Getting Ideas: How I dreamt my life away.

Memoir of an amateur thinker and survey of this site.

Civilization is a race between education and catastrophe.
HG Wells.

0) Education.

How did I get ideas?
Before you can get ideas you need to know things. And that is education. Not until I was leaving school and about to go to college, did I think about having ideas. I headed a page called Nothing New. I don't remember the few notes I made but I imagine they were unsophisticated.

Then again, there was one amusing incident at secondary school. Our physics teacher said we could ask him questions after lessons. I once asked him: Is life possible without the sun?
I still admire the true scientist's way he gave my question a moment's serious thought, before saying: no.
When older, I berated myself for asking such a naively silly question.

But in recent years. life was found locked away underground in Romania. Life needs energy but it doesnt have to come from the sun. Hence, the probes for life in the ice-capped seas of Europa, around Jupiter, and the methane-clouded world of Titan, the largest satellite of Saturn.

The physics teacher was of Polish origin. I heard elsewhere he was responsible for an invention in the submarine warfare, for which somebody British got the credit. I cannot confirm this. He had a gracious nature, without any trace of bitterness.

I regret that I did not become an inventor with practical ideas to lower the cost of living. But I did not have that democratic ambition as a child.
At secondary school, I showed little or no aptitude for science and the laboratory or the workshop. In my first year there, mathematics lessons were a misery. And my progress or regress yo-yoed with which teacher I had after.

English education was rigidly divided into sciences and arts. By the time of sixth form college, as it is now called, it was a relief to escape the science side of things. The teaching of history was substantial, even before sixth form. And the historians made decisive progress with the sixth form syllabus. They persuaded the education board to allow the teaching of modern British history and modern European history, right up to 1939. (Unfortunately, the girls were left deep in the Middle Ages, despite the teachers' best efforts.) It was a positive advantage not to go further, because we were already saturated with propaganda films about the Second World War.

However, our lessons were objective and analytical. The teacher would discuss whether it had been better to sign the 1938 Munich agreement or not, from the point of view of winning the war, or even being spared from it, for example.

At home, there was the Parliamentary struggle for social reform. Progress was made, of a sort, against the deprivations of the people. Social reform caught my imagination and became a cause for me. But, I think, there was an even profounder effect. I suspect that, for the first time, it began to dawn on me that force need not be the prime mover in human affairs. I began to have a faith in reason.

It is ironic to think that peaceful change thru parliament should take some of the credit for this conversion. But my life was ahead of me. So, I did not realise that it would see partisan parliaments as an obstructor, rather than a facilitator, during that future time.

If I could get a place at university or college, psychology was my choice of degree. Like the pre-1911 House of Lords, the headmaster vetoed this, saying I was too introspective. Instead, he offered sociology. I had to put up with this. Later, he tried to talk me into switching from sociology to history. But I stuck with sociology, hopeless tho seemed my chances of obtaining a place, in such a popular subject.

Modern history taught me that one might change the world without going to war over it. But sociology seemed the means to study how to make that change possible.

In the meantime, it didn't look as tho I was going to get any further education at all. My exam results just werent good enough. And the head teacher talked to me about whether I could endure being a teacher all my life. Tho, it was known that "introspective" people or introverts make bad teachers.

The economics teacher, in whose subject I flopped, urged us all to apply early for places. As a result of his kindness, I did so, and was offered an interview at a city college.
With uncharacteristic initiative, I picked up a library book about how to succeed in applications. I remember little of it, but one piece of advice sticks in my mind. The author said most applicants think it's best to sound modest - just what I usually did. Instead, you should have confidence in yourself.

I wrote my interview questionnaire full of confidence and decision. Afterwards, the lecturer held my questionnaire. He asked me had I any heroes.
I mentioned Lloyd George. I suspected after, that the reason, I'd omitted his name, was an unconscious feeling that my headmaster would not have approved. (In later life, I was doubtful about the balance of his achievements.)
Finally, the lecturer asked me whether I was satisfied with how I'd answered. Remembering what the author had told me about confidence, I said that I was -- with confidence.

Strangely, I was not really surprised when my application was successful.
That three years social science course was my life-line to a further education and, what is more, shaped my intellectual life to this day. And ideas have been the most important part of my life.

There was a bit of a class divide among the students and I did not feel that I belonged to either side. For more basic personal reasons, my time there was a social failure and a career failure.
I was so closed-in on myself, like a hedgehog, that I couldnt even relax and look around the museums and galleries, and generally recuperate.
After the course, a lecturer told me that sociology had been the wrong subject for me. I guess you needed to be extrovert to take an interest in societies and I just couldnt do that.

But I found a purpose, which was to understand how scientific method might reform society. Most of the lecturers were about 30 years old. I remember when I was 30, I still seemed to know little. So, I look back with respect for those young men, who taught us with authority but also youthful humor and enthusiasm.

From first to last, we discussed the very possibility of a science of society. This was not social reform, but was germane to it, as far as I was concerned. One or two of the lecturers were more or less Marxist. I was not attracted to this doctrine and found its writings dull. At the end of the second year, I was asked if I followed the Marx-Weber School of sociology.
I settled for being 'eclectic'.

I became an enthusiast for HG Wells, but my claims to his being a sociologist were received with more tolerance than agreement.
Never the less, the course's education in sociology, as a European discipline, was a refreshing change from insular British opinion.

The education system has become an examination system that makes you think for other people, rather than yourself. The college staff had tried to minimise exams but had not been allowed to do more than get rid of the second-year-end exams.
There were signs that I was already thinking for myself at college. I disagreed with Weber's ethical accommodation with the state that academics should be ethicly neutral. Basicly, I followed Immanuel Kant, against David Hume, in thinking science and ethics were not just two exclusive categories. Instead, there is a gradation from the more or less universal truths of natural science to the more individual truths of the moral sciences.
A later familiarity with the four increasingly scientific or powerful scales of measurement showed that Hume was using a classificatory scale, but Kant was using a more accurate ordinal scale of measurement, in relating science to ethics.

The mathematics lecturer didn't persist with his New Maths course. The attendance dwindled but I felt the loss.
All were taught statistics for three years. I thought, at the time, that statistics was a poor substitute for the scientific precision of calculus in the advanced sciences, and that I was hopelessly adrift of such ambitions.
Long after, a mathematics teacher asked me if the statistics course was baby stuff.
I had to admit that it was.

