"Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he."
-- Proverbs 29:18, King James Bible (KJV)

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Patent Trolls Force Removal of Export Function from WhatsApp in Germany : A Case in Point About the Foolish Granting of Patents for What Should be Non-Patentable Items

We were going to give ZappTales a try via an export of a WhatsApp chat (the exchange of postings between two parties over a period of time, which can run to months and years) -- for purposes of printing a book containing the postings of that chat.

After all, it is OUR chat, and WE decide what we do with it
-- and not some third party. We are quite definite about that.

Imagine our surprise then to discover that the WhatsApp "export" function has been removed from WhatsApp in Germany because of a decision by a German patent court in favor of patent trolls who hold some kind of mistakenly granted patents on the elementary "moving" of digital data....

... which prompts us to ask: since when is the moving of digital data from one digital location to another a patentable act?

Moving many bits and bytes around is like taking a printed book from one shelf and putting it on another. Where is the patentable, creative act? We see none.

It is astounding how far prevailing laws and court decisions have departed from common sense, especially in the pro-patent-troll German courts.

Where a normal human being sees no creative patentable act being performed, the people who make a living from the software patent industry -- including the legal side -- see the possibility of dozens or even hundreds of software patents.

For details, we refer to Florian Müller at FOSS Patents in

and

We saw already some time ago that the entire legal field relating to intellectual property rights -- and patents especially -- is a frequent source of considerable aggravation -- it is anathema to the human soul -- so we have stopped posting about patent trolls and NPEs. However, when patent trolling is prohibiting our printing of our own materials, then we have no choice but to post SOMETHING.

We thus point to Müller's important postings as linked above, as also the many other postings that he has on the patent trolling industry and software patents.

We emphasize that the main reason for the existence of patent trolling is the failure of many lawmakers, patent-granting offices, and judges "to get it right".

To "patent trolling" we can now also add "copyright trolling" -- indeed,  on a grand scale ($8 BILLION DOLLARS), as we can see in the case of Google vs. Oracle, as discussed in our previous postings:

and

It is increasingly so in our world that everyone wants to live off of the fruits of the work of others, rather than doing any sensible work themselves. That is a long-term strategy for humanity that is fraught with difficulty.

Moreover, we must all actively keep from supporting policies that reward failure.

Oracle's JAVA failed in many respects on the smartphone market and also on other platforms -- we today still get very angry about the sheer laziness visible in the design of outdated notifications we get from Oracle about JAVA installations -- so that Oracle now wants to get a gigantic windfall from Android's success. That kind of thing should not be encouraged by foolish laws and blind court decisions. We must reward the successful, not those who fail.

Indeed, the legal system should police patent entities whose patent trolling is leading to the abuse of individual freedoms -- such as prohibiting the printing of privately owned data.

It is time to greatly limit the rights of NPEs, who contribute nothing to the world, but simply exploit glaring faults in the legal system.

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

U.S. Congress: Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing on Amy Coney Barrett's Nomination Brings Up a Legendary Moment: Where Are Your Notes?

At The Daily Wire, Amanda Prestigiacomo headlines her article on the United States Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearings regarding Judge Amy Coney Barrett, Supreme Court Justice nominee:

‘Legendary’:
Barrett Asked To Hold Up Notes She’s Using To Answer Questions.
She Holds Up A Blank Notepad


That is a moment for the ages.

This is an impressive judge who should be confirmed.

Take a look at that article.


Friday, October 09, 2020

Overbloated Writing in Science: Acronyms, Jargon, Wordy Text: When More Fluff is More than Enough

Nature Index tells us that

"Science is getting harder to read : From obscure acronyms to unnecessary jargon, research papers are increasingly impenetrable – even for scientists."

The Disorganized WordPress Block Editor is a Disaster Worse than Blogger's New Add-More-Clicks Editor

Not pleased with the new but in our view totally unnecessary and less helpful editor (than the old) being forced upon Blogger writers by Google, we were in the process of thinking of porting LawPundit permanently to WordPress ....

But suddenly -- also at WordPress -- blog writers are now forced to use a new wildly disorganized editor -- their so-called WordPress "Block" Editor, which appears to be a much greater disaster to use than Blogger's new blog editor, where the latter has added to the interface many more mouse clicks needed to achieve the same thing previously achieved with fewer mouse clicks. Why that? To place more ads? Also the WordPress block editor is exceedingly work-intensive and vastly invasive. Not even worth discussing!

What gives in the blogging world? Who is in charge of this nonsense?
We put both editors in the category of "who needs this?" and "who WANTS this?"
And why are blog users not given the option of using their editor of choice?

See 7 Reasons to Not Switch to the Gutenberg WordPress Editor, a somewhat dated posting, but apparently without any effect then or now on the people at WordPress, that tells a tale of one writer's woe.

There must be some way to keep Gutenberg's good name from being besmirched by being added as a product name to the unworthy WordPress blog block editor.

WordPress is now no longer a viable blogging alternative for us, and while we continue to use Blogger's new editor, less than willingly, because we have no choice for now, due to the time involved to port our blogs to a new venue, we are continuing to look around for a sensible blogging alternative. Surely there must be a good blog editor out there designed with the blog writer in mind.

Anyone who thinks that progress is a vector going only forward -- is mistaken!

Thursday, October 08, 2020

Post-Oral-Argument : U.S. Supreme Court October 7 Google v. Oracle America, No. 18-956 : Android Java Software Interface Copyrights Fair Use Juries

This is the post-oral-argument update to our pre-oral-argument posting titled U.S. Supreme Court Oral Argument October 7: Google LLC vs. Oracle America Inc. : Android Java Software Interface Copyrights Fair Use Juries.

We found oral argument in this case to be marked by highs and lows, the unexpected high being the continued, surprising participation of Justice Thomas, who seems to be thriving in the highly structured, telephonic, teleconferenced proceedings, where Justices are currently asked to speak in the order of their Court seniority.

The low point was marked by perhaps unavoidable gobbledygook arising from rapid question and answer discourse about a subject where no sitting member of the U.S. Supreme Court, nor the lawyers for the parties, can claim sovereign expertise, namely, computer software interface programming.

The present author, yours truly, many years ago -- for purposes of learning computer programming -- single-handedly wrote a compiled 10 MB computer game, Infinity One, quite a bit in those days, requiring multiple floppy disks. We wrote the code for one operating system in one computer language (STOS for Atari), and then ported that game to the Microsoft Windows platform in another language (Visual Basic for Windows), even sending the entire program code to Microsoft for testing to obtain a Windows compatibility badge, which was issued. One learned quickly in the course of those software projects that code commands were highly structured by the programming language being used, and had to be abided by, if one wanted to obtain a desired functional result. We never entertained the idea that our written code itself was a type of creative expression.

Understanding this whole case might be simpler than the oral argument indicates.

