On Fear

On Fear

 

Everyday, around the world, every human feels fear. Every human experiences fear, as it is an inevitable consequence of human existence. Fear does not have a specific form in which it must come in, instead manifesting itself in a plethora of different forms. Anxiety, terror, horror, worry, all of these are forms of the same thing. Today, I will be talking about fear, and how society has twisted our view of fear into something that should be avoided at all costs.

 

Take, for example, the definition of fear. It is defined as “an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat.” Yet is this necessarily true? Does fear have to be something to negative in connotation? Or can we find a way to take fear, and not only normalize it, but reveal it as the positive thing that it really is? This may seem like a large step to take, so let’s start out the process with a simple analogy. Fight or flight, everyone has heard the words, and everyone knows what it means. The feeling of whether or not you should stay and fight to protect yourself and others, or flee for your life. This is a primal instinct, one which we cannot control. This phenomenon is based off of a flood of cortisone entering the body, and overtaking the emotions with a flood of adrenaline, therefore causing the fight or flight response. This is a classical form of fear.

 

In society, we have taken the idea of fight or flight, and applied it to the overall idea of fear, therefore twisting it into a feeling that should be avoided at all costs. When I was younger, I was told that fear was the feeling that kept us from doing things that would make us get hurt. But what about a fear of heights? Or a fear of monsters? Surely someone who is afraid of monsters is not being protected by that fear. Instead, it is better to stand face to face with your fears, and prove to them that they have no power over you. Embracing your fears gives you power over them, and once you have the power, you can use them however you want.

 

It is fear that has propelled us forward throughout history. A fear of the dark was solved with fire. A fear of being attacked was solved with weapons. Fear is not what we say it is. It is not the horrifying thing that we have made it out to be. Instead of seeing it as a roadblock, instead we should see it as a way to push ourselves beyond what we previously thought possible. Take our fear, and convert it into fuel, and we will find ourselves beyond what we thought was possible, and beyond what we could ever imagine.

 

Fear is a constant, something that will persist in your life, regardless of who you are, or what you’ve done. No matter how much we try, we can never get rid of the feeling of fear. What we can do is capitalize on it, and use it as a way to motivate ourselves to an extent that was once unthinkable. We must no longer treat fear as an unwanted guest, but instead an invited friend, one who wishes to help, not hurt. This is the ultimate choice that all humans must make, whether to give in, or push on. In the spite of overwhelming odds, we must make the right choice. To feel fear is the human experience, but to overcome it is the human expertise.

 

~Zane

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Unlocking the Secrets of The Standard Model Part 1: Quarks

After a long hiatus, I am back, and ready to entertain and inform my readers with a new series. This one pertains to the Quantum Physics, a subatomic hobby of mine. Each piece will be explaining a different piece of Quantum Physics, starting with the very first series: Unlock the Secrets of The Standard Model. I’m hoping that after I’m done, I’ll be able to compile all the information into a short book. So here is Part 1: Quarks.

In high school, we all learned about the “basic building blocks of matter.” We always assumed that things like protons, neutrons, and electrons were the end all be all of what composes matter. We learned about things like elements, covalent bonds, electron interactions, and even a little bit of quantum chemistry, but that was the end of it. We never stopped to research, or even consider the fact that there may be something beyond these 3 basic particles. Luckily for the entire scientific community, there is something beyond these 3 particles. The true basic building blocks of almost all of the matter in the universe. These infinitesimal particles are known as quarks.

 

Before we delve into the definition of a quark, we must first talk about the different classifications of something called “elementary particles.” An elementary particle is a subatomic particle that helps to comprise the most essential pieces of matter in the universe. To help us keep track of all these different particles, we have something called the “Standard Model of Particle Physics.” This standard model separates different forms of matter into the proper categories. The 4 categories that exist within the Standard Model are: Quarks, Leptons, Gauge Bosons, and Scalar Bosons. These 4 categories include all of the different types of KNOWN elementary particles. What has not yet been discovered is so heavily beyond our comprehension, that we simply cannot begin to guess at what it would look like. We like to leave these things to the visionaries, like Feynman or Einstein.

