking. Now there are experiments to see if even the proton is as stable — eternal — as was once believed. The poor proton! Christ: it had only just been theorized. Then it’s theorized permanent; then it’s theorized as merely long-lived.
People once thought that when you burned a candle, it was gone. Then some smart guys figured that it had merely become something else: matter was conserved. The smoke and so forth given off added up to whatever the candle had previously added up to: as matter.
What about the light? Is there a way to weigh the light given off? And what else are we missing? failing to think of?

Noether's theorem
Noether’s theorem
thanx wikimedia

Back when, pk theorized a Law of Conservation of Everything. In it he had matter and energy and who knows what all else adding up to God.
God was what was conserved.
I no longer buy even that law.
But here’s one I’m confident enough about to throw out: in this connection: Schools’ Purpose.
Individuals make choices. What can I do to promote my interests? (My happiness, my progeny, my wealth, my pleasure …)
Societies make choices. What can we do to promote human life? …

As I said at Macroinformation, 2004 11 26, “Zero is zero, zero is NOT one; one is one, one is NOT zero.” Anything may be seen by the same binary logic. If John Smith III make John Smith IV his beneficiary, John Smith III is NOT making Shlomo Cohen his beneficiary. Neither is he specifying as his heir a toad or a bacterium … nor the Indian Ocean. When WASPS promote WASPS they are not promoting spics …
When you leave your money to your wife, you are not necessarily stealing money from my wife. When you invent something that never existed before, you are not stealing it from me. If I find a stack of greenbacks on the beach, it’s mine. I can put it on a horse, I can hoard it, I can spend it, I can give it to a girl. I haven’t taken it from anyone. If I later find out who lost a stack of greenbacks on that same beach, or a purse of gold, matters complicate; but I still didn’t take it from them. If the cat falls next to the cream, the cat is under no obligation to distribute the cream among all the mice and all the cockroaches … and every hungry kid in Bangladesh.
Unless the cat has a moral sense.
Unless the cat is an acetic: a philosopher of some sort: a saint.

I’ve made long casts around the territory. Now let me come straight at it.
In a complex world, a world that’s been fenced, some of the fences then broken, you cannot promote something in general without demoting something else.
And if you want to promote some abstraction: like intelligence: or even just literacy, and promote it at some macro-level (like in the state of New Jersey, or in the United States), then you damn sure ought to be sure that you can correctly identify intelligence. You ought to be sure that literacy is a good thing across the board. You should make sure that your board is intelligently surveyed.
John Smith III leaving his property to John Smith IV does little harm (assuming that John Smith III didn’t take his property from the Cheyenne or steal it from the Elm Street Bank.) But the closer John Smith III or IV comes to being a macro-society, the more any John Smith should become aware of the limits of his environment: and the tectonics between his environment and other environments.

If I paint my house scarlet, that’s my business. If I live off in the woods.
If I paint my house scarlet, and I live off in the woods, and all the male cardinals start crashing against my walls in mating season, then my act wasn’t as private or at innocent as I’d thought.
If I paint my house scarlet, and live on a postage stamp, and all the neighbors have white houses, I’ll hear from my neighbors whether I regard it as their business or not.
When I was a kid I was told that we owned our own house, that we could do what we wanted, that we were free. Then a neighbor stopped cutting the grass, didn’t repaint, let trash accumulate … The neighborhood went into an uproar. “But it’s their house,” I objected. “Oh, but property values,” cautioned my mother.
Hey! It was my mother who’d told me that we could do what we wanted!
Ah: you can do what you want so long as property values are stable: or increase!
When I was a toddler we lived on Hillside Avenue in Jamaica. The neighborhood was tenements, but we lived in a white house with a picket fence, and a big yard. Decades later I was on Hillside Avenue, finished my business, and decided to look for the old block. All I saw was pavement, run down tenements, pot holes, trash, broken glass … What happened? Does civilization really control things?

If Doctor Jones encourages Jones Junior to be a doctor, I see small harm. Maybe I see benefit. In either case, I see it as his business, not mine. But when the society, scared by Sputnik, suddenly wants everyone to be an engineer (when last year they wanted everybody to be a lawyer, and the year before that they wanted everybody to be a factory worker … I see great harm.
FLEX would have facilitating everyone going their own way, generalizing feedback.
I never said that everyone would make good choices: I do say that the choices would have been more grass roots, less kleptocratic.
If Junior doesn’t learn to read, and reading would help him to survive, and Junior doesn’t survive … Well, tough on Junior. His failure may make a lesson to those not yet failed. Let us learn from unedited experience: or at least less edited. Especially where the editors are far from wise (or literate).

I start writing with one thing in mind, twelve other things deflect me this way and that. It’s OK, this is a first draft. Publishing for someone else’s organ would make different demands on me. This may take a different shape in my next visit. It is likely to get longer. Someday it may get shorter: much shorter.

School’s Purpose

About pk

Seems to me that some modicum of honesty is requisite to intelligence. If we look in the mirror and see not kleptocrats but Christians, we’re still in the same old trouble.
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