Programming languages are just that: written LANGUAGES, used for a purpose, specifically, these languages are used to write COMMANDS for hardware, i.e. for machines, viz. robots. They are not written for execution by people. People can not "execute" software commands. Only machines can. All software commands, regardless of copyright law, are purely functional texts COPIED by machines before they are executed by those same machines. Constitutional copyrights were never intended to apply to them.

Programming languages such as JAVA are written so that certain code segments kick certain other code segments into action, and that is the crux of the dispute between Google and Oracle. Oracle claims monopoly rights on operative segments, insofar as they appear in APIs ("application programming interfaces"), using copyright law as their whipping boy for a purpose never intended by Constitutional Founders. We do not understand why versed judges would condone that view, to the detriment of interoperability and software practice that spans back at least 30 years. The Courts here are in error to defer to Congressional lawmaking. The Constitution is the measuring stick, not the politics in Congress.

Copyright protection was intended by the Founders for "people"-text, not for "machine" code copied by machines. Machines do not copy software code because of any reason of creative expression -- their job is purely functional. Rather, machines want to be told what to do, and their options are greatly limited by the tasks that are to be commanded by the software code as written.

Just imagine if automobile manufacturers could not construct gasoline tanks and the filler tube inlets to match the dimensions of gasoline pump nozzles according to the written specifications existing for gasoline (petrol) station pump nozzles. APIs are interfaces in the same way that there must be agreement between car gasoline tank filler inlet openings and the diameter size of gasoline station pumps.

There is no issue of "creative expression" in software programming as in a book novel, where the author can theoretically write anything that the author wants in his "creative" writing role. Programming language is SEVERELY limited by its tasked purposes. "Creative expression" is not one of its purposes.

We might command a printing machine as follows by software code: "print A", or "PRINT A", or "print a", or "PRINT a", or "please print A", or "pretty please print A", etc. Regardless of the length of such a programmed phrase, the above principle prevails for ALL program code. Copyright-protecting e.g. the variant "pretty please do print A" as a suddenly "more creative expression" would be absurd. That principle of course also applies to larger segments of API code. Accordingly, we strongly oppose the use of copyright law to apply to software protection. The law of patents covers that, and that is enough.

Software interfaces can be likened to plugs for electrical sockets, and the Java program in question can be likened to the electrical power system that is being accessed when a plug is put into a "Java" program socket. At stake for all consumers is the question of interoperability, which, e.g. is a disaster for electrical plugs, as every international traveler knows. God forbid if something similar happens to the interoperability of the software industry.

Just as in the case of "APIs", a plug can be designed in many shapes, sizes and colors, etc., but it MUST conform in its essence to the specification of what the socket wants to have plugged into it, or it will not work.

That is why we are faced with having to have various electrical plug adapters when we travel overseas to different countries that use different sockets.

For all practical purposes, the actual "functional" leeway for a plug designer is thus virtually nothing, because he is tied to prongs viz. pins that are required.

That is also the same problem that arises as concerns software interfaces. To copyright an API is like giving monopoly protection to the plug "prongs" viz. "pins" that go into a socket

Copyrighting APIs in the USA (which APIs can not be copyrighted in the European Union) will lead without question long-term to the same consumer-unfriendly situation that exists for electrical plugs worldwide, exemplified by this Wikipedia map of the Types of power plugs and sockets used by country. Maps such as these just reflect human stupidity in action. Rather than cooperating peacefully and arriving at a common standard, everyone wants to be the king in his own realm, and, in the Google vs. Oracle case, to make a lot of money for virtually nothing ... a criticism which could be said to be directed, rightly or wrongly, to both parties:


Compiled computer code can also be likened to a compressed dictionary.

As a former dictionary author for the then world's largest dictionary maker, we understand dictionaries. We have written more than a few dictionary entries.

Dictionary definitions are similar to lines of software code in that they are functional in nature. They have an explanatory function and are not written for purposes of creative expression. You can copyright a dictionary as a separate work, but not the individual definitions, which allow too little leeway in formulation to claim any copyright protection as copyrightable expression -- in and of themselves. If a word is defined correctly in a dictionary, then it must by its very nature be similar with comparable entries in all other dictionaries that are or could be written, or else the definition is faulty.

But can an API be regarded as a "separate copyrightable work" just because it contains multiple lines of single line text viz. code? "Code" is nothing more than machine-understood text in command form, REGARDLESS of the number of lines.

Below we have constructed an example of software programming "goto" (go to) lines of hypothetical code. Lines 1 to 6 represent material that is not (should not be) copyrightable, and which is comparable to the code of an API, just simpler, whereas line 7 represents creative expression that is (should be) copyrightable, but comparable to virtually nothing in computer command programming -- the text difference could not be more clear -- indeed, it almost always IS quite clear:

1 a=1 goto 2
2 If a=1 goto 3
3 p=4 goto 4
4 If a+p=5 goto 5
5 i=7 goto 6
6 If a+p+i=12 goto 7
7 Print: Twelve the months in every year, copyrights forever near, every text is not a stave, worth the law's protective save. Catch the cresting barrel wave, ride the pocket, share the rave. Cast aside this legal knave, in the land, of the brave!

With kudos to the famed BurmaShave road signs!

In any case, it remains likely in our estimation, that the manner in which the jury verdict was handled by the Federal Circuit, will lead to the case going back to the Federal Circuit, because it is the easiest way out for a Court looking not to make a catastrophic mistake on the software interface copyright issue.... where they all need to read up on this matter a bit, to make the right decision down the road.

We shall see.


Tuesday, October 06, 2020

Google LLC vs. Oracle America Inc. : Android Java Software Interface Copyrights Fair Use Juries : U.S. Supreme Court Oral Argument October 7

Please Note: We have edited our original October 6 posting on October 7, but prior to oral argument.
__________

At the United States Supreme Court, oral argument is scheduled for October 7, 2020, in the landmark case of Google LLC v. Oracle America Inc. which, as noted at SCOTUSblog and elsewhere, raises the following issues:

#1 -- Whether copyright protection extends to a software interface;
and
#2 -- Whether, as the jury found, the petitioner’s use of a software interface [API] in the context of creating a new computer program constitutes fair use. [emphasis added by LawPundit]

Kris Kemp of Kemp IT Law writes in Google v Oracle: the Copyright Case of the Decade:

"It will be interesting to see if the US Supreme Court is influenced by the view of the Court of Justice of the European Union that “copyright in a computer program does not protect either the programming language in which it is written or its interfaces (specifically, its data file formats) or its functionality from being copied.”9 [LawPundit includes here the actual footnote 9: Per SAS Institute Inc v World Programming Limited [2013] EWHC 69 (Ch), following C-406/10 SAS Institute Inc v World Programming Limited, ECLI:EU:C:2012:259)]"

Years ago, already, we posted at length at LawPundit about this case at: 

Android and the Oracle Java API Copyright Scam Against Google
and
Jury Finds in Favor of Google Against Oracle in Android v. Java Fair Use Copyright Case

We thought that the case had been decided once and for all in favor of Google, but the Federal Circuit has once again upset the apple cart in now finding in favor of Oracle and negating and nullifying the jury verdict, so that the case has gone via the grant of writ of certiorari to the United States Supreme Court, in a case upon which the future of software -- at least in the USA -- hangs in the balance, as written by Tom Krazit at Protocol.com in Google and Oracle are headed to the Supreme Court. The future of software hangs in the balance.

