Zero-sum paradigm, and the stagnation of technical progress
- These days we have lots of spin for the sake of spin: new computer operating systems causing the perfectly functional older systems to become obsolete, for example.
Perhaps this is a consequence of a loss of excitement at the leading edge. People don't really have much hope for free energy, easy travel to the planets and stars, food enough for all, freedom and peace, etc.
Don't get me wrong. Entropy has its place in the universe but we ought not to be depressed by it. Wherever is entropy there is the possibility of its opposite.
We see this in the growth of complexity in natural systems as they age. This is most easily seen in the study of life and its development in the earth over the past 3 billion years, but similar increases in complexity can be deduced in galaxies as well, or even in our solar system.
Free energy does not necessarily have to violate the rules of general entropy; it would merely violate them locally. At some other place (close by or distant) in the universe we might expect entropy to increase proportionally as a consequence of the operation of a free energy device locally. In effect, we would be funneling energy into a desired location by removing it from some other place. Nothing fundamentally wrong with that is there?
We are heavily bound by zero-sum thinking, but maybe the way to break these bonds is to widen the circle in which this zero-sum idea functions. On the other hand, being so deeply bound by this thinking we are probably unable to break free, so this circle-widening might be the best anyone can do at the moment.
Once we drop the idea that zero-sum thinking is the key to understanding the physical universe, we become susceptible to "magical thinking".
For example it is magical to conceive a machine that would accumulate linear momentum indefinitely, in apparent violation of the "law" of conservation of linear momentum. However, building a functioning model of such a machine would constitute proof that the physical universe can work this way, and the term "magical" could no longer apply.
Just trying to work out the dynamics of such a device would eventually require some mathematics, and such mathematics would be impossible to conceive by such as us, zero-sum thinkers that we are. For, in it's operation the device would satisfy the zero-sum math of today while producing a constant accumulation of linear momentum in the frame anyway.
Or, in the case of a free energy machine, it would conserve energy in the zero-sum sense, while producing a continuous output of energy anyway. Seems almost self-contradictory.
It might very well be that this sort of thing is beyond the limits of human intellect, and these limits keep us humble. I would like to think that eventually someone will break through this ceiling.
There is a little trick in mathematics called splitting the zero, in which something gets made out of nothing. Mathematically it is completely valid. It has produced such things as imaginary numbers for example, of immense value in electronics.
I'm thinking it's time to split the zero here, but I have no idea how to go about it. Somebody will do it sometime, I hope.