I wonder if the writing and reading of books is organically changing. It seems the more old-fashioned of us look for something totally cohesive, especially in a novel — a Story with totally developed Characters and the whole Human thing with Feelings and Morals. While, the more progressive are fine with picking at something: a book like a collection of Wikipedia articles, with no need of wrapping-up: things we can highlight and store, save, attach and detach, Remember.

Remembering itself is different, too. If I remember something, unless it was a personal event to begin with, it’s very likely external. It has to be accessed from somewhere outside my body. I internally store only enough of it to be able to get to it again, but not the thing itself. Like a file name, without the file. An internal search engine?

Altogether it’s all much more modular. I’m not sure if we’re interested in Wholes anymore… At least, not the static kind.

Polymers, Soft Robots, & iPhones

Perhaps I’ll give someone who researches these things a really good idea:

Would it be possible to use responsive materials (like those that respond to pressure, or that used for { Harvard’s flexible robots }) for touchscreens and tablets, to emulate the texture of paper when touched with a stylus?

One thing that’s missing from the experience of any freehand writing or drawing on such a device (even Wacom) is the friction of pen-on-paper. For me, the lack of texture is totally confusing.

New research supports the huge potential of { Tidal Power }January 18, 2013

A global group of scientists and engineers, including from the University of Southampton, has published in a special issue journal of the Royal Society in support of tidal power, which has the potential to provide more than 20 per cent of the UK’s electricity demand, they calculate.

Was { just talking about this }. Evidently Britain, at least, is making headway.

New research supports the huge potential of { Tidal Power }
January 18, 2013

A global group of scientists and engineers, including from the University of Southampton, has published in a special issue journal of the Royal Society in support of tidal power, which has the potential to provide more than 20 per cent of the UK’s electricity demand, they calculate.

Was { just talking about this }. Evidently Britain, at least, is making headway.

—› This Will [Should Not] Mindfuck You [All That Much]: The Double-Slit Experiment.
The link above features a video narrated by “Dr. Quantum” about the Double Slit Experiment, and a new variation of the experiment by A. Wheeler.
Using those as evidence, the writer proposes:


…there is something NOT quite logical or scientific about this universe. The mere act of observation can completely change the outcome of an event!
…
When a camera observed the electrons, they acted as particles. However, when the no equipment was used to observe the electrons, they acted as waves and particles simultaneously.
So what’s the reason for this? Does the electron somehow know that it is being watched? That was the only “logical” reason that scientists could come up with so much skepticism and controversy followed.


That is not true, or just poorly phrased. A particle’s ‘sentience’ was not a “logical” reason proposed by scientists to explain this phenomenon. Competing theories about wave-particle were.
The experiment is well-known in the science community and has been widely explored since ~ 1801 — TWO CENTURIES! — but somehow it’s still boggling the general public’s minds in all the wrong ways.
••••••
The information is misunderstood and misconstrued, leading to this kind of thing in the comments section:
This is proof that we can affect our lives!
This is proof that God exists and scientists don’t understand anything!
This is proof that everything is conscious energy!
The double-slit experiment is neither proof nor suggestion of any of the above.
And though some things can’t be ruled out since we don’t know for certain, it doesn’t mean that all’s equal — we do know how nature works to an extent, and some theories have a greater probability of being true than others.)
The reason I concern myself with this so much is that, not knowing any better, I used to believe some similar ideas. I’d read some things by people who sounded like they knew what they were saying, watched “What the Bleep Do We Know?, etc.
…and then I accessed the giant library that is the internet and found that those ideas were misguided at best, even if well-intentioned.
••••••
A few problems with the “implications” listed by the author:
The term observation in quantum physics does not mean the same thing as it does for us in our daily experience, as the poster above illustrates.
It doesn’t necessarily follow that “macroscopic events” can be influenced in the way the author means — our human events do not directly translate to Nature’s language. We must attempt to understand that, no matter how much we’d like it to be the case that we can influence our lives with quantum mind power.
More of a question, and the real reason I’m posting this: (it would be great if anyone could contribute answers) — If we must disturb a particle to observe what it did, and the author claims that the experiment was designed so that the particle would not be disturbed until after it “decided” to act as wave or particle… how do we know that it decided to be a [particle] at all?  I’d love a better explanation of Wheeler’s variation on the double-slit since I don’t really understand how it works, but don’t trust that this particular author has the right idea about it.

—› This Will [Should Not] Mindfuck You [All That Much]: The Double-Slit Experiment.

The link above features a video narrated by “Dr. Quantum” about the Double Slit Experiment, and a new variation of the experiment by A. Wheeler.

Using those as evidence, the writer proposes:

…there is something NOT quite logical or scientific about this universe. The mere act of observation can completely change the outcome of an event!

When a camera observed the electrons, they acted as particles. However, when the no equipment was used to observe the electrons, they acted as waves and particles simultaneously.

So what’s the reason for this? Does the electron somehow know that it is being watched? That was the only “logical” reason that scientists could come up with so much skepticism and controversy followed.

That is not true, or just poorly phrased. A particle’s ‘sentience’ was not a “logical” reason proposed by scientists to explain this phenomenon. Competing theories about wave-particle were.

