Infinite Parallel Universes

Blessed with a mother who was an astronomer, I was introduced to the marvellous concept of infinity when very young. ‘Somewhere, there’s someone just like you saying everything you say up to this point in your life, but their next word will be different’, she imagined, and I imagined along with her, determined to trick those mischievous doppelgangers by choosing a random next word. The illusion of self is such that one can escape those paradoxes. Possessed of an eidetic memory and feyness inherited from my scottish grandmothers, I could relate with exactitude future events to an extent which alarmed my scientist parents.

Whilst immersed in a mosaic of Douglas Hofstader and Martin Gardner’s fascinating games in Scientific American, fractals and the mathematical art of Escher, I loved to contemplate the impossible, which felt imminently possible through acts of creation – music, poetry, literature, art and maths – and existential dreams. I longed to discover how inexplicable events occurring to me could be explained through the existence of parallel universes, where future events somehow leaked through to me. Altered states seemed mundane – where was the explanation for my very real experiences?

When brane theory emerged, I was ecstatic – here at last might be an answer to the peculiar prophecies which infest my existence. For the next challenge is how to vacate to another, better universe, where human rights and the environment are respected, where capitalism is regarded as a wrong turn and imperialism, exploitation and racism are regarded with the contempt they deserve and have been eradicated. Does one have to displace a gestalt me to do it? or can I rescue all my associated ‘selves’? If all universes are infinitely close to each other, the jump to my/our preferred destination might be infinitely close.

Here’s the poem I wrote for my mother.

The Physicist’s Dream

Elusive electron, quantum leap,
For I have only six hours to sleep,
Be improbable as quick as you can –
To the outer shell and back again.

Let’s fly on a fabulous photon trip,
To the edge of this universe we’ll joyfully slip,
On a heady black hole chase
Through the spires of hyper-space.

Tachyon, tachon, take me away
On a cosmic caravanserai,
And if we leave before the dawn,
We’ll be home by yesterday’s morn.

Related Links

Parallel Universes BBC transcript

Palestine / Israel Links

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Strangely, the press release announcing the survey made no mention of appraising the existence of anti-Hispanic sentiment in the Jewish community. But 54% of American Jews surveyed reported that they support new anti-immigration laws passed in the U.S. state of Arizona, which are widely considered to be anti-Hispanic in nature.

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A struggle is being waged in Israeli society over commitment to human dignity – whether it should be to the dignity of every person or to the dignity of Jews alone. In this struggle, it is imperative to stand with those who protect human dignity as a universal value.

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McGill should cut ties with the Hebrew University : ‘The University itself has expanded onto occupied land in East Jerusalem and provided scholarships for those who participated in Operation Defensive Shield during the Second Intifada in 2002. The University also removed South African judge Richard Goldstone as an honorary member of its Board of Governors in 2010 after the release of his UN report, which found the Israeli military’s actions in Gaza during Operation Cast Lead in violation of international law. In a direct tie with the Israel Defence Force, the Hebrew University’s Givat Ram campus includes a military base on its land.’
Haneen Zoabi : “Any racist law will succeed within this Zionist and right-wing Knesset. Any law which any fool or any crazy or any hysterical and racist person could imagine, anything, he can pass it within this racist Knesset’.
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Israel passes law revoking citizenship for spying : Lieberman: “Without loyalty, there can be no citizenship.” I have news for you, ziofascist. When government doesn’t serve the people, there is tyranny.

Libya Links

Obama Strongly Defends US Military Action in Libya – well he would, wouldn’t he, with an election coming on.
Tariq Ali : Libya is another case of selective vigilantism by the west

Iraq Links

The Secret Behind the Sanctions: How the U.S. Intentionally Destroyed Iraq’s Water Supply

Papua New Guinea Links

The Observatory: Indonesia: Brutal attack against journalist Banjir Ambarita

Australia Links

Andrew Bolt offended by lawyer who linked Nazi race laws to his column
The extraordinary assault on Andrew Bolt

Bolt’s articles, Merkel suggested, could lead to genocide. Possibly Merkel didn’t mean genocide in the accurate sense of the term but in the more contemporary sense in which its original connotation of mass murder has been replaced with other, more postmodern forms such as cultural destruction, which has debauched the proper, devastating meaning of the word. But Merkel’s Holocaust reference seemed to suggest he was pretty directly linking Bolt to mass murder.

Andrew Bolt attacks ‘false, offensive’ claims
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Andrew Bolt on trial: ‘everyone makes mistakes’

After an extended back and forth, Bolt conceded his articles had caused offense to Behrendt: ”If you want me to concede that these articles would offend Ms Behrendt, then I will concede that.” …
The court also heard Bolt’s postmodern take on the idea of race, despite his suggestions in one article that the successful light-skinned Aborgines had chafed with “racial reality”.

“I have problems with the notion of race in that I don’t know that there’s much beyond a human race. I just think it’s a very fluid concept, it means different things to different people,” the Herald Sun associate editor opined.

“The notion of race is difficult and I find it uncomfortable; race was one this drop of blood thing and quadroons and octoroons and all these things that I’ve been accused of saying.” He said he found the concept of race “yuck”.

According to Bolt, “the central concern” of the four articles at the centre of the case was not a denigration of his subjects but a broader issue with “the stressing of race in terms of identity but also of positions of a kind that tends to stress what divides us rather than what unites us as human beings”. ”They hold positions on the public platform or race-based positions, so there are consequences to that … [and that] makes it more a matter of the public interest,” he said.

The Herald Sun scribe would prefer some self-identified Aborigines focus more on their commonalities with others. In one of the articles, Bolt said sartist Bindi Cole has a “distressingly white face”.

NT intervention violates human rights: UN
UN draft UPR recommendations to Australia [pdf] See 86.23=86.26 re racial discrimination. Also see Australia’s voluntary commitments at the end: 88.

88. The delegation took the opportunity to announce a number of new commitments from the Australian Government, including funding for the Office for the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Asia Pacific Forum, the establishment of a full-time Race Discrimination Commissioner at the Australian Human Rights Commission, a commitment to tabling in Parliament concluding observations from treaty bodies and UPR recommendations, and instituting a systematic process for review of Australia’s reservations to human rights treaties.

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Australia PM urged to meet indigenous people
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The Whitewash Apartheid Orchestra

Adalah-NY and supporters creatively protest the performance of the “Brand Israel” Israel Philharmonic Orchestra at Carnegie Hall on February 22. In the background, celebrated Irish composer and prominent activist for Palestinian rights, Raymond Deane, appreciates the innovative music of The Whitewash Apartheid Orchestra*.

The Whitewash Apartheid Orchestra
Credit: Ellen Rachel Davidson
The Whitewash Apartheid Orchestra
Credit: Ellen Rachel Davidson

Noelle Ghoussaini from Adalah-NY explains:

“Tonight we sent a clear message to the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra and the Israeli government’s “Brand Israel” campaign that their music cannot drown out Palestinians’ calls for justice.” The US protests respond to the call from the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) to boycott cultural institutions like the IPO that work to normalize Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territories and whitewash the oppression of Palestinians in Israel, the occupied territories, and in exile.

Hundreds of well-dressed concert-goers paused on the edge of the sidewalk in front of Carnegie Hall, and looked across the street at the protesters’ signs, and listened to their chants and songs. Many were handed a mock IPO program that featured a cover photo of a past IPO performance in front of Israeli tanks for the Israeli army, and, on the inside, the PACBI’s call for an international boycott of the IPO.

Protesters held signs saying, “Israel Fiddles while Palestine Burns,” “Justice Presto not Lento,” “Without Justice There’s No Harmony,” and “Boycott the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra;” and they carried a banner with the words “Don’t Harmonize with Israeli Apartheid,” surrounded on each side by a violin with a rifle barrel as its neck. Protesters chanted, “We love Gustav, we love Mahler, but occupation makes us holler;” “For liberation take a stand, don’t let Is-ra-el rebrand;” and “Muslims, Jews, Atheists and Christians, stand for justice like Egyptians.”

In a street theater skit, a protester­­-turned-IPO conductor asked the crowd, “How can apartheid continue without us promoting the new, positive, aesthetically vibrant and civilized Israel? Don’t forget, there is “art” in “apartheid.” The conductor instructed three violinists to play progressively louder in an ultimately unsuccessful effort to drown out and cover up Israeli crimes against Palestinians that kept welling up behind the orchestra.

View the complete photo collection.

* Raymond Deane’s work “March Oubliee” will feature at a concert with Irish ensemble, the ‘Fidelio Trio’, in the Leonard Nimoy Thalia on the 24th February at 7.30pm.

The Fidelios Trio will also conduct a residency at the University of Illinois on the 27/28 February playing “March Oubliee”.

Other Current BDS Actions to Support

Support BDS in Marrickville – send a Marrickville Councillor a note of encouragement for their important stand for human rights.
CJPP Carry Bags – An environmentally-friendly, Palestine-friendly, ecosilk shopping bag. Strong, light and compact, to fit in your handbag or pocket. A stylish alternative to plastic bags!

Palestine / Israel Links

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Netanyahu: Mideast instability could last for years – dreaming of regional conquent still
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Libya Links

If the tide turns: some pros and cons of military intervention in Libya

Saudia Links

Saudi’s $36bn bid to beat unrest

Other Links

Dozens slaughtered by US forces in Afghanistan-Pakistan air attacks

One village resident told Pajhwok Afghan News that foreign forces intercepted a vehicle taking the wounded father to hospital, halting it for two hours. “The troops beat us and tied our hands,” the man, Psarlay, said. “Meanwhile, Patang died because of excessive bleeding.”

Another resident, 26-year-old Ezatullah, told the Wall Street Journal: “The house was completely destroyed by the strike. Only two children [aged] four and six survived.” He added that “thousands of people attended the funeral of the slain family Monday and are planning a protest against coalition forces Tuesday”.

Deputy AG loses job after tweet drama
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Military budget of the United States

For the 2010 fiscal year, the president’s base budget of the Department of Defense rose to $533.8 billion. Adding spending on “overseas contingency operations” brings the sum to $663.8 billion.[1][2]

When the budget was signed into law on October 28, 2009, the final size of the Department of Defense’s budget was $680 billion, $16 billion more than President Obama had requested.[3] An additional $37 billion supplemental bill to support the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan was expected to pass in the spring of 2010, but has been delayed by the House of Representatives after passing the Senate.[4][5] Defense-related expenditures outside of the Department of Defense constitute between $319 billion and $654 billion in additional spending, bringing the total for defense spending to between $1.01 and $1.35 trillion in fiscal year 2010.[6]