But it was a statistics book that impressed upon me the importance of four levels of measurement: nominal, ordinal, interval and ratio scales. They say science is measurement. And it so happened, when I came to invent a study, I called the scientific method of elections, that there is only one electoral system that satisfies all four scales of measurement: the so-called single transferable vote.

I was driven back to my old lecturer's elementary statistics book, long since hidden away in my study, on the vaguest suspicions of other averages than the arithmetic mean. That seed of knowledge germinated the most difficult theme of my thoughts, spanning my fifties, and outlined in section 7.

It has turned-out that my life, as a citizen, could be described as the occupation of an amateur thinker. This counts for nothing by official standards that work is not work, unless it is paid. Of course, money had to be found - just enough to make the unpaid studies possible.

The following sections give some idea of my main studies for forty years. Most topics are of theoretical interest as systems of ideas. But the first subject, to be discussed, is different: Language reform was treated as a practical problem.

1) English language reform: Early learning alfabet; rational past tense; grammar's mensural power.

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Bernard Shaw was a big early influence on me. Hesketh Pearson's biography of Shaw made me a vegetarian shortly before my 25th birthday. As a student, I relied for protein mainly on eggs and cheese. (It would have to be low fat cheese now.) Raw meat was expensive, it would have to be cooked, and I didn't much like it, anyway.

GBS also converted me to English spelling reform. Soon after leaving college, I read a book about him called Shaw - the chucker-out, by Allan Chappelow. Shaw preached the economic advantage of rational spelling. This seems less compelling with the arrival of electronic publishing.

The most basic waste is of mental work. Formal education spends an inordinate amount of time, at primary and secondary schools and even in apprenticeships, just trying to make young people copy the irrationalities of conventional spelling. For failing to do so, insult is added to injury, by calling them illiterate. The poor standards of literacy are a chronic complaint of British industry. About a fifth of the population is deemed functionly illiterate.

A recent statistic claimed that 80% of prisoners have a literacy age of no more than about 10 years old. The frustrations of the illiterate also disrupt the work of other children in the classroom.The return to teaching phonics (which would be better spelt: foniks) has helped but that does not tackle making English a more sensible system of spelling speech.

This intractable problem has occupied my thinking life. But progress can be made, if only there were the will. The basic problem is lack of democratic values. As I shall have cause to come back to, this is at the root not only of educational failure but economic and political and general failure. One can chart Britain's decline by it.

In terms of practical details, I think the biggest single obstacle to English literacy is the ambiguous use of vowel letter, e, also as an accent, combined arbitrarily with five vowels to make five diphthongs, for example, to distinguish "made" from "mad." Worse still, many parochial spelling reformers would make this e-accent a general usage, valuing the regular combination of vowel plus e-as-accent, even tho it confuses over vowel, e, which people will automaticly intone.
(Probably my last full contribution to spelling reform is my page: Compromis speling and the humbl apostrofe as savior of English literasy.)

Generally, English speakers may unconsciously pronounce vowels and diphthongs the way they are spelt, even if spoken English does not fashionably follow that course. The fact is there are English dialects for most of the ways that English is spelt. And that is a very useful way to remember conventional English spelling.

The teaching of foniks needs to be spelt-out with an explicit Early Learning Alphabet, on the proven principle of the Initial Teaching Alphabet but without the burden of extra letters, that doomed ITA.

Also, the English language would be simplified by recognising another possibility: what I call the English past tense spelling convention. The future tense is shown by starting with: I will or I shall. Likewise, the past tense could be shown by starting with either: I would or I should. Better still, the convention might be that the past tense was expressed by the contracted forms of I would or I should: I'd.

To show how much that simple reform matters, you only have to look at the problem that Ogden and Richards had with Basic English. This offered foreigners an opportunity to communicate with a small vocabulary of English. But all the most common and vital verbs in English have irregular past tenses. In effect, this means that they have to be learned twice over. This was quite a hiccup in Basic English.

The scientific perspective of measurement also has a bearing on the evolution of language. For all its need of reform, English has a more powerful construction than some languages which preceded it and seek to replace it. The grammatical meaning of English is understood by the order of the words in a sentence. But Latin has to have different endings to a word to show which part of speech it is.

A language that merely classifies words into parts of speech is less powerful than a language which gives the parts of speech of words by their order. In measurement theory, the nominal or classifying scale is followed by the more powerful ordinal scale of measurement.

There are yet more powerful scales of measurement. In scientific voting method, these (interval and ratio) scales concern the transfer of surplus votes, so they are not wasted, and their rationing among the most prefered candidates. It may not be strictly correct to think of language in terms of these further more powerful scales, but, by analogy, language wastefully builds up surplus words or surplus prefixes to words, such as "co-conspirators," and meaning can be rationed among words in a sentence.
This is an art, as well as a science: the precision of poetry gives back language its vitality.

2) Constitutional Economics.

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From social science, a sense, of the importance of economics, became second nature. The first idea that presented itself to me, after leaving college, was a Constitutional Economics. This found economic analogies to democratic principles in politics.

For instance, full employment was conceived as a universal suffrage of work. Everyone, that can, has a duty to take a turn to maintain and keep running the social amenities, so that when people cannot look after themselves, they will be looked after.

This work suffrage is the plan of HG Wells' 1912 essay "The Great State." This was a misleading title because he vehemently opposed Fabian-style bureaucracy. He meant great, in the sense of magnanimous.
Wells did believe in international government or the World State against military and commercial warfare. Of humble origins, he remembered that the common man is at the mercy of the machinations of the powerful. At the height of his fame, the subtitle of his Experiment In Autobiography, was "Discoveries and conclusions of a very ordinary brain." That's a description I dont doubt some would not hesitate to apply to myself.

Money is given a democratic meaning, regarded as a vote for goods and services. This was not a new idea. I later saw it in an American book, written after the Second World War. But I had not seen the idea consistently followed.

Right back in 1927, Bernard Shaw (The Intelligent Womans Guide to Socialism and Capitalism) treated money, in a consistent, but, I'm afraid, one-sided way. His principle of equal incomes was already Lenin's policy. And he had to give it up for the New Economic Policy of 1921, allowing individual initiative. Tho, as Deng Xiaoping said: When you open the window, you let in a few flies.