The experiment is well-known in the science community and has been widely explored since ~ 1801 — TWO CENTURIES! — but somehow it’s still boggling the general public’s minds in all the wrong ways.

••••••

The information is misunderstood and misconstrued, leading to this kind of thing in the comments section:

  • This is proof that we can affect our lives!
  • This is proof that God exists and scientists don’t understand anything!
  • This is proof that everything is conscious energy!

The double-slit experiment is neither proof nor suggestion of any of the above.

And though some things can’t be ruled out since we don’t know for certain, it doesn’t mean that all’s equal — we do know how nature works to an extent, and some theories have a greater probability of being true than others.)

The reason I concern myself with this so much is that, not knowing any better, I used to believe some similar ideas. I’d read some things by people who sounded like they knew what they were saying, watched “What the Bleep Do We Know?, etc.

…and then I accessed the giant library that is the internet and found that those ideas were misguided at best, even if well-intentioned.

••••••

A few problems with the “implications” listed by the author:

  • The term observation in quantum physics does not mean the same thing as it does for us in our daily experience, as the poster above illustrates.

  • It doesn’t necessarily follow that “macroscopic events” can be influenced in the way the author means — our human events do not directly translate to Nature’s language. We must attempt to understand that, no matter how much we’d like it to be the case that we can influence our lives with quantum mind power.

  • More of a question, and the real reason I’m posting this: (it would be great if anyone could contribute answers) —

    If we must disturb a particle to observe what it did, and the author claims that the experiment was designed so that the particle would not be disturbed until after it “decided” to act as wave or particle… how do we know that it decided to be a [particle] at all? 

    I’d love a better explanation of Wheeler’s variation on the double-slit since I don’t really understand how it works, but don’t trust that this particular author has the right idea about it.
 All Roads Lead to “Philosophy”

There was an idea floating around that continuously following the first link of any Wikipedia article will eventually lead to “Philosophy.” 1 This sounded like a reasonable assertion, one that makes a certain amount of sense in retrospect: any description of something will typically use more general terms. Following that idea will eventually lead… somewhere.It also sounded like an idea that would be easily examinable with basic client-side scripting tools, using the Wikipedia API and a good graphing package. …

via { xefer }
••••••
Interesting experiment. Click through to test it!
But I wonder, isn’t this a fallacy? I don’t know the formal name — backwards reasoning? Why Philosophy? Would the same work for, say, “information” or “science” or “universe”?
••••••
ANSWERS:
{ What I Remembered }:

Science is pretty narrow in terms of what it is designed to know (as I seem to be forever pointing out), the Universe, although it is everything, is still understood by most as an object of study, which leaves open the question (and the next click) to means of study and how we know things. Information is just what Wikipedia is, so everything they present falls into this set, but having the wikipedia page on information be the page that all others lead to would be like having the wikipedia page on wikipedia be the page that all others ultimately point to.

OS, RE WIR:

Thank you for your answer; a good point! I tend to think of things in an interconnected way (thus why I also named science; despite the practice of Science being specific), but as you said, the context of this project has to do with study; “how we know things”, and “the next click”.
In my question (and usually when I use the word) I meant “universe” as everything. The object containing study, not purely the object of it (this is a visual description).
The part about the recursive Wikipedia link — I see what you’re getting at. Yes, in the context of this code, it’s probably true. But in a more general sense, I disagree. The way I’m using it here is, like “universe”, in the sense that all “things” are information. (There’s some outlining of that { here }, though mostly in a more specific sense, about Algorithmic Information Content.) Philosophy is, itself, information, just as it is itself contained within the Universe, inescapably so.

{ The Revolution is Coming… }

i think the point here is that everything starts as philosophy, as philosophy is basically just life theory. some of it is reasonable, some of it isn’t. the point is that all ideas start as a thought, which is your personal philosophy, and transform over time into something else altogether, be that science, or math, art, politics, religion, etc. of course if you trace anything back over time your going to find the inception of the idea, being personal philosophy. its a logical beginning to all things. imo.

OS, RE RIC:

Also a good answer! But the last part “its a logical beginning to all things” is something to question. I’m not sure that it’s obvious, as I attempted to explain with the reasoning for an even more “general” or “core” word like Universe or Information.
And this: “the point is that all ideas start as a thought” — I’d argue that they do not. That is of course a philosophical argument in itself, but I’m not interested in debating Chairs here. Just a suggestion to reach past that; consider that ideas start as a thought, which in turn begins as something from outside ourselves. (I don’t mean Plato’s world of ideas or anything, just that our ideas stem from the experience of Information over millenia. “Experience of Info.” meaning our experience as being info., ancestral genetic experience of it, and info. as physical constituents of the universe.)

{ Jack Crofts }

I agree with your stance on fallacy. In fact, in high school during lulls in classroom activity, we would play a game called the 6 degrees of Wikipedia. The challenge was to get from one random article to another though linked articles, and it was always possible. With any number of degrees of separation I would say you could link any article to anything.

