Archive for April, 2015

The Everflame

Thursday, April 30th, 2015

supports the swizzle weave.  The artifact called a swizzle (which does free pumping even uphill) is an indispensable tool for ventilation, irrigation and plumbing.

If we were to be drawing boxes around parts of reality and attaching labels, pathspace would be the gravity - the major component in 3-space of the spacetime curvature.

Just as pathspace enabled the swizzle, tonespace enables the everflame. Tonespace can be thought of as the density of free zero-point energy in space. In idealized conditions this is constant or zero and the energy in space is uniformly distributed (dispersed). In actual conditions this value can be a field value and vary differently along different directions.

The ability of the energy density of space to vary from place to place means that compensatory geometries can be configured.  The total energy appearing may be the same but its spatial distribution can be altered to make it colder in some places and hotter in others.  The alien artifact that demonstrates this is the everflame. The tonespace weave is commonly placed on the space enfolding a disc; stroking the disk’s rim one way or the other turns the effect up or down. The everflame effect concentrates energy from an effectiveness of zero to one. Zero represents no effect — the background level of uniform distribution. One would be perfect concentration: all of the energy appearing in a given volume would appear at approximately the same point in space on one side of the disk. (On the other side the average temperature drops slightly.)

In practice what you get is a point at a certain distance from the center of the disc warms up. the temperature determines the color. At first nothing is visible because for everything up into infrared the photons are too weak to excite our eyes. Warmer and you see a red point that goes through orange to yellow as the temperature goes up. Eventually you get blue, indigo, violet and ultraviolet before x-rays.

As an artifact the everflame is extremely valuable. One can provide limitless free power boiling water in a steam engine. One everflame can be a fireplace that never needs wood, and/or a smokeless stove that never needs coal. A coffee maker you can carry into the woods. An electric blanket with no electricity. Permanently heated clothing for cold climates. Permanently warm hot tubs, pools, and baths. The number of places this could be used is limited only by our imaginations.

Using an everflame in combination with a thermocouple gives free electricity. In amplifier cirtcuits, having everflame-heated tube elements makes possible a tube amp that runs on very little power. With everflame/thermocouple elements to heat the tubes and power the circuits, the telephone, radio and TV of the Ancients could be restored without a functioning electrical grid (TVs and radios would therefore be portable).

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But Not Forgotten

Saturday, April 25th, 2015

Andrew(In memory of my brother
Andrew LaDue Kennedy
3/28/1960 - 4/21/2015)
I thank you all that gather here today
to celebrate a precious human life
He was the youngest of us all –
our band of brothers; and he left his mark
in all of us who shared his time on Earth

A man beloved by all, who hated none
of modest means, his heart was rich with friends.
A man of music with a generous heart
that was my brother Andrew, now at peace.
The selfishness with which I grieve his loss
was not a failing that he shared –
He freely gave of what he had
and shared the music of his voice and hands

And those of you who shared more time with him
than my own life begrudged, can say at last
this gentle soul we knew, as boy and man,
now gone but not forgotten, will remain
a precious gift that Time cannot erase
that we shall cherish with our inner sight
until we meet again inside the Light.


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Metanoia and metaphysics

Sunday, April 19th, 2015

meI’m currently writing Spinspace: The Space of Spins, which is Book 2 of The Metaspace Chronicles. This series is somewhat different from my Gamers and Gods trilogy in that the technology is not just a background, or a setting; it is the source of the problem and also the solution.

Writing can be hard for people like me.  I’m not what you would call a very social person — I’m cool with being alone a lot of the time. For research and such, that might not be bad, but most fiction writing is about people, which requires a writer to have a feel for the way real people interact.  If the conversation is stilted or antiquated, readers will have trouble suspending disbelief and getting into the story line and the characters.

However, writing involves a lot of different elements, and I think it’s rare for any particular writer to master all of them. Some are better at dialog, some are better at scenery descriptions, some at plot weaving, and at action. One of the tricks of the trade is coming up with a story that allows you to go with your strengths as much as possible without making the book all dialog, all action, or all description.

My own background is technical. I have a degree in Physics and a lot of experience in programming, or software development, as they call it nowadays. So I think one of my strengths is coming up with gadgets or new ways of using existing technology in order to avoid having a book that is all action and no ideas. I try to put a lot of ideas into my books to make up for my weaknesses in making beautiful descriptions or pithy dialog.

