Saturday, November 20, 2010

The Next Force of Nature: SU(4) ?

The goal of this post is to discuss whether there is another force of nature. In particular, this post will discuss whether there is a force of nature associated with the symmetry SU(4). I will discuss the reason both for and against a force described by the Lie Algebra SU(4) or U(4). Such a force would have 15 or 16 exchange particles. This force of nature might tell us that electrons, neutrinos, and quarks aren't elementary particles, in other words, that these particles are composed smaller, more fundamental particles. We might need this force to tell us the masses and charge of what we are today calling elementary particles.

Before going into this theory, I want to give a summary of my understanding of the four forces of nature found so far, and then at the end I'll discuss why I think that there are likely only four forces of nature (3 of which are time symmetric and 1 of which is time assymmetric), and why is this likely due to the fact that there are onlynormed division algebras.

There are four known forces: gravity (G), electromagnetism(E&M), weak nuclear (WN) & strong nuclear (SN). There are many similarities between the forces, and some interesting differences between them, when they separate out at low enough temperatures.

Here is a summary before going into the details:  (the mathematical terms below can be searched for in Wikipedia. I'll add links to them soon.)

Gravity:  Probably no exchange particle, only positive mass (i.e. no negative mass bodies), associated division algebra is addition and multiplication by the real numbers (commutativity, associativity, and the vectors have length.) Superposition always holds. Associated Lie Algebra is SO(1)...the unit point. Parity is conserved and most likely time is reversible for all interactions involving gravity.

E&M: One exchange particle (the photon); positive or negative charge; associated division algebra is addition and multiplication of the complex number. (commutativity, associativity, and the vectors have length.) Superposition always holds. Algebra here is abelian. Associated Lie Algebra is U(1)...the unit circle.  Parity is conserved and most likely time is reversible for all interactions involving E&M.

Weak Nuclear:  Three exchange particles, W+, W-, & Z. associated division algebra is addition and multiplication of the quaternions  (x+iy+jz+kw). (no commutativity, but associativity and the vectors have length.) Superposition does not always hold.  The associated Lie Algebra is SU(2)...similar to the surface of a sphere.  Non-abelian algebra. Parity is not conserved, and there is no time reflection symmetry. This means that interactions involving the weak nuclear force can be irreversible.   x →   -x     and   t →  -t     are not symmetry operators for this force. Other interesting facts about the weak nuclear force are the fact that the weak force can convert one type of quark into another type of quark (i.e. strangeness is not conserved in weak interactions) and that the weak nuclear force can distinguish between left and right handed particles.  (i.e. parity is not conserved as mentioned above)

Strong Nuclear Force:  Eight exchange particles, (the eight gluons). The associated division algebra appears to be the octonions (x+iy+jz+kw+...four more directions)  (no multiplication commutativity, no multiplication associativity, but the vectors have length.) The associated Lie Algebra is SU(3). SU(3) has 8 operators, which would made sense with the eight gluons. So far, the evidence suggests that C,P,& T are valid symmetry operators of the strong nuclear force. The problem is that we don't really know why this is the case. The SU(3) Lie Algebra is much more complicated than SU(2) algebra, so it's not clear why the weak nuclear force is space-time asymmetric, whereas the strong nuclear force is space-time symmetric. THis is called the Strong CP Paradox.

So, here's the same info, but in more details.

E&M is a linear force in the sense that 'superposition' is always valid for charges that obey this force of nature. There is only one exchange particle for E&M, the photon. The symmetry describing E&M is U(1), which is the symmetry of the unit circle. There is only one variable to describe one's position on the unit circle (angle), and hence, there's only one exchange particle for the E&M force. (The photon has no mass, and I believe that this is partly due to the fact that E&M is a 'linear' force of nature, i.e. Abelian.) The mathematics associated with E&M is that of complex numbers (real number plus imaginary numbers). Commutativity and associativity hold for complex numbers, and therefore, they hold for E&M interactions. The E&M force is really like the wrinkles in a table cloth when you make a circular twist in the middle of the cloth, and hold the ends fixed. This is like changing the phase of an oscillating electron. The change in phase must be communicated to the rest of the world, and the photon is the carried of this information in the twisting of U(1) space-time at the location of the charged particle.

