Reality Roots

Conjugate Pair

Existence & Form
Time & Space
Frequency & Wavelength

Reality Roots
Shape of Nature
Reality
Nature's Symphony from the Vibrating Waves of TimeSpace
Dancing Entities to the Rhythm of Emergence
"Classical" Systems Waltzing on Space Waves Turbulent Jitterbug Particles in "Quantum" Time

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Bob Crosby
Email: bobcrosby65@hotmail.com

The Wonderer:
If you are an average person and most of us are, just average, you could not have lived many years without noticing that there are many, many material objects in the world. I have wondered about things most of my life. I wondered how they worked and why they worked the way that they do. I wondered how they were made and who made them. You see, I came from Missouri, born, raised and educated in St. Louis, so I guess that is natural for me coming from the “Show Me” state of Missouri. I just have to be shown.

Backround:
My folks were church going mid-westerners. Every Sunday, when they went to church, of course they dragged me along. They sent me to parochial school and I got my share of religious upbringing.

This schooling started when I was about 4 1/2 years. I remember vividly the day my Mother took me to school.She gave me a nickle in the palm of my hand and told me not to loose it or I would not have it to buy candy.
I understood how much I needed to take care of that nickle. My teacher was a loving Nun who told me I must go to church every Sunday or I would loose my Soul. The nickel I could understand. I have spent the rest of my life trying to find my Soul.

Even as a small kid I can remember being pretty nosy about things. My father was a truck mechanic and during the Great Depression of the early 1930’s, like many other folks he was the victim of a company in bankruptcy. Unable to to find a job he managed to get a truck so he went to hauling coal. Coal was the popular residential heating fuel in those days. He worked six days a week and I guess he was fortunate to have that work. That meant after church on Sunday he had to repair his truck. Although I was only about nine years old I became the designated helper. I would hand him tools and did whatever other things I was able to do, which wasn't much.

I can remember one Sunday in particular. He had been working on the truck’s rear axial. I don’t know why, but I got up the nerve to ask him what was in that big ball in the middle of the axial. He handed me a box socket wrench then said: “Why don’t you find out for yourself”? Well obviously I didn't’ have the strength to break the nuts loose, so after he loosened them I took them off, removed the cover and the remaining oil in the case ran all over me.

I was overwhelmed, not only with oil, but because I had never seen a gear before, let alone a set of gears that large. What in the world do those things in the axial case do? He spent some time explaining why the differential gears were required, how they facilitated turns and kept the tires from wearing, etc. As you might guess, most of that went over my head, but for me, it was the beginning of a world of “whys”. I spent many more times with my father, asking questions, talking about the stars and planets and all the many things in the world that were a mystery to me. I just couldn't let things go without trying to know more about what makes them work.

Military Service:
As I grew there came this time in history when tyrants were flexing their muscles and the country engaged in WWII. Uncle Sam was looking for all able bodied men to join the military to defend the country. During the later part of the war as I completed high school,I became of age and was recruited. As a fresh young man looking for adventure it didn't take long for me to find an exciting new life. Coming from the Midwest I had never seen the ocean so I joined the US Navy for the excitement of cruising. What is a young kid, not dry behind the ears, to know or expect about the big world he was about to enter. I assure you, that cruise ship was nothing like the cruising I have enjoyed more recently.

After boot camp and some extensive electronics training,
I was then reassigned to an aircraft carrier “USS. Tarawa” and given the task of repairing radio and radar equipment. This tour of duty answered many whys of my wonderment, however, it triggered even more.

Education & Work History:
With the war concluded, I returned to St. Louis and finished my education. Upon receiving my degree and with the navy electronic experience, I readily found a job with a government contractor. The pay was good, but the travel was extensive. Extensive travel took me, with my young family, all across the country installing Gap-filler radar, Texas Tower communication and even a one year stint in Hawaii working on the Pacific Missile range. Relocation was not ideal for raising a young family. The family circumstances dictated that I look for a different field of challenge. Computers were beginning to develop and I recognized that the real future would occur within that technology. I have spent the past fifty plus years chasing bits and bytes, more specifically in Computer Graphics, building Automobies & Aircraft, but always in my mind has been this nagging question, the "HOW" and the "WHY". When you are not so smart you have to work a lot harder to understand. Tenacity has served me well and brought me a margin of satisfaction. However, I have never been satisfied to accept that things just work. I always wanted to know how and more and more about the why.

