Loyalty Oaths and Non-Euclidean Geometries

Geometry: Non-Euclidean vs. Euclidean : High School Math Help

During the American Civil War (1861 – 1865), versions of a “loyalty oath” appeared. Around this same time, a German mathemagician named Bernhard Riemann broached ideas concerning what is now called the field of Riemannian geometry. “Why not use dimensions higher than merely three or four to describe reality?”, suggested Riemann. [1]

What exactly is a “conspiracy theory”? What exactly are “conspiracy theorists”? The terms are bandied about quite loosely. A possible definition for “conspiracy theorist” is, “anyone you seek to de-legitimatize.” But Jesse Walker, author of The United States of Paranoia, recently attempts to hone in on What We Mean When We Say “Conspiracy Theory”. A Conspiracy Theory Conference was held at the University of Miami on March 13, 2015. There a paper was read. The meaning of “conspiracy theory” constantly stretches and narrows, “particularly when it is used as a pejorative.” Imprecision in use of the term “conspiracy theory”, for example, occurred when CNN, in coverage of the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, categorized the idea that the plane had been swallowed by a black hole as a “conspiracy theory.” But a black hole is not a secret plot, so how could that be a conspiracy? [2]

Incidentally, Ersjdamoo is included in Walker’s book, The United States of Paranoia, under the name “Brian Redman.” Ersjdamoo is the name I use for higher dimensions; Brian Redman is my identity for the three-dimensional world. (Full disclosure: My ancestors were Irish.)

The Civil War loyalty oath, I suspect, was the precursor for the Pledge of Allegiance, recited by schoolchildren throughout the land. In one version of the Civil War loyalty oath, pledged in part is, “I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.” But seen as sinister is that the later Pledge of Allegiance is not to the Constitution but to the Republic symbolized by the flag. This is seen by one author as an implicit pledge of support to the government rather than to the Constitution and thereby serves to undermine the latter. [3]

In the Pledge of Allegiance, the words “under God” were added by the U.S. Congress in 1954. One explanation is that this was due to the Cold War and was meant to emphasize the difference between the atheistic Soviet Union and the United States. [4] But author Philip Wylie, in a rant against prevalent bullsh** seen as omnipresent in 1942, traces (in a later footnote) the addition of “under God” to the Pledge of Allegiance to a counter-reaction against the undermining of faith in God brought about by a science focused only on the material. [5] For Ersjdamoo however, the crux of the matter is the Non-Euclidean Geometries.

Once upon a time, the weary traveler could take refuge in the geometry of Euclid. There at least would be found rock-solid truth. But then, in 1767, a mathemagician named Jean-Baptiste le Rond d’Alembert called Euclid’s parallel lines axiom the scandal of geometry. It wasn’t too long before one of those crazy Russians, Nicholas Ivanovich  Lobatchevsky, published a paper on Non-Euclidean Geometry. A “cottage industry” (as they say now about the conspiracy theories) was born and another of these mathemagicians, Bernhard Riemann, became infected. Sure the parallel lines, in the two-dimensional realm, might continue parallel into infinity. But consider the longitudinal lines of Earth: to the casual local observer the longitudinal lines seem parallel; however in “infinity” (North and South Poles) the longitudinal lines meet! From this came the Non-Euclidean Geometries, Bernhard Riemann, Albert Einstein’s relativity theories, Jacques Derrida, the Modern Language Association (MLA), and massive unhappiness. (Background: Polarized Geometry In Ferguson, Missouri, Ersjdamoo’s Blog, March 13, 2015.)

Take heart, weary traveler! Euclid’s Geometry has not been disproven. It still works for abstract two-dimensional thinking. Only in the fuzzy realms of the Non-Euclidean geometers does common sense seem to have been overthrown. And who among us can definitely understand their bizarre geometries? When a journalist asked the British astronomer Sir Arthur Edding­ton if it was true that he was one of only three people in the world who could understand Einstein’s relativity theories, Eddington con­sidered deeply for a moment and replied: “I am trying to think who the third person is.” [6] From this you can see that relativity is every bit as much of a faith as is faith in God, and that St. Patrick really did chase the snakes out of Ireland.

——- Sources ——-
[1] “Bernhard Riemann”, Wikipedia, March 17, 2015.
[2] What We Mean When We Say ‘Conspiracy Theory’, by Jesse Walker. March 15, 2015. http://reason.com/archives/2015/03/15/what-we-mean-when-we-say-conspiracy-theo
[3] “The Pledge versus the Oath”, by James Peron. May 1, 2001. http://fee.org/freeman/detail/the-pledge-versus-the-oath
[4] “5 facts about the Pledge of Allegiance”, by Michael Lipka.  September 4, 2013. http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2013/09/04/5-facts-about-the-pledge-of-allegiance/
[5] Generation of Vipers, by Philip Wylie. Dalkey Archive Press, 2012. Originally published 1942.
[6] Quantum Field Theory, APPENDIX B. General Relativity. http://www.quantum-field-theory.net/app-b/

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About ersjdamoo

Editor of Conspiracy Nation, later renamed Melchizedek Communique. Close associate of the late Sherman H. Skolnick. Jack of all trades, master of none. Sagittarius, with Sagittarius rising. I'm not a bum, I'm a philosopher.
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