Wednesday, April 28, 2010


If you have something better to do, you should probably get on with it. Better, I wonder what that word means.  If you have listened to the country artist LeAnn  Rimes you might have heard her sing the song  Nothin’ Better to Do.  Oh, the trouble you’ll get into    You got nothin’ better to do, got nothin’ better to do    Yeah!  That song made the top 20 U.S. Billboard Hot Country Song list in December 2007. So maybe sometimes when you got Nothin’ Better to Do its ok to do what you’re doing.  So now that you got through the leadoff of this blog make a decision to continue reading or stop at this point.
For those who fall into the category of a self centered narcissist, know it all, the idea of analyzing the nature of knowledge, or theory of knowledge or meaning of words might be a foreign & unnecessary idea.  For those who already know it all, Epistemology is a waste of time.  For me, who knows little, it’s fascinating.  The standard question that’s asked is “How do we know what we know?”  There is no way that I am going into the details of Epistemology, primarily because I don’t consider myself qualified to discuss propositional knowledge , the aspects of belief and truth in personal knowledge and justification. The ‘knowledgeable’ person will talk about externalism and internalism, empiricism, constructivism, skepticism  & rationalism and who knows what other kinds of isms or ists.  Just to show more knowledge, terms like priori and posteriori knowledge, analytic and synthetic distinction and other equally confusing terms might be used.  Enroll in my daughters Philosophy class if you want to explore  this in greater depth.
Let’s think about sets of words that seem to be antonyms (opposite in meaning .)  For instance if I say ‘beginning’ you might say ‘end.’ There are many words that fit into this way of thinking & I have listed a few in the table below and will use some of them in our discussion.










If you thought you might gain some knowledge from reading this blog you may want  to consider the more important things that you could be doing but if you don’t have Nothin’ Better to Do then hang in there and we will continue until the end of this page.
When one uses the word absolute what do you think? You might associate absolute in conjunction with another word such as absolute zero, absolute monarchy,  absolute freedom, absolute certainty and so forth.  I have listed the word arbitrary as an opposite of absolute, so what are some word combinations? What about arbitrary choice, arbitrary penalty, arbitrary rule, arbitrary decision, arbitrary demand and so forth.   Well did I make an arbitrary choice in listing arbitrary as the opposite of absolute. I bet some of you have already thought that the word relative would have been a better choice and you might be right. I would say that this was a relatively arbitrary choice on my part.
For those who like to think in numbers, if I said that two numbers represented by, A & B are said to be opposite if A+B=0  you would say Yeah, or at least you might say that. Since in you’re mind you might think of the number 1 and the number -1 when added together would equal zero (and any other like positive and negative combination.)  Thinking in numbers,  1 and -1 are opposite and thinking in language I would say that freedom and slavery are opposites.  I gave you an example with a formula to show how 1 & -1 are opposites but now I am asking you to take a leap of wisdom in accepting ‘freedom and slavery‘ as opposites.  Sounds right but how can you prove it. How do you know what you know?
 In algebra you learned that the absolute value of a non-negative number is the number itself & the absolute value of a negative number is the opposite that number (absolute numbers are always positive or zero.)  Not that it will make much difference to us, but we can think of the absolute value of x as the distance from  center zero(0) in either direction on a line & is never negative. The closer something is to zero, the smaller it is. Size is a way to talk about ‘absolute value.’ Now we have learned  that in math an opposite is not the same as the absolute value. "So what???  I am just pointing out that it’s easier sometimes to think in numbers than with language concepts.  Many times we accept language logic just because it sounds right or from personal knowledge or belief.  In the ‘Zero-Day’ blog I made this statement “What I know with absolute certainty is that an ever present God created all and will continue to exist.” Now how can I convince you that I know this with ‘absolute certainty?’ The answer I am afraid is I likely can’t unless you share my same faith. In my mind I know this to be true through faith so does that make it true for all or just me? Must something be true for all for it to be true?  A mathematician would likely answer in the affirmative, that it’s true if you can prove it or false if you can’t.  So if I can’t prove it does it make it false?  I am getting tired talking about this idea of absolute & opposite. At this point I am making an arbitrary decision since I am relatively certain that you and I are getting tired of this subject.
Maybe later we will discuss large & small, finite & infinite, forward & reverse, new & old, general & unique  and other words in the table. For now, So Long & have a Good Day…
Jim Sohn
April 28th 2010 AD