"A generation of software built around shared assumptions for interoperability faces an uncertain future depending on the outcome of a yearslong legal fight between Google and Oracle."

Ronald Mann has a shorter detailed analysis at SCOTUSblog titled Case preview: Justices to weigh in on landmark copyright battle between Google and Oracle. See Ronald Mann, Case preview: Justices to weigh in on landmark copyright battle between Google and Oracle, SCOTUSblog (Oct. 5, 2020, 3:03 PM), https://www.scotusblog.com/2020/10/case-preview-justices-to-weigh-in-on-landmark-copyright-battle-between-google-and-oracle/

What is to be made of this case, which is so critical for the entire digital industry?

The legal issue of the copyrightability of software interfaces is so old that Jonathan Band has written extensively about it since 1995, most recently at Interfaces on Trial 3.0: Oracle America v. Google and Beyond, 148 Pages Posted: 5 Dec 2016 Last revised: 22 Jun 2018 -- the link to the pdf online is https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/Delivery.cfm/SSRN_ID3197233_code1754101.pdf?abstractid=2876853&mirid=1&type=2.

Initially, as one can read there, software interfaces were correctly viewed as non-copyrightable, but, alas, weak judges and weak legislators in the USA and internationally have steadily eroded the inescapable conclusion that software interfaces were necessary for interoperability and were thus not "creative expression" in terms of copyright law. Rather such interfaces were solely functional and not within the ambit of the creative expression that the Founders intended to protect by establishing the Constitutional basis for copyright law.

Jonathan Band writes, to start out his most recent 2018 revision, Interfaces on Trial 3.0: Oracle America v. Google and Beyond, as follows:

"Here We Go Again.... [emphasis added by LawPundit]

In 1995, I coauthored the first volume, INTERFACES ON TRIAL: INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY AND INTEROPERABILITY ON THE GLOBAL SOFTWARE INDUSTRY (“INTERFACES ON TRIAL 1.0”), with Masanobu Katoh. At the time we published INTERFACES ON TRIAL 1.0, we thought that the interoperability debate was largely over. In the United States, several appellate decisions established that copyright did not protect interfaces specifications, the information necessary to achieve interoperability, nor did it prevent the reverse engineering necessary to determine the interface specifications. The European Union adopted a software directive that required member states to enact exceptions permitting reverse engineering for the purpose of achieving interoperability. 

However, contrary to our expectations, the interoperability debate continued. This continuation of the debate between 1995 and 2010 is chronicled in our second volume, INTERFACES ON TRIAL 2.0. That volume focused on two new threats to interoperability that emerged in the United States. First, several courts enforced contractual restrictions on reverse engineering, even when the vendors placed the restrictions in “shrinkwrap” or “click-on” licenses for widely distributed consumer software. Second, the World Intellectual Property Organization Copyright Treaty, adopted in December 1996, required signatories to take adequate measures to prevent the circumvention of copy protection technologies for purposes of infringement. As Congress was implementing this requirement, interoperable developers recognized that the broad prohibition Congress was considering would allow dominant firms to frustrate interoperability by placing “locks” on their software. Accordingly, the interoperable developers lobbied for and secured an interoperability exception in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”).

INTERFACES ON TRIAL 2.0 also examined the interoperability debate in the Pacific Rim after 1995. Dominant U.S. companies, with the assistance of the U.S. Trade Representative, vigorously opposed the adoption of reverse-engineering exceptions based on the EU Software Directive in Australia, Hong Kong, and Korea.

When we submitted the book for publication in 2010, we once again assumed that the interoperability debate was over. We believed that there was a global consensus that copyright should not interfere with interoperability. And once again, we were wrong. In May 2014, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (“CAFC”) issued a decision in Oracle American v. Google that ignored the evolution of software copyright law over the past thirty years. In reaching its conclusion that copyright protects the elements necessary to achieve interoperability, the CAFC relied on a long-discredited Third Circuit decision, Apple Computer v. Franklin Computer, 714 F.2d 1240, 1253 (3d Cir. 1983), which stated that compatibility is “a commercial and competitive objective which does not enter into the somewhat metaphysical issue of whether particular ideas and
expression have merged.”
 
In addition to the CAFC’s disruptive decision, there have been developments relating to interoperability in the context of the DMCA’s prohibition on the circumvention of technological protection measures. Furthermore, the Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU”) in its 2012 decision in SAS Institute v. World Programming interpreted the European Union Software Directive in a manner consistent with U.S. law prior to the CAFC’s decision in Oracle America. These various developments have prompted me to write this third volume, this time without my friend and coauthor Masanobu Katoh.
"

Have the Federal Circuit judges read Band's work? We sincerely doubt it.

In the last 15 years we have never been wrong in pointing to decisions of the Federal Circuit that we thought would be overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court, and we hope that our streak does not end here in this very important case, as we again predict that the Supremes will find it an error that the jury decision was negated and nullified and replaced by the Federal Circuit's decision -- made only for the second jury trial and not for the first (!) -- that Google's actions were not fair use "as a matter of law" (the Federal Circuit opinion wrote that "we conclude that Google's use of the Java API packages was not fair as a matter of law").

In other words, we think the Supremes will formally skip the controversial copyright issue (#1 above) as such, and decide via the jury issue (#2 above), though there may be opinion dictum viz. dicta on the copyrightability of software interfaces, such interfaces being essential for software interoperability and which -- by their very strictly limited functional nature -- do not fall in any way under the creative "expression" required for a claim of copyright protection. Software interface code is not a book novel written for publication -- expressing an author's creative ideas -- rather, it is functional text, regardless of how it is written.

Historically, the Supreme Court has been very skeptical of the broad brush with which the Federal Circuit Court too often paints its decisions, and a court finding that certain challenged actions by Google -- contrary to the jury finding -- did not constitute fair use as a matter of law thus squarely puts the Federal Circuit at odds with the increasingly recognizable legal sanity found in modern Supreme Court decisions on intellectual property law, a common sense approach which recognizes that "fair use" -- "as a matter of law" -- is not such an easy thing to identify nor could one easily draw a "standard" from the Federal Circuit Court's decision here that could be applied to other cases.