My big WHY, the one that has taunted me over this last half century, has been an ever-present mystery, “What is Reality”? What is the Universe? How do the pieces fit together? Who is responsible? Who really caused it all? Why did it happen? What was the purpose? And the most pressing and important question, what is my purpose as a person? And yes, there are a lot more whys. I simply have refused to accept what history has handed down and religion has maintained on faith alone. If you are a wonderer like me then you know what I mean. You too, are asking the question “Where did all these things come from -- what caused them -- and what is my part in the great scheme of things’? Reality Roots is collection of answers, as I understand, to many of the question of How & Why.

My Credentials:
I am a graduate of the “University of Hard Knocks”. I have a PhD in “Nit Picking”. I wrote my thesis on “How to separate Pepper from Fly feces (Sh..).”.

Seriously, experience has taught me that determination will carry a person far in quest of knowledge. But determination alone is not enough. Many hours of hard work, wallowing in the muck and the mire, pouring over details and assuring that one has correct and precise definitions of words, ideas, and concepts has made learning a labor of love. You come to understand in the process of deductive and inductive reasoning only when you assimilate knowledge from the facts presented and can express them (regurgitate) in your own words.

Within six (6) weeks of my beginning college, I was widely awakened to the reality that I knew very little (that realization has prevailed all my life). Early on in my academic life I knew that the quest for knowledge would be a lifetime effort, that college was only the beginning to acquire the learning discipline.

There were many times and incidents when I stumbled and fell. And yes, I fell in the muck and the mire, wanted to give up. Most often there was no one to pick me from the mess I had created and stumbled into. Circumstance sometimes seemed insurmountable, often I felt desperate for help. Either I didn't’t know where to go to get the answer or there was no one I could rely upon who had the answer. I recall in particular several years ago, when
I was teaching myself Basic computer programming. I had written a moderately complex program, but when I ran the program it would blow up. I made numerous changes which all failed. I was determined not to ask for help. I worked diligently for four (4) weeks debugging the program. My efforts were substantial, the better part of eight (8) hours a day for 20 days. No matter what I tried I could not get the program to run properly. As time went on the more determined I became until I finally corrected the problem and the program ran beautifully. (The problem: I had placed a colon (:) where I should have placed a semi-colon (;)).This experience taught me some real lessons. Most importantly I gained an appreciation for detail, to read carefully, to follow directions with precision, to be observant of surroundings, to put things in their proper place, to follow rules for logic and syntax, for signs, for words, for phrases, for context and in general to be precise. That is how I received my degree, a reward from my family for annoying habits, a honorary PhD in Nit Picking.
Now I possess the title of Dr. P (patience - persistence - pernickety)

Phil
Email: pmullen@ieee.org

Background:
My experiences and interests in learning include technical education in engineering, work experience
in astronomy, and private instruction through mail order college level courses in a wide variety of subjects. My formal education is in engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute from which I earned
a BSEE and from the University of California Santa Barbara where I studied applied mathematics. I am currently enrolled in two extension classes at Glendale Community College in California taking Philosophy of Ethics and Art History.

My work experience was, mainly, at Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California and, before that with General Electric supporting work in orbital mechanics and satellite ground systems. At JPL I worked with cosmologists and engineers learning about astrophysics and orbital mechanics. I have also studied Astrophysics, History, Religion and Mythology, Philosophy and Intellectual History, Anatomy and Physiology, and many other topics via The  Great Courses (formerly The Teaching Company) via DVD and CD such as Great Minds of the Eastern Intellectual Tradition by Grant Hardy, Ph.D. of the University of North Carolina at Asheville.

