The Helix, Time and Light


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Now, I (being very thin) think differently; and that so much of motion, is so much of life, and so much of joy–––and that to stand still, or get on but slowly, is death and the devil––– – Laurence Sterne, Tristram Shandy, Vol. VII, Chp. XIII.


This post has nothing to do with politics or economics. Surprisingly, this discussion on time does fold back onto human dignity, however briefly, but even this is somewhat tangential. At its core, to be honest, it is simply a brain-fart conjecture that has been swimming around in my thoughts for some years. It is time to let this go public so I can get it out of my head.

So here is the brain-fart conjecture, posed as a question:

Is time best modeled as a helix?

A helix, as graphed by OS-X Grapher.

A helix can be plotted in one of two ways. First, there’s the parametric equation:

Next, there is the use of Euler’s Formula:

And in graphic form appears as:

Credit: By Qniemiec – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

(Note: The gray lines are simply 2D projections of the wave functions, displaying how they manipulate the helix.)

There’s no attempt here to harmonize this brain-fart conjecture with General or Special Relativity, Minkowski spacetime, or Quantum Mechanics, although the helix does lend itself to the concept of wave-particle duality, and thus connects to light itself.

The helix also allows for changes in its radius, frequency and amplitude, adaptable to varying conditions over the evolution of the universe, and changes in inertial frames of reference.

It also leads to the inevitable discussion on time travel since, as recognized in physics, time holds no direction (we only witness dispersion, a.k.a., the Second Law of Thermodynamics, as a direction in time). The helix is symmetrical, so there is no contradiction encountered here, and time holding a frequency and amplitude brings us one step closer to a technology for time travel.

However, it is my conjecture that time travel will only be achievable – if it is achievable at all – on unique timelines. We have always assumed, both in physics and in popular culture (e.g., the Back to the Future series of movies), that if time travel is possible, we will travel backwards on the same timeline and thus be able to insert ourselves into history.

But such a notion brings us to a paradox: Could a time traveler return to the past and prevent, for example, his/her parents meeting, thus stopping the conception of the time traveler? Then we have to pull out the Novikov self-consistency conjecture.

Yet, if we eliminate the possibility of time travel on the same timeline as our present existence, we eliminate the need for the Novikov self-consistency conjecture. Like energy, timelines disperse and transform, and cannot be re-used in their original form.

Thus, we preserve the idea of free will, as an energy-like timeline would not allow the time traveler to inject him/herself into past choices that have already been made, and the consequences that have already played out. [1]

Rather, if we could envision a technology that would create a new timeline, but using a helix slightly shifted not unlike sidebands in radio frequencies, would time travel then become possible? By this means, we would simply become traveling observers of the past, but unable to act upon history.

The idea of time as a helix started when I discovered a few years ago how Incas, Mayans, the Lakota and other cultures such as Babylonians, Hindus and Buddhists modeled time in a circular fashion. [2] But operating in two-dimensional space, a circle has nowhere to move, either forwards or backwards.

Linear concepts of time, the straight-line arrows we’re familiar with in the west, allows for movement. Yet these concepts force us to associate time with change, with decay, which is also inaccurate (see comments above on the Second Law of Thermodynamics). [3]

But the helix is circular, in that it has a radius, and the “circles” are linked via the sine and cosine functions, and thus hold both a frequency and amplitude, allowing movement both forwards and backwards “between circles”.

Is the helix, however, compatible with the idea of the geometric constructions of a worldline passing through a point of origin from a past to a future cone (for a diagram, see the section “Causal Structure” on this Wikipedia page)? Is the concept compatible with the models of spacetime? Or with the Hole Argument? Or???

Better minds than I possess will sort this out… assuming the effort is worth anyone’s helical time.

End notes

[1] For my take on free will v determinism – seemingly unrelated to discussions of the physical universe but entirely applicable to human dignity, see the white paper Humans as Commodities (formerly The Dignity of Humanity) on my Google Drive page, in particular, see end note Nos. 14 and 21.

[2] My deeply felt thanks to Mary Ahenakew at the Resource Center of the Native Information Network, Smithsonian Institute, for a thorough bibliographic listing of books on Native American time concepts. If anyone is interested in seeing this list, I’ll be glad to trot it out here. Contact me at thesmallr(at)gmail(dot)com. With enough interest logged, I’ll do just that.