Indeed, if the decision in favor of Oracle were upheld, it would lead to mass confusion everywhere in the world software industry -- especially if it is different from EU law -- as to what is protected and what is not protected by copyright law, not even mentioning the totally undeserved windfall profit that Oracle is trying to achieve via Java in this case, a result which was never intended by the Founders or the drafters of the U.S. Constitution. Obviously, American law and the U.S. Constitution prevail unequivocally, but one should also be aware of the rest of the world and be concerned about prevailing rules, especially in IP law.

Speaking of "the matter of law", American law has a four-factor test-- as a matter of law -- for fair use, and the jury found that fair use had not been violated. Mann, in his article cited above, in our opinion correctly identifies the standard to be applied: "Because the jury found that the use was fair, all agree that the verdict should be upheld if the evidence would have permitted a reasonable jury to reach that conclusion on any understanding of the factors."

It is obvious, we would think, that it is not the job of Federal Circuit Court judges to substitute their -- in our view -- oft errant opinions for those of "reasonable" juries. And we, for one, find the jury finding here to be eminently reasonable.

Case closed (or so we hope) -- for it all now depends on the opinions and decision of the Justices of the Supreme Court.

The upcoming oral argument will tell us more.

Monday, October 05, 2020

Einstein's General Theory of Relativity Confirmed Convincingly by the First Astrophysics Photograph of a Cosmic "Black Hole"

The coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic once again drives home the recognition that humankind inhabits a universe harboring many mysteries at microscopic but also macroscopic levels. "Viruses" that are 1000 times smaller than a human hair and that are by definition not even "alive" can wreak havoc on our "living" biological organisms. As previously written at andiskaulins.com [moderately edited]:

"[Our] theory of the universe derives from the observation that every human being is a PART of the universe. We are neither "outside" looking "in" nor "inside" looking "out". We are inside looking inside.

Our structure -- whatever it is -- must be the same as the rest of the universe.... For those more "physically" and/or "technically" inclined, see [our] blog at Einstein's Voice, which has some thoughts on various theories of Physics [i.e. explanations as to how the universe works].
"

We started the blog Einstein's Voice many years ago to support the deceased Albert Einstein's incomparable theories about how the universe works against some -- in our view -- questionable recently formulated alternative theories, such as "string theory". We adapted the blog name from the famed His Master's Voice.

Albert Einstein's "General Theory of Relativity" (to differentiate "Big Al's" Special Theory of Relativity) remains the primary cornerstone of modern physics, but overwhelming proof of the theory has been hard to come by, as we posted already in 2005 at NASA Gravity Probe-B and Einstein's General Theory of Relativity, quoting Stanford University's Bog Kahn via the Stanford Newsletter as follows:

"For the past 17 months, NASA's Gravity Probe-B (GP-B) satellite has been orbiting the Earth using four ultra-precise gyroscopes, about a million times better than the finest navigational gyroscopes, to generate the data required for this unprecedented test....

This year, physicists celebrate the 100th anniversary of Einstein's "miraculous year," in which he received his doctorate in physics from the University of Zurich and published four seminal papers, including the special theory of relativity and a paper on light that garnered him the Nobel Prize in 1921. But Einstein's crowning achievement came in 1916, with his publication of the general theory of relativity, in which he expanded the special theory of relativity to include the elusive concept of gravity. With general relativity, Einstein forever changed our Newtonian view of gravity as a force, postulating rather that space and time are inextricably woven into a four-dimensional fabric called spacetime, and that gravity is simply the warping and twisting of the fabric of spacetime by massive celestial bodies. Even though it has become one of the cornerstones of modern physics, general relativity has remained the least tested of Einstein's theories. The reason is, as Caltech physicist Kip Thorne once put it: "In the realm of black holes and the universe, the language of general relativity is spoken, and it is spoken loudly. But in our tiny solar system, the effects of general relativity are but whispers." And so, any measurements of the relativistic effects of gravity around Earth must be carried out with utmost precision. Over the past 90 years, various tests of the theory suggest that Einstein was on the right track. But, in most previous tests, the relativity signals had to be extracted from a significant level of background noise. The purpose of GP-B is to test Einstein's theory by carrying out the experiment in a pristine orbiting laboratory, thereby reducing background noise to insignificant levels and enabling the probe to examine general relativity in new ways.
"

As just reported, we now have the

"First photo of a black hole [and it] supports Einstein's theory of relativity" as headlined at CNN by Ashley Strickland. She writes, inter alia:

""Using the gauge we developed, we showed that the measured size of the black hole shadow in M87 tightens the wiggle room for modifications to Einstein's theory of general relativity by almost a factor of 500, compared to previous tests in the solar system," said Feryal Özel, study coauthor and University of Arizona astrophysics professor, in a statement. "Many ways to modify general relativity fail at this new and tighter black hole shadow test." [emphasis added by us]

Now that researchers know they can use images of black holes to test the theory of gravity, it opens up more possibilities for the future.

"Together with gravitational wave observations, this marks the beginning of a new era in black hole astrophysics," said Dimitrios Psaltis, lead study author and University of Arizona astrophysics professor, in a statement.

The black hole shadow test of relativity discussed in the above article is illustrated by the following explanatory graphic, which is linked here from the CNN article, with the following accompanying text (if the image fails, go to the CNN article):

"This visualization, including the first image of a black hole, shows the new gauge developed to test the predictions of modified gravity theories against the measurement of the size of the M87 shadow."

Look especially at the differing sizes of the blue circles
drawn on the black hole by the researchers,
which emphasize the theoretical differences
between Einstein's General Theory of Relativity
and those proposing alternative theories.

Even if the image above is not shown perfectly via the CNN link,
do ultimately go that CNN article to get the entire story!
 

For those statistically inclined,
we can say that the score here was

Albert Einstein 500 Competitors 0.

Einstein's Voice Rejoice!

____________________

Our image below was made by us
using Starry Night Pro astronomy software
and was added a few hours later
after posting the above material.
  The image shows the location of M87 in the starry sky. 



Monday, September 14, 2020

Improving Education in the Modern World: Teaching The Dry Facts Prior to the Teaching of Conceptual Ideas and Cognitive Concepts

"Bad Teaching is Tearing America Apart" is an article by Naomi Schaefer Riley at the Wall Street Journal, September 12, 2020, reviewing "How to Educate a Citizen", by E.D. Hirsch, Jr., a timely book just published by HarperCollins, in which Hirsch examines important aspects of the teaching focus of the American educational system and its connection to problems of culture and race.