I have read many books from which I have garnered information such as Saint Paul: A Skeleton Key to the Historical Jesus by Professor Donald Harmon Akenson a professor of History at Queen's University, Kingston (Canada), and Beamish Professor of Irish Studies at the University of Liverpool, England. Many of the books that I have came from The Center for Inquiry West (CFI) or the Skeptics Club. I have attended many lectures at these centers on a wide variety of topics. The latest book, bought at CFI West, is Religion Made Me Fat; God, Sex, Church, Money:
An Ordained Women's Experience of It All by AmyJo Matheis who among many things is a former ordained minister in the Evangelical Lutheran Church. I have also had the privilege to attend a 3 day lecture by
the Dalai Lama at which I received a copy of A Guide to the Bohisattva's Way of Life translated by Stephen Batchelor. I have not just read religious books but have enjoyed titles such as The Iliad by Homer translated by Robert Fagles.

My main contribution to Realityroots.com has been in reality as it relates to religion and the many discussions and edits of Bob Crosby's extensive writing on Meta-Physics and Science.


Life History:
I was born near and raised in Rochester, NY that is in upstate New York on Lake Ontario. I was the eldest of three children that included a sister and a brother. My father worked trick work at Eastman Kodak which meant he worked a different shift, i.e. 7AM to 4PM or 4AM to 12AM or 12AM to 7AM, every week. The first thing I remember about grade school was my second grade teacher, Miss Gardner. I was told she was very strict and demanding by the older kids. She was that but she also was an excellent teacher and the only one I remember through high school. I was raised a Methodists and remember the one time we showed up an hour early when we changed clocks because of day light savings time. When I was a teenager my parents joined a very strict Baptist Church. I also met my future spouse, and present spouse of 52 years, at about that same time. She was Catholic and I found out how stressful religious differences can be for families in this situation. I continued in what I call my "Fundamentalist Phase" until I was about 25 but gradually drifted away after that because of life events.

As I wrote above, I attended Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute after high school majoring in  electrical engineering after which I started working at General Electric in Syracuse, NY. There, after 3 months, I was asked if we wanted to go to Santa Barbara, CA to work. We decided to go on the big journey even though my wife announced, about two months before leaving, she was going to have our first son.
It was in Santa Barbara that I worked on equations to describe satellite orbits predicting orbits for about two to three days ahead. That was very advanced work at the time. Santa Barbara was a great place to live and work.

That work ran out and I transferred to Vandenberg
Air Force Base doing operations work on tracking
and guidance of long range missiles. When one of
the engines failed on a liquid fueled rocket and it pitched over 90 degrees and went out the entrance gate, they found the guards badge in his hut but did not hear from him again.

After Vandenberg, we went to Cape Canaveral (Kennedy) where I worked on ground support equipment for the moon launches. This was in the mid-1960s which was an exciting time to be at the Cape. I witnessed the Apollo IV launch but never got to see an Apollo V launch to the moon since I had moved to Santa Clara, CA, on the San Francisco Bay near San Jose, by then.

Our second son was born there in the Los Gatos Hospital. I did supper secret work at The Satellite Test Center for about a year and decided that was not a good environment for me. I then interviewed and was accepted at Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) where I developed ground support equipment for tracking, guidance, and analysis for real time computing for space satellites for projects such as Galileo. The Galileo mission explored Jupiter and it's moons. My favorite assignment was building a development lab for ground systems at the time when things like the internet, work stations, graphical user interfaces (GUIs), artificial intelligence (AI) and other computer related items were new and in development. I ended my 27 year carrier at JPL on the Ulysses project which was a European satellite to study the poles of the sun. I enjoyed working with scientists and engineers on many state of the art projects. I retired early and we still live in La Crescenta, CA and have traveled with the Caltech/JPL retirees club.

After retiring, a friend of mine from JPL that I met running rivers in canoes and I started studying world history. We then discovered The Teaching Company, now The Great Courses, that provide college level classes on DVD (or CD) for home study. The topics include almost anything that might be studied in a college setting. Both together and on our own we have reviewed well over a couple hundred classes on many subjects, reviewing some classes two or more times. Some of these classes are directly applicable to this web site while others are not.

During one of my Philosophy of Ethics non-credit community college classes I met Bob Crosby and we found we had a mutual interest in the subjects discussed in this WEB site. We have enjoyed, and continue to enjoy, our pursuit of Reality Roots and our companionship.

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