From Here to There

Perspectives across the spectrum of dimensions.

With these articles, we are always hoping to improve the quality of learning and discussions. When people thoughtfully reason and think for themselves, mindful and appreciative of others, learning also from others, perhaps more so, more and more people look to clarity and honesty.

                There is a concept I’ve pondered upon from time to time, and have attempted to put into words in such a manner that it be easily digestible, but more so, that those who read, who understand, and already have thought about in their work and readings have additional supportive ideas of which to share with others.  And I think this is important, to a great degree, due to the overuse of simplicity in explanations and ideas concerning high tech and enormous ventures in waiting, which are far more complex than most people realize. 

**I’m seeing the problems in attempting to make concepts easy to understand. A great difficulty I see becomes too many people thinking they know far more than they do when real scientists and engineers have spent their lives to learn and understand. I believe there is a strong need to demonstrate just how complex much of what we don’t understand, which will/may have the positive effect of thoughtfulness, appreciation, and realization to learning in real time.

                We’ll start this way.  One of my favorite movies was “Flight of the Phoenix.”  In the movie, which never would happen in the real-world, a designer and manufacturer of small planes (i.e. Small planes people fly for recreation and competition, perhaps some only a couple or three feet long.) is guiding the others to “fix and repair” a broken, and very real, plane in the desert, such that, they can fly away to safety.  In fact, I believe they’re attempting a reconfiguration without any engineering proofs, schematics, or testing. **So many technological problems with the movie.  The movie itself is excellent, hosts an amazing cast of characters, and for those of us watching who know little about aeronautics, a definite watch.  Well, for the rest of us as well.  It was just so good.

**For fun, recreation, and competition.

**A Boeing 747 in stages of production.

                Okay, here’s the concept.  From small to large.  The amount of study, design, and research, and testing, testing, testing that goes on with new models and designs are often extensive.  For instance, in the above example, this man (The first one in “Flight of the Phoenix.”) who designs and makes what some called toy airplanes would have worked extensively with designs.  And through all of that, testing, redesigning, talks with other toy airplane engineers, and further testing, such that, they put out a good product consumers will enjoy.

However, as extensive as that may be, to go to full-sized airplanes, more so those that will carry human beings, like Boeing 747s, a whole host of technology will be involved. **If ever one has the opportunity, I would encourage to look thoroughly through a large airplane, listening to a technician explain all the parts (I have a friend who worked on jet fuel systems, listening in rapt attention to his explanations. I had a lot of questions which he further detailed the answers.). What works on the small scale does not work on the large scale, though some principles may be the same. Simply stated, when dimensions change, a lot must be learned and taken into consideration.

NASA using a test stand for an F-1 engine.

When NASA was testing those F-1 engines to ulilize in the Saturn V rockets, the problems they faced when they increased dimensions grew dramatically.  Someone might say, but it’s the same engine, just larger in scale.  And that thinking, which I think pervades with so many people, the idea of simplicity, is the problem.  Unless we actually study, work on, and are involved in all the minutia of developing engines on a larger scale, we can never fully understand due to a lack of practical application and testing. **It’s always one thing to think and read about, a far different experience in practical application.

**From October Sky. His buddies are already behind a barrier.

**One part of the Saturn V rocket for assembly. Just looking at the above “toy” rocket for competition and this vessel part to reach the moon should make obvious the incredible shift in necessary information from small to much larger scale.

We can see the same ideas of rockets.  For those who remember the movie “October Sky,” some young men worked on developing rockets to compete in competition, the hopes being of learning but also perhaps going to a university, perhaps joining NASA.  Some did.  But what might have seemed easy on paper they soon discovered was an entirely different experience in the real world as rocket after rocket exploded.  That’s life.  On paper.  Then, the real.  And the real is what matters.

**Look at the detailed components of only one area of the Saturn V rocket.

I can only imagine what a person working on toy rockets for experimentation would think had they then seen the Saturn V rocket designed to send men to the moon.  Seeing all the components would stagger the mind.  But for those who truly love science, they would want to learn, go to a university, and perhaps join a company to work on such technology. **Engineers spend years developing parts for such endeavors, then reworking, reworking, and more reworking and testing. Then more testing, reworking, and more testing. On and on and on… for as long as is needed to get it right. Then, often, more problems or necessary improvements.

**Lab testing

**Far more complex.

The same goes with climate, ecology, global anything.  The previous article was written for people to consider dynamics most of us, including me, have not much experience, except in observation and reading.  But it becomes easy to see there is much to learn and much we don’t understand, though we’re growing in understanding:  slowly. 

This article is to increase awareness that going from small to large causes much more to consider.  While I can be taught that CO2 is a greenhouse gas, and experiments in a bottle might be designed to demonstrate a heat holding element, going to a planet is a far greater complexity.  What we can learn in the small-scale, we have so much more to understand on the larger scale, and more than we can ever imagine on a planetary scale, more so when we have so much to learn about space.  **And the mathematics involved. Wow! At my age, I’ve forgotten a lot of the mathematics. But I will say, while I do understand much, the mathematics would take years of more study followed by years of applications.

And the other concept:  testing.  As the plane maker tested designs, maybe hundreds of times, he/she would discover additional changes to work on the human support scale, then testing, testing, testing, perhaps for years due to all the components, interactions, and overall maneuverability in the air and with takeoff/landing.  Imagine if those same plane designers were to attempt creating airplanes that could hold all the people of say… Texas.  Or Nebraska.  Or California.  Many more factors enter the equations.  So it does with building rockets in high school to enter the science fair.  To go from those models, with extensive testing, to the Saturn V rocket to carry men to the moon. *Well, going from books, labs, and science experiments to an entire planet is complexity beyond our comprehension.


**Far more to understand.

So, we understand CO2:  up to a point.  And we have so much more to understand about other gases, elements, and interactions with the environment and space. We understand the greenhouse effect:  up to a point.  However, as we go from small, what we can observe and test in say… a bottle, or a sealed room, then to city-wide, but then to global, the factors involved, in part supported by the previous article, tells a whole other tale.  We can test small.  We can’t test globally.  And for those who would, listening to honest scientists (i.e. geologists, astrophysicists, and more…), they would learn the incredible amount of data and questions that arise.  We would learn what we know, what we don’t know, and what cannot be explained though simple television shows. 

**But while we’re learning to appreciate….

** I was talking with a friend. The more I “observe” television by era, the manner in which people talk today, the more we’re becoming aware of the influence the media and politicians have on opinions. I wonder how many realize the battle against our second amendment rights was already in full-tilt in 1950’s Hollywood.

**To honestly learn, one must be aware and not influenced by opinions, but to sift through information, checking and testing, always thinking for ourselves: honestly. But thinking for yourself is not to be a selfish endeavor, but thoughtful and mindful of others, helping and receiving help when needed.

2 thoughts on “From Here to There

  1. Good examples. And here’s one more: the giant insects they show in some sci-fi movies could not survive. What works at their natural size would not function in a monstrously larger size.
    Good application to global warming. J.

    Liked by 1 person

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