[3] All that dispersal in the cosmos leads me to ponder this question: In order for something to be dispersed, it had to have first enjoyed the property of being assembled. So how did we get to the assembly before the dispersal? And doesn’t dispersal simply lead to another, but different, assembly? Isn’t the universe on a circular cycle of assembly and dispersal, rather than just a linear dispersal? To believe in asymmetrical, linear dispersal probably says more about our nihilism than it does about the cosmos. Some physicists seem unable to separate what they investigate from their worldviews.



Some millennials are attracted to socialism because…


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… they grew up under helicopter parenting. They grew up under the delusion that someone, something — even if mom and/or dad failed at this — should provide protection. The expectation is that paternal government should take care of them.

For those on the left, when “mom” failed to secure the White House in 2016, this held the traumatic equivalency of witnessing one’s parent or parents being shot in front of them. Of course, those on the right saw the cheered ascendancy of the last macho, stern “dad” enter the White House, still believing in the illusion that a few welts on the ass will cure all of our troubles.

In either case, these deceived Americans cling to the belief, despite so much evidence to the contrary in the 21st century, that government should not only attend to all social ills (positively or negatively), but that it is still capable of attending to all social ills.

In addition, millennials are unaware of the distinctions between centralized and decentralized capitalism. Millennials were not around when the last neighborhood grocery stores and independent hardware stores disappeared in the ’60s and ’70s (save for some neighborhoods in major urban areas), when the last vestiges of the decentralized capitalism mentality from earlier times finally faded, when corporations turned from being stewards of their hometowns to focusing solely on profit maximization.

All changes in the zeitgeist that came at the expense of society’s welfare, of ensuring a level playing field.

And thanks to that profit maximization mentality, present and future generations of Americans will lose their sense of self responsibility, of looking out for others in their neighborhoods and communities, of knowing the dignity that comes with substantive achievement, and substantive failures— not achievement manufactured in a bubble to protect “self esteem.”

They will never be provided a chance to find their place under the sun. From here on out, the focus will increasingly be about survival, about the continued unfolding of the Shitty Society, of completing the formation of the Wasteland of the Free.

And so, the individual’s reliance on social media to “create themselves” or “find themselves” will remain. When that flavor enhancer loses its saltiness, they’ll increasingly turn to the use of legal and illegal drugs, of alcohol, of virtual reality games, of adrenaline-pumping extreme sports, of travel, of anything that feeds their narcissism, that provides escapism.

And the last vestiges of American society will disappear with this surge in misdirected motion disguised as effort.

All that will remain is senseless American patriotic jingoism, a paper-thin veneer to convince us we still have a country.

Until that veneer rips in two….

A Reformation Program for the Federal Government


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Few Americans need more proof of our seriously dysfunctional Federal government. The latest Gallup poll reported Congress has an approval rating of 19 percent as of January (and likely lower by now). The president? His weekly average has been hovering around 37 percent.

We need a rectification.

The very next Constitutional amendment we need is not a balanced-budget amendment (somehow we all intuitively understand that Congress and presidential administrations would utilize creative accounting to arrive at a balanced budget, whether we truly had one or not). The next Constitutional amendment we need should include the following reformations:

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Racism, Sexism and the Consuming Society


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When we build a society around a hyper-competitive form of centralized economics, generation after generation is indoctrinated with the idea that life is a zero-sum game. When one takes, another must lose.

Thus, we must live in a world of absolute scarcity.

All comers are in competition with me.

I must have a “better” address. I must have a “better” vehicle, a “better” job, “better” clothes, “better” memberships.

When I Jones my neighbors, I must be “winning.”

The comparisons are nearby, at arm’s length. The human brain more readily comprehends that which is local, not that which is distantly removed.

Yet, our world becomes increasingly globalized, and the negative effects of that globalization is what causes our lives to sink into oblivion. Continue reading

The Emotionally Immature Shall Rule


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In our contemporary existence, we live in the shadows of monolithic institutions, particularly political and economic institutions. We feel small, insignificant – outraged, perhaps, but nevertheless with a sinking feeling we are simply yelling at the walls that surround those institutions.

