Enabling Governance through the Dynamics of Nature (Part #9)
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As a result of his investigations, Schauberger developed a number of applications, some of which were patented. His approach was appreciated, to a degree and controversially, during the Nazi war effort. It was subsequently a focus of interest of US investigators -- who imprisoned him for a period to debrief him (as with many scientists). Much of his work was seized or destroyed by Russian forces. It is variously alleged tha tsome of his applications and insights have been further developed for military purposes.
Applications he instigated which have been of notable interest in recent decades include:
- water conduction and flow regulation in streams, pipes and channels.
- purification and aeration of water by swirling it through a vortex -- particular vortical patterns formed by the streamlines of natural water flow, resulted in a water quality that was pure and health promoting -- subsequently ensured by Theodor Schwenk with the use of flowforms (A. John Wilkes, Flowforms: the rhythmic power of water, 2003; Andreas Wilkens, et al. Understanding Water: developments from the work of Theodor Schwenk, 2005).
- production of hydroelectric power through a jet or vortex turbine (Strahlturbine) by innovative use of increased water velocity rather than simply by water pressure. This was achieved through creation of a vortex motion by spiral ribbings on the inside of the jet. In pipes constructed with a vortical cross section, not only was excess energy delivered to the system (a process termed "implosion"), but the water flowed in the pipe with negative resistance (through formation of a so-called longitudinal vortex). As summarized by Josef Hasslberger (Dynamic Hydropower: the "suction turbine" or "jet turbine" of Viktor Schauberger, 1993):
The energy inherent in the free and unhindered flow of water is then potentially much greater than that obtainable from the exclusive use of pressure resulting from altitude differential.
- this vortex pattern itself has a tendency, quite separate from the jet-effect, to increase the velocity of the water, to decrease its temperature and to augment the water's density.
- by use of a turbine wheel of conical shape, very high speeds of rotation were achieved, at the same time avoiding the usual difficulties of cavitation found in normal high speed turbine designs. The 'ribs' spiral down the surface of the cone in a corkscrew pattern. The corkscrew turbine wheel parts the flow of water, takes up the water's dynamic energy and lets the flow continue without major disruption. This contrasts with turbines of current design which "hack" the water into thousands of destructive counter flows and cross vortices, thus wasting much of the available energy and causing cavitation.
Common to these (and related) applications is the role of centripetal movement in contrast to the centrifugal movement on which many current technologies are based. The distinction is described by Frank Germano (Implosion Technology: an alternative, sustainable new basis for modern technology) summarizing an earlier articulation by Callum Coats (Living Energies: Viktor Schauberger's brilliant work with natural energy explained, 2002):
- centrifugal technology: based on explosion expansive movement, notably achieved by combustion, heat, friction and pressure. Exploiting natural resources, this has an efficiency not greater than 35%, and is responsible for extensive degradation of the environment.
- implosion technology: combining two types of motion, namely centrifugal (giving pressure, friction, temperature rise and biological deterioration) and centripetal (giving suction, temperature drop and biological improvement) -- although the literature on Schauberger uses the neologisms centrifugence and centripetence (see Centre for Implosion Research). The role of polarity and balance is considered critical. This implosion is achieved through the geometric coiling action of a double cycloid spiral curve (as in a vortex) which concentrates, contracts and compacts the water -- thereby cooling it and creating a vacuum augmenting suction. The whole process generates a diamagnetic force. This technology emulates processes in nature (shells, galaxies, antelope horns, sunflowers, pine cones, tree branches, tornados, cyclones, hurricanes). It consequently yields positive and sustainable results in excess. Hence recognition of some of Schauberger's inventions as free or excess energy devices (Riley Hansard Crabb and Thomas Maxwell Thompson, Implosion: The Path of Natural Energy -- Victor Schauberger, 1985). This implosion technology is variously reported to have been the basis for the development of a flying disk (known as a Repulsine), now the focus of efforts to reconstitute it (Alfred Evert, Schauberger - Repulsine - Redesign, 2008).
Schauberger argued that the focus on centrifugal movement, rather than centripetal, was a case of looking at things the "wrong way around" -- and hence the disastrous consequences for the environment.
