12 DEC 2017 by ideonexus

 Summary of Human Evolution

ABOUT 13.5 BILLION YEARS AGO, MATTER, energy, time and space came into being in what is known as the Big Bang. The story of these fundamental features of our universe is called physics. About 300,000 years after their appearance, matter and energy started to coalesce into complex structures, called atoms, which then combined into molecules. The story of atoms, molecules and their interactions is called chemistry. About 3.8 billion years ago, on a planet called Earth, certain molecules combi...
Folksonomies: epic history
Folksonomies: epic history
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22 NOV 2017 by ideonexus

 Top-Down Engineering of AI

The philosophers’ fascination with propositions was mirrored in good old-fashioned AI, the AI of John McCarthy, early Marvin Minsky, and Allen Newell, Herbert Simon, and Cliff Shaw. It was the idea that the way to make an intelligent agent was from the top down. You have a set of propositions in some proprietary formulation. It’s not going to be English—well, maybe LISP or something like that, where you define all the predicates and the operators. Then, you have this huge database that ...
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24 DEC 2016 by ideonexus

 Unlike Physics, Biology Can't Ignore Information

Physicists love to think about systems that take only a little information to describe. So when they get a system that takes a lot of information to describe, they use a trick called 'statistical mechanics', where you try to ignore most of this information and focus on a few especially important variables. For example, if you hand a physicist a box of gas, they'll try to avoid thinking about the state of each atom, and instead focus on a few macroscopic quantities like the volume and total en...
Folksonomies: physics biology information
Folksonomies: physics biology information
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31 MAY 2015 by ideonexus

 Flatland Science: Dimensions

What and where is Flatland? A Square gives us several interesting answers, many of th contradictory. We know that it’s flat, big (but how big?), and very thin, the most important question of all is “how thin?” A lot depends on the answer… A Square himself eliminates the version that’s easiest for three-dimensional readers to understand; a world that’s thin – maybe only a few atoms thick - but nevertheless has some physical height. It would have some sort of solid or semi-solid ...
Folksonomies: science fiction otherness
Folksonomies: science fiction otherness
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23 MAY 2015 by ideonexus

 A Sonata as Teacher

Music makes things in our minds, but afterward most of them fade away. What remains? In one old story about Mozart, the wonder child hears a lengthy contrapuntal mass and then writes down the entire score. I do not believe such tales, for history documents so few of them that they seem to be mere legend, though by that argument Mozart also would seem to be legend. Most people do not even remember the themes of an evening's concert. Yet, when the tunes are played again, they are recognized. So...
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02 MAR 2015 by ideonexus

 Importance of Leisure in Science

Long before anyone knew that the universe had a beginning, before we knew that the nearest large galaxy lies two and a half million light-years from Earth, before we knew how stars work or whether atoms exist, James Ferguson's enthusiastic introduction to his favorite science rang true. Yet his words, apart from their eighteenth-century flourish, could have been written yesterday. But who gets to think that way? Who gets to celebrate this cosmic view of life? Not the migrant farmworker. Not ...
Folksonomies: science culture discovery
Folksonomies: science culture discovery
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24 JAN 2015 by ideonexus

 Habitable Worlds as a Cause for Moral Reflection

In this great celestial creation, the catastrophy of a world, such as ours, or even the total dissolution of a system of worlds, may possibly be no more to the great Author of Nature, than the most common accident in life with us, and in all probability such final and general Doomsdays may be as frequent there, as even Birthdays or mortality with us upon the earth. This idea has something so chearful in it, that I own I can never look upon the stars without wondering why the whole world does ...
Folksonomies: futurism morality
Folksonomies: futurism morality
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24 JAN 2015 by ideonexus

 Utopia

One may picture, then, these beings, nuclearly resident, so to speak, in a relatively small set of mental units, each utilizing the bare minimum of energy, connected together by a complex of etherial intercommunication, and spreading themselves over immense areas and periods of time by means of inert sense organs which, like the field of their active operations, would be, in general, at a great distance from themselves. As the scene of life would be more the cold emptiness of space than the w...
Folksonomies: todo
Folksonomies: todo
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24 AUG 2014 by ideonexus

 How Metric Measurements Relate

In metric, one millilier of water occupies one cubic centimeter, weighs one gram, and requires one calorie of energy to ehat up by one degree centigrade--which is 1 percent of the difference between its freezing point and its boiling point. An amount of hydrogen weighing the same amount has exactly one mole of atoms in it. Whereas in the American system, the answer to "How much energy does it take to boil a room-temperature gallon of water?" is "Go fuck yourself," because you can't directly ...
Folksonomies: measurement metric standard
Folksonomies: measurement metric standard
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09 AUG 2014 by ideonexus

 Hydrogen Levels in the Universe

Our Sun is significantly enriched, having formed when the Universe was more than 9 billion years old in the plane of a spiral galaxy, one of the most enriched places in the Universe. Yet, when our Sun formed, it was still made out of — by mass — 71% hydrogen, 27% helium, and about 2% “other” stuff. If we convert that into “number of atoms” and treat the Sun as typical of the Universe, that means, over the first 9.3 billion years of the Universe, the fraction of hydrogen ha...
Folksonomies: physics astronomy hydrogen
Folksonomies: physics astronomy hydrogen
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