meta-maieutics
Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.

Asvaghosa’s Buddhacarita (via liberatingreality)

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Furthermore, be wary of believing your own mind and experience — they’re prone to trickery.

subatomicuniverse

You want a physicist to speak at your funeral. You want the physicist to talk to your grieving family about the conservation of energy, so they will understand that your energy has not died. You want the physicist to remind your sobbing mother about the first law of thermodynamics; that no energy gets created in the universe, and none is destroyed. You want your mother to know that all your energy, every vibration, every Btu of heat, every wave of every particle that was her beloved child remains with her in this world. You want the physicist to tell your weeping father that amid energies of the cosmos, you gave as good as you got.

And at one point you’d hope that the physicist would step down from the pulpit and walk to your brokenhearted spouse there in the pew and tell him that all the photons that ever bounced off your face, all the particles whose paths were interrupted by your smile, by the touch of your hair, hundreds of trillions of particles, have raced off like children, their ways forever changed by you. And as your widow rocks in the arms of a loving family, may the physicist let her know that all the photons that bounced from you were gathered in the particle detectors that are her eyes, that those photons createphyd within her constellations of electromagnetically charged neurons whose energy will go on forever.

And the physicist will remind the congregation of how much of all our energy is given off as heat. There may be a few fanning themselves with their programs as he says it. And he will tell them that the warmth that flowed through you in life is still here, still part of all that we are, even as we who mourn continue the heat of our own lives.

And you’ll want the physicist to explain to those who loved you that they need not have faith; indeed, they should not have faith. Let them know that they can measure, that scientists have measured precisely the conservation of energy and found it accurate, verifiable and consistent across space and time. You can hope your family will examine the evidence and satisfy themselves that the science is sound and that they’ll be comforted to know your energy’s still around. According to the law of the conservation of energy, not a bit of you is gone; you’re just less orderly. Amen.

Aaron Freeman (via indecenciesandobscurities)
Stop Using Quantum Mechanics as Evidence for Magic
Esther Inglis-Arkell

Quantum mechanics is a beautiful and still-controversial idea. It is rightly popular. What’s not right is the way people use it to justify any reality-bending idea in their novels, their TV shows, or their personal philosophies. “Quantum” does not mean anything you want.

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This, one hundred times over.
The funny thing is, my interest in science deepened thanks to the New Age Quantum Woo, by first slogging through it and wanting to believe — because it offered some form of hope. But I had asked questions: why does that work? How? Is that quite right? Is it 100% true? And I found that it didn’t hold. However “positive” their “intentions” may be, it’s still “snake oil”.

Stop Using Quantum Mechanics as Evidence for Magic

Esther Inglis-Arkell

Quantum mechanics is a beautiful and still-controversial idea. It is rightly popular. What’s not right is the way people use it to justify any reality-bending idea in their novels, their TV shows, or their personal philosophies. “Quantum” does not mean anything you want.

••••••

This, one hundred times over.

The funny thing is, my interest in science deepened thanks to the New Age Quantum Woo, by first slogging through it and wanting to believe — because it offered some form of hope. But I had asked questions: why does that work? How? Is that quite right? Is it 100% true? And I found that it didn’t hold. However “positive” their “intentions” may be, it’s still “snake oil”.

somewhatclever-er

somewhatclever-er:

Brain-melting:
http://ift.tt/1xgn9vK

••••••

“‘If you put three pigeons in two pigeonholes, at least two of the pigeons end up in the same hole.’ … [However, the team] found instances when three quantum particles [were] put in two boxes, ‘yet no two particles [shared] the same box.’

In conclusion, … the authors [have] ‘presented a new quantum effect that requires us to revisit some of the most basic notions of quantum physics—the notions of separability, of correlations and of interactions.’”

"For instance, I could ask you to differentiate this function. In principle, there’s nothing stopping you from just plowing ahead and computing the derivative… [Except] one thing[:] your sense of human decency! It’s just an awful calculation, nobody would wanna do that.”

- Jim Fowler, Prof. of Mathematics at Ohio State & instructor of Calculus 1 at Coursera

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This man understands me.

Liquid Hard Drive Implants Could Increase Intellect
By  Anthony CuthbertsonJuly 25, 2014

Although Glotzer [chemical engineer at UMich] acknowledges that such ideas are purely speculative for the moment, these neural implants could potentially be used to assist the human brain in accessing additional information or calculating computational tasks without needing to touch a calculator. This would allow individuals to learn and absorb information at unprecedented rates.

Liquid Hard Drive Implants Could Increase Intellect

By Anthony CuthbertsonJuly 25, 2014

Although Glotzer [chemical engineer at UMich] acknowledges that such ideas are purely speculative for the moment, these neural implants could potentially be used to assist the human brain in accessing additional information or calculating computational tasks without needing to touch a calculator. This would allow individuals to learn and absorb information at unprecedented rates.

subatomicuniverse
humanoidhistory:

Albert Einstein in Princeton, New Jersey, 1947, photo by Philippe Halsman, Magnum.

