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Metaphor, Electricity, Sun and Moon…

December 28, 2013 Leave a comment Go to comments

Electrophoric Magnetemorphism

If you had walked up to someone living in prehistoric times and had a conversation about the Sun and the Moon, it would probably be an easy way of talking about the concept of opposites. It’s an embodied metaphor which is almost absurdly plain. The Sun, a featureless disk of blinding radiance, unchanging yet burning – it looks like it could be a circular window into pure and infinite energy. The Moon is like everything that the Sun is not like. Its changing phases reveal shapes and features on the surface, sometimes orb-like, sometimes disc-like. The Moon’s darkness reveals that it reflects and receives the Sun’s light rather than produces its own, and because of that, and its association with the night and the tides, seems cool, and silvery to the sun’s golden warmth. Moonlight isn’t bright enough to allow us to see color, as noted in that Moody Blues song:

Cold hearted orb that rules the night
Removes the colours from our sight
Red is gray and yellow, white
But we decide which is right
And which is an illusion

How surprised a prehistoric astronomer would be to travel into the 21st century AD and find that all of that is complete horseshit. We now understand that most of what makes the Sun and Moon perfectly alike and unlike, from their similar apparent size to their duality, to their role in marking time and mytho-poetic extremes are purely coincidental. We just so happen to orbit one star, and be orbited by one natural satellite. The ratio of distance to size just happens to equal out so that the discs in the sky can often appear to be the same size, especially in conjunction. Indeed, the Sun is not only just an unremarkable star, but stars are just balls of exploding gas – huge spheres that have life cycles of their own.

There are some things that both the archaic and modern astronomer could use as a basis to preserve some symmetry of comparison. The Earth is to the Sun as the Moon is to the Earth as far as orbits are concerned. The Earth metabolizes the Suns energy with a biosphere generated atmosphere, where the Moon mainly reflects it.

The way that we treat the Sun and Moon now, compared to the way that humans had always treated them before science can be understood as a four dimensional dipole – a circuit through time, or really a meta-circuit since the dipole begins with a polar mytho-poetic understanding and ends with an elliptical mass-energetic understanding. Which leads me to some crazed ideas about electrostatic and magnetic force.

Notes on magnetism:

Watching the Khan Academy Introduction to Magnetism, I feel like I am finally making some headway into understanding the difference between electric and magnetic force. As he explains in the video, magnetic fields have are dipoles, they have North and South poles no matter how you break them up*. Electrostatic force is about positive and negative charge, but they can stand alone…at least (I’m thinking), alone at any given time.

What’s the difference? If we think of magnetic force as a spatial dipole, because its polarity is always adjacent, then why not think of electric charge as a dipole across time? But wait, it gets better. Because time is not fixed and is open ended, the electric metaphor poses charge like a question which can be answered at any time, and which wants to be answered and asked again and again. For the positively charged mass, negative charge exists as an image, an expectation of a presence which is currently absent but must eventually be present in the fullness of time (eternity, if necessary).

It could be said that the electric force, figuratively if not literally (but maybe literally, given a rehabilitated view of physics), creates time. It is the animation of circuitry. Electricity is algebraic and logical as it arcs from vector to vector directly, like a lightning bolt, hopping across gaps in logical steps. It is a path finder and path maker.

The magnetic force would then make sense as the creator or projector of space. It is the container of time, flattening cycles to circles. The magnetic force doesn’t draw lines, it aligns and orients, receives and presents spatial aesthetics to and from surrounding territories. If electricity is sensory motivation, then magnetism is motive sensation – a spatial feeling and knowing to match electrostatic being and doing.

Through Maxwell and then Einstein, we understand that these two modalities of interaction are the same thing but phase shifted by relativistic frame of reference. My understanding now leans toward seeing electricity as marking the “arctic” polar extremes in reference frames; the Innermost Metaphorical and the Outermost Binary kinds of relation, while magnetism presents the “tropic” counterpoint, describing how smaller and larger scaled bodies are nested within each other. Current flowing through a wire creates a magnetic force around the wire,  it’s about the embodiment of the wire as a whole and how it relates to other macroscopically. The electric force is universal and infinitesimal, but it has no sense of figure and form, no orientation (needs a Ground).

This nugget came across my screen recently…it kind of makes sense, but I’ll leave that to you to interpret.

In Larry Niven’s story “The Kiteman,” we learn that the most important maxim in the Smoke Ring is: “East takes you Out, Out takes you West, West takes you In, In takes you East. North and South bring you back.”

Parting shot: Relativity is based on frames of reference, while Quantum Theory uses digital probability – eigenstates. Like magnetism and electricity, they are both the same thing seen from a different frame of reference. Together they describe how ‘reference’ is ‘framed’, but they both share the same blind spot, which is explaining what ‘ference’ is that these frames ‘re-fer’ to. I think that ference can only be one thing – not energy, and not information (which are really metaphors for spatial-magnetic and temporal-algebraic), but awareness itself: sensory-motive aesthetics.

*Some claim there might be magnetic monopoles also.

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