I’ve just finished watching The Forecaster movie on a paid Vimeo internet feed; the DVD should be out later this year.
The movie as about Martin Armstrong and his computer program that forecasts economic events. It is based on history and in particular the issuance of coinage by governments over time, as well as capital flows between countries and nations. He has identified a periodicity based on Pi, that weird number that is numerically defined as 22/7, and on the calendar cycles in years based on this number.
Is it numerical gobbledygook? Perhaps but not if the forecasting is accurate, and then we come to a very interesting implication – that whatever this Armstrong cycle is based on, it is clear that it seems to drive human activity including wars and civilisational collapses. Human activity is ‘forced’ by an underlying cycle? All rather Aristotelian perhaps? Or perhaps not. One thing Armstrong isn’t and that is a prophet. However his forecasting algorithms work, but how remains mysterious, and even he himself expresses ignorance of this phenomenon; Quantifying it is one matter, understanding it another one entirely.
However there is an error in the assumption of Armstrong’s use of chronological time, represented by the present day geometrical configuration of the earth and its geometrical position with respect to everything else being constant and thus being capable of being retro-calculated. It implies that our present-day calendar based on the Gregorian system can be extrapolated backwards in time to date previous events stretching back into the mists of time. But the fact that the previous Julian calendar had to be replaced by the Gregorian is most likely due to the fact that the Earth’s geometrical relationship with respect to everything else changed and hence requiring the adoption of a new calendar; it is hardly likely that our ancestors were numerically unskilled, for that is nothing other than progressive neo-darwinistic hubris.
Think about it.
So what is time? For a start there are two types of time, psychological and physical.
Physical time is the recognition of a predictable and constant movement of some object with respect to a observational reference point such as the orbit of the Moon around the Earth, the daily motion of the sun, the movement of the hands on an analog clock or the movement of the Earth around the Sun. It is in essence the counting, or frequency, of some regular and persistent physical phenomena. A human lifespan, say, is determined by the number of years some particular human lives, say 85 years. This means that it is a span of motion derived by counting the number of times the Earth rotates around the Sun.
(It occurred to me that as we have to add an extra day every four years, that the earth is slowing down but whether is due to a slowing in the earth’s actual diurnal rotation, or slowing down of its orbital speed is not known. If the Earth’s orbit and diurnal rotation was truly constant, then there would not be any need to add an extra day to any calendar. And of course if the value of “t” is variable, then all sorts of new problems will arise concerning processes that depend on “t”, physical time, being constant).
It is also important to understand that physical time has no start nor no end. My automatic mechanical watch, for example, will keep time as long as I am alive and moving. Once movement stops, the watch stops. No motion, no time.
And then there is psychological time where we differentiate yesterday from today and from tomorrow. The perception of psychological time is a function of memory and thus from the process of thinking. If there is no thought, in the J. Krishnamurti sense, then there is also no time, just the here and now. The past is essentially memory, and hence an artefact, so history is the memory of past physical processes produced by the act of thinking to produce the concatenation of memories. The past is thus partially determined by the present, but which itself is based on the past and if this makes your mind reel a little, then good. If it doesn’t then either you understand it or you are brain dead; most of us would fit in the latter category, I would suspect, or perhaps more accurately, not really care a hoot. As George Orwell was reputed to have remarked, that only an intellectuals could use ideas they did not understand.
During the 18th and early 19th centuries the age of the Earth was determined to be 4004 BC by retro-calculating scriptural data using the modern Gregorian Calendar system. 4004 BC was when T, big tee, was zero or T=0. This is absolute time and is specifically an artefact based on theology. But in a physical sense there is no absolute time, for that implies that an atomic particle called the proton, say, started spinning at some point in the past. When, you might ask? Has anyone ever seen a non-rotating proton? No, certainly not. Will anyone ever see a non-rotating proton? I have no idea, for that is the future but if the future is fully determined by the past, then what? Feel free to have a brain implosion.
So what has Martin Armstrong identified? A cyclic pattern of events based on the extrapolation of the Gregorian calendar into the past to date historical events. As physical time itself is a cyclical motion, then the past will be fitted onto the retro-calculated Gregorian pattern, and hence also become cyclical, so it’s no wonder that Armstrong has identified an historical periodicity.
The problem is that the revision of the calendar was first and foremost a religious driven revision because Easter no longer fell on the expected date. And it remains peculiar that on the implementation of the Gregorian Calendar the definition of the new year was also changed from 1st April to 1st January. There were obvious technical reasons for the adoption of the new calendar, for sure, but the primary concern was religious, not ‘scientific’.
What we really do need to understand though is the fact that the dating of history was first and foremost driven by matching archaeological evidence with the religious literature, and hence the archaeological evidence was made to comply with politics, which is what religion is all about in the first place, the means by which people are compelled to behave under the threat of violence in the name of whatever religious authority that was pertinent at the time. (These days violence is implicated, not explicated though some cultures maintain the ‘old ways’). Indeed the discipline of archaeology was initially driven by proving the veracity of the biblical scriptures and ancient history.
The conclusion one could make from this is that ancient chronology is first and foremost based on the modern dogma, not so much belief, that time is and was constant for all time, and applying that chronological definition historically to observable physical processes, in which no catastrophes occurred, and where such ancient catastrophes that were described in the scriptures, were then explained as literary artefacts or myths, anything but physical reality. Absolute chronology was first and foremost driven by religion, not science, despite the present day scientificness of the extant calendar, the Gregorian one. (Mass species extinctions are accepted but over long periods of time, and then that belief creates the new problem of how to fossilise living things given unlimited time, and ignoring physical reality of biological decay and biogenic recycling).
In other words geochronology is theological in nature in that it is absolute which requires the acceptance of the belief of T=0. And as religion is basically the dominance of authority over empiricism, then it suggests that our understanding of history is not so much a secular one as a secular one trying to make sense of an underlying and implicit, theologically based chronology. In fact geological uniformitarianism as defined by Charles Lyell is essentially a liberal application of the Christian religion to geology, in which biblical creation is rhetorically shifted back in time and from which Charles Darwin then fabricated his theory of evolution to explain how man, given the stewardship of the Earth by God, evolved from nothing in the beginning to progress to man, made-in-God’s image, to the present. Evolution is thus the means by which biblical creation is effected over billions of years instead of the biblical 7 days.
And since the retro-calculation of the present-day solar configuration was used to date the past, little wonder there is the underlying periodicity of events and phenomena.
Just how Pi fits into all this is another matter entirely.
And if you apply Gunnar Heinsohn’s theses, then the application of chronological retro-calculation becomes a little more that a stupendous headache. But as modern geology was founded on the politics of religion that ruled the West during the 19th century, (and still does to this day), then so too its modern equivalent of the climate change thesis, the application of science for political purposes; or should I say misapplication. Once Heinsohn’s revision is applied, then retro-calculation of extant physical processes becomes somewhat nonsensical.
And the biggest problem with Charles Lyell was not that he purged the geological record of past catastrophic events, but that he on the one hand accepted the existence of extinct species in that record but then denied the existence of extinct processes, such as catastrophes, on the other hand. That Lyell was a devout Methodist cannot be ignored either, and his Principles of Geology are thus to be understood as a liberal interpretation of earth history, as biblical scripture is a literal interpretation. We should seriously entertain the notion that both views are unscientific.
I do hope this post causes much brain implosion and confusion, for it is only after this that we might be able to look afresh and try to explain the past differently than using the two headed coin that is biblical fundamentalism and geological uniformitarianism.