Naomi Schaefer Riley writes inter alia:
"The current fashion is for teachers to be a “guide on the side, instead of a sage on the stage,” [Hirsch] says, quoting the latest pedagogical slogan, which means that teachers aren’t supposed to lecture students but to “facilitate” learning by nudging students to follow their own curiosity. Everything Mr. Hirsch knows about how children learn tells him that’s the wrong approach. “If you want equity in education, as well as excellence, you have to have whole-class instruction,” in which a teacher directly communicates information using a prescribed sequential curriculum." [emphasis added by us]
The valuable -- if also surely controversial -- educational issues of our time presented by Hirsch in his book would appear to be essential reading for everyone, not just educators, and at all levels of teaching and learning.

Studies show that many teachers prefer to teach "concepts" rather than "facts", which is understandable, since concepts can be far more fun to teach, being a creative focus of attention, but it is of course the often dry "facts" that people must learn and utilize first, since they provide the necessary practical knowledge usage base for teaching and learning, and -- in later application -- since they establish areas of accepted expertise in all fields of life. 

"Conceptual ideas" viz. "cognitive concepts", on the other hand, are important dynamic tools down the road that are necessary to obtain more or improved knowledge beyond that which has already been taught and learned or is allegedly "known" to be true of thought to be true.

But the foundation of facts must have initial precedence, and must be taught in the schools, rather than the conclusions based on such facts -- and this also applies to the religions, and similar "conclusory" disciplines -- whose concepts may be true or not. This order of priority should apply especially -- but not only -- to primary school teaching and learning levels, and should also take priority precedence at undergraduate college and university graduate research levels.

FIRST the facts, and only then can we rightly ponder what those facts mean, always checking those same alleged facts for veracity and up-to-datedness. The state of the art of knowledge is always in flux, and what is seen as true today, may not be seen as true tomorrow. Get your facts straight and only then let your conceptual thoughts and conclusions follow. Tempus fugit. Consider that what "is known" is always much less than what can still be known or will be discovered as new facts in the future, with new concepts to follow -- that in any case is the history of human knowledge.

Hat tip to CaryGEE.

Tuesday, September 08, 2020

Connect the Dots: The Midheaven Plaquette of Les Varines, Jersey, Channel Islands, UK: Perimeter Stars, the North Celestial Pole and Carved Figures in Stone

Connect the Dots: The Midheaven Plaquette of Les Varines, Jersey, Channel Islands, UK: Perimeter Stars, the North Celestial Pole and Carved Figures in Stone

This is a follow-up on our previous posting A Lesson in Critical Analysis for Archaeology and Astronomy: The Midheaven Plaquette (Plaquette #2) of Les Varines, Jersey (near St. Helier) ca. 7600 B.C.

We show in the graphic image below*** how the perimeter [Wikipedia: Greek περίμετρος perimetros from περί peri "around" and μέτρον metron "measure"] of the Midheaven Plaquette follows a shape that is outlined by brighter stars of the midheaven starry night sky.

We claim that one can try to place this stone plaquette shape anywhere else in the night's starry sky and it will not fit as well in terms of the stars located at the plaquette shape's perimeter. One could of course draft a mathematical algorithm comparing star magnitudes in the heavens as a means to fit a plaquette like this in the stars of the sky, but this shape would surely fit best at midheaven anyway. 

Similarly, the North Celestial Pole on the plaquette is in a unique place not duplicated elsewhere in the starry sky. Indeed, together with the positions of the Celestial Meridian and Ecliptic Meridian in that era, which arguably have their plaquette comparables, the plaquette origin can be dated to ca. 7600 B.C.

There is really very little that can be disputed here on those parameters.

Where the fun starts -- for those interested -- is in identifying any possible figures carved onto the plaquette via the lines carved in the stone and, so we allege, following the corresponding connected lines viz. dots of stars in the heavens.

Such figures would be expected for a prehistoric portrayal of the stars at heaven's center -- e.g. perhaps comparable to the predynastic Egyptian figures at midheaven of one or even two guardian falcons or a similar high-flying bird, such as an eagle, perhaps including also a guardian dog and a precessionally-winding serpent, all of which we could easily draw above on the plaquette by connecting the dots accordingly (see our sample figure drawing below).

But what figures are really there? No one knows for sure. Perhaps detailed microscopic analysis by experts of the carved incisions could give us more probative information. Otherwise, it is all guesswork.

Moreover, there are numerous other figures that could be identified on the Midheaven Plaquette above -- e.g. we see perhaps what could be two large horse heads (or similar) one above another in the middle of the plaquette, looking right -- which would be "old" carvings perhaps even preceding the Holocene, a "prehistoric" hand-me-down plaquette possibility that is not totally excluded by us -- as also numerous human faces on the plaquette and also on the perimeter of the plaquette -- especially when the plaquette is magnified viz. zoomed digitally so that the star connections "by dots" can be subjectively drawn in detail.

Indeed, the plaquette seen as a whole could also be said to mark a human head looking right, with the hair represented by numerous comparably drawn lines, and a hair bun or animal hat on top of the head marking the North Celestial Pole, which also may have a face figure marking the pole star looking up.

Proving any such figures is next to impossible in our modern day, because there are so many uncertain subjective possibilities, and because there is a clear indication that a multiplicity of figures can be drawn, often appearing to exist as overlays on top of murky, previously drawn viz. carved figures, so that the figures drawn on the plaquette may have been the subjects of time-differing work carved by succeeding generations separated by eras.

Connect the Dots:
What Figures Were Carved on the Midheaven Plaquette? ***

See by comparison the figures found on the Pharaonic Egyptian palettes marking Midheaven via:

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*** The decipherment images above consist of a map of stars -- created by Andis Kaulins, August 28, 2020, using Starry Night Pro astronomy software -- which map is superimposed on a lightened graphic of Plaquette 2 to better show the imposed stars, a graphic based on photos found at PLOS ONE in Artists on the edge of the world: An integrated approach to the study of Magdalenian engraved stone plaquettes from Jersey (Channel Islands) and BBC News of 19 August 2020 at https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-53835146. See the *** footnote at the end of this posting for full credit to the photographic original image, governed by a Creative Commons Attribution License.

*** Credits taken directly from the cited PLoS article are as follows:

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Sunday, August 30, 2020

A Lesson in Critical Analysis for Archaeology and Astronomy: The Midheaven Plaquette (Plaquette #2) of Les Varines, Jersey (near St. Helier) ca. 7600 B.C.

Plaquette 2 of Les Varines, Jersey (near St. Helier) is deciphered here in this posting as representing the stars of Midheaven ca. 7600 B.C., marked as points, figures or lines of joined stars, just as modern stellar constellations are drawn.

The Midheaven Plaquette of Les Varines, Jersey
Please click on the image to obtain a larger, resizable image.