The weak nuclear is the first 'non-linear' force of nature. There are three exchange particles (Z ,W-, & W+), all of which have mass. The weak nuclear force is non-Abelian, which means that the order of operation effects of the outcome of multiplying operators (which could be represented by matrices, which are well known to be non-Abelian.) The WN force has the Lie Algebra symmetry of SU(2), which is similar to the symmetry of the surface of a sphere. A sphere's surface has two angles to describe one's location on the globe and one angle to describe the orientation of the globe about an axis through the center. (The operators associated with moving a given angle do not commute with each other, which can be easily demonstrated by rotating a book 90 degrees about one axis, then 90 degrees about another axis, then -90 degrees about the first axis, and finally -90 about the second axis. Note: you don't end up where you started.) Interestingly, other symmetries that hold for the E&M force, don't hold for the WN force, such as parity and superposition. And this is tied back, once again, to the fact that the WN force is non-Abelian. The mathematics associated with the WN force is quaternions, (real numbers plus the i,j,k axes) in which associativity holds, but where commutativity does not hold. The weak nuclear force explains how quarks change flavor, but not color. (i.e. the force can turn an up quark into a down quark, but it doesn't change the color of the quark.) Interestingly, the weak nuclear force does not obey spatial or temporary reflection symmetry. This means that the weak nuclear force is irreversible, and this may be one reason that time appears to go in one direction. In technical terms, the weak nuclear force does not have P or T symmetry. The weak nuclear force is a weird one because it only acts on left-handed particles or right-handed anti-particles. And another weird aspect of the weak nuclear force is that it can violate the conservation of strangeness or charmness because it can convert one type of quark into another quark.

The strong nuclear force is also 'non-linear' , but even more 'non-linear' in the fact that the mathematics of the SN force is similar to the octonions (real numbers plus i,j,k,l,m,n,o). Neither associativity nor commutativity hold for multiplying octonions together. There are eight exchange particles for the strong nuclear force (which binds together quarks). The force is so strong that it also binds together quark-sets (like protons and neutrons) and we have yet to see clear evidence of a lone quark. As with the WN, the principle of superposition does not hold for the SN force, which is part of the reason that it's difficult to solve problems here. You can't solve part of the problem and then add it to another part of the problem you solved earlier. (Like trying to solve non-linear differential equations.) One interesting question is why there have been no violations of P or T symmetry (Parity or Time reflection) for the strong nuclear force, given that it is even more non-linear than the nuclear force.

So, I haven't discussed gravity yet, even though I should have placed it first. In my understanding, there is likely no exchange particle for gravity, and it follows the symmetry SO(1)...a point... which really means that there is no variable (exchange particle) associated with the mathematics (force). The mathematics of gravity is similar to the mathematics of the real numbers. Associativity and commutativity both hold here, and the mathematics is even easier to learn and apply than the complex numbers. Superposition and parity always hold here as well. Gravity is the curving of space-time by Lorentz transformations and there is no exchange particle associated with this curving of space time. There is no plus or minus charge (i.e. mass), as there are positive and negative electrical charges in E&M. There's only mass, and this mass warps time&space. (Where mass is the sum of the "rest" mass of a particle and its mass due to the energy of the particle.) In some ways, Einstein's theory of general relativity can be seen as local gauge theory just like the local gauge theories discussed above for E&M, WN & SN. If the laws of physics are the same for all observers (even those observers that are accelerating), then there must be a gravitational field. The gravitational field is the curvature of space-time due to mass/energy.

But we still have some unanswered questions left in the realm of physics. There appears to be a missing force (or a missing equation) that would tell us how to predict the masses and charges of quarks (all six types), electrons (muons, taon) and neutrinos (all three types). There appears to be too much coincidence in the size of the families and in the charges of the 'elementary' particles (+/-1, +/-2/3, +/-1/3, and +/- 0) (Electrons, Up quarks, Down quarks, & neutrino, respectively). It appears that there is a particle with a charge of +/-1/3  or perhaps +/-1/6 of the charge of an electron that is even more elementary than the ones listed above. Pairs and/or groups of this elemental particle (and its antiparticle) would then determine the total charge, and whether the collective particles (listed above) feel the E&M, WN or SN forces. All of the particles feel the force of gravity because it is intrinsic to all particles with energy.

