Sunday, May 5, 2019

Optics of “Truth” – From Constantine to Einstein to FINRA


One hundred years ago this month, a group of astronomers commenced their observational engineering in Sobral, Brazil to prepare for the Total Eclipse of the Sun of May 29, 1919.  Sir F.W. Dyson, FRS, Professor A.S. Eddington, FRS, and Mr. C. Davidson were intent on measuring the “Deflection of Light by the Sun’s Gravitational Field” in an effort to confirm Professor Einstein’s 1911 General Principle of Equivalence which would alter Newton’s “Law” of gravitation.  Enlisting astronomers, scholars, politicians, and clergy from three countries, their results, published in November of 1919, solidified the public’s canonization of Einstein and his world view.

Sixteen hundred ninety-four years ago on May 20, Emperor Constantine convened the ecumenical Council of Nicaea to resolve the official story of what would become “Christianity”.  In a gathering of astronomers, scholars, politicians, and clergy from three countries, he sought to quash deviant narratives that would call into question any version of “truth” other than his approved version.  Among the Council’s task was to resolve the three hundred-year-old questions of which version of accounts of the teachings of Jesus and the commentary of Apostles (notably Paul who ironically had no knowledge of Jesus or his teachings from experience) would be accepted and which were heresy.

Between May 20 and May 29, 2019 I’m engaging in an effort to shed light on an equally occult collection dogmatic beliefs – money.  And as I’m wont to do, I like to learn from successful propaganda campaigns throughout time to see how perspective is codified as “truth”.

I’m fortunate to have been born in a family that included an astronomer (my father) and a linguist (my mother).  While I can claim no expertise approximating either of their life-long learnings, my osmosis exposure to their worlds fueled my inquisition of the two seminal May events listed above.  Without the former, we would not have our current scientific framework and without the latter, we’d have one less reason to separate ourselves from each other based on cosmological and metaphysical dogma.  Ironically, both involved the quadrangulation of men of astronomical, political, scholarly, and ecclesiastical persuasion.

While I won’t do justice to the meticulous records of both events (which I commend to your reading), I found interesting resonance in these two events.
  • 1.      A priori Singular Assumption Supremacy:  In the solar eclipse experiment, scientists postulated that during a total eclipse of the sun, the visible light from stars near the sun would deviate in its path in a manner that would be perceptibly different from the same light from the same stars without the solar mass influencing its passage.  By observing the photographic plates of the exact same stars without the eclipsed sun and those same stars during the eclipse, deviation of light in the X-Y coordinates “should” be quantifiable.  In the Council’s case, the assumption was that hand-scribed copies of texts over a three-hundred-year period across at least three language translations would contain an inerrant consistency.  The gathered scholars would be able, when assembled, to confirm truth by comparing all variations and settling on the negotiated deviation which would constitute the “authentic”.  In both cases affording one variable the capacity to arbitrate all other considered and unconsidered postulates, extrapolated consequence hung on a single argument.
  • 2.      Dismissal of Dissent:  Considerable treatment is given to the optics of the telescopes and lenses used in the solar experiment.  From the nature of mirrors to the precision of lenses to the photographic plates, going into the observation, the scientists knew that their instruments would produce error.  The Oxford and Principe observations demonstrated inconsistencies in the lead up to the eclipse.  Further, while care was taken to consider meteorological conditions, variations for atmospheric differences in the upper atmosphere were unconsidered.  Never mind, the assumption was that, on the day, the standard deviation of the reference would be treated as static and serve as the basis for comparison of true deviation.  Similarly at Nicaea, the known error was the notion of a unitarian divinity (the notion that the Father and Son are co-equal in all respects).  The Arian Controversy had caused a power dispute between Alexandria and Constantinople and (I know this is going to come as a surprise) the Roman emperor wanted his perspective to prevail.  So the triune nature of the godhead became the lens through which everything was filtered.  Oh, and if you didn’t agree, no worries, your perspective was considered…. Oh, no, you were banished and labeled heretic, excommunicated or subject to the sword.
  • 3.      Selectively Objective:  Going into the solar observation, 13 candidate stars were selected for their photographic magnitude (the sufficiency of light to expose to plates) and their proximity to the sun.  Great lengths were taken to explain the rationale for only 7 (61%) being used to confirm the study findings.  While the records of the Council of Nicaea are a bit clouded on the point, it appears that about 78% of the candidate “books of the Bible” (which were not officially concluded in the “canon” until the Council of Rome in 382) were considered as definitive while the remaining set that didn’t substantiate the a priori doctrine were excluded.  In short, in both cases, only that light which confirmed the hypothesis was considered.  All of the rest was rejected.
  • 4.      Infallibility of Consequence:  When the findings of the light experiment were published in November of 1919, the consequence was the effective elevation of Einstein to detriment of Newton.  When the Council of Nicaea arrived at the outcome that was pre-ordained by its convening monarch, Rome and Constantinople were elevated and the Arians were excommunicated.

