Newton's Bucket Agency

 "Leave no stone unturned."

Euripides, Heracleidae 


"... aerarius multa mala mihi ostendit, reddat ei Dominus secundum opera eius. The coppersmith has done me much harm, the Lord reward him according to his merit." St. Paul 2 Tim. 4:14


Spin City and Newton's Bucket Agency



What's in the bucket?

One of Newton's key images was a spinning bucket of water. In the "Principia" he famously describes one supended from a rope, twisted and twisted, a little more until twisted as tight as can be, and then he lets it go. "Who weee," he observes, "perfectly finished teak wood with copper trim, and winning", "winner winner chicken dinner", and "if it is whirled about ... while the cord is untwisting itself" the surface of the water will "recede by little and little from the middle, and ascend to the sides of the vessel, forming itself into a concave figure ... and the swifter the motion becomes the higher will the water rise. This ascent of the water shows its endeavour to recede from the axis of its motion; and the true and absolute circular motion of the water, which is here directly contrary to the relative, discovers itself, and may be measured by this endeavour."-1

Here Newton would draw a tenuous yet false distinction between "true and absolute" and "relative" motion to make room also for the otherwise unscientific idea that the Earth is flying around to orbit the Sun. The false principle will need its place and begins to insinuate for it through agggrandizing the relative. Using a disingenuous principle introduced into physics by heliocentrism from the days of Galileo, the spinning bucket would become Newton's illustration of Galileo's loaded and hypnotic notion of the relatively detectable yet undetectable "unaccelerated" motion of the Earth, without which which heliocentrism and its frames of reference cannot progress.

Since everybody can tell that no one can tell that the Earth rotates at all, heliocentrism must admit that no one notices the Earth moving in the first place, of course. No scientific experiments whatever have ever been able to show that the Earth is flying. Investigators, therefore, must admit that we, one and all, are witnesses of a vast geodesic frame of reference that anchors us to a common experience of stillness in terms of the Earth. Quo telluris vis-a-vis telluris, domus parva quies magna, et cetera.

So such bad science as the Copernican brand then cleverly would introduce new terms of expression, and purely theoretical concepts, like Galilean "relativity" and "invariance", to get around people's common sense. In getting around stubborn facts, it helps if the point wins that nobody can really tell what is going on in the first place, or at least not that much or not enough, nor what is being clearly said about the phenomena in question. That way the excessively complicated things presupposedly said, then expressed in crazy math written down in papers, would supposedly hold water as actual "science" according to the adepts and fumdiddles. 

Because no one can disprove it, if no one can understand it, where no one can tell in agreement what is going on by simple advertisement of the senses. Nothing in common either, if it were possible. As Newton says, "it is indeed a matter of great difficulty to discover, and effectually to distinguish, the true motions of particular bodies from the apparent; because the parts of that immoveable space, in which those motions are performed, do by no means come under the observation of our senses."-2

Yet nature has been so wise that she has not been content merely to divide men into wise and unwise, but has given also to the wise a way that is reasonable, and to the foolish one that is confused. And if the heliocentric nonsense were true, why do farmers and contractors already know why air compressors and pneumatic tools like jackhammers work, without ever having to read Newton's "Principia"? Since one may know that they do not distribute force because of anything to do with Newtonian "gravitation", which is supposedly universal by the inverse squared, it is clear they work because of electricity or fuel and exact pressure applied in quale quid. 


Yet how can anything so subtle as nature in surface elements be understood with much appreciation, even when it constitutes something so plain, when it is thought about only rarely, and carelessly if at all


However again, if one is hit in the knee by a cannon ball, or almost run over by a train, or stuck on a sinking ship in the North Atlantic, or chased by a bear, et cetera, much less kicked in the shin to start, he will recognize and distinguish the real motion there. 


Autem oportet, whatever fits, however it must be, what Newton would say his theory means is that if the bucket is not moving at all, nevertheless, that should represent a condition of "relative" motion. Perhaps better than "absolute and true", because even though it may be completely at rest, it only is an appearance, unless somebody knocks it over; and remember that the Earth supposedly is flying and no one can recognize that. Even for mere appearance, the bucket must be moving with the Earth too, as the days go by, so there is no real condition of authentic rest possible for things on Earth ipso facto. Things that appear to be stationary are only conditional in relative motion, so relative motion is the scientific term to substitute for the old fashioned concept and experience of rest, perhaps absolute and true, but not more than theory.

