Culture of Silence

Fail Gracefully

It's hard to want to stay away.

His condition is such that he will never know about it.

Just in case.

"In one famous experiment, Brenda Milner, a Canadian psychologist, asked HM to remember the number 584 for as long as possible. To keep the number on the tip of his tongue, he used a complicated system, which he recounted to Milner:
"It's easy. You just remember 8. You see 5, 8, and 4 add to 17. You remember 8, subtract it from 17, and it leaves 9. Divide 9 in half and you get 5 and 4 and there you are: 584. Easy."
He concentrated on this elaborate mantra for several minutes. But as soon as he was distracted, the number dissolved. He couldn't even remember that he'd been asked to remember something."

I think the best governments (if they exist at all), should have strong, well funded campaigns to educate it's populace and raise awareness of the importance of unbridled public criticism of the government and it's policies. You ought to do everything you can to make me interested in what you are doing, and loud if I disagree. Communication is the key, and most of us don't even know how.

Listen, we are alone, we all suffer similar struggles in a similar amount of time; we all face the same gloomy unknown. It's not pleasant, but instead of arguing about the details of who's fault it is, or who should be praised for it, or the details of ancient superstitions and how they relate to the struggles we face today and in the future, maybe we could try investigating the problems we face, looking for solutions, and attempting to implement said solutions to make our lives more pleasurable, and everyone in the future as well.

Path dependence

I prefer to be in a constant state of crisis.

What, just by dumb luck we happen to have struck the magic method of science, and we developed so rapidly that no one could possibly compete with us.
Could you handle being threatened with a gun? For some reason I think that would hit me really hard. Imagine knowing you are a quarter of an inch away from death. A muscle spasm away from non-existence. I imagine that such an experience takes a costly toll from anyone who experiences it.
I'm really happy I met you.
Why do these things so strongly affect me? Stupid human beings, stupid brain.
Can god deliver a religion addict?

"There are so many powers of ten that I don't even know what english word to apply to it."
-Steven Weinberg (in part 2)
(Steven Weinberg Discussion (1/8) - Richard Dawkins)

The interview with Randolph Nesse is really good.

So Weinberg mentions the fluctuations in the fields (EM, or gravity, or any field), the calculated value is about 56 orders of magnitude larger than the observed value (the cosmological constant indicates a very low energy density for empty space, about a few barrels of oil in a volume the size of the earth). Is there a modification we can make to the theory of gravity that would change the observations to fit the calculated value? I think he also mentioned that the calculated value was mostly first order, and its possible higher order terms have a large influence, though it seems unlikely given the 56 magnitude.

I'm a macho physicist. Though I admit we may never know, and actually I would not be willing to put a likelihood on whether we ever will or not. But I can conceive of it all being understood, and I have glimpsed one possible approach that... crap, I didn't finish this sentence and I don't remember what I was thinking.
Hmm, are there any girls interested in helping me determine the spring constant of my mattress?

I didn't watch these yet.
Dawkins & Aubrey Manning
Dawkins at UC Berkley

Our existence doesn't really tell us anything about the probability of life arising, or intelligent life arising, or even the probability of life-supporting planets existing.

Okay, so about a month ago I came across this: US bribe insurgents to fight Al-Qaeda, which induced in me strong feelings of vindication, since I had been advocating bribery for quite some time before that. I have a new idea however! We must send them, THE INTERNET! And not just Iraqi insurgents, send it to anyone we are worried about. Quick, start mailing computers to North Korea, and set up a free ISP there. And maybe a small education program on how to use it. Who's gonna turn it down? When you go to sell this to the world leaders that hate us, just show them the stuff they'll like, Kim will love the streaming video stuff, we just won't show him anything he won't like.

"When life gives you lemons, just say fuck the lemons and bail."
"I like the hair. I wonder if the carpet matches her pubes."
(Paul Rudd's character in Forgetting Sarah Marshall)

Culture of Silence.

I'm actually embarrassed to be an american. Less than half of us understand evolution. That's something virtually everyone should have known before middle school.
There is no other side.
A real movie about science, with the big bang through human evolution? That could be interesting. It could be wonderful. Could it be portrayed in logarithmic time?

I'm a little surprised, a little disturbed, and a little excited (happy) that Dawkins and Krauss, after mentioning Mike Huckabee's statement about running for president rather than a writing an 8th grade biology textbook, neither one of them mentioned my simple criticism of that statement which is: a prerequisite of presidential bids should be the ability to pass an 8th grade biology class, and denying evolution should warrant a failure of 8th grade biology.

Learn to talk like a physicist.
I want to find the Attenborough series I saw in 5th grade (because it is good).
Now I need to watch The Ascent of Man
Easily one of the most messed up things I have ever heard of.
PZ Meyers interviewed by Richard Dawkins. I don't think I watched more than the first few minutes yet, and I'm a little concerned that they were speaking really technically.
Lawrence Krauss and Dawkins.

We [humans] just launched a satellite that should be capable of detecting earth-like extrasolar planets—for the first time pointing us towards potential equival homes, which can more importantly be interpreted as potential neighbors. Considering it has only been in my lifetime that we have gone from whatever proceeded the Kecks, to a satellite capable of detecting extrasolar planets with earth-like masses and orbits (do I have that right?), it is extremely exciting to think about what might occur in the other 2/3rds of my expected life time.

It's really funny how much annoyance I just completely tolerate and deal with. Like my old car for instance: the doors didn't lock or unlock and the passenger door didn't open from the outside or very easily from the inside, (several years); the rear drivers side tire had two nails in it so I had to put air in it every time I drove (several months); the radio only worked within a few miles of a given radio station (years); blown speakers (years); water leaked in through the window and filled up the passenger side floor pan, leading it to rust (years); the headlights would usually turn off entirely if you went to high beams (though this issue was sporadic; a year or two). Nothing else really comes to mind. I do the same thing everywhere in my life, I have a big tupperware container with all my cloths in it (have had it since I moved out of my parents I think), so I have to dig through it to find the right cloths (like matching socks). Why do I ignore these problems like this? Because I can. Because they really don't bother me enough to do anything about them. I actually get used to them to the point where I don't even think of them as problems anymore.

"Ridicule is the only weapon that can be used against unintelligible propositions. Ideas must be distinct before reason can act upon them" Thomas Jefferson

more anti-creationist youtube

Handicap the compliment.

A funny design for an estop circuit would be to have all the buttons simply short to ground, thus drawing too much current and flipping a breaker.
I just thought of a new word: penuis. It's a penis this is unusually intelligent.
Want to know what can actually succeed in angering me? (Cause we all know it's not that easy.)

mea culpa
"The nipples of Mother Hope have run dry."
Really, you don't want to know. You're better off with your imagination on this one.
The ability of people to stand by their convictions in the face of conflicting evidence baffles me.

How to spot a hidden religious agenda.

Supernormal stimuli.
Inversion of reasoning.
How might we go about quantifying 'goodness' in humans?
Could evolution be considered an efficient method of solving NP complete problems? Could I design an environment in which organisms evolved towards a solution for an NP-complete instance? Seems unlikely, mostly because non-optimal aspects pervade organic solutions. Could I come up with a more rigorous line of reasoning as to why this isn't possible?

How wrong do we have to be about physics for a steady state universe? Is there any bound on entropy increase? If the universe is computing something, is there really any entropy at all?

The terms culture of silence and conspiracy of silence which I linked to above really speak to me. I tend to attribute a lot of what I don't like about my own life or my own behavior to silly notions of appropriateness that our society has preserved and ingrained in us. It is especially weird to feel this way and yet not really have altered my behavior yet.

Because it's all the same to you.
Graceful exit.


Everything goes to Ruin

Was alternative music named so with intentional irony? Because it seems ironic now that a genre so ubiquitous (at least from my perspective) is called 'alternative'.

Beethoven's immortal beloved.
"In the way with A., everything goes to ruin."
-Ludwig van Beethoven

"Frank, give me the gun, we're in a hurry."
"Where is it?"
"It's in your hand."

I'd like to win your favor.
Why is it that my mouth is not allowed to say certain things, but my fingers can?

Big day eve.

"With no fall back for my disappointment, this is..."
"Don't investigate. Over."
"What is shaking?"
"Do you find the weather satisfying?"
"Everything we stole everything we broke everything we bought nothing ever stays the same."
Brace for impact.

Was there ever a moment I could have saved us? Or even a time I could have rescued you?
"Yo Holmes, we're looking for a microwave."

I'm sorry that I'm a pompous, arrogant, conceited, narcissistic asshole, but thats just what I am.
We're always going to want just a little bit more.

Defeat is impossible.
"I hope Satan has a nice colon, cause that's where you'll be living."
Precautionary principle.

Throw away my fire.

Long distance mice.
And where they came from.

I'll need your mother's maiden name, and her bank account numbers.
Your love will be, safe with me

Compare and contrast:
"So long as there is death there will be sorrow, and so long as there is sorrow it can be no part of the duty of human beings to increase its amount, in spite of the fact that a few rare spirits know how to transmute it." - Bertrand Russell
"A quick test of the assertion that enjoyment outweighs pain in this world, or that they are at any rate balanced, would be to compare the feelings of an animal engaged in eating another with those of the animal being eaten." —Arthur Schopenhauer

"Well we're safe for now, thank goodness we're in a bowling ally."
"How'd you get to be so smart all the sudden?
-I had a good day."

Excessive Prominence.
FUCK ALL OF YOU. Any rational being should recognize how completely fucked up circumcision is, male or female.

A new name for everything.
Composition B
If I ever do have kids, I really need to remember to teach them to remember numbers both forwards and backwards.
Free the Facts!
Running the Numbers.

Laughter is a state of mind.
"Whoever invented rope is an a-hole."

Today I learned that more Japanese-Americans (who had American citizenship) died in the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki than did in the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks on September 11th 2001.
"On 8 August 1945, Albert Camus addressed the bombing of Hiroshima in an editorial in the French newspaper Combat:
'Mechanized civilization has just reached the ultimate stage of barbarism. In a near future, we will have to choose between mass suicide and intelligent use of scientific conquests[...] This can no longer be simply a prayer; it must become an order which goes upward from the peoples to the governments, an order to make a definitive choice between hell and reason.' "

Between Hell and Reason.
Everything must be put to fire.
Exception to the rule.
Willing hands.
In the meantime.
A Soviet attack! The business is ours!

No, I won't wait forever.

Life evolved to use a four symbol code of length three, called a codon, to represent amino acids used in the construction of proteins. Could it be that this architecture is somehow more advantageous than say a two symbol code of length five? Or a five symbol code of length two? Codons only code for 20 amino acids, and the remaining 44 combinations are apparently redundant, which might benefit reliability, could this architecture benefit us in our machines as well? Oo, and 8 of the 20 codons are uninfluenced by their third digit...


We don't want a solution because we like the problem.
Revolution insurance.
emotional lability

"I'll finally be able to gay marry a stem cell created illegal alien."
-Jon Stewart

"Live life abundantly"
Pretty things.
"Oh you're longing for what you love. Longing for what you love."

We're falling for our own trick.
I will stay for this last transformation.

The religious ought to take note: if you want to start a war between religion and science, fine, bring it on. But honestly, your best strategy for post-war existence is to not sound so crazy, because science will inevitably be right (that is how science works, it replaces any errors it finds with more correct explanations, and in principle it never has any qualms about 'upgrading' to better explanations), and whatever bullshit you spew in defense will only determine what things the survivors are most skeptical of.

Forgetting this means everything.
Someone who will keep an eye open when you want to close yours.
"Well, you played with your emotions and your emotions got the best of you."
Polite euphemism.
Flip you for it.

Science is the poetry of reality.
"I can't die now, I haven't been happy yet."

"We communicate in questions."
This was the worst emergency christmas ever.

Slow down you might be perfect.
Hold on you might be worth it.
Slow down they don't deserve it.
Slow down I haven't learned yet.
Well I miss you my friend.
Will I see your face again?

Smile like you mean it for once.
"I'm willing to start at the bottom and infiltrate my way up."

The strong will take care of the weak.
We communicate in questions.

Circle map.
Lub dub. I need to make more artwork. Lub dub. Involving these things. Lub dub.

What's your worst fear?
Any might be too many.

I'm not good at it, but I can do it well.
We're in the same spot, we're miles apart. I think I'm glad that it's over. I almost remember.
"The past seems prettier through a rearview mirror."
This is pretty awesome.

It's not enough to be complete?

Circle of confusion. I just like the phrase.
Geometry is about the distance between things.
Here are some science oriented tattoos. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.

"befuddled by anoxia"

I just realized I am faithful in the 'free market' model as applied to the economic relationships between countries. Our country and their country must agree on what it trades, pays, how it is safe or not, etc.
"only a moment or two of brutal madness"

The plot seemed to trouble children who watched it in test screenings, essentially afflicting the comfortable, rather than comforting the afflicted.

Unbelievable ants.

Nullpunktenergie (German word that resulted in 'zero point energy')

T-shirt idea:
"proud participant of Big Science conspiracy"
I heart death.

I can see the direct result of my effort.

The fitness function for humans is our emotions and feelings! Because EVERYTHING is a feeling.

Respectfully, go fuck yourself.

I don't want to be there when you fall.
And do we have just this one chance that's all?