It was with great interest that I performed a few calculations on the Principe 4” lens plates – the ones that “proved” Einstein’s theory.  One would consider that, if the gravitational effect of the sun was to deflect light, that deflection would be equally altered by: 1) proximity of the sun to the starlight; and, 2) the x-y coordinate shift observed in both right ascension (“longitude”) and declination (“latitude”).  Unfortunately, the calculated deflection (based on Einstein’s theory) and the observed deflection don’t meet either of these presumptions.  The correlation between solar distance and the observed change in right ascension is 0.4 while the effect in declination is 0.36.  In other words, even in the instances of the selected objective, the “effect” wasn’t the reported effect.  Similarly, when one considers only the over 5,000 Greek, 10,000 Latin, and over 9,000 other texts of the canon from 382 until Erasmus’ work in the early 16th century including parchments, fragments, and other copies reproduced by scribes who may or may not have had any experience with the images of the letters they were copying, the textual agreement is somewhere around 40% as well.  This statistic is derived from a simple compound error calculation between literal translation precision, penmanship and reproductive accuracy, to say nothing for the disputed content between the Codex Sinaiticus and Codex Vaticanus which were resolved based on dogma – not literal archaeological evidence.  Ironically “error” exceeds “consistency” in each of these examples.  While the masses are told of “truth” and “laws”, it is heresy to review the inherent error in the “ground truth.”

So whether, on this Sunday, you venerate a divine composite of mysteries, metaphors, myths, and messiahs or whether you are so “enlightened” as to venerate mathematics, mechanics, metrics, and measurable, our collective paradox is that the assumptions upon which both stand are exactly that – assumptions.

For the last four weeks, I’ve been in communications with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) about what is and is not authorized in communications regarding some of our commercial business.  For those unfamiliar with FINRA, their job is to insure that investors receive fair and complete information upon which to make decisions.  FINRA has copious rules upon which they opine to attempt to certify compliance.  However, FINRA never has had to deal with a business like ours.  We have done a number of novel things – quantifying the effect of intangible assets (things that are not recorded on corporate balance sheets) for banks, businesses, governments and investors.  And it turns out that while we have measured many things with a precision not afforded by any other metric, FINRA only has room in its world for things that “fit” their template.  In their effort to achieve “compliance”, they have mandated that we alter or eliminate historical material to make our presence less disruptive.  That’s right, FINRA has explicitly sought to manipulate full, complete, and accurate information rather than adjusting their optics to account for something that challenges the consensus hypothesis.  What’s worse, with a recently completed business partnership with another not-for-profit government recognized organization, we’ve been advised that we may not be able to report the nature and substance of a reality that the whole world will be able to see on a daily basis and associate it to investors’ decision-making information.

In short, FINRA’s actions – like those of Constantine, Erasmus, James I, Eddington, Dyson and Davidson – evidence the operating definition of “truth”.  They define it simply as that which confirms catechisms held by controlling consensus.  If it preserves ideology and the hierarchy dependent on manipulating the masses, it’s “true”.  If it challenges this status quo and disrupts occult power and influence, it’s heresy.

So what can we learn from the 4 Propaganda Pillars?  Well, the answer is simple.  Start by questioning ALL assumptions.  Is it likely that a deity would insist on the penmanship of scribes across three languages and two millennia to convey an oral wisdom and lived experience?  Is it likely that an geocentric observation which takes into account none of the earth’s magnetic, meteorologic, or other effects to say nothing of the unknown kinetics in multiple dimensions that may describe light emitters both near and far forms a universal “law”?  Is it likely that a government agency under the thumb of financial interests will want independent data that competes with incumbent interests represented as true, fair, and balanced?  Of course not.  Second, encourage dissent.  Welcome those who innocently inquire together with those in vehement opposition.  Encourage each party to come to the table with their own insights and welcome discord that remains unresolved yet respectful.  Third, acknowledge subjectivity.  In the case of our business, we explicitly publish our methodology and approach.  We’re not saying it’s “right”.  We’re simply stating our perspective.  And in our case, we’re applying that perspective to information that is public but is unused by financial institutions and regulators.  So we’re even telling people where and how to look at something that is not commonly seen.  And finally, engage with arrogant humility.  What I mean by this is simple.  What we do represents decades of research and scholarship.  The perspective we have is based on ample consideration.  Therefore, the views we share with the world are correctly OUR VIEW.  That DOESN’T MAKE IT RIGHT!  It just makes it us.

Who knows?  With an approach that doesn’t require swords, cruelty, division, and harm, maybe we can form a more profitable union!