When the spinning bucket and its contents are set in motion that is another appearance to consider, true and absolute, something has started, as opposed to the relative, when the bucket at times was not moving but merely orbiting the sun. The contrariwise approach of heliocentrism appears necessary in the experiment, if not natural, because logical and simple theories of motion referred themselves before, for a frame of reference, to an Earth that was not rotating and that was authentically and completely at rest.

However, by the detectable undetectable "unaccelerated" motion of the Earth, the heliocentric game of the fool-once-removed would overcome all difficulties of interpretation or interpolation, and Newton simply applies it to the bucket when it is not moving (e.g. one can tell that he can tell that he cannot tell that the Earth is spinning either).

The methodology of parallel substitutions forms a little background to Newton's more direct purpose with the bucket, which was to provide an illustration for his theory of the force of gravitation, and how it would move the planets in their orbits. He observes that the ascent of the water up the sides of the spinning bucket, "shows its endeavour to recede from the axis of its motion", and that "the true and absolute circular motion of the water, which is here directly contrary to the relative", as he terms it, illustrates his and Kepler's theory of the force of gravity as it would move the planets. Because, he asserts, "there is only one real circular motion of any one revolving body, corresponding to only one power of endeavouring to recede from its axis of motion, as its proper and adequate effect."-3

In spite of some confusion, it is correct enough to say that "there is only one real circular motion of any revolving body", which also means that the sun can only be going one speed, one direction at a time, as any star can only go one speed at a time, and be in one place at a time -- and no star can move away from itself. So when someone sees the stars at night, that is really where they are in the distance, as where they are is as much when they are. The starlight is not from any number of years ago. Of course, it is from that night, as much as a star cannot be in the eastern and western horizon over one location at the same time. All the drôle dross about so-called "light-years" is nonsense. One is not seeing the same star in the same place at widely different times because of "light-years".

When looking at its light over some given hours, it progresses in direct view from east to west around the Earth; and one wiser than Newton wrote, "where there are many dreams, there are many vanities, when dreams increase, empty words grow many", et cetera.-4 

"Dreams have caused many to go astray and those who trusted in them failed," and only in dreams does the earth keep flying round and round.-5

Newton was a fool who dreamt that the Earth was flying in space to orbit the Sun, and that a spinning bucket of water had something to do with it, for theory, but it was not scientific, it was delusional. For one angle of a corner, and then all the others, space is not "absolute" in the Newtonian sense that would imply transcendent and infinite. Space as related only to gravitation or gravity of objects is not absolute beyond the simple question of actual entity. Other than as an abstraction, it does not have an existence independent of the substance and forms contained and intended within it, as much as it is not without things.

Even for the properties, intentions, and limit of human intelligence, existence is of substance and form, of course; and the geometrical space in consideration for practical astronomy is not an abstraction more than expatiation, and is partial with reality, in fact, and the calendar. Mixed-in with the elements and sorts, gravity is not even a lateral force. It is not a radial or whipping action that moves or throws things horizontally.

Water, besides, is a subtle element, with a characteristically free surface. Liquids take the shape and curve of their container, and are are easily dispersed by movement. Eggs or batter being whipped in a bowl, for instance, do not ascend up the sides of the bowl because of gravity. Gravitation is not what causes the subtleties of whip whip whip.

It does not require a genius to calculate that paper, rock, scissors, and ice do not work out the ways that they do because of Newtonian "gravity" in a bucket. By nature first principles already are inherent in the structure and design, where an acceleration of charge may create quantitative forces of motion by impetus, momentum, and accomodation that manifest in quale quid, et cetera. That way it should be clear enough that things in occurrence and motion happen in virtue of either fortune or design, but not "universal gravitation" by the inverse squared. 

If Newton's bucket is filled with a piece of the highway and rocks or solid concrete, for example, the hard stuff can spin and spin like a bucket of frozen ice and never go up the sides. The water goes up the sides of the bucket, in contrast to concrete, rocks, or the highway, because it is a subtle form of element with a characteristically free surface, and is easily dispersed by movement: not because of "gravity".

As much as it is not properly elemental and not innate to matter, Newtonian gravitation is not really disposed in the table of elements either. If it were, it would not disappear between rocks, fire, water and ice in a bucket, as it always does. If it were actually real, as solid concrete does not climb up the sides of the bucket, when spinning and spinning, but the water does, where did the gravity go?

Gravity -- as assumed in free fall -- falls out in the structure and design of things, with at least some density and weight, where they come falling down to earth; and the phenomenon in question only works in the vertical direction called "down", perpendicular to the surface of still water. The structural significance of gravity then, as it would be in evidence around the earth, is within two limited forms: vertical free fall and bringing things to rest. It does not move things sideways, but if it would move windows and doors, like the wind or poltergeists, its characteristic would be to close them not open them.

