Clanking Weirdness

Let him that has understanding….it won’t work.  This one looks as if because there’s more weight on the left side the balls will trundle round anticlockwise for ever. No they won’t. The balls will inevitably come to rest.

I have a friend (yes, at least one) who is obsessed with the idea of building a device which will fly in the face of the Universe’s inexorable rule that entropy always increases in order to get energy for nothing – a perpetual motion machine, in other words. I forbore to gently tell him that the last tiny frisson of excitement in this arena was stamped on firmly after the discovery of the neutrino and the debunking of cold fusion.  

The conversation ran something like this…


 “You know what, geometry gets in the way, man. Every time. You can try things over and over, and eventually you’re gonna figure out  that the geometry of the universe, and the physical laws constrained by that geometry are all conspiring to do one thing: absolutely prevent the possibility of a perpetual motion machine.”

“Yeah, OK, but I’m still going to try…”


He’s from an Arabic culture, thus has the commercial morals of a Levantine usurer, probably firmly believing that the sweat of one’s brow will overcome the immutability of physical law.

A comprehensive book on the theory of imaginary devices may be an enterprise best suited to some very old, very wise, very patient man. I like to imagine that one day perhaps I might become a guy like that. Old people need hobbies, in order to keep Alzheimer’s and dementia at bay so I’ll be able to retire in a luxuriant garden of clanking weirdness.
This is an image of Oroborus, an ancient alchemical symbol. Looks like a dog chasing its tail, doesn’t it…




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One thought on “Clanking Weirdness

  1. Dictionary in hand (which will firmly date ME as “pre-Google”)I would devour your book on the theory of imaginary devices. In writing it, you will have held at bay the specter of dementia and in reading it, I will grow my brain, thereby reducing the chance of spending my twilight years hiding my own Easter eggs.

    Of course, your friend could be successful, thereby proving to everyone that the smidgen we human beings have learned about the “laws” [in the memorable (and oft used)words of Captain Barbossa, “I think of them more as guidelines, really.”] the Universe isn't quite the complete picture we thought it was.

    Just considering the possibility makes me laugh…can you imagine the brilliant minds in quantum physics or particle mechanics? We'd smell sizzling brain cells from here.

    Like

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