In democratic politics, it is true that everyone has an equal vote. But the vote goes unequally to differently prefered candidates. By analogy, everyone might be given an equal income, for essential work, but there would be unequal beneficiaries from its spending, in a dynamic free market. So, one of the main problems of my study was to resolve this seeming paradox.

On the analogy of transferable voting, surplus incomes, to a basic equality, could be transferable to a pension. The greater the surplus, that went into their personal pension fund, the earlier they could retire.
Currently, forty multi-billionaires have decided voluntarily to transfer at least half their wealth to charity.

Moreover, the teaching of scientific method impressed, on me, the basic relation between theory and practice. And I saw that political laws, like scientific laws, needed testing, in this case, by economic experience. The British second chamber was traditionly a house of vocations. The occupations need proportionly representing, so they can all keep each other in check.
HG Wells proposed this idea, in 1920, in The Outline Of History.

Government should not be controled by the lobbying of failed vested interests that are parasitic upon the general welfare. Scientific method requires a two-chamber representative democracy of politics and economics. The best test of experience is a fully representative experience. So, the most representative democracy was the most scientific, because it left open the most possibilities for finding out the truth.

Oligarchy limits experience to a few and ignores the rest. Oligarchy is ignorant or against science, except on its own parasitic terms. Self-protected elites forget that we are all in the same boat.

All representatives and the Fourth Estate of the mass media should register how much they owe to vested interests. And vested interests, in turn, should register the people of power and influence they have bought with places on their boards, and all other perks. There should be general transparency in lobbying and reasonable limitations on possible abuses.
Hence, a principle of Equality of Lobbying from all occupations in a second chamber representative of the economy.

A case study is nuclear power. (This section was not written with the wisdom of hindsight but in august 2010, like the rest of the page.) A courageous former editor, of The Sun, confessed he was told to leave out the Liberal Democrats, who were anti-nuclear (at least till they joined the 2010 Tory coalition). Nuclear power is a prime example of a failed vested interest compensating with intensive lobbying and buying influence in government, the so-called "nuclear cronyism." The commercial media have been a mouth-piece for nuclear propaganda, vilifying and misrepresenting the "fanatical Greens," fanaticly censored from supplying their side to balance the debate.

Fission energy has failed to pay for itself in sixty years and leaves the public to pay for its deadly legacy of radioactive waste. And yet politicians talk about energy security thru nuclear power without subsidies, while, in doing so, they plunder and imperil the people for untold generations.

The scientists and technologists, who created this Frankenstein monster, have failed to apply their own reasonable standards of enough is enough. Nuclear power has been tried and found wanting for much too long. Government has failed to heed the lesson of the failed command economy and ignores the environmental case for decentralised energy, most recently, in 2010, Greenpeace's Energy [R]evolution document.

Nuclear power's centralised control of energy appeals to the power-loving, whereas decentralised energy allows the public economic self-sufficiency and hence political independence.

Nuclear weapons and the nuclear plants that produce weapons-grade material are the criminal folly of a terror technology that threatens global extinction thru a Nuclear Winter and subjects the home population to a police state guarding its own terror.

Nuclear apologists typicly try to frighten the public into believing that not building more nuclear power stations will land them back in the Stone Age (precisely of what atomic bombs and reactor melt-downs are capable). This is really a state ultimatum that neglects to protect people thru more conservation of energy and renewable energies, rapidly progressing thru private research, despite lack of government backing.

HG Wells foretold the atomic bomb in 1914 (The World Set Free, which also foretells use of the Single Transferable Vote and the Recall). Wells warned of the squandering of fossil fuels, in 1922, The Secret Places of the Heart, quoted by Isaac Asimov during the 1970s oil crisis.
Wells also lamented lack of ecological conservation of our fellow creatures, in 1923 (A Year of Prophesying).

Less well known is that Wells, in 1932, (The Work Wealth and Happiness of Mankind) discussed alternative energies: geothermal, hydrothermal, as well as hydro-electric, with modern turbines replacing the old windmill and water wheel. He predicted the beginning of a new epoch in the invention of the photo-electric cell (photovoltaic cell).

3) Scientific Method of Elections.

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In my first year at college, I was a most reluctant set-essay writer on proportional representation. When I brought myself to read a book, JFS Ross: Elections and Electors, I knew that the single transferable vote proportional representation (STV/PR) was the answer.

Research has confirmed that people react just the way I did. They dont appreciate the faults with a status quo, such as the simple majority system or First Past the Post, till it is pointed out to them. The situation is worse still with regard to those who stand to lose by the truth becoming common knowledge. The old saying is true: There is none so blind as those that will not see.

In answer to my old student debates about the difficulties of a social science emulating natural science, I would say wilful ignorance from vested interests has stalled social progress and risks disaster. The truth is kept from the public, and they dont understand the reason for their frustration. One cause is the crudity of elections with an illiterate X-vote and First Past the Post count, more like a gamble than representation.

The British February 1974 general election gave the Liberals fourteen seats for 6 million votes to their candidates.
Something made me check if HG Wells had anything to say on election reform.
Amazingly enough, he had advocated the STV/PR remedy way back in 1914, in his land-mark essay, The Disease Of Parliaments.
The stalling, of scientific progress in election method, was a symptom of what Wells described in 1908 (The War In The Air) as the potential collapse of society from man's moral progress not keeping-up with his scientific progress.

Like Kant, Wells saw a gradation between natural and moral sciences, in his 1906 essay, The So-called Science of Sociology.
Wells also followed J S Mill in supporting STV/PR as a definitive scientific discovery, in his 1916 work, The Elements of Social Reconstruction.

The National Campaign for Fair Votes, founded in 1975, used the 1914 Wells reference, I sent. But they didn't mention that particular reform, he supported, because they were only interested in "some form of proportional representation," meaning: never mind democratic form.

In my 20s, I invented, what I was pleased to consider, two new subjects of social science. The one was Constitutional Economics. The other was Scientific Method of Elections.

At college, the first things I learned from books of philosophy of science were that science is divided into theory and experiment. Theory must not presume what one is supposed to prove. Experiment must not be ambiguous, so that it could mean anything you wanted it to.