I believe that there might be a missing force that describes the bonding of particles that make up an electrons, neutrinos, up quarks, and down quarks (and their related families of particles.) My guess is that the electron is not a fundamental particle, but rather that it consists of smaller particles that 'bond' to form either electrons/muons/tauons. And how the particles are bonded determine whether it's in an electron, muon, or tauon state. The tauon would be an excited electron in a similar way that 1s5 is an excited state of argon. We don't say that 1s5 is a new atom, just an excited state that will decay back to the ground state of argon. It's not clear yet to me (since I don't know how to predict the masses of the tauon/muon/electron) whether there are higher energy state available to the electron.

I believe that the same holds true for the neutrinos and quarks. I think that the neutrinos and quarks might not be fundamental particles, but rather they are made up of particles bound together by another force, which might have the symmetry of SU(4). How the particles inside of the quarks are bound together determines their energy, and hence their rest mass.

So, what can we say about such a force? My guess is that this force has the symmetry of SU(4) or U(4), which means that there would be either 15 or 16 exchange particles with this force. The mathematics associated with this next force is probably the hexagonions (also called sedenions) and has 16 axes. This mathematics is even 'weirder' than octonions because, not only do associativity and commutativity not hold, but the there is no 'normed' vector space, which means that we can't use Euclidean geometry to determine the length of a vector in this 16-D space. In hexagonion algebra, you can multiply two non-zero numbers together and obtain the zero element, which is impossible for real numbers, complex numbers, quaternions or octonions. Length has no real meaning in this sixteen dimensional vector space. And this is a major reason to think that there is no force associated with such a twisting of SU(4) space. (This is a major reason why)

The hexagonion algebra is called a non-ring division algebra, and understanding it is even more difficult than octonions. But just because it's difficult to understand, doesn't mean that we can completely ignore it. We need to understand how to predict the masses of the electron/muon/tauon, the neutrinos, and the quarks. The mathematics associated with the force holding together the particles that make up an electron or a down quark might be described by the hexagonions, and it will therefore be quite difficult to make sense of what's going on. (especially because there's no normed vector space associated with this force.)

And so this line of reasoning begs the question, are there more forces past this SU(4) force? I'm not really sure, and beyond this already unseen force, we'll have to wait to see if we can ever find the points/strings/loops that make up an electron, a neutrino or a quark. Since it's difficult/impossible to find a quark by itself, I'm guessing that we'll find the particles inside an electron first. So, are these particles composed of even smaller particles that obey a force similar to SU(5) or U(5)? We have no hope right now of determining the answer to that question, but we can speculate.

Speculations goes as follows: The number of exchange particles seems to follow a rule of n squared, (or n squared minus one) (gravity, n=0, and no exchange forces; E&M, n=1, and one exchange particle; WN, n=2, and 3 exchange particles; SN, n=3, and 8 exchange particles; S(4) force, n=4, and 15/16 exchange particles, ??, n=5, 24/25 exchange particles.) You can see a close (but not perfect) relation between the number of exchange particles and the size of Cayley-Dickinson algebras 1=real, 2=imaginary, 4=quaternions, 8=octonions; and the continuing set... 16=hexagonions, 32=trigintaduonions, .when n<5.  n squared and 2 to the power n start to diverge quickly starting with n=5. As well, the Cayley-Dickinson algebras of m=32, 64, 128 start to lose even more structure associated with the algebras that we are 'familiar with.' For example, once you reach the Cayley-Dickinson algebras with at least 32 operators, you start losing the rules of associativity in addition, and therefore, I believe the it's unlikely that the higher Cayley-Dickinson algebras will have corresponding forces of nature; but just because we're not familiar with it, doesn't mean it doesn't exist.

So, while I strongly believe that we will be able to eventually predict the color, masses, and charge of quarks, electrons and neutrinos, I'm still not sure whether there are more forces beyond the four known forces. There are real reason to believe that we are missing a really strong force is that we can not predict the masses or charges of tauons/muons/electrons, neutrinos and all of the quarks, but we need to see whether this new force can predict the masses, and if not, then we can start looking into forces beyond the SU(4) force discussed above.

While the charge of the neutron, quark and electron seem way too coincidental, there are reasons to believe that electrons are point-particles (rather than composite particles). For example, QED (and its ability to predict electron-photon interacts down to the ~8th decimal) assumes that electrons are point particles. But still, why do quarks have -1/3, and 2/3 of the charge of an electron. We are left with the feeling that there is still something very fundamental that we don't understand about the forces of nature, the cause of the rest mass of particles, and the cause of the charge of particles.

