I should preface this post by saying that there aren’t any pictures and that it has nothing to do with Emerson, except that maybe he and I will talk about things like this in the future. Like when he’s 3 and asking “Why?”

Base (n-1) numbering systems
Todd an I talked about this already, but I’ve been thinking about it more since then. It seems incorrect to me that we call our counting system ‘Base 10’. On face value, it makes sense – we have ten fingers, and it’s at values of ten that we change order of magnitude. But as this comic shows, every base is base 10. Consider what we call base 8. For us it’s easy to call it base 8, as we have a unique digit to refer to the number 7 + 1. But for those who are native to that base, there is no digit for 8. Their system goes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 10, 11.. etc. Their order of magnitude changes where we would count 8. The binary system has no ‘2’, just famously ‘0’ and ‘1’.

I suggest that there’s a lesson to be learned from the binary system and the natural inclusion of ‘0’. Our decimal system should not count 1 though 10, but 0 through 9. It may be proper to refer to the system as decimal, but I think it should actually be called base-9, and the binary system called base-1. That avoids the base-10 confusion and provides for a naming convention that allows everyone to know what they’re talking about, once the lower-based natives are clued into the new digits above what they’re familiar with.

If we don’t do that, we’re all going to have to start memorizing whatever digits those crazy base-billion folk use above ‘9’.

The expansion and contraction of the universe is compression and decompression
I’m no expert on Astro-physics – I know just enough to speculate while being lazy enough not to look up all of the details online that could confirm or deny what I think; at least until Todd and I start talking about it and we’re on a race to figure it out.

It seems to me, though (even if I do find it likely that someone will handily explain why this is wrong), that the unexplained accelerating expansion of the universe – the one that is accounted for by some with “Dark Energy” – could actually be explained if spacetime is compressing or decompressing in the presence and absence of gravity-causing matter. Matter is frequently described as “warping” space-time, and drawings of black holes usually show them poking deep pits into a planar space-time surface. It seems better to me to think about the space-time there not as stretching, but as compressing, so your units of space and time each become “smaller” when seen from an outside viewpoint. (I don’t even think that makes sense.) Gravity is, in effect, matter taking the path of least resistance and moving in the direction where units of space-time are “smaller”. Since objects moving closer together combine their gravitatoinal compression, the feedback is positive.

The reverse is true for areas with low or no matter, but the feedback is still positive. With no mass to pull it together, space and time continually decompress (infinitely?), expanding the units of space and time. As the distance between mass grows, the decompression continues faster, causing the expansion to accelerate.

Does that seem feasible?