 

In this post, I will be covering the first piece of the puzzle that is the Standard Model, quarks. Before we can understand what a quark is, we have to understand what a baryon is. A baryon is a specific denomination of matter, which is comprised of protons and neutrons. Anything that contains a proton or a neutron is classified as baryonic, including protons and neutrons themselves. Simply put, anything we can touch is baryonic matter. There are other types of matter, but for the moment, we’ll just be talking about baryonic matter. It is a common misconception that protons and neutrons are the most basic particle building blocks. In fact, I’m willing to guess it’s one of the most common scientific inaccuracies. The true building block of all baryonic matter is the quark. Within all baryons is 3 quarks, which comprise that baryonic particle.

Now that we have established important vocabulary concepts, we can now move on to the nitty gritty. Quarks are a little intimidating to those who are unfamiliar, but I’ll try my best to explain them in a way that makes sense. Quarks are governed by 3 different forces. The first of which is known as “color.” Color has nothing to do with the actual color of the particle, but, rather, the force that the particle is experiencing. The 3 different levels of color force are Red, Green, and Blue. Each color corresponds to a specific level of force that each particle is experiencing. This allows multiple types of the same quark to exist within a particle. The second force is known as spin. Each quark has a spin of ½, which is determined by some extremely confusing math. If you have a solid grasp on calculus, you can check out some resources on h-bar and spin vectors, but otherwise, don’t bother.

 

The third and final property is its mass. This is where things get truly complicated. Before we talk about the mass of quarks, we must talk about another particle: a gluon. A gluon field surrounds every quark, helping it to stay in place, and allowing it to interact with other quarks without repelling each other. The gluons help the quarks hold different color charges, which allow them to overpower certain quantum elements, such as the Pauli Exclusion Principle, which states that no two particles can occupy the same quantum level. Since each quark is surrounded by a gluon field, we have to take into account two different kinds of mass. The first is known as the current quark mass, which is the mass of the quark itself. The second is called the constituent quark mass, which is the sum of both the quarks mass, and the mass of the gluon field that surrounds it. These 3 properties are the basic constituents of the most fundamental particles every discovered.

 

The final vocabulary term used when defining quarks is “flavor.” Flavor refers to the type of quark that is being observed. There are 6 known flavors of quarks, and they each come in pairs. The first pair is Up and Down, which are the types that form protons and neutrons. The second pair is Strange and Charm, which are used in heavier particles, such as hadrons. The final pair is the most massive. It includes the Bottom and Top quarks. These 3 pairs of quarks are known as generations.

 

The world of quantum physics is a beautiful place, and it will only become more so as we find out more about the universe that we live in. Until next time.

 

~Zane

Autistic Point of View – Current Event Analysis

Our world is full of messed up people, with messed up intentions. I have seen some pretty awful crimes in my day, and I have seen messed up intentions. But what I just read about isn’t as much messed up as it is confusing. One man in the Dallas area decided for god-knows-why to set off all of the emergency sirens in Dallas at 11:40 PM. The crime wasn’t heinous, nor was it necessarily evil, it was just downright strange. For what reason would someone want to set off the emergency tornado sirens late at night? For a prank? All it did was cause some panic in some of the residents, and then got shut off quickly after. Here’s my analysis on the situation.

 

How did he do it?: To be able to hack a security system with such a high level of encryption would be virtually impossible. The only way to do something like that would be to A. Have the encryption codes for the system, or B. Have a way to decrypt the codes faster than they were being changed. Encryption codes at a federal level are extremely impressive. They go so far as to literally change their encryption type as fast as every 30 seconds. This would mean that the person hacking the system would have to literally decrypt the code to the alarm system, and send a signal with the same encryption codes within 30 seconds. This is no small feat, and it would take a very powerful computer to get it done. Most likely, the person used some kind of apparatus to obtain the encrypted messages going through the airways, which in and of itself is extremely hard, then break the codes in a matter of 30 seconds. That basically rules out the possibility of someone on the outside breaking the codes. That would mean that either A. The alarm sirens going off was a test, or B. Someone who already had the codes would have to send a message to the sirens to go off. Considering that all of the sirens do not run off of the same encryption codes, someone definitely had access to the codes prior to the hacking.

 

Why did he do it?: I think that our culprit did it to cause panic. Many people enjoy creating fear in others, especially if it eases the fear that they are experiencing. Most likely, the person who committed the crime did it to prove a point, maybe to show how easy it is to hack these systems, when, in reality, it isn’t easy at all. Whatever the intention, our culprit most likely did it for the reason of creating panic.

 

Who did it?: Police officers and federal agents alike have a common method for profiling a culprit. The first step is to list the possible intentions. Most likely, there are 3 different possibilities for the intention of the culprit. A. The culprit wanted to prove a point, B. The culprit wanted to demonstrate something, or C. The culprit wanted to send a message. The most likely possibility is that the culprit wanted to send a message. The sirens going off is almost saying “Hey, look how easy it is to do this! If I can do this, who’s to stop others from doing worse things?!” This narrows down the category to people that are not in good standing with the government, or people who dislike some of the systems of security that the government produces. This means that it would not be hard to find a few people who would want to commit a crime like that. Then, all it takes is pinging a message off of their computers, and finding who committed the crime in the first place.

 

This is my basic analysis of what exactly went down in Dallas, and why someone would do something like that. Overall, it was a bit of a weird thing to do, and now the culprit will be facing federal charges.

You guys can check out the story here.

~Zane

Autistic Point of View – Poetry

Who doesn’t love a bit of impromptu poetry? I sure do, so here are some of the first ones that I’ve written. A bit depressing, but excellent nonetheless.

 

Beauty

 

Beauty is like a flower, withering by the day

Look not to the body, for it will just fade away

If you truly seek a beauty beyond compare

One which leaves you helpless but to stare

Look unto the soul of a broken individual

With little hope left residual

For it is those who are broken that hold the key

To a soulful beauty one cannot see

For if you seek a person of unfathomable kindness

Find one who has been broken by society’s blindness

For those who have felt the truest of pains

One whom the real world continually drains

Will go to any length to prevent any others

From feeling the pain inflicted by their so called “brothers”

 

Anxiety

 

Anxiety is worrying about 99 problems, 98 of which don’t exist

It is a somber cloud that loves to truly, unceasingly persist.

The fear of the unknown and what comes next is nearly unbearable

The persisting power making it oh so terrible

At night the fear continues to creep

Now I must quiet my mind, and try to drift off to sleep.

 

Fear

 

Late at night, fear comes to me uninvited

Why oh why must I be so spited

To have to bear a weight so great

Its hunger one which I cannot sate

Fear condemns me endlessly

Infecting and destroying me

How could a feel so primal be stirred

By a short and simple four letter word

 

Until we meet again.

~Zane

Autistic Point Of View – Logical Fallacies

Two posts in one day? Oh heck yeah! One of the most interesting things known to man is the idea of philosophy, and that of logical analysis. As someone who is autistic, it comes naturally to me to think logically, therefore, philosophy is extremely fun! One of my favorite philosophical concepts is that of logical fallacies. There are a ton of logical fallacies, and each one has a unique form. Without further adieu, here are my favorites!

 

The Monte Carlo Fallacy: The “Monte Carlo Fallacy” is a fallacy that is often used in gambling. The idea of the Monte Carlo Fallacy is described in the following story. Joe the gambler has been playing roulette all day, and has had no luck. After 9 spins, Joe realizes that the past 8 have landed on red, so he must be due for a black! Joe, being the incredible logician he is, put everything down on black, only for it to land on red. Too bad Joe didn’t realize that the chances were the same the whole time! Even though the past 8 spins had been on red, that doesn’t change the probability of the next one.

 

Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc Fallacy: The “post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy”, literally means “after, therefore because.” This fallacy is the idea that because something happened after a certain event, it must have been caused by that event. An example is the idea of vaccines causing Autism. Many people assume that since there have been more cases of autism diagnosed after the popularization of vaccinations, some people draw the conclusion that vaccines cause autism. In some cases, this reasoning is not a fallacy, such as the fact that tsunamis often happen after earthquakes. Yet it is usually illogical, like saying that my grandmother died after David Bowie died, so that means her death was caused by David Bowie’s death. Overall, it’s a very common fallacy, but it’s pretty stupid to use it.

 

No True Scotsman Fallacy: The “No True Scotsman” fallacy is one where the user shifts the goalposts every time their opponent tries to rationalize something so it doesn’t apply to a “true” example. Example: Angus said that no scotsman puts sugar in his coffee. Angrily, Roghnall exclaims that he is a scotsman and puts sugar in his coffee. Enraged by his comment, Angus exclaims that no “true” scotsman would put sugar in his coffee. This is my alltime favorite fallacy.

 

Overall, fallacies are gross, and you shouldn’t use them. Avoid them at all costs. See y’all next time!