I'd like to conclude with the following open questions:

(1) Why are there only 4 dimensions to space-time? Is this related to the fact that there are only 4 forces of nature, which is most likely due to the fact that there are only 4 normed division algebras (over the real numbers...gravity, over the imaginary numbers...E&M, over the quaternions...weak nuclear, and over the octonions...strong nuclear.)
(2) Are more than 4-dimensions of space-time not possible because there are only 4 normed division algebras?
(3) Is the reason that there are 3 surface dimensions and 1 radial dimension (to our 4D sphere) due to the face that 3 of the forces of nature of space-time reversible (gravity, E&M, and strong nuclear) and one of the forces is space-time irreversible (weak nuclear)?

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Humans vs. the Sun (Sun wins for entropy production & loses for complexity)

Here's a fact that shouldn't be over-looked in all of the blogs I've written.

The amount of exergy destruction (and hence increase in entropy) from life on earth (plants, animals, etc.) is minuscule compared with of the Sun or any other star.

We shouldn't forget that, right now, what were doing on Earth to increase the entropy of the universe is negligible compared to the rest of the processes in the solar system not associated with life.

Life: Score of 10

Sun: Score of 1,000,000,000,00...

And I want to make this point because, while I believe that humans should try to cultivate other planets as a means of increasing the entropy of the universe, it will take a long time before we can ever match the entropy production capability of our Sun.

And therefore, none of the reductionist philosophy I've been discussing should in anyway be construed to suggest that it's okay to violate human rights (to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness) as a means to an end (where the end is more entropy production.)

If anything, I'm hoping to show that what we call life is unique and different compared with other nonlinear phenomena because of its recursive, replicating capability.

While I've discussed the possibility of self-replicating structures within the Sun (using the exergy gradient, and carbon as a catalyst), I don't think that such structures (if they exist) are anywhere as complex as the life forms we see on Earth.

Score of degree of complexity / self-reference-replication

Life on Earth: 1,000,000,000,00...

Sun: 0-5

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The source of exergy in the early universe

As I've discussed in earlier blogs, life requires a source of exergy in order to maintain its structure. And this source of exergy must be far-from equilibrium, i.e. life can't survive solely on a linear temperature gradient. Typically, the exergy that life uses comes from chemical compositions of molecules far from their equilibrium values in the environment. For example, bacteria can convert hydrocarbons and oxygen to carbon dioxide and water because the composition of hydrocarbons (such as in the Gulf of Mexico) is greater than that which would be predicted by thermodynamic equilibrium in the presence of oxygen.

So, what was the source of exergy in the early universe?

There is a lot of debate in this area because it's really difficult to obtain information about the origins of life here on Earth.

Luckily, discussions about the source of exergy in the early universe immediately remove the discussion about whether the Earth's first life forms started here on Earth or started else where and somehow were frozen and survived the trip to Earth.

Possible sources of exergy in the early universe include: 1) sunlight 2) chemicals from underwater vents that are out-of-equilibrium with the ocean 3) chemicals produced inside of lightning bolts that are then out-of-equilibrium with their composition in the environment.

As for chemicals produced in lightning bolts, there have already been multiple experiments showing that complex chemicals (such as amino acids) can be formed in electrical discharges when the gases inside the discharge are similar to those in the early universe (perhaps CO2, CH4, N2/NH3,H2S). The Miller–Urey experiment is just one example.

Lightning is a source of exergy far-from equilibrium. Lightning on Earth today is due to charge imbalance between the solid earth and the atmosphere. Most of this charge imbalance is due to charges carried down with precipitation. Rain and snow fall are due to the non-equilibrium composition of water vapor in the atmosphere, which is in turn due to sunlight vaporizing the oceans so that the composition of water in vapor in the atmosphere can be greater than that expected from thermal equilibrium at the temperature of the atmosphere.

In order words: Sunlight (chemical/thermal exergy) -->> water vapor non-equilibrium (Gravitational potential energy) -->> charge build up (electrochemical exergy) -->> lightning (high temperature thermal exergy) -->> formation of molecules in amounts greater than expected at ambient temperature conditions(chemical exergy)

Many of the non-equilibrium molecules created in the atmosphere during a lightning strike will eventually fall into the ocean.For example, some of the radical species (such as CH3) produced in the lightning strike can combine with other gases species in the atmosphere to produce molecules (like amino acids) that prefer to be in the aqueous state in the ocean.

