Hi. Morning. Thursday. Blog post.
You get the general idea.
It’s been a relatively unremarkable week, so far, though I did a few mildly atypical things. On Monday, I posted a selection of recordings of me “practicing” several songs that I like to do (just rhythm guitar and voice, nothing fancy). I’d recorded them for my own benefit, but I thought I would share to see if anyone thought any of them were worth working into a video. If you’re interested in that kind of stuff, by all means, feel free to check it out here.
I uploaded a few videos to YouTube that relate to the “black hole” topic below, but then I decided to keep them private for the moment; I don’t know whether or when I’ll ever make them public. But I also did post a brief, smartphone video of a colony of tadpoles that had hatched in a slow-flowing storm drain behind where I work. It’s dried up now, sadly, or at least the stuff above the drain has. I don’t know the fate of the tadpoles, but it was probably dire, which is sad. Still, they were cute, and it was funny that, for a time, there was an actual ecosystem in the alley there, just because the drain works so poorly.
On Tuesday, I posted the latest section of Outlaw’s Mind. In it, Timothy is considering joining the Saturday class at the Vipassana Center; he feels that he’s getting a lot out of his early experience of meditation and would like to go further. We can try to be optimistic on his behalf, but things will not go as he might wish. If you’re interested in keeping up with that story so far, please check it out at the above link. If you want to go back to the first section, the “cold opening”, you can find that here. And if you just want to go to the collection of all the sections of Outlaw’s Mind so far, you can go here, but I think they will show up in reverse order.
I’ve written steadily on The Dark Fairy and the Desperado, though not quite as fast as last week—only about 4200 words since last Friday. Still, it’s plugging along, for whatever that’s worth. Our titular characters are now traveling through the realm of the extra-dimensional being named Lucy. Though they have no context by which to recognize the significance of words being said and characters and settings they encounter there, the author, and hopefully many of the eventual readers, will find many amusing or charming or bizarre references to a certain legendary band, whose music is so amazing that it’s known throughout the Omniverse.
As for other matters…well, I’m currently stuck in a decaying orbit around a rather good-sized black hole. It must be good sized, possibly even supermassive, because the tidal forces haven’t spaghettified me yet, though I’m steadily drawing closer, and apparently distant observers—all observers are distant from me—haven’t noted any significant tidal or relativistic effects. Or maybe they have, but I just can’t tell. I’m definitely feeling the tidal effects, those painful forces that pull me in opposite directions, and that may one day rip me apart, but so far, I haven’t catastrophically come asunder. That will probably only happen after I’m below the event horizon, but that will depend on the mass of the black hole.
There doesn’t appear to be a significant accretion disk, which is probably why the black hole is invisible to distant observers, and why my orbit is decaying relatively slowly. But decaying it is, and I suspect it’s by some process beyond simply the radiation of gravitational waves, since that seems too slow to explain the rate at which I’m approaching the horizon. Maybe not; I’m not sure.
Anyway, whatever the case, I don’t seem to have the necessary propulsion power to pull myself out of my inward/downward spiral toward the horizon and thence to the singularity on my own, so unless someone out there is paying attention and flings out a big, interstellar length (and quite sturdy) rope of some kind, I don’t see myself doing anything but eventually—probably rather soon—passing the event horizon. Supposedly, that’s something that’s not actually noticeable to the person so passing, at least according to General Relativity, but it would be noticeable from outside if anyone happened to be looking. I guess I might have crossed the horizon already, now that I think about it. Maybe that’s why none of the signals I send seem to reach anyone.
Huh. That’s an interesting thought.
It’s a good question whether any quantum information regarding my state will survive to reach the outside universe, even in principle. I know there are speculations about wormholes and the like solving the quantum information paradox, but I’m fairly sure that’s not a resolved issue, and it may not be until a full theory of quantum gravity is developed. In any case, odds are that, even if in principle some traces of me remain in the outside universe, they will amount—in practice—to nothing more than random Hawking radiation, unnoticed by anyone, ever.
The foregoing is all metaphor, of course, though I’ve tried to keep the physics consistent and accurate. What’s the point of using a weird, esoteric metaphor that only a science geek would use if you’re going to be reckless with your General Relativity? Being reckless with metaphors is perfectly acceptable, however, and I’ve certainly done that. That’s my way, I suppose, of effectively sabotaging myself so that no one can really quite grasp what I’m trying to say—or at least they can’t be sure—and so even if there were someone inclined to act, they’ll have reasons and/or excuses not to do so. Can you blame them? I can’t.
Anyway, that’s getting closer and closer to all I’ve got to say. I hope all of you “distant observers” are doing well, and that only planetary and solar scale gravitational effects are impinging on you. Please take care of yourselves and each other.