The decipherment image above consists of a map of stars -- created by Andis Kaulins, August 28, 2020, using Starry Night Pro astronomy software -- which map is superimposed on a lightened graphic of Plaquette 2 to better show the imposed stars, a graphic based on photos found at PLOS ONE in Artists on the edge of the world: An integrated approach to the study of Magdalenian engraved stone plaquettes from Jersey (Channel Islands) and BBC News of 19 August 2020 at https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-53835146. See the *** footnote at the end of this posting for full credit to the photographic original image, governed by a Creative Commons Attribution License, .

As per our decipherment, the top left of Plaquette 2, the "Midheaven Plaquette", which shows the midheaven of stars of the starry night, is focused on the star Tau Herculis as the North Celestial Pole (which thus dates Plaquette 2 to the approximate date we use for our star map, ca. 7600 B.C.):
"Tau Herculis is a visible star located within 1° of the precessional path traced across the celestial sphere by the Earth's North pole. It was the northern pole star around the year 7400 BC, a phenomenon which is expected to reoccur in the year 18,400 due to precession....

The current pole star is, of course, Polaris. Among the 14 stars that could be reasonably ... considered eventual northern pole stars, Tau Herculis is the dimmest, but only Polaris itself and Thuban are closer to the precessional path."
Recall that we are comparing a map carved onto stone 10,000 years ago with a modern map of the stars made with high tech today, so that one can not expect exact overlapping when large star sections of a star map are shown. But if one examines smaller sections of the star map, one can see the identity of some sections easily, starting with the brighter stars that formed the outer perimeter shape of the plaquette, and moving inward to stars that marked unique shapes of lines in the stars, even though these can be somewhat shifted in position.

For example, look at the curved line of stars underneath the North Celestial Pole, or view the tail of Draco, clearly outlined in the middle the plaquette, just as it is drawn on a modern star map. Note also the near match of the Celestial Meridian and Ecliptic Meridian and the relative positions of the North Celestial Pole and the North Ecliptic Pole.

We have made a graphic of one smaller section of the star map, somewhat shifted in superimposed place to show the identity of positions of the stars with the lines drawn on Plaquette 2, as follows, for stars just to the right of Pherkad and Kochab in Ursa Minor:

Connecting the Dots


The identity is indisputable and it is impossible that it exists by chance, since the resulting figure is complex and intended as such. It is clear that the ancients were drawing the stars by "connecting the dots", as it were.

A few things must be said about the academic professions involved in this work.

The profession of Archaeology has a lot to do with discovering viz. "digging up" ancient artefacts. Such work can be painstaking and rigorous and we have a great deal of respect for those who do it.

However -- this MUST be said -- the ability to "find things" of prehistoric interest buried in the ground does not necessarily go hand in hand with the subsequently necessary talent to analyze correctly what has been found, a task for which not every "finder" is predestined. Human abilities are specialized. We have no interest to criticize anyone, rather, our goal is to make sure things are "gotten right", which they currently are not, about mankind's ancient history.

The profession of Astronomy has become a high tech industry in our modern day, but astronomers need to develop a better understanding of how ancient stargazing led to modern rational science long before the invention of the telescope or our modern focus on theoretical black holes and dark matter. Ancient prehistoric astronomy had a direct relationship to Earth and mankind. Modern astronomy oft provides no direct connection to humanity and sometimes forgets the importance that the starry night of stars once had to everyday life.

The "Midheaven Plaquette" of Les Varines, Jersey, Channel Islands, UK -- for so we have herewith named it -- is very much a case in point as a kind of avant-garde object lesson.

That plaquette is known in the original research paper as "Plaquette 2" of the 10 plaquettes found at Les Varines, but one can see from the image above that Plaquette 2 is correctly called the "Midheaven Plaquette", because it represents the "mountain" of stars seen at Midheaven by the ancients, as explained by us in our recent previous postings at:
We repeat.

Please understand that we are not criticizing any particular individual in this posting or in our decipherment work. Criticism of people is not our objective and it brings nothing to anyone.

Rather, we aim to help "educate" the various disciplines that deal with prehistoric periods -- occupations and professions that in our view are in great need of up-to-date reform and improvement through the use of probative evidence, as we have previously posted over many years, e.g. recently in The Donald Trump Presidency: Expectations and Results in Our Age of Disruption in a Rapidly Changing World, where we wrote:
"The Trump political situation can be compared with the problems of modernity confronting establishment Archaeology and related disciplines such as Oriental viz. Biblical Studies, which remain stubbornly backward (of course, in part by the retrograde nature of their study), and out-of-date, because they are not sufficiently pushed from outside to get out of their cozy rut.

The "history industry" is dominated by academics who continue doing what they have always done, story-booking how they think the past was, based on often tenuous authority-based rather than evidence-based "opinions", as presented, e.g. in conclusory documentary films, as if no alternative "stories" existed and as if all questions had been resolved, which is by no means the case.

Hence, the history industry has gotten many things wrong historically viz. pre-historically. The entire field of ancient studies, historical and prehistorical, is marked by what we view to be a glaring absence of analytical critical thinking and a lack of sober consideration of alternative explanatory solutions.

What are needed in the historical disciplines are disruptive people and ideas to "shake" the establishment out of its slumber.

Even in modern technology and media, We Live in an Age of Disruption. Just imagine then how rusty things are in the other "older" arts and sciences."
What we thus see here in the case of the "Midheaven Plaquette" of Les Varines is in our view quite typical for Archaeology as also for the History of Astronomy. Our lesson in critical analysis applies to these disciplines broadly and equally. Let's start to get it right with ancient artefacts, many of which are, as Eusebius wrote long before us, devoted to the subject matter of "astronomy".

Let us now turn again to Les Varines and especially "Plaquette 2". As reported by Paul Rincon, BBC Science Editor, just last week (19 August 2020) at the BBC News website in Earliest art in the British Isles discovered on Jersey in the course of a cooperation between the Ice Age Island project and the British Museum, ten archaeologically so-called small flat "engraved" stone "plaquettes", some with drawings and sketches -- but only on one side -- were excavated between 2014 and 2018 at the allegedly Magdalenian site of Les Varines in Jersey (see in 3D) (just North of St. Helier), Channel Islands, United Kingdom. See also Archaeology Magazine.

We say "allegedly Magdalenian" because -- based on the stars in our decipherment -- we must date Plaquette 2 to ca. 7600 B.C., long after the end of the Magdalenians according to current mainstream chronology.

We have held a long-standing megalithic interest in the Channel Islands and especially in the great mound of La Hogue Bie on Jersey (located not far from Les Varines), about which we find written at Wikipedia:
"La Hougue Bie is a Neolithic ritual site which was in use around 3500 BC. In Western Europe, it is one of the largest and best preserved passage graves... [A]t sunrise on the Spring and Autumn equinox ... the orientation of the passage ... allows the sun's rays to shine through to the chamber entering the back recess of the terminal cell....