Well, it was clear to me that Party List systems were a theory of choice that presumed partisanship upon people, without offering an effective means to disprove it. That is unscientific.
It was also clear that elections with single member systems are an ambiguous test. They don't make clear whether the voters are voting for a candidate as an individual or just as a member of a party.

Typical excuses, of these presumptuous or ambiguous systems, were that people only voted for a party, anyway. In this, they were guilty of circular reasoning. People only vote for a party because the system does not allow them to vote for anything else, therefore they only vote for a party. Partisans believe people are partisan, because that is what they want them to be, not necessarily because that is what they altogether are. Such prejudice precludes knowledge of the truth. Science requires openness of mind or honesty to find out anything new.

As a student of scientific method, I learned that a scientific theory is based on a few principles that must be consistent to form a logical system from which new deductions could be made.
On my own, as an amateur thinker, I applied the demands of theory to election system.
The special case was a single preference, like an X-vote, that could choose one of two candidates, from a (single) majority count.
The general case had to be a multiple preference, in a whole order of choices for a multi-majority count (which is provided by the Droop quota: from one representative wins on over half the votes, two representatives win on over a third the votes each; three representatives win on a quota of over one-quarter the votes each, and so on).

This general theory of elections, being a many-preference vote consistent with a many-majority count, is known as proportional representation by the single transferable vote.

(By the way, Arrow's theorem, of the incompleteness of elections, does not allow for such theoretical and mensural considerations that make STV the definitive scientific method of elections. That is not to deny further problems, one of which is discussed in section 7.)

The unity in liberty, that transferable voting enables, ("scientificly") explains the popular will like no other election system. Voters can rank a choice of candidates from each party, effecting primaries, and rank candidates from more than one party, effecting a prefered coalition.

John Stuart Mill MP gave the classic case for peaceful power-sharing, with due consideration to majorities but no more than their due, compared to the size of the minority. This was his mature conception of democracy, as against maiorocracy, the tyranny of the majority.

Ive enlarged on this, many times on my web pages and elsewhere. It's not rocket science. And that's what bothers me. Qualified specialists do much more difficult things all the time. An amateur, such as myself, who has not had a private life, can try to serve the public interest. But people heed authority, which is an unscientific claim on their attention, and tend to ignore things that dont personly benefit them.

The British government realised the need for power-sharing when it re-introduced STV/PR for the Ulster assembly, during the troubles in the 1970s. But the two ruling British parties defended their own duopoly against the rise of other parties' support.

Britain repeatedly made this mistake of being undemocratic: they forewent industrial democracy, while expediently imposing it on Germany, because the unions had been the main anti-Nazi opposition.
Likewise, the Americans gave the Japanese land reform. Britain remains one of the most unequally owning societies in the world. An American taught the Japanese quality control, which is essentially a scientific honesty in the general standard of their technological products. And Japan became an industrial super-power.

The Japanese also learned that popular participation of workers in their firms is the best specialist advice for their development that they could possibly have. The workers know what's wrong with their firms and should be listened to.

Meanwhile, Britain remained "the sick man of Europe," with its bloody-minded workers striking against exclusive board-room decisions.
Consequently, Britain, that had helped win the war in Europe, "lost the peace," surrendering to the Common Market, on terms incomparably worse than the temporary reparations against a defeated Germany.

The European Union is a bureaucratic protectionist state, heir to Napoleon's Continental System and other absolutisms and dictatorships. Britain was traditionly a small-state free-trading nation. British politicians are drawn to the EU because they, too, are control freaks, who ignore or resist Mill's tradition of scientific progress in democratic freedom.

Britain's anti-EU politicians, like most of their colleagues, favor one policy more destructive of freedom than EU protectionism: namely, more nuclear power.

The lesson of Britain's decline is that the elites have revolted against the public interest. Government has been negligent of promoting and representing the knowledge and skills of all its people.
This revolt is not only a threat to the very survival of democratic values but also of scientific values in general society, outside the privileged enclaves of professionals owing their livings to public or private corporations. Natural science itself might not preserve its integrity in a social sea of lies. Witness the climate-gate scandal.

Top-down partisan rule is strictly comparable to the top-down rationalism that prevented science from becoming effective, till checked by searching evidence from anyone, regardless of whether they were established authorities. The dogmas of failed but lavish vested interests are upheld by the party whips and media manipulators or spinners.
Parliament is stifled as a learning forum of discussion and intelligent progress.

(Since writing this section, its analysis has been depressingly confirmed by the hysterical reaction from the Tory party and most of the Labour party and the mass media against the minor democratic reform proposed by the Alternative Vote referendum. This is discussed on my page, The duncing of a nation. How misrepresentation won the AV referendum.)

A two-party system is easier to buy than more pluralism. But the dogmatic rationalism of dictatorial List systems of proportional partisanship are also top-down enemies of the balance of empirical rationalism that makes possible scientific progress.

Britain's hypocritical partisan style of government is a self-defeating oligarchic ignorance, just as much anti-scientific as anti-democratic. It is a hypocritical reversion to Realpolitik of force and fraud, that is degrading a civilised society into a struggle.
British public life seems to be woefully lacking in scientific or rigorous standards of honesty, something HG Wells recognised. In fact, Wells was criticised for setting too much store by science, by people who understood much less well what it is.
GK Chesterton spoke of "our corrupt and undemocratic age."

4) A science of love: "sofily."

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After I left college, I went back home. I was glad it was over but suffered and regressed emotionly from the old isolation. There were no higher academic institutions and good text books were hard to come by.

For many years, I followed the jumble sales. I was looking for both good non-fiction and fiction.
On a second-hand book stand outside a shop, when I was 30, I came across The Four Loves by C. S. Lewis. It reminded me of the four scales of measurement and I cautiously tried to make a comparison.

To my surprise, there seemed to be some correspondence. The four loves - romance, friendship, affection, charity - can be considered, in turn, as one greater than the other. They are all good and necessary but there is a progression from one to the other, which is successively harder to attain.

Also, the Bible says of Faith Hope and Charity that charity is the greatest, which implies a scale of values. And Charity is the greatest of the four loves.

This study was not so much philosophy or the love of wisdom but "sofily" or the wisdom of love. ("Sofily" is an unlikely term to catch on.)

Exhausted with the marathon of my formal education, in my early twenties, I wondered what had gone wrong with my friendless and loveless life. I tried to recall my earliest memories, more or less up to coming of age.

Influenced by the cinema, I tried to write, in a succession of images like film slides. Commerce dictated that writers write novels. But I was really attempting a sort of experimental poetry without knowing it. In short, I was a failure as a writer.

This is not a story of my personal life but my thoughts had the virtue of being based on my experience. And I was relating my own misfortunes to those of the history of mankind. I saw that fear and anger were related to each other in a sort of see-saw of depression and oppression. And I thought that human misery had much to do with this instability. All the persecutions and superstitions seemed to be examples of mankind mastered by excesses of hatred and terror.

I argued to myself that fear and anger were not the prime movers. The prime emotion was love. Fear was fear of loss of love. And anger was against those it was feared would take love away from them. People feel angry because they have been cheated of life. And, I am sorry to say, that is all too often the case. Anger may use force to try to rectify frauds. This takes the law into one's own hands. An abdication, of reason by peaceful discussion, perpetuates further injustices and revenges.

The good news was that it was possible to become more balanced or more rational. The bad news is that it is easier to knock other people off their emotional balance than it is to learn to become emotionly stable, oneself. That seems why social progress is so uncertain and old enmities persist.
By "rational," I mean a balance of the mind, an equable state of mind. The body can do a balancing act, for instance, by learning to ride a bicycle. Similarly, the mind can learn to do a balancing act. For example, by restraining one's anger, one is less likely to have a later fearful reaction.

Consider why this might be the case. Suppose one is angry with someone. Unconsciously, one knows that anger is liable to rebound on one, and one is unconsciously expecting that to happen. Hence, the fear is liable to build up in one, out of that expectation.This is also the reason why one should not seek revenge, because it is liable to result in a vendetta or vicious circle of recriminations.

War does not just cause physical destruction, but causes emotional and mental instability. Millions of soldiers may take the war home with them. Social relations may become unendurable.

Fear and its counter-part anger can become addictive mood swings of the personality. Decisions made by over-mastering anger or fear tend to be bad decisions that cooler heads would shun. All the inferior emotions, such as the so-called seven deadly sins, rush into the emotional vacuum, caused by a loss of love. Other emotions may be good servants but they are bad masters. Love is the only good master of one's emotions. Never the less, love, like light, has its own spectrum, and not all loves may be right for a given situation.

Generally, the so-called sinful or unwise emotions are excesses of necessary qualities. It is necessary to feel fear sometimes to prevent us doing foolish things. It is better sometimes to express justified anger than to suppress it and let it work its harm surreptitiously.

One might say similar things, say, of the deadly sins of avarice and sloth. To acquire or achieve things, one should have to work for them. Then one realises that greed is the result of being too lazy to work for what one wants. No doubt over-rewarded people are always saying how hard they've worked for what they've got.
There has to be the social conscience to keep rewards in proportion: that is to say love of the well-being of others, as well as of oneself. And we are back with the golden rule: love thy neighbour as thyself. Do as you would be done by.

In my 20s, I was preoccupied with this kind of self-healing psychology. It is all very well thinking these things, but my experience, perhaps like most people, is that it has been a lot harder to live this way.

5) Physical and moral sciences.

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Being interested in a social science, as an engine of change, meant taking an interest in the scientific success story of physics especially. I thought sociology should study ecology, so I was enthusiastic about the new ecological movement. Those were the days of the Club of Rome, founded on an appreciation of the limits to growth.

A new environmental party was founded in Britain. This was first called: People. Then it was called the Ecological party. I wanted to take part but was too far out of its first urban centres of growth. Eventually, it became the Green party. Specialist organisations proliferated and it soon became apparent to me that I could not hope to match their professionalism.

So, I decided to specialise in election science. Perhaps from as early as my mid 20s, I seemed to notice analogies between transferable voting method and relativity theory. Even before that, I could see similarities between the logic of relativity and the principles of ecology. Environmentalists were also alluding to a common way of thinking between ecology and modern physics.

I wrote-up some preliminary ideas about a triple comparison, in 1981, but did not develop this until 2004. (A measure of evolution. Diffusion equation of natural selection and elections.) And this takes me too far forward in my story.

In classical physics, the observer does not enter the picture of the observed. Relativity theory becomes more general, the less limited the conditions upon which observers can share observations without apparent contradiction. Special and general relativity progressively lift the limits on consistent observations. These broader physical theories are in effect broader methods of choice of observation.

Hence the progress of scientific theory and election method are linked. To elect means to choose, the subject of ethics. So, scientific method is really a relation of science and ethics. With these ideas in mind, I was able to write-up, in my mid-30s, the problem that obsessed our undergraduate course: can sociology be a science?
(The moral sciences as the ethics of scientific method.)

Also by that time, I had fairly extended a relativistic physics model of good voting method. But it was no more than a metaphor really or poetic imagination. As late as 28 years old, I tried to teach myself calculus and other maths. These two endeavors spread over decades and were to become a wearisome burden to me.

In connection with topics, 4 and 5, it surprises me that I have not put them together more closely in my thoughts. Love is an achievement of emotional equilibrium, or being equable in an intelligent governing of the passions.
Superstitions are ignorant fears that tyrannise over the mind, such that people are persecuted, even by force of law, when they do not conform to them. Therefore, science or tested knowledge has a moral role in giving the human mind a better balance that can withstand social destabilisation thru panics and witch-hunts.

To be effective, science has to have the freedom to challenge prejudice, while recognising that some tabus are justifiable. It cannot be a coincidence that J S Mill was the author of On Liberty, as well as of System of Logic, on scientific method. His ethics of toleration held that if conduct does no harm, according to tested knowledge, dont persecute it. To punish harmless behavior is to court superstition or unjustifiable fears. This takes away the benefit of fear, which should be reserved for behavior with truly harmful consequences.

Liberty and science, in co-operation, can stabilise behavior, making for love, by doing away with unnecessary fears, reinforced by the ignorant prejudices of hateful persecutions. Love is the first principle, which the purpose of free knowledge is to safeguard and promote.
Jesus said that love is all he came to tell about. The first and the second commandments, the two most important commandments are of love. He also stated the relation of knowledge and freedom: know the truth and it will make you free.
This ancient principle informs my studies.

I was brought-up in the Christian tradition but Jesus was not the only one or the first to say these things. I have not added a footnote to much of the ancient wisdom. I dont come from the Buddhist tradition and that is perhaps why I have not much to say with regard to the Buddha showing suffering and the end of suffering.

I have never become adept at the ancient psychology of meditation. Tho introspective, I have lacked the patience to meditate. I have justified this neglect with the belief that my studies have been my meditation and that may have been the right way for me.

Postscript (June 2012):

I failed to quite stress enough a symmetry of approach to all my fields of scientific study. I nearly did but I forgot to mention my reference to election methods in my essay on The Four Loves. That was the only study in which this introduction failed to mention understanding, not only in terms of increasingly powerful scales measurement but also increasingly powerful election methods.

For example, transferable voting is the most charitable form of elections, because it gives the power to respect and elect candidates outside one's party or group, like a universal religion of love.

In section 7, below, I admitted reproaching myself for just using the logic of measurement as the gateway to every study. But this is only half the story. I also approached every study from an electoral perspective.My inspiration, to Know the truth and it will make you free, really did come to mean a practical partnership between knowledge and freedom, especially in terms of measurement logic and election method.

6) Poetic interlude.

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I described (some of) the comedy of errors that got me onto a social science degree course. Nearly 20 years later, I had another stroke of luck. This also came about in a comical way. A day or two before the 1987 general election, I went to attend the Liberal candidate's final speech. In the Liberal club, I blundered into the wrong meeting. This turned out to be a writers group.

In the interval, I was approached by an elderly woman. I remember her asking what my politics were. I said I was independent. She seemed heartened by this. It was the beginning of a wonderful friendship that was to last over 22 years. I suppose that I met her for no longer than the time taken by a full-time three-year course. But it's much less pleasant to have one's education crammed in to one for an examination.

Dorothy was like having a personal tutor for a friend. She was a tireless critic of my writings. In the early 90s, the Labour Party produced a report on electoral systems. Dorothy came from a Labour family and she provided me with an introduction, as well as a time-consuming commentary on my submission.

She made the biggest impression as a poet. There is an aloneness about Dorothy's poems that puts me right in her place. Her poems of the Keltic wildernesses are the most obvious examples. When my time is done, these poems might speak for me.

In the sixth form, I had a good English literature course, the bulk of which was classical poetry: Chaucer, Shakespeare, Webster, Milton, John Donne, Herbert and other metaphysical poets, Wordsworth, and Hopkins, that precursor of the moderns. But it was not the sort of literature that I had wanted to read in my late teens. It did not occur to me that poetry was something that I might write. It was just exam fodder, or I was just exam fodder, and wasted on me, who knew nothing of life, stuck in school-rooms all day.

After leaving college, I tried write some traditional poetry, without any knowledge of the 20th-century poetry, which I hadn't studied. I gave-up trying to write poetry during my 30s. It was a revelation to read Dorothy's poems and, what is more, hear how she read them to an audience. Dorothy wrote traditional nature poetry in modern free verse. Knowing Dorothy, I could see that these poems were an expression of her personality. They were relaxed and reflective and usually had some point to them. They were Dorothy.

Dorothy also went to a poetry group and had taken me, one evening. I provoked laughter, by reading one of Dorothy's poems. I suppose the laughter was to rub-in that Dorothy was not famous enough to be so distinguished.

After that, I stopped going. And it would be a year or two before Dorothy told me to go again. She also crossly said not to read her poems; they all laughed and she didn't like it!

Shall I compare Dorothy to a summer's day? There were occasional thunderstorms. They were impressive while they lasted, but you knew they would soon blow over.
This contrasts sharply with those temperaments, on which anger seems to have settled like an ice age.

I soon realised that I was only conscripted to the poetry group because of falling membership. The irony was that my belief in Dorothy's work gradually infected everyone else, until they came to share my conviction that Dorothy was one of the best poets in the country. The fact that she nearly always won our little group's poetry competition trophy also helped.
And Dorothy won Yorkshire tv's competition for poet laureate of the north.
I am pleased to say that, later still, I was also the means to getting a poem of Dorothy's noticed nationly.

Dorothy didn't just teach me poetry by example. She was a rambler and knew all the out-of-the-way places in our district. We must have gone for one or two hundred outings together. They inspired our poems. She brought me back to the countryside of my childhood. I re-worked my earliest memories.

She paraded, before me, all the sights that imagination needs to be able to work on. Poetry, like science, needs experience and imagination. It is well known that poetry is debased because people dont realise that, like every other activity, it is a skill that requires practice.
Science is about learning to think. People may think that they think but in fact it also depends on much practice. Scientists are imagined to be laboratory technicians in white coats. It is true that the bulk of science is remotely specialist from anything that most of us could hope to do. But essentially a scientist is only someone who has learned how to think, tho the thinking tends to become specialised.

In my 40s, Dorothy inspired me to want to write many beautiful poems. Few of them really come-off and one never seems to have written enough.
Till then, science and ethics or the true and the good had preoccupied me. As a thinker, I was something of a two-dimensional card-board cut-out, until Dorothy showed me the third dimension of beauty.

The evening I first met Dorothy, I heard her mention in conversation the influence of Thomas Hardy. There is the same country remoteness, and a secular pessimism combined with a dour kindness. Dorothy's poems give the impression of as lonely a person as myself. That and my own farm-land infancy explain their attraction to me.

That, in itself, wouldn't be enough without Dorothy's unique qualities. Thomas Hardy was a reticent man but he did once say that his life story was in his poems. I don't think I could say that about Dorothy because she was a more sociable and popular person than her poems would lead you to believe. Perhaps companionship is too prosy to make much good poetry.

It is profoundly true, especially of my earliest years, that my life is in my poems. Before Hardy, Wordsworth made natural a poetry of rural toil, rather than the professionals' holidays or the court's affairs of state.
Otherwise, I drew on further experiences, as one must, but too literal an interpretation would obviously be misleading. I respect the kitchen sink dramas. My sixth form literature syllabus included near contemporary plays. A teacher took us thru Arnold Wesker and something of the Angry Young Men. Most - not all - of the worst things would get left out of my poems, and much else got put in!