So, if amino acids were the building blocks for early life forms, what were the food sources? What food source was the reducing agent and which food source was the oxidizing agent? (There probably wasn't oxygen in the atmosphere when life first began.) And how did early life forms create a spatial gradient in the reducing/oxidizing chemicals in order to generate work?

If there's no spatial gradient in the oxidizing and reducing agents, then there's no way to generate power in a mitochondria (or a fuel cell for that matter.) Did the first mitochondria rely on local gradients of chemical compositions?

This leads me to one of the main questions I would like to know:
What was the first source of work? I.e. at what point in time, did a cell use stored chemical exergy (perhaps a precursor to ATP) to separate a well-mixed solution of reducing and oxidizing chemicals so that it could derive more stored chemical exergy via an electrochemical reaction across one of its membranes? Where did the ability to store chemical exergy come from?

I have yet to come across a set of differential equations that yields a solution in which chemical exergy is stored for later use to yield even more chemical exergy.

It is well known that non-linear differential equations with cubic terms have the capability of yielding solutions with limit cycles, such as Van der Pol's equation. However, life is much more complicated than just a limit cycle. Limit cycles don't have the capability of self-replication, and they most definitely don't have the capability of storing exergy for later use to derive more exergy. Neither do strange attractors.

This leads me to the conjecture: Metabolism and replication (as opposed to other forms of nonlinear behavior, such as Rayleigh-Benard convection cells or weather patterns) require that the set of differential equations has a set of symmetry generators (X1, X2, X3,...Xn) such that the algebra describing the Xn's is powerful enough that Godel's incompleteness theorem applies to the group and its algebra.

This is just a conjecture, but what I would like to do is to change the focus of the debate on the first life forms on Earth from a discussion of particular self-replicating chemicals to a discussion of: how does the set of differential equations yield solutions (or attractors) that can yield phenomena such as metabolism and replication? (i.e. can storage of exergy or information appear from the attractors found in nonlinear differential equations with sources of exergy?)

It appears to me that there must be solutions of differential equations that are even more complex that limit cycle or strange attractors. In a previous blog ("Meaning of Life..."), I suggested that the set of differential equations must have enough symmetry generators that the algebra describing the group is powerful enough that Godel's incompleteness applies. If it is powerful enough, then there's forms of recursion such as the operators/generators can map back into themselves. It's the attractors of the differential equations that are replicating...not just the molecules. And this is why I think that it's more important to find the differential equations that produce self-replicating attractors than it is to find the actual chemical species involved in replication. This way, we can solve the chicken-and-the-egg paradox of self-replicating molecules. What you need is for the differential equations to contain self-replicating attractors (and this requires both a source of exergy, the self-replicating chemical species, and perhaps some other requirements.)

(I think that the nonlinear differential equations that have such a self-replicating attractor can not be solved, i.e. they aren't integrable.)

So, the following questions remain in my mind:
What was the source of exergy in the early Earth's history?
Can life be described by a set of self-replicating attractors within nonlinear differential equations?

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Electricity backed currency: The new gold standard

I've mentioned in previous posts that I believe that the US currency should be grounded in something real that has value.
Before 1971, our currency was tied to an amount of gold, which seems silly right now because you can't do anything with gold, other than wear it and look cool.
Since 1971, we've been living in a world in which our currency isn't grounded. The Federal Reserve can pretty much just print money whenever it wants. Though, the people at the Fed should have a healthy amount of fear of being pitchforked by the masses if they were to print money to the extreme.
There's a certain amount of unease that I feel because the printing of money isn't tied to anything that's grounded.

This has made a lot of other people uneasy as well.
For example, check out:
This website mentions that famous engineers, such as Henry Ford and Thomas Edison, were in favor of backing the US currency in energy, such as electricity. Though, it seems as if the idea of energy backed currency has never really gotten off the ground, kind of like how a lot of people question who wrote the plays that are attributed to Shakespeare, but none of us are picketing bookstores demanding that the true author's name be placed on the books. (Though, after I wrote this post, I found a link to a new movie called Anonymous on this topic. I'm definitely going to have to see this movie, even though I'm already ~95% sure that Edward De Vere wrote 'Hamlet.')