Just look at that massive megalithic entrance! The above photos via Megaliths.net show the author of this posting in front of and then entering the "terminal cell" inner sanctum of La Hogue Bie, Saint Saviour, in Jersey, UK (49°12'02.2"N 2°03'49.7"W), September, 2000.

Our astronomical interpretation -- already from the year 2002 -- of the figures found in that inner sanctum of La Hogue Bie, as illuminated by the Sun at the Equinoxes, is shown below. See the inner sanctum video at La Hogue Bie on Facebook.


Contrary to the irritating "newbie" spelling La Hougue Bie and the folks-etymological "big hill" etymology assigned to it, which we view as incorrect, we think that the name has a derivation related to Scottish Hogmanay, start of the New Year. Note that the inner sanctum figures mark Midheaven at the focal point and that in our decipherment of the figures there is a direct representation of the Celestial Meridian marking the Spring Equinox:

It is significant that La Hogue Bie, dated to 3500 B.C., and Les Varines and its plaquettes, in our opinion incorrectly assigned to the Magdalenians and through that erroneously dated ca. 10,000 years older than La Hogue Bie, are only about 3 kilometers viz. 2 miles apart on Jersey. And what happened in the intervening more than 10,000 !! years!?

Our date of 7600 B.C. for the Les Varines plaquettes, on the other hand, meshes well with the beginning of a resettlement era in northern Europe after the last Ice Age known as the Holocene, starting about 10,000 years ago.

Here is a comparison of the location of megalithic La Hogue Bie to the location of the Les Varines plaquettes of an alleged much earlier Magdalenian Era. Please note that our location map below is made up of two composite Google Maps, as we have added the label here for the location of Les Varines.


The original research on the discovery and interpretation of the ten Les Varines (49°10'59.6"N 2°05'01.2"W) plaquettes was published at PLOS ONE in Artists on the edge of the world: An integrated approach to the study of Magdalenian engraved stone plaquettes from Jersey (Channel Islands).

Take a close look at the published photographs of the original plaquette ("Plaquette 2") in question and then compare the interpretative drawings reproduced there, supposedly representing the subject matter drawn on the plaquette.

We can state here categorically that those subjectively selective, simplistic drawings and interpretations are clearly erroneous. But, you, the reader must ultimately decide.

Take a look at a zoomed photo of "Plaquette 2" and compare the markings on that plaquette to the recently published interpretative drawings.

Our opinion: those incomplete drawings are purely subjective interpretations, which is no surprise, as mainstream archaeologists and astronomers in fact apparently have no real idea what those markings on "Plaquette 2" represent. Well then, guesswork is no answer. By contrast, we are not "guessing". Rather, we are superimposing a star map on a plaquette and saying, "there you are" -- that is the answer. LOOK and see for yourselves.

We suggest therefore, that the situation can be corrected by following a few simple rules of "simple scientific method", which are as follows:
  1. Until a researcher or research team has examined all alternative possible explanations, one should not draw any subjective conclusions about what has been discovered. For example, in a worst case scenario, a researcher who subjectively hopes to find mammoths or wooly rhinoceroses drawn on an artefact, because that would fit the alleged artefact era, may indeed claim to find such drawings, even though they may not really be there. Wishful thinking is not science, Check and recheck. THAT is science. Consider EVERYTHING as a possibility, not just a pet theory, or the school of thought of prevailing academic opinion.

  2. As regards prehistoric drawings, figures, carvings, paintings, etc., always consider as a possible explanation the alternative solution that the paintings, drawings, carvings or figures that you see, as also those found on the background of such "art" -- such as the carved stone on which the Lascaux paintings were made  (which the mainstream has thus far ignored) -- had an astronomical significance.

    The ancients wanted to know where they were and what they were doing here on our planet Earth. The sky was their heavenly map, applied to the ground, "as above, so below", and surely became the origin of their "heaven-based" religious beliefs.

    We have been interpreting megalithic culture for 40 years and can state without doubt that many archaeological findings worldwide of ancient cultures are in fact astronomy-based, i.e. "ancient stargazing" as it were.

    We use the term "stargazing" because many modern astronomers seem to discount any kind of astronomy, particularly of the ancient kind, that is made without telescopes and without modern paraphernalia. They are "above it". But it may be advisable to understand the importance of astronomy to humanity, by relearning the beginnings of stargazing  to see the starry sky as ancient mankind saw it.
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*** Credits taken directly from the cited PLoS article are as follows:

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Tuesday, August 18, 2020

The Boxgrove, West Sussex, United Kingdom (UK) Reconstructed Flint and the Boxgrove Bone Hammer are Megalithic Astronomy

As written long ago by Eusebius, "It is all astronomy".
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In our previous posting, Prehistoric Astronomy on the British Isles: Mapping Midheaven Stars at the Cove Stones of Avebury Henge, we presented further convincing evidence of the astronomical purpose of the Avebury megaliths.

To that astronomical evidence, we now add the West Sussex, UK, Boxgrove Bone Hammer and Boxgrove Flint -- the latter as marvelously reconstructed by the archaeologists from more than 100 flint shards viz. flakes. These artefacts were first brought to our attention several days ago by an article at Smithsonian Magazine by Alex Fox, citing a previous report by Paul Rincon at BBC News. To avoid copyright issues, we use here our own drawings and not artefact photos, so please consult the cited sources for original photographs.

The archaeologists' chronological dating of the human-like use of these tools to 480,000 years ago and the assertion therefrom that Boxgrove represents "Europe's earliest bone tools" is in our opinion clearly erroneous and vastly off the mark, though the bone used for the Boxgrove Bone Hammer could itself of course be that old. The age of a bone, however, has nothing per se to do with the date of its use by humans. The ancients surely used bone implements, even if very old, but half-a-million years ago is not supported by the Boxgrove Bone Hammer, based on the figures drawn on its face, as we shall show below.

The Boxgrove Bone Hammer

As can be seen from the image below, the bone hammer by shape and design in fact looks like a "megalithic era" precursor to the predynastic viz. early dynastic so-called "palettes" in Egypt, including the "Newby Palette" of the "Double Falcon" and the better known "Narmer Palette", dated to ca. the late 4th millennium B.C., a palette which we discuss as part of a series of postings on The Cult of Horus and the Origins of Astronomy -- see:

The image below shows the Boxgrove Bone Hammer in our drawing, placed next to the Newby Palette and Narmer Palette for comparison. In our analysis, all three artefacts represent stars in the sky at the "Mountain of Midheaven", so "drawn" by the ancients, it is a mountain discussed further below in this posting.

The Boxgrove Bone Hammer, The Newby Palette and the Narmer Palette Side-By-Side
Please click on the graphic to obtain a larger image.


The following image shows the midheaven stars that correspond to the markings on the Boxgrove Bone Hammer, which can be viewed by shape and design as a precursor to the later also midheaven-oriented Newby Palette (dated to ca. 3200 B.C.) and the midheaven-oreinted Narmer Palette, dated by Archaeology to the 31st century B.C.*** The image thereafter shows the Boxgrove Bone Hammer side-by-side with the stars that it represents.

