### There's No One Left To Lie To

Mali, Guinea Bissau, Niger, its only sometimes that a military coup leads to greater democratization but it happens, occasionally. Burkina Faso, Burundi, were fought over extending term limits, Togo and Guinea, over succession—more often this is how these things go—a conciliation of power, rarely ever devolution to the people.

It's difficult not to be happy about the removal of, as grotesque and cartoonish a figure as Mugabe. His violent rhetoric, his ululating grandstands, his Hollywood-style motorcades, none of it will go having been missed but his departure doesn't inspire much hope for moderation. Zimbabwwe is one of the most corrupt countries in the world and what we're seeing from Emmerson Mnangagwa, the Zanu-PF and the nations military coup is a fight to keep it that way.

Under Mugabe, Rhodesia declined from a jewel in Southern Africa, with a surplus, now tarnished and left in starvation like a Weimar Republic. Poverty at seventy-two per cent, inflation peaking at well over nine digits, with the fiscal situation stretched and Mugabe unsatisfied, he squandered yet further embroiling Zimbabwe in Congo's civil war.

Today a quarter of the population are in need of food assistance, under his tenure life expediency dropped at its lowest point at 36 years, a cholera epidemic plagues the country and agriculture, the export on which its people are chiefly reliant has been decimated. The role of justice for these crimes will fall to the Almighty, Mugabe not failing the International Court orders served on Slobodan Milosevic, Ariel Sharon and Donald Rumsfeld.

The rest of what happened in Zimbabwe is history, the adoption of a new currency the "bond note" pegged with the American dollar which they adopted in 2009, the wild overspending, the land reforms, the mass-printing of money to pay off debt.

Anything but anything, has to be better the Mugabe you might say? Not so fast. Zimbabwe's headlong collapse reached its pinnacle during the land seizures in 2000. Profitable farms, once seized were redistributed to the regimes cronies, who maintained a close connection to Mugabe and lacked the experience to run them, so that they were left to fallow and scrap. GDP stagnated and incredibly, per capita calorie intake is as low as it was in 1980 when the country became independent.

Change looks as though it's on the horizon, with presidential elections due to take place this July but corruption is still rampant. Opposition is threatened, beaten, even jailed. Family members are appointed to high office, and our guarantors of "freedom" in the region are masking an internal dispute among the countries' elites, not a revolution by the people.

Power ensures access to lucrative farming, mining operations and foreign currency. Those in power have been embezzling money from mining and diamond industries for years. Mugabe even winning the national lottery in 2000. If that wasn't terrible enough, during the premiership of those still in power, up to 20,000 people were killed in the Gukurahundi massacre, the slaughter of the Ndebele people in western Zimbabwe. Mugabe as prime architect and Mnangagwa at his side, these were intended as a sustained and strategic effort to remove political opposition from the country.

Mugabe has never accepted responsibility for the Fifth Brigade who carried out the atrocities (allegedly under his explicit instructions), the closest he ever came was describing the early 1980s as a "moment of madness" right after the death of Nkomo in 1999. On one occasion blaming bandits trained by North Korea and coordinated by opposition parties, and another, a plot by the West to undermine the Zanu-PF.

It's far beyond what could be believed with a straight face but the one most positioned to succeed Mugabe in the election—that being Mnangagwa—is complicit. A hardliner who helped establish the one party state to begin with, he's quoted as saying that rule by the Zanu-PF will last "forever".

Maybe once in power Mnangagwa will push for multiparty democracy, and maybe he'll make the case for property rights and independent judiciaries. Maybe we're due for that kind of surprise but that's not how coups usually go. There is certainly still a question over who the long term leadership of Zimbabwe will fall to, but there can be little doubt that the corruption, the lies and the brutality of the regime will continue.

### Set Theory

This post is a very brief introduction to some of the basic concepts of set theory. Set theory is a branch of mathematical-logic, that has wide applications across disciplines. Its not just used in the obvious way of studying the foundations of mathematics by mathematicians but also in physics, social science, and even by philosophers as a theory of semantics for predicate logic (although you can do propositional logic without set theory).

A set is a collection of elements, or members; the notation for a set is specified by listing its components. So the set of even numbers can be represented a
$E: \left \{ 2,4,6,8 ... \right \}$$E: \left \{ x: x > 0 \wedge even\right \}$ Either of these notations is valid. Further, elements of a set can only be in that set, once. So   $E: \left \{ 2,2,2,4,4,6,8 ... \right \} = E: \left \{ 2,4,6,8 ... \right \}$ The notation used to indicate that something is an element of a set, is using the Greek symbol "epsilon". That is: $4 \epsilon S$…

### William Lane Craig and the Hartle-Hawking No Boundary Proposal

Classical standard hot Big Bang cosmology represents the universe as beginning from a singular dense point, with no prior description or explanation of classical spacetime. Quantum cosmology is different in that it replaces the initial singularity with a description in accord with some law the "quantum mechanical wave function of the universe", different approaches to quantum cosmology differ in their appeal either to describe the origin of the material content of the universe e.g., Tyron 1973, Linde 1983a, Krauss 2012 or the origin of spacetime itself e.g., Vilenkin 1982, Linde 1983b, Hartle-Hawking 1983, Vilenkin 1984.

These last few proposals by Vilenkin, Hartle-Hawking and others are solutions to the Wheeler-DeWitt equation and exist in a category of proposals called "quantum gravity cosmologies" which make cosmic applications of an approach to quantum gravity called "closed dynamic triangulation" or CDT (also known as Euclidean quantum gravity). I&#…

### Can inflation be eternal into the past?

Back in 2003 a paper appeared on the arXiv titled "Inflationary spacetimes are not past complete" that was published by Arvind Borde, Alan Guth and Alexander Vilenkin which has had considerable amounts of attention online. The theorem is rather uninteresting but simple and doesn't require a very complicated understanding of math. So I thought I'd explain the result here.

It's purpose is to demonstrate that inflationary models are geodesically incomplete into the past which they take as "synonymous to a beginning" but Vilenkin stresses that the theorem can be extended to non inflationary models so long as the condition of the theorem that the average rate of expansion is never below zero is met. These models too then are incomplete into the past. Consider the metric for an FRW universe with an exponential expansion

Where the scale factor is

Since the eternal inflation model is a "steady state cosmology" the mass density and the Hubble paramet…