~Zane

Autistic Point Of View – Creative Writing Piece

I really love creative writing, so here’s one of my recent stories.

Noland Rydell was the greatest scientist of all time. He truly wanted to change the world, to make it a better place for his people. Too bad the Madness got to him first. Of course, everyone knew it would happen. Noland was so sure it would never take him, that he was simply too strong willed, but everyone knew. What a shame, too, he may have been able to do something for them. The Madness took everyone who was influential, it was just a fact of life. Once someone ascended to a place of power, it would take about 5 years to take them, but it always did. The symptoms were simple, and looks like just another case of dementia, that is, until stage 5. No one had ever seen a stage 5 sufferer, the Government got to them much before then.

 

Noland sat slumped in his chair, asleep in his office. This wasn’t the first late night he had spent at work, in fact, he spent almost every night there nowadays. Noland was clearly sleeping fitfully, writhing and moaning, until he awoke with a scream. Luckily for him, no one was ever at work at 3 am in the morning, let alone paying any attention to him. He glanced around, his eyes full of terror, and his heart thumping in his chest. Though he refused to admit it, the Madness was beginning to take him. It started out with nightmares, but it got gradually worse. The demons whispered in his ears, and the ghosts that drifted around wailed in the night like lost children. It was all he could do to simply ignore them, but slowly, the whispers turned to screams. What was once a whisper of hatred became screams of fury, and what was once a drifting ghost became a giant spectre.

 

That night, the Government came for Noland. He had no idea how they knew he had succumbed to the madness, but they came for him anyway. Before he knew what was going on, he was strapped to an operating table, and the men in suits were administering anesthetic. The men in suits was an understatement, in Noland’s opinion. The men were hulking beasts, ones who wore masks to keep themselves from getting sick, their suits bulging at the seams with their monstrous muscles. Noland tried to protest, but before he could, he drifted into nothingness, adrift in an endless abyss of screams.

 

Noland stared the beast in the eyes as it picked him up, and opened its massive mouth, ready to consume him whole. The beast started with his head, ripping it off with a sickening crunch. The beast chewed, content with what he tasted, and began to start in on his arms, when Noland realized that he wasn’t dead. The beast had just eaten his head, but he was still alive, somehow. With this, Noland was whipped out of the dream world, and brought back to the cold operating table where the men in suits had pinned him down. The first thing he noticed was the screaming, or rather, the lack of it. The ghosts no longer drifted about, and colors seemed to fill his world. The Madness was gone. One of the “beasts” from earlier looked at him, and Noland was surprised to see kindness in the things eyes, as it helped him up, and led him into a conference room. In the room, a very important looking man sat by himself, sipping a cup of coffee. He turned to Noland, and asked him the last question he thought would come out of the man’s mouth.

“You take cream in your coffee Noland?” The man seemed to be genuinely curious, and Noland gave him a thumbs up, unable to find his voice.

“We thought you were a goner, Noland, we really did. We’ve brought hundreds of men in here, and not one has had the will to fight back against the Madness. You really are a special one, aren’t you Noland?” Said the man, with genuine caring in his voice.

“W-w-w-what is this place?” Noland asked, his voice finally returning to him.

“This is where we fight back Noland. This is Ground Zero for our outbreak, and this is where it ends, assuming you’ll help, that is.” The man said with one eyebrow cocked.

“Allow me to introduce myself, I’m General Robertson. I need your help Noland, but first, I want to tell you a story.” The man began.

“Many years ago, a group of archeologists were excavating a site, when they found something strange: an entrance to a massive cavern. The archeologists went in, and they found what they had so hoped that they would find, a small statuette resembling a beast of epic proportions.” Continued General Robertson. “One archeologist went to pick up the statuette, and loe and behold, he released an ancient evil, which brought itself into our world for the first time in thousands of years. This beast is what you saw when we put you under, and this beast is the source of the Madness. Many men died on that table, and gave in to the beast, too weak to fight back. But you, Noland, were able to fight back, and we need that. The Madness will come back to you, but we need you to fight the beast, and weaken it enough to seal it. Can you help us?”

“I can try, I guess,” said Noland, beginning to feel the Madness creep back in. “When do I start?”

“Right now, Noland, we’re putting you back in.” The General said.