For example, in my latest series, The Metaspace Chronicles, the overall story arc centers around the use of alien technology on an Earth trying to rebuild civilization with a hybrid infrastructure. But what kind of alien tech could we be expected to incorporate. It can’t be computers or stardrives or anything really complicated. Despite what Jeff Goldblum was able to do in Independence Day, i think it’s extremely unlikely that we could plug ‘n play with alien computers. For that to work, you have to make a huge number of assumptions to enable their tech to interface with ours without a hell of a lot of modifications (not to mention the unlikelihood of putting a human-written computer virus into an alien operating system).

My solution is to make the alien tech really simple. Just as most of human technology relies on “simple machines” like the wheel, the level, the inclined plane, the screw, and so on, the alien tech in The Metaspace Chronicles relies on “simple” alien devices like the swizzle, the everflame, and so on.

As an example, let’s consider the swizzle.  In Pathspace , I introduced the idea of the swizzle — a simple length of pipe (or even a ring or hoop) that pumps fluids like air and water through it with no moving parts or energy source. What makes it work is an alteration in the space curvature around the pipe — sort of a portable anomalous gravity field. It’s handy for plumbing and irrigation, as well as ventilation.

A swizzle can be substituted anywhere in our tech where a pump is used, as long as we need it to operate at a constant flow rate (it can be controlled with a touch, but who wants to have to stand next to it all day to turn it up[ and down or on and off?).

The swizzle is made by imposing a pathspace pattern around the pipe. Such a pattern would normally fade to background levels (like the eddy a paddle makes in the surface of a river), except that the matter of the pipe helps to anchor the pattern and make it last for a long time.

The problem with this is that the pattern still decays if you have no one with the psionic ability to refresh it. In my story, civilization fell after the aliens moved on, because humans had no “tech support”. We were like savages with rechargeable batteries but no chargers.

The story arc of The Metaspace Chronicles involves the rebuilding of civilization…by the founding of a school for wizards (psionic engineers) to provide the tech support needed to create and maintain the alien tech. I’ll explore exactly how that could work. I’m hoping the ideas I introduce and develop will make reading the books worth your while.

Must get back to writing Spinspace, the next book in the series. —MRK

Next: the everflame

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What is Metaspace?

Sunday, April 12th, 2015

Some of you have been asking me about the name of my new series, The Metaspace Chronicles. Where did I get the name? What does it mean? What can you expect from it?

These are all good questions. All of my books, the paperbacks and the eBook versions are written to make you think, as well as to entertain and even (gasp) learn a thing or two as painlessly as possible. And the new series is no exception.

When authors write about “magic” it generally falls into one of two categories.  Fantasy authors tend to write about magic as being somehow accomplished with mysterious abilities, “magical” artifacts like wands and swords, or the help of angels, demons, ghosts, or other supernatural beings. There’s no need to explain “how” the magic actually works, as long as it is consistent and limited enough to keep victory from being too easy.

When science fiction authors write of “magic” it is usually explained as paranormal abilities such as telekinesis or telepathy done by people with mutations or special training. Again, little is actually explained. As long as the abilities are consistent and not omniopotent it works for the readers.

I wanted to do something new in this series, so I decided to create a future scenario in which the “wizards” (or psionic engineers) are accomplishing their wonders by means of at least partially explainable methods. Instead of having them be able to somehow touch objects at a distance and “push” them with their minds, they do something entirely different. My wizards reach out with their minds, but they accomplish their effects by reshaping intrinsic aspects of space itself — which then influences the objects embedded within it.

To do this, I hypothesize an extended concept of space called Metaspace. It includes the ordinary dimensions of space and time that we are familiar with, plus some extra stuff that we are not normally aware of.

Pathspace relates to the curvature of space-time which physicists have used ever since Einstein formulated gravity as the effect of curved spacetime on trajectories in his General Relativity. A wizard using pathspace affects the curvature of space, not the objects in it. Pathspace “weaves” are like temporary and specific examples of local gravity anomalies. The alien artifact I call a swizzle is a local pathspace weave anchored on a section of pipe that accelerates air or water through the pipe without a pump or moving parts.

Spinspace relates to the quantum property of spin. I hypothesize that particles such as electrons are “born” with intrinsic angular momentum or spin because it is a property of the space they appear in.

I’ll be talking about other aspects of Metaspace as the series unfolds.   —MRK

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