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I don’t recall the source now, but I read or heard somewhere (and I agree) that it’s funny we always show and see pictures of Einstein as an old man, and associate those images with the brilliant mind that was. But it was in his younger, less frizzy-haired years that he conceived of his famed ideas about Relativity. As he aged, the science he helped plant grew into something immensely strange and unrecognizable to him (Quantum Mechanics), which he resisted vehemently.

humanoidhistory:

Albert Einstein in Princeton, New Jersey, 1947, photo by Philippe Halsman, Magnum.

••••••

I don’t recall the source now, but I read or heard somewhere (and I agree) that it’s funny we always show and see pictures of Einstein as an old man, and associate those images with the brilliant mind that was. But it was in his younger, less frizzy-haired years that he conceived of his famed ideas about Relativity. As he aged, the science he helped plant grew into something immensely strange and unrecognizable to him (Quantum Mechanics), which he resisted vehemently.

subatomicuniverse
I was an ordinary person
who studied hard.

Richard Feynman, theoretical physicist, d. 1988 (via whats-out-there)

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Context:

"You ask me if an ordinary person could ever get to be able to imagine these things like I imagine them. Of course! I was an ordinary person who studied hard. There are no miracle people. It happens they get interested in this thing and they learn all this stuff, but they’re just people. There’s no talent, no special ability to understand quantum mechanics, or to imagine electromagnetic fields, that comes without practice and reading and learning and study. I was not born understanding quantum mechanics — I still don’t understand quantum mechanics! I was born not knowing things were made out of atoms, and not being able to visualize, therefore, when I saw the bottle of milk that I was sucking, that it was a dynamic bunch of balls bouncing around. I had to learn that just like anybody else. So if you take an ordinary person who is willing to devote a great deal of time and work and thinking and mathematics, then he’s become a scientist!”

••••••

True of art, as well.

"Bio-synthetic"
Or, semiannual shit-test.
Listen to cat music.
•••••
Ft.: xanthoria (orange wall lichen), usnea (old man’s beard), cladonia rangiferina (reindeer moss), bracket fungi (shelf mushrooms), shield lichen, cushion moss, mycena haematopus (purple mushroom), and irradiated quartz (angel aura)

"Bio-synthetic"

Or, semiannual shit-test.

Listen to cat music.

•••••

Ft.: xanthoria (orange wall lichen), usnea (old man’s beard), cladonia rangiferina (reindeer moss), bracket fungi (shelf mushrooms), shield lichen, cushion moss, mycena haematopus (purple mushroom), and irradiated quartz (angel aura)

fouriestseries
fouriestseries:

Chaos and the Double Pendulum
A chaotic system is one in which infinitesimal differences in the starting conditions lead to drastically different results as the system evolves.
Summarized by mathematician Edward Lorentz, ”Chaos [is] when the present determines the future, but the approximate present does not approximately determine the future.”
There’s an important distinction to make between a chaotic system and a random system. Given the starting conditions, a chaotic system is entirely deterministic. A random system, on the other hand, is entirely non-deterministic, even when the starting conditions are known. That is, with enough information, the evolution of a chaotic system is entirely predictable, but in a random system there’s no amount of information that would be enough to predict the system’s evolution.
The simulations above show two slightly different initial conditions for a double pendulum — an example of a chaotic system. In the left animation both pendulums begin horizontally, and in the right animation the red pendulum begins horizontally and the blue is rotated by 0.1 radians (≈ 5.73°) above the positive x-axis. In both simulations, all of the pendulums begin from rest.
Mathematica code posted here.
[For more information on how to solve for the motion of a double pendulum, check out my video here.]

fouriestseries:

Chaos and the Double Pendulum

chaotic system is one in which infinitesimal differences in the starting conditions lead to drastically different results as the system evolves.

Summarized by mathematician Edward Lorentz, ”Chaos [is] when the present determines the future, but the approximate present does not approximately determine the future.”

There’s an important distinction to make between a chaotic system and a random system. Given the starting conditions, a chaotic system is entirely deterministic. A random system, on the other hand, is entirely non-deterministic, even when the starting conditions are known. That is, with enough information, the evolution of a chaotic system is entirely predictable, but in a random system there’s no amount of information that would be enough to predict the system’s evolution.

The simulations above show two slightly different initial conditions for a double pendulum — an example of a chaotic system. In the left animation both pendulums begin horizontally, and in the right animation the red pendulum begins horizontally and the blue is rotated by 0.1 radians (≈ 5.73°) above the positive x-axis. In both simulations, all of the pendulums begin from rest.

Mathematica code posted here.

[For more information on how to solve for the motion of a double pendulum, check out my video here.]

Many orthodox people speak as though it were the business of sceptics to disprove received dogmas rather than of dogmatists to prove them. This is, of course, a mistake. If I were to suggest that between the Earth and Mars there is a china teapot revolving about the sun in an elliptical orbit, nobody would be able to disprove my assertion provided I were careful to add that the teapot is too small to be revealed even by our most powerful telescopes. But if I were to go on to say that, since my assertion cannot be disproved, it is intolerable presumption on the part of human reason to doubt it, I should rightly be thought to be talking nonsense. If, however, the existence of such a teapot were affirmed in ancient books, taught as the sacred truth every Sunday, and instilled into the minds of children at school, hesitation to believe in its existence would become a mark of eccentricity and entitle the doubter to the attentions of the psychiatrist in an enlightened age or of the Inquisitor in an earlier time.