OS RE JC:

This is what I was getting at! But you stated it much more clearly. Thanks for this. Basically, if we allow the number of links between any two words to be infinite, as you said, it’s probably possible to link anything to anything. 
I think this is also a kind of “cherry-picking”, like that { BS snowflake experiment }. If you want to get to a conclusion, eventually you will. Thus the importance in experimental science to not try to arrive at a result.

••••••
It’s great to see some discussion about this!
This helps me define the question better: Again, thinking on broader terms than only the project in question and the limits of code (but also encompassing this project/inquiry), what do we consider the meeting point of all roads? (Loaded, I know. Don’t have to answer.)
Because this is something I tend to think about a lot, I find it funny that Philosophy is the “Rome” here. Not funny as in unusual, but because it seems clear that it should be so. But it’s also completely human-centric — I want to bring attention to that. Philosophy is the product of Our thoughts, whereas We can be thought of as the product of the Universe / of Information.
I’ll continue to re-post answers here, if that’s fine. Message me if you want yours omitted.

 All Roads Lead to “Philosophy”

There was an idea floating around that continuously following the first link of any Wikipedia article will eventually lead to “Philosophy.” 1 This sounded like a reasonable assertion, one that makes a certain amount of sense in retrospect: any description of something will typically use more general terms. Following that idea will eventually lead… somewhere.

It also sounded like an idea that would be easily examinable with basic client-side scripting tools, using the Wikipedia API and a good graphing package. …

via { xefer }

••••••

Interesting experiment. Click through to test it!

But I wonder, isn’t this a fallacy? I don’t know the formal name — backwards reasoning? Why Philosophy? Would the same work for, say, “information” or “science” or “universe”?

••••••

ANSWERS:

{ What I Remembered }:

Science is pretty narrow in terms of what it is designed to know (as I seem to be forever pointing out), the Universe, although it is everything, is still understood by most as an object of study, which leaves open the question (and the next click) to means of study and how we know things. Information is just what Wikipedia is, so everything they present falls into this set, but having the wikipedia page on information be the page that all others lead to would be like having the wikipedia page on wikipedia be the page that all others ultimately point to.

OS, RE WIR:

Thank you for your answer; a good point! I tend to think of things in an interconnected way (thus why I also named science; despite the practice of Science being specific), but as you said, the context of this project has to do with study; “how we know things”, and “the next click”.

In my question (and usually when I use the word) I meant “universe” as everything. The object containing study, not purely the object of it (this is a visual description).

The part about the recursive Wikipedia link — I see what you’re getting at. Yes, in the context of this code, it’s probably true. But in a more general sense, I disagree. The way I’m using it here is, like “universe”, in the sense that all “things” are information. (There’s some outlining of that { here }, though mostly in a more specific sense, about Algorithmic Information Content.) Philosophy is, itself, information, just as it is itself contained within the Universe, inescapably so.

{ The Revolution is Coming… }

i think the point here is that everything starts as philosophy, as philosophy is basically just life theory. some of it is reasonable, some of it isn’t. the point is that all ideas start as a thought, which is your personal philosophy, and transform over time into something else altogether, be that science, or math, art, politics, religion, etc. of course if you trace anything back over time your going to find the inception of the idea, being personal philosophy. its a logical beginning to all things. imo.

OS, RE RIC:

Also a good answer! But the last part “its a logical beginning to all things” is something to question. I’m not sure that it’s obvious, as I attempted to explain with the reasoning for an even more “general” or “core” word like Universe or Information.

And this: “the point is that all ideas start as a thought” — I’d argue that they do not. That is of course a philosophical argument in itself, but I’m not interested in debating Chairs here. Just a suggestion to reach past that; consider that ideas start as a thought, which in turn begins as something from outside ourselves. (I don’t mean Plato’s world of ideas or anything, just that our ideas stem from the experience of Information over millenia. “Experience of Info.” meaning our experience as being info., ancestral genetic experience of it, and info. as physical constituents of the universe.)

{ Jack Crofts }

I agree with your stance on fallacy. In fact, in high school during lulls in classroom activity, we would play a game called the 6 degrees of Wikipedia. The challenge was to get from one random article to another though linked articles, and it was always possible. With any number of degrees of separation I would say you could link any article to anything.

OS RE JC:

This is what I was getting at! But you stated it much more clearly. Thanks for this. Basically, if we allow the number of links between any two words to be infinite, as you said, it’s probably possible to link anything to anything.

I think this is also a kind of “cherry-picking”, like that { BS snowflake experiment }. If you want to get to a conclusion, eventually you will. Thus the importance in experimental science to not try to arrive at a result.

••••••

It’s great to see some discussion about this!

This helps me define the question better: Again, thinking on broader terms than only the project in question and the limits of code (but also encompassing this project/inquiry), what do we consider the meeting point of all roads? (Loaded, I know. Don’t have to answer.)

Because this is something I tend to think about a lot, I find it funny that Philosophy is the “Rome” here. Not funny as in unusual, but because it seems clear that it should be so. But it’s also completely human-centric — I want to bring attention to that. Philosophy is the product of Our thoughts, whereas We can be thought of as the product of the Universe / of Information.

I’ll continue to re-post answers here, if that’s fine. Message me if you want yours omitted.