Suspended from 10 stories, with a little hole in the middle of it, Newton's bucket of water will drain out like a little waterfall. Falling straight down to the Earth below, because of "gravity", there it all goes. However, if the bucket is filled with heavy rocks, solid concrete, or some of the highway, they will not drain out; obviously, yet if the the rope is cut, the bucket will fall straight down to the Earth below, because of "gravity".

Once again, as much as now, "nothing is moved at random, but there must always be something present to move it."(145) Therefore, the misuse of terms is not scientific, of course, and gravity itself does not really move things or cause high pressure systems, temperatures, or steam power, for example. Not more than the qualities and elements themselves, in comparison to a circle, such an ingredient of theory like that does not move air, fire, jet fuel, lightning, or create impetus and momentum. It does not move water, rocks, concrete, or cause volcanic eruptions, geyser spouts, sink hole collapses or earthquakes. When dense and heavy things fall down to the Earth below, or a road needs repair, it is because of a lack of structural support and actual weight and density that collect more heavily than air.

Take Newton's bucket of water and fill it with rocks and put it on top of a 500 lbs. anvil set in the middle of a field. Put a security perimeter around it and a sign that says, "Newtonian Scientific Investigation in Process", "Do Not Touch", and wait 1,000 years to see if gravity will ever move the bucket of solid rocks or the anvil. Like the enormous bell of Saint-Aignan in Orleans, which was on the ground in the same place for 214 years, because nobody could move it, until Pantagruel engineered a solution, gravity will never move it or even a leaf on a tree. Only the wind moves leaves, and forces of impetus and momentum move rocks.


Einstein may not have smoked crack or methamphetamine, but if he hit the street and followed Newton off the bridge, it may not have been so much worse than living in a world of doublespeak and confusion for the sake of heliocentrism. Gravity and acceleration are not equivalent, except for the same difference in things between one or the other; and as much as Newtonian gravitation is not a force that moves anything, there is not a constant inverse relationship between the two.


A circle of leaves being whipped up into a funnel by a little whirlwind is not being moved by gravity. What sets things in motion is a motive principle of impetus, élan, and momentum in quale quid.

The wind goes where it will and returns to its circuits, "ubi vult spirat et in circulos suos regreditur".-6 The leaves are not being moved laterally in circles by gravity. When the wind has gone and the leaves fall down to the ground, coming to quiet rest, gravity will never move them from where they fell either.

If Dorothy Gale and little Toto visited a park in Kansas, but it was closed off with a warning sign that read -- "Park Closed. Prohibited Area. No Skateboarding. No Rollerblading. No Pets. No Fun. Here there is too much gravity. No access area in this field." -- she and Toto would have to stay out. What enjoyment would there be in a field with too much gravity?

The Wizard of Oz would not even be able to help them. If they could not reduce the prohibitive gravitation of the area, condemned by the inverse squared, the abscessed condition so full of heavy weight would be too much to bear. If the Wizard of Oz, Dorothy, and Toto were all outside the fence looking in at the empty park and playground, so full of gravity in loco, they would know that nothing in there will be able to move because of the the dangerously condensed zone. 

If any of the swings, merry-go-rounds, or tree branches started to move, they would also know that it was only the wind and not any of the gravity that was moving them. They closed the park because of gravity, after all, not the wind.

Perhaps the little green apple that fell from the tree did not hit Newton in the head hard enough. It would have saved common sense people a lot of trouble, if it had knocked him out cold; but unfortunately, it did not have enough weight and density or gravity in the matter for that. But never mind trivial details from the past. Perhaps it would be better to remember instead how famous Tippi Turtle would sometimes make that extra dollar -- a little holiday money -- at the Post Office, with diligent helium, in defiance of gravity, of course.

A clever turtle like Tippi could go places in the game, in loco moribus ... to the Moon and Mars with NASA even, and that way take away billions and billions in ill-gotten gains and taxpayer funds, if he really lost his good sense and let all moral principles slide that far, for that kind of money and high advancement. The things temptation can do to people and rabbits, but turtles not so fast, even for black market cigarettes and trips to outer space, yet even the strongest wills may succumb.

If clever tactics may prevail, all one seeking an advantage like Tippi has to do to be as smart is fill up a helium balloon with quality helium, and put it inside a thin gift box, wrap it up, and charge the Post Office for the difference in holiday freight charges when the package ascends to the customer's advantage at the counter. The Post Office will encounter a debt to be paid because by hot air like diligent helium the gift box ascends to defy gravity at a higher level.