It was never supposed to be this way. Humans existed long before heavily centralized institutions came into view. And when more than one individual gathered, so did society. Government and the economy emerged only when we humans needed a) an impartial third party to sort out disputes between us and b) to create mutually agreeable arrangements by which we could meet our needs.

But as history moved forward, political and economic institutions grew, and eventually displaced the individual and society. Political institutions have always been problematic, since they attract the emotionally immature individual who desires power: Power attracts attention.

Economic institutions became problematic more recently in human history, when the industrial revolutions of the 19th century took a formerly decentralized form of capitalism and made it heavily centralized. The economic institutions that emerged also attracted the emotionally immature individual who desires power since, as we know, power attracts attention.

So now we have a bunch of emotionally immature individuals running the world. Here’s the background on this assertion.

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The one who meets his needs, but rises above his wants, has found freedom.

Syria’s Chemical Attack, and Fake News


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Every time the drums of war are pounded, young American men and women serving in the U.S. armed forces are marched off to risk life, limb and mind, not for the security of the U.S., but for a multinational corporation to secure a new market and more profits.


Now that news of a chemical weapons attack has splattered across the U.S. media, the fake news [1] war is on. Western media is pushing, hard, the story that Assad’s Syrian air force dropped chemical-weapon bombs. The Assad regime and Russia are pushing the story that Syrian air force bombs accidentally detonated a Syrian rebel group’s chemical-weapon stockpile.

And now, CNN is reporting that witnesses “saw chemical bombs dropped from the air.” And these civilian witnesses would know what a chemical bomb looks like, studying it carefully as it hurtled towards them, rather than fleeing for their lives, how?

The truth is not known, but will it be known?


Deja vu…


…all over again.


And the Syrian civil war has been overflowing with fake news from the start, when Syria was targeted for the “democratization” process.

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Turkey’s Crackdown on a Free Press, Free Speech and Asli Erdogan


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During the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign, a Trump supporter (background here) was photographed wearing a t-shirt that read: “Rope. Tree. Journalist. Some assembly required.”

Perhaps the t-shirt’s message was meant to be tongue-in-cheek, but the message landed with a dull thud. Free speech and a free press are pillars of the U.S. Bill of Rights, even if those freedoms are abused by certain quarters. There is little room to joke about such matters.

And such matters as a free press become more poignant in light of international attacks on a free press, particularly in Turkey.

There, in the wake of a coup attempt to oust President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, mass arrests of journalists have been undertaken, media outlets closed, and many other civil and military purges undertaken.

To humanize the situation in Turkey, simply follow the stories (here and here) of Turkish novelist Asli Erdogan (no relation to the Turkish president).

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You Didn’t See That Trump Voter Coming.


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This place has changed for good
Your economic theory said it would
It’s hard for us to understand
We can’t give up our jobs the way we should

“We Work the Black Seam” – Sting


You didn’t see him. He blindsided you. You didn’t catch a glimpse of him out of the corner of your eye. You couldn’t feel his presence every time you traveled past the shadowlands of the Rust Belt, or through those rural counties you had to tolerate while you drove to some place where the sun still shines. You couldn’t hear his heavy breathing, seething at the realities that were descending upon his disintegrating existence.

You didn’t notice that Trump voter, that 50-year-old former tool-and-die maker with 25 years of experience.

That 50-something tool-and-die maker knows how to cut metal to a thousandth of an inch, knows how to set up a job blindfolded. His job was taken over by some kid who is the victim of a dysfunctional education system, willing to take half the salary; little matter his inexperience cut productivity of the position in half.

Or more likely, that tool-and-die maker saw his job shipped overseas, all in the name of free trade and globalization. The tool-and-die makers in Southeast Asia work for a fifth of what that American tool-and-die maker earned. Why should that American keep his job, unless he’s willing to accept a fifth of what he made last year?

You were hoping that tool-and-die maker would simply drop into a deep crevice somewhere, and he was supposed to accept life in that crevice, because that was the way of “free trade,” of “globalization.”

In fact, “free trade” has little to do with the trade of goods, and more to do with American corporations finding overseas sources of the lowest-cost labor. But the tool-and-die maker hears the phrase “free trade,” and his hatred of this misnomer grows, exponentially.

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