Beyond Newton · Mind The Gap! · The Secret Of Systems

All Hard Drives Look Alike.

They Are Not All The Same Value.

Equipment is always getting cheaper. The stuff stored on it isn't.
A 10mb disc drive really did cost this much money in the 1970s.
Your data remains valuable, irrespective of what you paid for the equipment.

Buried somewhere under four feet of mud and rubbish, in the Docksway landfill site near Newport, Wales, in a space about the size of a football pitch is a computer hard drive worth more than £4m.
It belonged to James Howells, who threw it out when he was clearing up his desk in mid-summer and discovered the part, rescued from a defunct Dell laptop. He found it in a drawer and put it in a bin.
And then last Friday he realised that it held a digital wallet with 7,500 Bitcoins created for almost nothing in 2009 – and then worth about the same.

The Guardian 27 Nov. 2013

So there you have it: an innocuous looking piece of computer equipment that just happened to be worth an absolute fortune. I mean, it really isn’t fair, is it? It’s not as if it’s that man’s fault that he chucked it, he really didn’t know, did he? Mind you, had he thought a little harder, he would have thought to send it to the correct place for recycling electronic components of that kind – mind you, if he had thought that way in the first place, there’d be more chance that he’d check its contents.

Now had it been a bar of gold, would he even have had to think about throwing it away? No! Because gold is valuable to everybody. But that’s for another post. Because gold isn’t quite as valuable as most people think.

The point of this post is to look at the world from a perspective that does not adhere to the mechanical leverage that “give me a lever long enough” Archimedes or Newton believed in. There is a very great deal in all our lives that undermines the theories of Newton; the problem is that they’re all subjective.

Only that’s the point of the subjective world: you can’t make it objective that easily. When James Howells threw his old hard disk in the bin, he was thinking logically: “it’s old, therefore it’s worthless”. Thinking about the piece of equipment alone, he would have been correct. But it’s not the size or the age of the equipment that’s important: it’s the quality of the information stored on it.

If our world worked according to Newton’s world of Push = Shove, if it’s worth something, it has to look as if it’s worth something. That is to say, that old hard disc would only ever be worth a dollar… irrespective of what was on it. I can easily understand if a scientist stands up and says “science doesn’t work like that” – well, this is the proof that science really doesn’t work like that! That old hard disc was worth over four million pounds.

No scientist ever questions the fact that they have to pay an electricity bill which only has numbers printed on it – the piece of paper itself is all but worthless. The implications of not paying that bill are more serious. That is when push=shove come into play! Contracts really are Newtonian.

Another Side To The Equation.

5Mbs of data storage in the 1950s
5Mbs of data storage in the 1950s

In wondering about that hard disc, there is the ever portable USB stick. The technology is improving by the day, not only are they getting cheaper, but smaller too. From the fifties when a 100mb hard drive needed a pump truck to move it, we have 64gb on a chip that’s all but weightless. It’s packaged in a tiny slice of plastic to make it possible to manipulate the thing, put it in a camera or phone – and extract it again.

But drop it?

Where did it go?? It’s so small that it could slip through the gaps between the floorboards. A moment’s forgetfulness and it’s sucked up in the vacuum cleaner.

It needs to be remembered that information that is stored electronically cannot be seen at all.


The things a you value cannot be expressed so easily in dollars. Whilst an ageing postcard is worth all but nothing, because it was sent by your first girlfriend back in 1982 makes it a lot more valuable to you, personally. To anybody else it’s binnable. That unassuming hard drive stuck in a drawer wasn’t the rubbish that James Howells thought it was.

The subjective world is not so easy to escape! But then, in a world where subjective realities are not acceptable, it’s where people usually get antsy. Ask them things and they’ll become evasive, dismissive… or downright angry. Because whilst the intellectual mind cannot cope with the realities of the subjective world, that doesn’t mean it’s any less real.

Or any less meaningful to them! All it means is that they can’t cope with reality.

And reality is what science is all about, isn’t it?

Beyond Newton.

We all live in a world that has areas that challenge Newton’s view of the world. Just because you don’t accept this means nothing: there will be an area of your life that does not conform to Newton’s physical laws. That still holds good if you imagine thinking to be the result of electrical stimuli in the brain… somewhere in your life, those electrical stimuli will value some worthless object as though it were made of gold.

Which is the secret to a system: the system itself is worthless in real terms. It’s the valuable things that are put in it, that emerge from the other side that make the thing useful. My next post will deal with the phenomenon of how a system can increase value, not just transport it. But the fact remains: in being part of Newton’s world, the system is incapable of doing anything useful without human input.


The Secret Of Systems, Links To Other Parts In This Series:

Part 1: How Can Lidl Be So Cheap?

Part 2: All Hard Drives Look Alike.

Part 3: A Different View Of Karma. (Published Privately).

Part 4: The Value Of Money.

Part 5: Google’s Panda Algorithm. (Technical)

Part 6: Thomas Hardy And Friedrich Nietzsche. (Published Privately).

Part 7: That’s Not Fair Play!

Part 8: Confessions Of A Lapsed Adwords Jockey.

Part 9: When The System Bites Back.

Part 10: I Admit It: I Made A Mistake.


Other Posts In The Series ‘Beyond Newton’:

Part 1: Experiencing Time First Hand.

Part 2: All Hard Drives Look Alike.

Part 3: What Ahriman Wants. (Published privately).

Part 4: Stirring Horn Silica.

Part 5: A Horn Silica Rainbow.

Part 6: Messed Up Beans. (Published privately).

Part 7: Newton’s Rainbow.

Part 8: Untangling The Astral And The Etheric. (Published privately).

Part 9: How To Count Water.

Please note that privately published posts are available to trusted friends without cost. The content is not intended for the general public and is restricted to those who can demonstrate that they understand the nature – and implications of – Rudolf Steiner’s scientific thinking. It is not for the unready.

In certain circumstances, pdfs of these posts are available on request; you may do so by leaving a comment. This will tell me if you can grasp the nature of the post you are enquiring about. The comment itself can be left unmoderated or deleted if requested.


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