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.

No comments: