Author Archives: Mel Acheson

Notes on an Incipient Cosmos Part Four

  Aug 31, 2015 Decisions, Decisions: A Choice Not an Echo Editor’s note: This is the last installment of Mel Acheson’s epistemological treatise, originally meant to be a presentation at a Thunderbolts conference in 2009. Leon Rosenfeld, a coworker of … Continue reading

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Notes on an Incipient Cosmos Part Three

  Aug 24, 2015 “Really and Truly” Thinking is done with nerves and words. Nerves don’t transmit information: the discharge of one nerve stimulates another to discharge, discharges of many nerves are linked and sorted into patterns of activation, and … Continue reading

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Dark Dreams

  Aug 18, 2015 An apparently empty patchwork of darkness strung across this field of stars is actually full—of dust and gas and Other Things. The dust and gas doesn’t show up because there’s not sufficient light that we can see … Continue reading

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Notes on an Incipient Cosmos Part Two

  Aug 17, 2015 Plasma: The New Kid on the Block Institutional astronomy’s blind spot in intellectual vision is in the beginning. Although astronomers acknowledge that everything they see is plasma, they fail (or refuse) to see the empirically discovered … Continue reading

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Consequence-free Cosmology

  Aug 12, 2015 These two galaxies appear to be elbowing each other with their spiral arms. The consensus interpretation is that they’re colliding and generating shock waves that initiate gravitational collapse of gas clouds. The collapsing clouds become stars, many … Continue reading

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Notes on an Incipient Cosmos Part One

  Aug 10, 2015 New sights for old eyes We live in a constellation Of patches and of pitches…, Thinkers without final thoughts In an always incipient cosmos…. –Wallace Stevens, July Mountain The Big Bang appears to be the final … Continue reading

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The Colors of Thought

  Aug 4, 2015 M47 is an open cluster of fewer-than-usual stars. The contrasting colors of blue and red have an aesthetic appeal. One can even detect a few orange and yellow stars. A person may glimpse an occasional green one, … Continue reading

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How You Know

  Jul 29, 2015 Another epistemological tour de force. Probable, Possible, my black hen, She lays eggs in the Relative When. She doesn’t lay eggs in the Positive Now Because she’s unable to postulate how. — The Space Child’s Mother Goose … Continue reading

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Another Fogged Image of Stephan’s Quintet

  July 20, 2015 This image of Stephan’s Quintet is befogged with the same obsolete commentary as previous images: the foreground galaxy, collisions, shock waves, and heat. Editor’s note: Please enjoy this Picture of the Day from July 20, 2009. … Continue reading

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Captives of Simplifying Assumptions

  Jul 14, 2015 “Our choicest plans have fallen through, our airiest castles tumbled over, because of lines we neatly drew and later neatly stumbled over.” — Piet Hein GROOKS I was checking out the dynamics describing the orbit of SOHO, … Continue reading

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