The "Energy Backed Money" website does a good job of going through the details of the plan, so I suggest you read through it if this is a topic that interests you. Though, here's a quick summary:

The government would maintain the price of electricity between a certain range (such as 12 to 15 cents per kilawatt-hour). It would also guarantee that its currency could always be exchanged for a certain amount of electricity (such as 20 cents per kilawatt*hour.) If the economy is doing well and the price of electricity starts dropping below $0.12/kWh, then the government can do one of two things to maintain the average price of electricity: either lower taxes and print money to make up for the loss of income, or increase the size of government spending.
If, however, the economy is not growing, and in fact contracting, then the government has to keep the price of electricity at $0.12/kW-hr even though the price is starting to increase in this contracting society. To do this, the government has to take money out of the economy, either by increasing taxes or reducing government spending.

Notice how this is exactly the opposite of Keynesian economics. According to Keynes, the government should spend money during a recession and reducing spending during a economic boom. This is exactly the opposite of what we should be doing.
Stimulus spending during a recession is therefore the worse thing you can do during a recession. Instead, the government needs to remove money from the economy because there's actually less electricity available because it became either: more difficult to make it or the electricity was being wasted too much. Keysenian economics tells us to waste the electricity even more, but this is silly. If electricity (or gasoline, natural gas, etc.) is more expensive, then we need to be cutting back in our use of it until there's a technological breakthrough that lowers the price of electricity.

Notice also that the idea of lowering taxes during a recession is equally stupid. If you lower taxes, then you will go into debt, which will force you to print money, but then the electricity prices just keep on going up, and the recession continues. Here's an analogy I created.

Imagine that you're the sound man (a roadie) for a famous band. You notice that some feedback is developing between the singer and the microphone. So, you turn one of your knobs in order to increase the amount of negative feedback.
But it turns out, that you're actually turning the knob for positive feedback, and a horrible screeching sound it heard through out the venue. At first, you think that you didn't turn the knob far enough, so you turn it some more...but now the noise is even worse. The singer is now no longer anywhere near the microphone, but the noise is still there. Eventually, you momentarily kill the power to the stage and let the singer back to the microphone, but it starts up again.

We didn't realize that we've been turning the wrong knob. We've been turning the positive feedback dial instead of the negative feedback dial!

Right now, both political parties are living in a dream world. The solution to solving the recession is neither tax cuts or wasteful stimulus.
The solution to the current recession is some combination of 1) reduced government spending, 2) waiting for a technological break-through, and 3) selling government capital. All the while, we can't print more money during a recession. Printing money during a recession is like turning the positive feedback knob.

Electricity backed currency is what keeps the fire to the feet of the politicians and members of the Federal Reserve. They can only print money when the economy is growing. And if the economy is shrinking, then they have to raise taxes or reduce government spending.
Because politicians don't like having to either raise taxes or reduce government spending, then it forces them to keep the economy growing. And I believe that the government has a large role in keeping the economy growing, such as investing in cheap sources of energy, ensuring a national defense, maintaining a strong legal system, enforcing patent rights, enforcing pollutions laws, and maintaining critical infrastructure.

So, what I'm interested in is: how do we get to the point at which electricity backed currency is actually a possibility?

Right now, the problems are: 1) electricity is not a freely exchangeable item; 2) the cost of electricity is different from state-to-state; 3) it's difficult to store large quantities of it right now.

I think that the main goal of the Department of Energy should be to address the problems that are keeping us from realizing an electricity backed currency.

We need to:
1) Figure out how people can get paid for selling electricity, and vice versa, figure out how people can buy electricity even if they aren't at home. This needs to happen soon because I want to have an electric car, and I expect to pay people for using electricity to charge the car when I'm away from home. I also expect to be able to sell that electricity in the car's battery if there's a brown-out in the city.

2) Find cheap ways to connect the West Coast's and East Coast's electricity grids (and Texas's grid). We need to eliminate the price difference between the different parts of the country. Perhaps, the price of superconducting wires will drop to the point at which we can lay these wires from one coast to the next.

3) Invest in electricity storage technologies that match the scale of its use. I mean large scale energy storage, like what we do with natural gas for the winter or for gasoline at the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.

So, in summary, in a recession:
Don't increase government spending
Don't decrease taxes (unless you more than compensate for it with decreased spending)
Don't increase the size of the petroleum reserve

Do cut wasteful government spending
Do sell government rights to oil/natural gas/minerals/coal
Do sell un-needed reserves of gold and silver

John M. Keynes had it completely wrong and so do most politicians. We've been turning the wrong knob this whole time. We've been increasing positive feedback while all the while thinking that we were turning the negative feedback knob.