7) Mathematical proof as objective election: Penrose dodecahedrons. Binomial STV.
The geometric mean for the M-M expt.; statistical algebra and amplitude symmetry; Statistical Differentiation and Interval acceleration.

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I passed middle age, left full-time work and hoped to concentrate on my studies. But the poetry was a welcome diversion. I was learning and, it must be admitted, badly failing to learn.
I was also self-conscious enough to consider that I had stagnated as a thinker. Science may be measurement but, it seemed to me, that I had relied too much on the logic of measurement, for my inspirations.

In the early 70s, I read HG Wells' Men like Gods. This utopia allowed everyone to publish their writings. I could not see that ever happening. The nation did have free speech but there was no way for an ordinary person, like myself, to be heard.

By 1995, it was evident that the Internet would make electronic publishing possible for the masses. Not thru lack of study preparation but thru lack of commercial experience and poor judgment, I did not get on the web till 1999. And it was not until then that I realised the advantages of a word processor for organising my thoughts. Not only did I upload writings no-one had wanted to publish, I was inspired to new web pages that explained better to myself topics such as special relativity.

Mathematical proof as objective election.

The internet can be self-educational expression, as well as mutually educational.
To understand, before I might do anything with the subject, was the motive for my putting up a page on Roger Penrose's "magic dodecahedra," from his book, Shadows of the Mind.
I then found myself coming up with a proof, of my own, based on the 120 permutations of the dodecahedron. It's eight years since, a world of difference as one gets older, and I dont remember it too well, to be honest. But I think it's fair to say that Penrose's proof was by elimination or exclusion of classical physics possibilities, with respect to last preferences. Whereas my proof was with respect to the consequences of first preference selections, and, thus, an "election" proof, rather than an exclusion proof.
My election proof, if that's what it was, was certainly much simpler than the exclusion proof, and there was also a prediction, if my assumptions were valid.

I don't know whether my attempted proof was on the right lines or not. It might not even matter too much, from the point of view of the insight Penrose dodecahedrons could give into the nature of mathematical proof in general. For, proof by elimination or exclusion of all possibilities is a classic technique. But this technique may not have been related before to an exclusion count, in a voting system.

Since there is another kind of count, than exclusion, in a voting system, possibly, election counts might also be recognised as a standard technique of proof.

Thus, mathematical proofs may be considered as objective elections, tho the meaning of the phrase needs clarifying. By "elections," I mean voting system that may involve both election count and exclusion count. By "objective" elections, I mean one end of a continuum of elections that stretches to subjective elections, at the other end.

By subjective elections, I mean the usual political elections or referendums. Here, a subjective or personal choice is made by the citizens. At the subjective extreme, the choices may be intuitive, without explicit reference to rules or guidelines or political programs that might determine decisions. The personalities of candidates may be too elusive to make conscious decisions about them. The issues in referendums may be too complex and indeterminate to allow of any definite scientific resolution, so the only agreement is to abide by the hunch of the majority, since society must decide some direction or other, including, by default, no change of direction.

Mathematical proof might constitute the extreme case of objective elections. These elections are objective, because everyone can agree which competing well-defined sets of rules, as "candidates" or options, to choose between. That is provided the mathematical proof or disproof is a powerful enough election or exclusion to determine a clear result.

My method of Binomial STV might be more powerful than conventional STV but it also showed me elections as controled re-counts that are inherently statistical.
Moreover, I realised that my supposedly improved method was still far less flexible than Thomas Wright Hill's original (1821) proportional representation of transferable voting with their feet of school boys shifting their support between queues for the most popular candidates.

A computer program would need a complex algorithm to simulate such playground STV elections on a scale of mass democracy.

Genetic algorithms are the natural selection principle of evolving computer programs, by randomly varying and mixing their sub-programs or lines of code, successively concentrating on the ones that chance mutations make most successful. This may be indispensibly more efficient, if less understandable, than the limited human ability for conscious rational deduction, the classical ideal of mathematical proof and programming.
(This dilemma is discussed in Simon Singh's Fermat's Last Theorem.)

Genetic algorithms are subjective elections speeded-up to be guided-by and achieve the results to well-defined problems, in a way incomparably faster and more controled than humans in political elections. Politicians and the monied with their mass media also try to control voters but according to their own limited and fallible personal or subjective notions.

However, mathematical proofs, as objective elections, may be given more power by progress in election method.

Binomial STV.

Some academics and politicians were trying to dismiss the single transferable vote, with certain mote-in-your-eye criticisms. One straw-man argument was that no voting system is perfect. They gave examples of how different voting systems would come up with different results, as tho this discredited any system, as an objective choice of right method.

Arrow's theorem was harnessed to show the (undoubted) limitations of democratic method, much as Godel's theorem was held to show the limits of scientific theory. But different voting methods, using examples that produced different winners, were not proving the arbitrariness of voting method. It turned out that different methods just were using more or less preferential information. All that this supposed demonstration showed was that voting methods, using less information, are less reliable. Long ago, at college, statistics had told me that about the use of data.

A direct criticism of an STV count is technically called "premature exclusion." The point is that when there are no more winning candidates' surplus votes to transfer, that count has to exclude the candidate who happens to have the least votes at that time. This may not be strictly fair, because that candidate might have gone on to secure a seat.
This is a minor fault compared to the short shrift that First Past the Post gives to candidates. That is the hypocrisy of many attempts by academics and politicians to discredit STV.

Nevertheless, I devised a system that got round premature exclusion. I called this Binomial STV, which is a keep-value averaged system of re-counts. That is a statistical idea of the count. The term bi-nomial refered to two kinds of counts for the most preferred and the least preferred candidates. A series of counts were held like a series of experimental controls, based on the logic of the binomial distribution.

These counts each gave distinctive keep values or elective weights to the candidates. The keep values were then averaged, for each candidate, to give an over-all election result. The appropriate average is the geometric mean, which is the thread of the topics in the next sub-section. One also has to agree, before the election, set bounds or limits to how decisive the counts for least prefered candidates are compared to the counts for most prefered candidates. This is routine in statistics, tho it might not be in politics.

It is possible to make analogies between physics and electics or election science of transferable voting, in terms of the normal distribution. The keep value and transfer value can be compared with probability of success and failure. With Binomial STV, the keep value and transfer value dont both have to be positive, as a correspondence, with conventional probability theory, would require.