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


Have you given much thought to the term ‘Zero-Day?’ Do you have an idea of what I am talking about? If you are into philosophy, computer hacking, orbital science or other avenues of mental activity you probably have some thoughts about this term ‘Zero-Day.’ From here on I am going to refer to ‘Zero-Day’ as Z0.
In a fundamental form I suppose one could think of Z0 as an epoch, starting point or arbitrarily selected point in time. So now that’s clarified. Not really you say? Let’s expand some. I could be so egotistical that I considered my birth date of 21 November 1936 as the new epoch for measuring time. Events before my birth would be termed BJ (before Jim) and after my birth AJ. Or more realistic we consider after the Birth of Christ as the beginning of AD (Anno Domini). It’s interesting that in this scheme there is no year zero, therefore the year AD 1 immediately follows the year 1 BC. I don’t want to get into detail about the BC/AD numbering system but it’s also interesting that this system wasn’t devised until AD 525. Discussion of the ins and outs of this numbering system could be the subject of a blog in itself, but not this one. Another common concept is Julian Day and there is a Julian day 0 (zero.) The astronomy community uses this (JD) time measurement scheme. An interesting tidbit is Julian Day 0 (zero) starts on January 1, 4713 BC Greenwich noon. The Julian Date is the interval of time since Greenwich noon on January 1, 4713 BC. Again, this is one of those things that could be the subject of a blog in itself, but not this one. You might wonder what computer hacking has to do with Z0. A Z0 exploit to a hacker is an attack before the developer knows about the vulnerability. Before I get off this line of thought let me say that an Epoch (reference point) can be chosen for a particular era or instant in time. There are many, such as religious eras, astronomy, satellite orbits, computing, politics, various calendars, and others.
Back to Z0. This time let’s think about creation. Particularly let’s think about the creation of this glorious universe we live in. There are lots of theories about how the universe (everything) was created. Everything includes everything perceived as physical including space (whatever that is), time, matter and energy. If I missed something then please think of that as also included in ‘everything.’ We will get into spiritual later.
Let’s assume that the big bang is the cosmological model for development of the universe. Note that I used the word ‘development’ of the universe vs. creation of the universe. Words such as creation, origin, development, model, etc. might key different thoughts in the minds of different mortals. I don’t know if the big bang is how it happened but sounds reasonable to me. The exact details of how this all came about isn’t what I have on my mind as I write this. Some theorize that it all started when a single particle the size of an atom suddenly expanded exponentially, filling the void of space & as the temperature fell formed the planets, suns, moons, etc. Some say that our universe as we know it now is about 13.7 billion years old. Maybe that’s the way it all happened. It is my sincere hope that someday God will provide me with some insight into this. Regarding ‘Zero-Day’ and God, it’s my opinion that God existed before what we think of as ‘Zero-Day.’ That is, God has always existed; therefore the concept of ‘Zero-Day’ and God has no meaning. There may have been a Z0 event when/if God used the big band to form the universe as we know it. I will continue to ponder the unknowns, theories and what-if’s as long as I am here on earth.
What I know with absolute certainty is that an ever present God created all and will continue to exist. I don’t know but it is my thought that the universe may be homogeneous and may be isotropic. Is it expanding, well maybe? It’s not possible to say with certainty that the universe is uniform in all directions since we have little to go on. My mind always wonders what is on the dark side of the black holes that wander throughout the universe gobbling up stars, comets, suns and galaxies. There are theoretical, astronomical and philosophical models of the universe and many myths. There are theories of multiple universes, a parallel universe, bubble universes separated by time space continua and honest philosophical thought models.
A ‘Zero-Day’ exists in many realms, just not related to God.

James L. Sohn
04-27-2010 AD