Nature and straight lines

One of the things that always makes me guffaw about the alarmist, wereallgonnadiesooooonunlessyougiveusallyourdosh prognostications from various factions, that unless humanity stops what it’s doing right now, man made (Why is it always our fault? I’m feeling a little victimised here) disaster is going to result in more floods / hurricanes / tornadoes / typhoons / visits from next doors cat, is a single 1nconvertible flaw in their arguments. They almost all rely on oversimplifications based upon two dimensional linear relationships. There is no down to their up. Their sine waves freely convert to never ending exponential curves without a wisp of logic. There is no Brownian in their motion. Ever upward is their creed, and therein lies its fault.

Forgive me for relying on data, as opposed to mere supposition, but it is my observation that there are no true straight lines in nature. Not in the flow of a river, in the boiling of any liquid, in the stress response of all materials, in heat absorption / refraction, in the Hertzsprung Russel diagram, nowhere. Even space / time is curved. Nature tends to the circular. Ripples are circular. Cycles are a translation of approximately circular motion. We as humans respond to the roughly cyclic nature of our world because we have evolved to respond to our innate, circadian rhythms. Upward cycles require ever increasing amounts of energy before they peak and fall. This is common knowledge. At least amongst those with any serious technical training / competence. This lack of straight lines is one of the reasons moderately advanced mathematics can seem so complex. After a point, the old x/y=z only works in artificial, human created environments, and then only for relatively narrow given ranges. The real world is somewhat more complex.

Take for example the old chestnut of panic-mongering about the world becoming irrevocably flooded. This, according to its vociferous proponents, will happen because of a straight line relationship in the infra red absorption of a certain molecule, and mans ever increasing output of said molecules. What said proponents forget is that the relationship they claim for said material fails because it does not act in such a linear fashion, even under laboratory conditions. Materials, all materials have non-linear responses. They fail, they saturate, their behaviour changes even if they do not undergo a state change, as with freezing or boiling water. Ever watched an infra red video of water being heated from freezing? Is the overall graph of energy input / output a straight line? No. Ever read a strain gauge when stress / failure testing metals? Do these follow straight lines? No. Their elasticity varies even with relatively minor changes in temperature, as any fule kno. So why does anyone with the slightest cognitive competence believe all these two dimensional over simplifications that claim to be ‘science’ when they’re demonstrably false? Or at least true for only a very small range.

Then again, when politics pollutes scientific study, this sort of cognitive dissonance always seems to pop up. For a given, and often arbitrary, value of ‘up’.

Upon reflection, perhaps politics is the antithesis of knowledge, making sure we uppity bipeds never get too clever for our own good? Some form of evolved self-limiting factor, perchance? Maybe throughout the history of humanity there are points at which our brains reach knowledge saturation and begin to suffer massive failures of logic?

This might account for the rise and fall of many civilisations. Greeks got too clever with all their philosophers, now look at them. Same for all those ancient Romans and Byzantines. They were technologically advanced, yet their technology had to be rediscovered. Which leads me to ask; is there such a thing as ‘peak technology’? One things for certain, the lines won’t be straight, no matter how you plot them.

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