Boxgrove Bone Hammer Corresponding Stars
Please click on the graphic to obtain a larger image.


 Boxgrove Bone Hammer Corresponding Stars
Shown Side-By-Side With the Bone Hammer
 Please click on the graphic to obtain a larger image.


The Boxgrove Reconstructed Flint

The reconstructed Boxgrove Flint by its shape and by identifiable figures on the shards viz. flakes, marks stars at heaven's center, and indeed, the similarity of the flint shape and figures to the shapes and figures represented on the Cove Stone megaliths at Avebury Henge is unmistakeable.

The Reconstructed Boxgrove Flint Stone manifests Carved viz. "Flaked"
Shapes that Represent Midheaven Stars and shows the "Mountain of
Heaven" similarly to the Avebury Cove Stones


The following graphic shows the stars represented by the
Reconstructed Boxgrove Flint (shown in the images above)
-- with the Avebury Cove Stones shown below for comparison --


We posted about the "Mountain of Heaven" at Midheaven previously at The Cult of Horus and the Origins of Astronomy, writing:

"David Talbott, On Testing the Polar Configuration, in the most complete summary that we have been able to find of ancient sources relating to the stars at heaven's center, writes:
"Because the north celestial Pole is its pivot or center, it is the polar configuration...."

[Heaven's Center as the "Eye of Heaven"]
"The Egyptian Book of the Dead reads: "I am the lord of the crown. I am in the Eye, my egg. My seat is on my throne. I sit in... the pupil of the Eye...."

[Heaven's Center as a Protective Enclosure. Settlement or Temple of Heaven]

"[T]he Hebrew celestial Jerusalem, "Sublime in elevation in the uttermost north. . .the City of the King; the Chinese "Imperial City," defined as an enclosure around the north celestial Pole; the Hindu celestial city of Brahma, "the all-containing city" at the celestial Pole....

To the Egyptians, the celestial enclosure possessed the magical quality of protecting the inhabitants from the dark
[see Narmer later] and chaotic forces outside the enclosure, and this simple fact will explain why the enclosure was conceived as a shield....."
[Heaven's Center as a Column or Mountain]
"The Hindus knew the famous mountain as Meru, on whose summit stood the primeval dwelling of the gods. In the beginning this "golden mountain" or "jewelled peak" rose in the cosmic sea to serve as a universe pillar holding aloft the celestial city of Brahma. Around the summit of this axis-mountain turned the starry heavens.
Chinese myth recalls a similar mount.... On the summit of Kwen-Lun stood the great palace of Shang-ti, the universal emperor at the celestial Pole ... Tze-wei, "a celestial space around the north Pole."

The Japanese recalled the world mountain Shumi, described as "a fabulous mountain of wonderful height, forming the axis of every Universe, and the center around which all the heavenly bodies revolve ....
According to the Zend Avesta, "The Maker Ahura Mazda [see Narmer later] has built up a dwelling on the Hera-Berezaiti, the bright mountain around which the many stars revolve....

Altaic races remember the cosmic mountain whose "peak rises to the sky at the North Star where the axis of the sky is situated, and where, on the peak, the dwelling of the Over-god and his 'golden throne' are situated." This was "at the navel of heaven, on the peak of the famous mountain.
The Greek Olympos, where stood the original city of the gods and home of Kronos ... was the "wholly shining," a cosmic mountain rising into the fiery aether and called the "navel" and "axis" of the world.
The Hebrew celestial Jerusalem stood on the summit of the cosmic Zion, after which the Hebrews named the local hill in Palestine. "Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised in the city of our God, in the mountain of his holiness. Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is mount Zion." "Mt. Zion, thou 'far reaches of the North,' an emperor's citadel.
Many remarkable counterparts to these traditions will be found in the myths and symbols of the New World. One of the better known instances is the White or Shining Mountain Colhuacan, recognized by many writers as a polar column. On the summit of Colhuacan dwelt the original divine race [Achu, the demigods].

The Omaha recall... "the great white rock, standing and reaching as high as the heavens, enwrapped in mist, verily as high as the heavens. In the Eskimo tradition the world of the gods is situated above a great mountain around which the celestial bodies revolve...."
[Heaven's Center as a Mountain, Column (Pole), Phallus, Serpent, World Tree, Bird]
"The hypothesized cosmic mountain could hardly have failed to produce a great variety of symbols.... Taking the most obvious examples, we list these mythical images as the logical and predicted figures of the cosmic column, if such a thing was actually witnessed by ancient man: World Mountain, Pillar, Binding Post, Phallic Column, Serpent-Column, Trunk of the World Tree....
Egyptian symbolism presents the four life-bearing streams as the Four Sons of Horus, identified as "four blustering winds," "four blazing flames" or four streams of water. But the same figures are presented as "four pillars of heaven" placed at the four corners of the celestial habitation.... [T]he outstretched wings of the thunderbird or winged god or goddess, signified the same thing as the cosmic ship, the two peaks of the world mountain .... The stationary god rests within the band of the Aten (presented in its popular form as a circular serpent). Within the enclosure the god's seat is the Aakhut, the two-peaks of the Mountain of Fire-Light."
We disagree with Talbott's main hypothesis in that above-cited writing, but his above discussion of ancient mythologies of heaven’s center [and the stars of that midheaven] is superb and that is why we have quoted so much of his eminently important text. See Kronia where that text appears in an extensive article by Talbott "On the Polar Configuration". "

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*** Please note: We date the Narmer Palette to a solar eclipse that we accept to have occurred coincident with the Winter Solstice 3117 B.C. (-3116 by astronomy), a momentous astronomical event which we allege started modern calendration and was the date 0 ("zero") for the "dynastic" start of Pharaonic civilization.

That solar eclipse was an event reproduced correctly on our desktop numerous years ago by the astronomy software Starry Night Pro (version 3) via what we viewed then to be the correct Delta T value for the change in the rate of the spin of the Earth over time.

Recently, astronomy software programs have adopted -- wrongly in our view -- historical Delta T values based on modern theoretical calculations of Delta T values by outside academics and astronomers, values which do not accord with known eclipse records.

The academics have made the changes on the basis of unproven assumptions about the past, based on modern measurements which do not accord with historical determinations of the rate of the spin of the Earth. The seemingly "correct" Delta T values for ancient eras were previously derived from known historical eclipse records, whereas the changed Delta T values are based on recent in part theoretical math calculations, which of course need not in fact apply at all to what the change in the rate of the spin of the Earth actually was in historical time. The changed Delta T may work in the present, but it is clearly erroneous for the past.
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Well, there you have it. As written long ago by Eusebius, "It is all astronomy".