PLEASE NOTE:

MyNews24 is a user-generated section of News24.com. The stories here come from users.

 
Robert Andrew
 
Comments: 4
Article views: 98
 
 
Latest Badges:


 
View all Robert Andrew's badges.
 

Politicians, Like Bats and Edward Hubble, Live In a World of Echoes

04 January 2014, 09:21

The famous Austrian physicist, Christian Johann Doppler, gave his name to a very important phenomenon in physics called the Doppler Effect. Light and sound waves appear to change their frequency if the source of the waves and the detector are in relative motion. A classic example of the Doppler Effect is the way in which a blaring siren on, say, an ambulance appears to have a higher and higher pitch as it approaches one and then, after passing, the pitch becomes lower and lower. What happens is that the sound waves that you hear from the approaching ambulance are compressed and thereby increase their frequency. Once the ambulance races past you, the sound waves stretch out and the frequency drops. If you have an instrument that can measure the change in frequency you can calculate the speed of the ambulance-this is the basis of the dreaded radar speed traps. Edward Hubble (after whom the Hubble telescope was named) used the Doppler Effect to measure the rate at which the universe is expanding. By measuring the change in frequency of light waves emanating from distant galaxies, he found that the light waves are stretched out as the galaxy races out into open space. From this he, and many other scientists, postulated that the universe is expanding and from this they developed the Big Bang theory. By accurately measuring the frequency change Hubble was also able to develop a relationship, now known as Hubble’s Law, to determine the distance to any far-off galaxy.

 The American zoologist Donald Griffin discovered that many species of bats emit complex high-pitched sound waves and rely on responding echoes to find their way about. For these bats, the saying “as blind as a bat” is true. The bats, however, have sophisticated sound receivers, which are far better developed than the human ear. They also have extremely powerful and variable sound-emitting devices and built-in computers to exploit the Doppler Effect to a far greater extent than any instrument made by man. Although they emit pulses of sound, at varying rates upto 200 times a second, they are capable of distinguishing individual echoes from each other and can detect whether the echoes come from nearby or far-off objects, or even whether they come from other bats. They are also capable of varying the signal so as to achieve the greatest sensitivity in the returning signal. The Doppler Effect allows them to know the speed at which an insect is flying and in what direction. With this information, it is a pretty simple job to catch and eat the insect.

 Like bats and Edward Hubble, politicians live in a world of echoes. These come from a variety of sources: constituents, party representatives, alliance partners, worker unions, NGOs, financial institutions, and many others. These echoes are responses to a multitude of continuously emitted signals. Unlike bats, most politicians are poorly equipped to measure or analyse the echoes and to use the information carried by them. Autocratic or disinterested politicians may even go as far as to ignore echoes. Politicians should understand that, like the bat, the echo is more important than the emitted signal, for the echoes coming back carry the information they require for their survival, i.e.  re-election.  

 What lessons can be learnt from sonic bats and how can the philosophy of the Doppler Effect be used by politicians? Firstly, politicians should pay attention to the type of signals they send out in order to maximise the benefit of any information coming back in the response. A vague or poorly structured statement or piece of party propaganda will always evoke a vague or poorly defined answer. Politicians should also acknowledge that they require being flexible in their approach and must design the signal for the given circumstances: e.g. people living in abject poverty are different from affluent people and need to be sent a signal that evokes hope whereas the more affluent may be affected by signals related to economics and opportunities. Young people require information on education and post-education employment so that they can emit signals showing their support or their concerns.

 Responses should be continually measured and analysed and the variation of responses carefully scrutinised. People or groups who respond differently to given signals over a period of time shows that a change is occurring and this change must be investigated. Positive forward-moving changes need recognition and reinforcement and negative retarding changes encouragement or change. Most importantly, echoes should be listened to and acknowledged. Echoes provide bats and politicians with their ‘world view’ and without them, or with poor interpretation, the view obtained will be false.

 If Edward Hubble had ignored the minute changes in the frequency in the spectrum of light coming from galaxies millions and millions of light years away, we could still believe that the sun rotated around the earth or that the earth was flat!

Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.
 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
4 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Gideon Joubert
Fixing the Firearms Control Act

The Firearms Control Act of 2000, which was forced upon the SAPS and South African gun owners, is clearly not working the way its architects intended it to.  Read more...

1 comments 119 views
Submitted by
ChiefDavid
Does South Africa need military/s...

The role of the SANDF is always misunderstood by many people especially people who are not part of the Defence force. Read more...

1 comments 53 views
Submitted by
Daisy Nougeira171
What is Love (Christians don't hu...

Christians it would seem, according to their God’s commands, are to be the epitome of love, kindness, compassion. Read more...

3 comments 19 views
Submitted by
Kurt Ellis
The Real Housewives of Nkandla Ep...

“Bring back our money. Bring back our money.” Nasir Alli and Vusi Mona chanted in the small office they were using in the Parliamentary House.  Read more...

2 comments 24 views
Submitted by
czoe
Racial syndrome..a dividing line

Without tolerance of each other and respect of one’s culture and race that are identically unique, we shall never be stable and successful politically; socially; culturally and economically.  Read more...

31 comments 464 views
Submitted by
Siyabonga Dube
Nothing South African about that

If being fake was a crime then a very vast majority of people in our country would be in jail. Read more...

3 comments 435 views

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

20% off all TV Series!

Want to have a chilled day at home? Get 20% off TV series, the perfect excuse to "veg out". Shop now!

Save R700 on the Hisense LED TV Now R2499

Get the Hisense 32” HD ready LED TV for only R2499. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 40% off fashion accessories

Save up to 40% on selected handbags, purses, watches, jewellery and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to R2000 on top electronics

Get every day mind bowing savings on top electronics. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

As seen on TV - New book releases at only R199 each

Get mind blowing book savings on new titles. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

 

services

E-mail Alerts The latest headlines in your inbox

RSS feeds News delivered really simply.

Mobile News24 on your mobile or PDA

E-mail Newsletters You choose what you want

News24 on your iPhone Get News24 headlines on your iPhone.

SMS Alerts Get breaking news stories via SMS.

Blogs Your opinion on you, me and everyone.

Calais Website keywords automated by OpenCalais.

 
Interactive Advertising Bureau
 
© 2014 24.com. All rights reserved.
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.