The beasts in suits came back, and threw Noland onto the operating table, strapping him down, and jabbing an anesthetic needle into his arm. Noland tried to struggle, but the anesthetic put him under, his limbs becoming weak. He awoke in a room full of darkness, unable to move. All of a sudden, a bright light filled the room, and the beast appeared before him, reaching out to pick him up again. The beast picked him up by the leg, dangling him upside down.

“So, the fools have tried to tell you their false legend, I assume?” The beast said, his voice a booming force. “Did they tell you of my offer?”

“W-w-w-what offer?” Noland whimpered.

“I can give you whatever you desire, as long as you do as I command. I have been unable to leave this spirit room for many thousands of years. Release me, and I will give you everything you could ever desire. Power beyond your wildest dreams. What you do with it is yours to choose, but do as I command first.” The beast continued. “Let me tell you my tale of woe, young mortal. Many years ago, I ruled this land, and the people who dwell upon it. I was no tyrant, boy, I was a kind king. I spent my days ruling this kingdom, until a foolish mortal warrior stepped forth to oppose me. I accepted his challenge, and our battle began. The gods looked favorably upon this boy, and bestowed unto him the power to seal me in the form of this beast. The mortal who sealed me is none other than your little friend General Robertson. If you help me kill him, I will give you anything you desire. You could be my right hand, hm? The beast said, a smile creeping onto his massive face.

“I don’t have the power to kill him, let alone get near him!” Yelled Noland, his voice quivering with fear.

“Allow me to handle that,” the beast said, touching his forehead. Noland felt himself become imbued with power. He had never felt better in his life.

“Take his life, and you will be rewarded, young mortal.” The beast finished. Just as he was about to ask another question, Noland was whipped back to the real world, aware of the cool metal pressing against his skin. He looked around wildly, and one of the beasts helped him up. Without thinking, Noland brought his elbow into the hulking monsters face, sending it flying with terrifying force. The beast slumped against the wall, its face a disgusting mess. Noland whipped around, and pushed his palm against the other beasts chest, feeling a pulse as he tore away the things soul. He made his way into the room where General Robertson resided, his body surrounded by a purple flame. He kicked down the door, and General Robertson sat bolt upright, terror corrupting his features.

“W-w-w-what are you, you beast!” General Robertson screamed.

“I…am…fury.” Replied Noland, his face contorted into an evil smile. He threw out his hand, and General Robertson was flung toward him like a ragdoll. He put his foot on the man’s head, and began to apply force. The general tried to beg for his life, but it was no use, as Noland’s foot went through his skull with a sickening crunch. Noland smiled, and turned to the massive purple portal appearing before him. The beast lumbered out of it, and grabbed Noland by the shoulders.

“What is my a reward?” Asked Noland, excited beyond measure.

“Your reward for freeing me shall be a quick death.” Said the monster, his face forming into a sick smile. Noland heard the last thing he would ever hear before being ripped away from reality. I AM FREE!

Hope you enjoyed!

~Zane

Autistic Point of View – Astrophysics Rant #1

Man, the universe is weird. Being an astrophysics buff, just about everything in the universe (teehee) interests me. I feel like ranting about General Relativity today, so here goes a bit of a rant session. General Relativity is a theory created by Albert Einstein. Einstein proposed that the very fabric of the universe is made up of something called “space-time”, and everything else in the universe exists on top of that fabric. The two different concepts of space and time interweave to create a cosmic blanket that is the basis for everything in the known universe. Einstein spent his entire life postulating about how gravity could exist and be proven, and General Relativity was the outcome. General Relativity is the idea that gravity occurs because celestial objects of considerable mass warp the fabric of space-time, and cause a kind of divot. If one were to imagine a blanket being pulled tight at all 4 corners, it would be an accurate representation of space-time. Now imagine dropping as bowling ball in the middle. The blanket would stretch downward, and a divot in the blanket would be created by the mass of the bowling ball. If one were to roll a golf ball around the divot, the golf ball would roll around the bowling ball, and either fall in if it was too close, or fly away if it was too far. General Relativity works the same way, and is the most accepted theory of gravity. An example of General Relativity in action is our sun. Since the sun is so massive, it warps space-time around it, causing all of the planets in our solar system to revolve around it. If the sun were to magically disappear, all of the planets would go flying away in multiple directions. If the sun were to get bigger, all of the planets would fall into it slowly, and be burned away. This is Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity.

 

Hope you enjoyed!

~Zane