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in more and more sophisticated ways.

"The loud cracking sound you hear when the hero punches the villain in the jaw is the sound of finger bones  breaking.  Jaw bones are stronger than finger bones." 
said by a movie critic

Human cultures convey their culture through storytelling: our folktales and myths communicate culture by setting examples in which the listener can find heros to be and villains to conquer. 

Modern cultures do this through the magic of movies and television, nowadays enhanced by realistic animated computer images that invent anything the movie maker can imagine.

A decade or two ago, a rash of broken fingers broke out among professional athletes who decided to actually live out the life of their movie heros.  Angry fights broke out, punches got thrown.  Those who ignored the history of both ancient and modern boxers—who wrap their fists before entering the arena—repeated some of the mistakes of history.

Fingers got broken.

I swung my fist at his jaw!  He didn't swing his jaw at my fist!
My fist was moving.  Fast!  His jaw wasn't moving at all...a little away, perhaps.
It was my idea to hit him!  He didn't see it coming.

Then how come I got the broken bones?
It isn't fair!

Are you saying Mother Nature isn't fair?

Mother Nature doesn't care who thought to hit whom.
Mother Nature  doesn't care which was moving, your fist or his jaw.
Mother Nature  doesn't care who your are or who he is.
Or what he did to start the fight or what you did to finish the fight.
Mother Nature  doesn't care what you think is fair!

Mother Nature is fair!
because she doesn't care
she made finger bones weaker than jaw bones...accept it!!

Fair is the same no matter which side you're looking from.

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How do we win?


Do unto others

...they were expected to understand...but didn't.
as they would do...

the WHOLE truth It's hard to see the world beyond ourselves.
It's even harder to see the world beyond our clan, our country, our religion . . . 

It's hard to see justice.
It's easy for blind bigotry to backfire.

The athletes with the splinted fingers didn't see something.  Most physics students get through their first physics course without really seeing it either.  Everybody needs to go beyond first impressions, and go beyond any egocentrism.  It takes a little hard brain work to see what Isaac Newton saw in the 17th century and started the scientific revolution.

It's Newton's "Law of action and reaction" 
(Newton's Third Law of Motion).

Think about what you remember about that law.  Think of some examples of it in the everyday world.

Did you think of a rocket blasting off its pad or a toy baloon released with the air in it blasting out and propelling the baloon in crazy loops through the room?  Then odds are you thought of "action and reaction" as saying something about cause and effect.  The rocket gasses blast to the rear and the rocket (or ballon) "reacts" by moving forward.

That's the most common interpretation of Newton's law.  It misses the point.

The force on the fist by the jaw (might break the fingers) and the force on the jaw by the fist (might break the jaw) are equal and opposite.  They are, in fact, the same force—just looked at from two different perspectives, "mine" and "yours."  The two forces are inseverable sides of the same thing, the interaction betwen the fist and the jaw.  They are as inseverable as are the two sides of a sheet of paper. 

"Pancakes so thin they have only one side."
Carl Sandberg in The People, Yes

"To every action there is always opposed an equal reaction; or, the mutual actions of two bodies upon each other are always equal, and directed to contrary parts."
Isaac Newton
often stated:
For every action, there's an equal and opposite reaction.

You can't fool Mother Nature!  Rationality works.
Mutual reciprocity rests upon twin negation.
"This lack of confidence in the economic system is not going to be restored easily."
"Not over my dead body will they raise your taxes!"

What do these two statements have in common?
What common error of logic did both speakers make?
What "fourth-level" abstraction should have been seen . . . but wasn't?

Color vision and colorblindness offers a metaphor for "seeing" and "not seeing" the laws of physics.
Every cause has an effect and every effect has some cause(s).
Back to the Physicist's Domain