(June 2013 note: A simple but pleasing finding - to me, if no-one else - was Harmonic Mean quotas. Just to mention a Simple Harmonic Mean Quota, SHM quota is more representative than the Hare or Droop quotas, of which it is the appropriate average or statistical representative of the range of votes difference between the two quotas. The Hare quota tends to be too high to secure candidates election to all seats, without regimentation of voting. Whereas, the Droop quota is low enough to ensure all seats filled but may do so by margins between winning and losing candidates that are not statisticly significant.)

The geometric mean for the M-M expt.; statistical algebra and amplitude symmetry; Statistical Differentiation and Interval acceleration.

The Penrose dodecahedrons challenge, in so far as I was up to it, was the first time that I dared to believe that I might do an original work in such an advanced subject as modern physics. I am not qualified for the following discussions.

I noticed that the calculation for the Michelson-Morley experiment would have made the correct prediction, had they used a different average for the return journey of the light beam with respect to Earth motion. Really there was a relative acceleration involved and that requires averaging by the geometric mean and not the arithmetic mean. I did pages that showed the Minkowski Interval supported this interpretation.
(The Minkowski Interval predicts the Michelson-Morley experiment. )

Also implicit with acceleration, in the M-M experiment, is change in momentum. It would be subject to a conservation law. In physics, such laws are associated with symmetry principles, and I was later to come across an apparently new (local) symmetry of radius or amplitude, depending whether respectively in terms of a circle or a wave.

Julian Barbour's book, The End Of Time, seeks to end an inconsistent observation of the universe from outside. It seemed to me that mathematics itself should be a self-contained universe. Every number should be representable by other numbers. This includes complex numbers to complete the number system of mathematics. The mathematics of representation is statistics, which represents ranges of numbers as their averages. Every number is a potential average of other numbers.

Michio Kaku's book, Physics of the Impossible, says that mathematicians have avoided Godel's incompleteness theorem by avoiding the distinction between the observer and the observed.
But statistics, in the way Ive used it, breaks down this active/passive distinction, because every number can be treated as representative or represented.

Geometric means of complex numbers turn-out to have an application to the Interval in special relativity. It resulted in my caldera model: our universe is inside the crater walls, with a tachyonic universe on the outside, possibly subject to quantum tunneling effects. The walls are of infinite height and never quite meet, in the model.
In a further webpage, this approach to the Interval led to further concepts, in an application of the geometric mean to algebra, of a statistical quadratic equation and amplitude or radius symmetry, to go with the Interval's phase or rotational symmetry.
(A statistical Interval's local invariance in amplitude symmetry.)

Meanwhile, I had been trying to apply the geometric mean to differential calculus. Eventually, I deduced that traditional or conventional differentiation is effectively either arithmetic mean differentiation or harmonic mean differentiation. The traditional change-variables become items in a statistical range, even if the range consists only of one item and is, in effect, its own average.

(By june 2013, I made some progress in the following web page: The exponential function as geometric mean derivative of Fibonacci algebra. Investigations into basic operations of geometric mean differentiation.

As to the following last paragraphs in this section, up to final section 8, I would rate it as science fiction. Ive thought that theoretical science is science fiction. But, as i keep saying, I know much too little to make the following more than crude and wild speculation. I say that especially because I wouldnt want to discredit some good things I may have done in mathematics and physics - some wheat amongst all the chaff, maybe.)

Special relativity only correlates observations in velocity frames of reference to each other. Acceleration frames of reference are usually dealt with separately by general relativity theory. I tried to apply geometric mean differentiation, as I conceived it, to the Interval, to turn it into an acceleration frame of reference for observers. An acceleration Interval was derived in the form of a normal distribution.
This is the bell-shaped curve. The norm is at the dome peak of the bell. The lips or flares of the bell potentially extend to infinity. As they do so, their slope becomes ever gentler and lower, almost but never quite aligning with the horizontal.

When the outer rim of the normal curve is virtually flat-lining, it is practicly the same as a horizontal line representing zero velocity or rest. This corresponds to an observer in a rest frame of reference. Where the bell curve approximates to a straight line, that corresponds to a velocity frame, the velocity depending on how steep that part of the slope. And when the curve is more rounded that measures degrees of acceleration.

General Relativity is founded on a Principle of Equivalence between stationary and accelerating frames. My guess was that an event, measured on a normal curve of frequencies, considered as a geometric mean derivative of an Interval acceleration, measured different observers' frames of reference, from rest to acceleration. (Not being a physicist, I have no idea whether there is any merit in this argument:
Statistical basis of Differentiation and Geometric Mean Differentiation of an Interval acceleration.)

My GM derivative of the normal curve might be applied to universal origins, just as General Relativity is so applied. For, the Big Bang is an exponential growth of Creation and the normal curve is an exponential function. The normal curve can be rotated round its norm to form an hour-glass shape. Its middle can be considered the origin of a balanced explosion two ways of a matter universe and an anti-matter universe. The use of conservation laws improves on the caldera model, which just gives one-half of an hour-glass model.

8) Farewell.

Here follow forty years of independent study in one sentence!

Moral science is the truth of knowledge in freedom as a balancing act of love against socially destabilising force and fraud.

My studies have been a lonely task. May others find them useful in a way that will benefit everyone.

Reactionary academics and politicians have implied that voting methods are a matter of arbitrary choice, with no agreeable standards to choose between them. That is just the opposite to my youthful hope that the scientific community would recognise elections are subject to a general method and so be more inclined to referee honest standards of elections in politics. Politicians have shown, for a century, that they cannot be trusted to referee themselves on the electoral rules of the game.

My early intentions were to draw the attention of scientists to election science as a complement to natural science, because more general choice of observations would lead to more general theories to cover them, as is the case in moving from special to general relativity.

My education had disabused me of any notion that I could ever do original work in natural science. I thought, and still think, I would leave that to millions of qualified people competant to do so.
Yet, after I had tired and aged, despite myself, I did reforms to physics and mathematics. It's not for me to be a judge of my own work. It's left to others to make of it what they will.

Richard Lung.
11; minor corrections: 12; 29 August 2010.
Minor additions: 1 july 2011; 24 june 2012;
june 2013.

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