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Pomposity and Circumstance

cernparticles1_11-02Although I have become a good deal more restrained in recent years, I am not one to shy away from speaking my mind, as many of you are probably aware. Thus, when something risibly inaccurate appears on my wall, I am sometimes moved to comment. In this instance, the assertion in an article that:

 “The fourth dimension” is a short-hand term for the world of spirit and emotion and desire and vibration and feeling and intuition and imagination. It’s all the unseen stuff that can have the power to dramatically affect the seen.”

Now, strike me with a wet kipper, but I could have sworn that the fourth dimension was Time*. Certainly, that was what they taught me on my Physics degree course, but hey, what do actual scientists know compared to New Agers, who apparently have an entirely new definition for the word “dimension”, other than as a quantifiable measurement, not to mention regarding Time as being something that is defined in terms of the unquantifiable.

Q: How tall are you?
A: Ecstatic

I refer to Time with a capital letter to make the distinction between the scientific dimension and that thing that you never seem to have quite enough of to get all the things done that you need to, largely because you spend too much of it on Facebook.

The really funny part is the staggering pomposity, rudeness and patronising attitude of the response to my (entirely polite) observation that Time was normally recognised as the fourth dimension and had nothing to do with spirit and emotion. (Amongst other comments, I was told to go and read some science books LOL) Oh my, the posturing, bluster and pseudo-science had to be seen to be believed and was eventually all deleted (undoubtedly in embarrassment). I laughed out loud when retrocausality (in so many words), which is at best only a sketchy hypothesis, was presented as fact in order to dispute time’s arrow and explain such things as past life regression and precognition. Oh dear!

Given that (Super) String Theory (which has always rather appealed to me) as an explanation of particle behaviour, has gone back and forth between being the latest, exciting Unifying Theory to being discredited and back again over the last few decades, it’s going to be a while before Retrocausality is more than just an edgy thought experiment, only adopted as fact by the ignorant and gullible.* I think of it as the modern day equivalent of the notion that the sun being dragged across the sky by a charioteer is the reason for its motion – it’s attractive, fits some of the evidence and might explain some things. Personally, I think that particles and their rather eccentric and schizophrenic behaviour exist solely to mess with Physicists’ heads and keep them off the streets 🙂

*I admit I’m not a Physicist and thus not necessarily up to speed on the latest theoretical work, but having studied the subject formally to some extent, I do understand the basic concepts well enough. As a simplistic guideline: if it’s got equations, it’s a Theory, if it doesn’t, it’s just a Hypothesis, and if it includes a Constant or Law coupled with a Nobel Prize Winner’s name, then you’re on fairly solid ground 🙂 

Anyway, feel free to engage in debate – I’m not precious 😀


On another topic, I am delighted to report that DD has exceeded expectations for her age (11) in her SATs results, scoring a couple of 6s in her Maths and English tests (apparently the level for 13-15 year olds) and all 5s in her teacher assessments. I’m very proud of her 😀

I’m also rather glad that I took the time to teach her Algebra and Linear equations, even though they didn’t come up in the tests. It rather re-engaged my enthusiasm for practical Mathematics and refreshed my memory on a few things that have oxidised since I last used them. It’s such fun now that the children are beginning to get to a level where I can discuss my favourite subjects with them 🙂


10 July 2014

10 Comments to “Pomposity and Circumstance”

  1. Having some background in the theoretical areas you discussed (I will attempt to keep true to the physics in my Cosmic Whispers deck) as well as being in the New Age category, I do understand your objection to some of the ways that folks have stretched the physics to meet their metaphysical expectations and some of the psychological dimensional stuff that’s been given out by the various gurus and channelers.

    Agreed that Time is, indeed in Einsteinian physics the fourth dimension. Also, theory indicates their may be 11 or more dimensions altogether, although most of these are wrapped in some quantum context inside of atoms. So, it gets a little tiny to travel to other dimensions. As a science fiction fan, though, I still like the idea. 🙂

    So, at least one New Ager understands that Time is the fourth dimension. 😉

    • I know there are people out there in the esoteric world who do understand real science (and am pleased you are one :)), but there are far too many who read a bit of pop science or pick up a keyword and bandy it about wantonly without really having a clue. “Quantum” is one of those words that is a popular target – everything is explained as “it’s quantum” or “it works on a quantum level”, but wtf does that mean? Everything works on a quantum level. They might as well say “it’s metric”. *sigh*
      I am aware of parallel dimension theories and, also as a Sci if fan, I do find them appealing (see my reference the string theory). Incidentally, the best Sci if is written by scientists and often becomes Sci reality and the physics of Star Trek is particularly well researched 🙂

      • Been a Trek fan since 1966 (yes, watched when it first started). Sci fi has predicted tons of things. I even got to index Lawrence Krauss’s second book on the physics of Star Trek (way cool!). Is there a Star Trek tarot deck? 🙂

  2. *nods and reaches for the paracetamol* 😀

    • Don’t worry, I won’t make a habit of it. Normal blog topic service will be resumed shortly 😀

  3. *nods and extends hand to Viv for the paracetamol bottle*

    I have not a clue about Physics. I only did Biology to Standard Grade and one of the very few things that I remember is that the Islets of Langherhans are in your pancreas (I think!) and the only reason that I remember THAT is because it sounded like somewhere Danish to go for your holidays 😀


    • I did Biology to A’ Level, but must admit I’ve forgotten most of it. I’m quite looking forward to DS starting his GCSE course next year so I can have a refresher. I still have most of my Biology books from school 🙂

  4. Looks like Ali and Vivianne are getting restless and wanting to switch topics back to the dog, the kids, the comic and tragic moments of daily life, and possibly knitting…all good topics, BTW…

    • For future reference, I’m always happy to chat about science, but the next post will be back to less challenging topics 🙂

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