It is interesting to look at the possibility of applying this distinction to the manner in which information is handled -- especially information held to be controversial, as is typical of the often highly problematic dialogue between faiths, disciplines and ideologies, perhaps usefully to be described as "turbulent". As suggested above, it might well be applied to the interface between "mainstream" and "alternative" approaches in many domains, including that relating to "energy", as illustrated by Schauberger's work.
For example, it is is worth exploring a distinction of the following kind:
- "centrifugal information": understood in terms of achieving a forceful impact on a "target" audience, as in much marketing, propaganda, proselytizing, indoctrination, dissemination and the like. Associated use of military metaphors is common, as previously argued (Enhancing Sustainable Development Strategies through Avoidance of Military Metaphors, 1998). As implied by "centrifugal", information is forced out from a centre to transform understanding at a periphery, however problematic this may be experienced there.
- "implosion technology": understood as an appropriate combination of a "centrifugal" process and a "centripetal" process. But what might be understood by "the geometric coiling action of a double cycloid spiral curve (as in a vortex) which concentrates, contracts and compacts" -- thereby "cooling" and "creating a vacuum augmenting suction"? Presumably clues are to be found from insights into the manipulative operation of cults and other group processes engendering a "vortex" of "energy" -- although this might be considered characteristic of any "movement". including science itself. Such a notion of energy has been separately explored (Reframing Sustainable Sources of Energy for the Future: the vital role of psychosocial variants, 2006; Psychosocial Energy from Polarization: within a cyclic pattern of enantiodromia, 2007). The sense of being "sucked in" is frequently mentioned. The use of "spin" in the battle for "hearts and minds" is well recognized, if only in marketing.
But, as with the design of any "vortex generator", the issue is both how to improve the design (to reduce inefficiencies in knowledge processing) and how to recognize the dangers of inappropriate exposure to a powerful "implosion" process. The possibility of an information process based on "the geometric coiling action of a double cycloid spiral curve" is intriguingly represented to a degree by the Fibonacci spiral, as previously argued (Potential significance of a Fibonacci spiral formation, 2010; Tao of Engagement -- Weaponised Violence and Beyond: Fibonacci's magic carpet of games to be played for sustainable global governance, 2010). Some such "implosion" process is also suggested by the toroidal design required for nuclear fusion, again as previously explored (Enactivating a Cognitive Fusion Reactor: Imaginal Transformation of Energy Resourcing (ITER-8), 2006).
The other water technologies developed from Schauberger's work, suggestive of corresponding information technologies, are:
- purification processes: appropriate centripetal vortex generation has been used for water purification, as illustrated by the work of Gudmund Rapp (Experiments with a Centripete water vortex generator). An intriguing challenge is the corresponding design of a dialogue process capable of separating out problematic argumentation inhibiting inter-sectoral intercourse -- in the spirit of critical thinking and efforts at argument mapping (Web resources: Critical thinking vs. Specious arguments, 2001). The problematic discourse associated with climate change over recent years is an indication of the need, as with any discourse between "mainstream" and "alternative" perspectives. Any use of "purification" in a cognitive context is immediately reminiscent of the extensive preoccupation of many spiritual disciplines with "purifying the mind". In the case of yoga and tantra, for example, the process of awakening kundalini (represented by a spiral caduceus) recognizes "vortices of energy" in the body and the need for a form of spin in meditation. It is then also of interest how ritual chanting, as commonly deprecated, may effectively elicit valuable cognitive vortices.
- "enlivening water", exemplified by the above-mentioned use of flowforms. This relates to the possibility of "enlivening" or "animating" any psychosocial space, whether at the "global" level, the community level, for a family, or for an individual. In the light of understanding of what "flows", what vortex-like movement might be given to "enliven" it (Circulation of the Light: essential metaphor of global sustainability? 2010)? In the case of water, reference is made to how bodies of water are effectively "dead" -- leading to use of fountains and other aeration processes. A fountain is indeed a valuable metaphor for the elusive process of introducing "life" into a community -- otherwise readily termed "dead". What might be the "flowforms" or "fountains" appropriate to enlivening the psychic space of an individual?
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