Wednesday, June 27, 2012

youtube for the day/ Homo Erectus videos

and part 2

I should do some research to see when this video was first made; some of the cartoons suggest it was made awhile ago!

Much is rightly made of the great world sea voyages of the 1500s.  A million years or so earlier, a pre-homo Sapien bepedal primate species made great voyages from Africa to Europe and Asia.  They used technology to conquer environments that they otherwise could not have.  No other life on Earth had ever laid claim to such an accomplishment.  Whether Homo Erectus evolved into Homo Sapiens or not(the fact that first Homo Erectus expanded into Europe and then Asia and then Homo Sapiens also originated in Africa and expanded out is more interesting) is not important imo. Homo Erectus never knew it's own accomplishment.

Let me stress the fact that no other species could do what Homo Erectus did a little bit more.  Most life on Earth is adapted specifically to a given environment.  Their behavior is based on the patterns of nature.  They only replicate at certain times of the year and time of day.  They're practically made to be food for other life at a given set time. There's insects that get infected by viruses to go to tips of plants and either get eaten there then, or they get transformed into a plant.  Homo Erectus is the first general animal that works to make nature fit its agenda and not the other way around.

Back to the fact that Homo Erectus never really knew its own accomplishment.  Homo Sapiens over a hundred years ago first started digging up this history . . . to know its own history.   At least some of Homo Sapiens find it interesting.  There's many Homo Sapiens who have ideas that says we should not try to think about these things.  Those who don't like the idea of evolution probably don't understand why they themselves don't like the idea.  They just grow told to like certain things and hate other things.  I've addressed these issues from the very beginning of my blog(see my Gospel of Truth).  The fact that they don't like evolution suggests they like static no more thinking lets call it 'philosophy.'  

As Alvin Toffler in his Future Shock points out, each technology presents new problems which require new solutions. Once a species becomes technologically dependent, they are led on a road to technological progress. One could ask why didn't Homo Erectus or even Homo Sapiens for hundreds of thousands of years not make the technological progress of the last three hundred years(one could push it back thousands of years)?  One answer I find is how archaeologists have found that cultures had often gone from agriculture to hunter-gatherors at different times.  They maintains their knowledge of hunter gathering skills even while doing some agriculture.  They didn't trust the agriculture(perhaps rightly so!).  Sometimes it was just easier to rely on mother nature(just like kids who don't want to move away from the parents that provide them with everything they need). Likewise, some don't want to do science because some 'philosophies' say "believe in me and your in."  This easy entrance to the club makes it easy to get what you need.

Something I've been thinking about but havn't wanted to reread is Alvin Toffler's "Third Wave" and "Powershift"( i just finished reading Van Der Waerden's "A History of Algebra from Al Kowarizmi to Emmy Noether" . . . a book that is not easy to get your hands on; the cheapest you can currently get it is for two hundred dollars!  Some are trying to sell it for seven hundred dollars!  I just went to a university library and copied it all out!).  Basically, I'd much rather study mathematics right now.  Still, related to the progress of mankind because of its technological dependence is Alvin's idea of the third wave.  He basically talks of agriculturalism as first wave civilization, industrialism(basically mechanical technologized agriculturalism) is the second wave civilization, and now there's a third wave Alvin says is the information age.  Alvin says it started around 1950 also!  Some would say Feynman/Drexler's nanotechnology idea has put Alvin Toffler's ideas on the back burner.  Others would say Alvin Toffler's idea of the information age is more general than the nanotech revolution; that it encompasses it.  I kind of agree with the later.  Space colonization would also replace industrialization as much as nanomanufacturing.  Alvin Toffler's 'Powershift' shows some more interesting analyses of this 'information age.'

Powershift shows that there's three levers of power - violence, money, and knowledge.  He tries to associate violence with hunter/gatherors and agriculturalism(the fact that he lumps them both as violence primary power structure cultures suggests this can only be approximate), industrialism with money power, and this future(still!) third wave civilization with knowledge power. Alvin Toffler shows a certain amount of historical evidence(which once again, I really don't feel like rereading and going into details right now); so, there's some truth to it.  But, the idea that the third wave is going to be more rational and peaceful because it's going to be based on knowledge is more hopefull than anything else.  I would argue(and have at leas said so) that only by going out to space will the knowledge power lever dominate.

Alvin Toffler further points out about 'powershift' that knowledge is the ultimate substitute.  Money and violence have material limits that knowledge doesn't.  Even in a world of daimondoid nano-manufacturing and quantum computing to reach the limits of physics knowledge, mathematics is infinit; the more you generate, the more efficient things become.  Once could argue that because of our technological dependence, that those who don't want to think can't do anything about it.  Some want to confine all of humanity on earth to prevent 'Star Wars' in a nanotechnological future.  Well, I suppose it doesn't matter whether we go out to space(if you have thousand of cultures going in thousands of different directions, how is some dictator and conqueror going to conquer them all?) or not, the knowledge power lever may indeed take hold!  Once could argue we'll be o.k either way.


As soon as I posted this, I find an article showing that Australopithacines had evolved from being dependent on the pattern of nature in what they ate to being able to eat anything(lucy).

Saturday, June 23, 2012

youtube for the day/Exploration of the Outer Planets: NASA 1970s

Nasa's Pioneers are making their way past the Heliopause; the Heliopause is a balance point between the radiation pressue from the sun and that of the general interstellar radiation pressure of all the local and maybe more galactic stars combined.  Reports are that there has been an increasse in cosmic rays detected(I forget which Pioneer; there's two; there's also two voyager spacecraft). 

I'd like to think the Earth's magnetic field and atmosphere can protect life on Earth from even this increase of cosmic rays(which are protons, electrons; not just photons, or light).  Still, one could wonder whether even this cavity formed from our own suns radiation pressure has created a vacuum that helps life develop on Earth? Well, maybe a little bit!

Friday, June 22, 2012

quote for the day

"Once the theorem being recognized as true, the simplicity of its proof is nothing compared with its philosophical significance." Elie Cartan

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

quote for the day

"I have created a monument more lasting than bronze

and loftier than the royal structure of the pyramids,

that which neither devouring rain, nor the unrestrained North Wind

may be able to destroy nor the immeasurable

succession of years and the flight of time.

I shall not wholly die and a greater part of me

will evade Libitina [Goddess of Death];"

Horace Ode 3, xxx

The translations of this are often varied; and, Horace is probably not thinking of mathematics when he composed this.  I'll just say that when a piece of mathematics is correctly proved by deductive logic, it works every time; it doesn't degrade by the second law of thermodynamcis  or quantum jitters.

Whether the mathematics is applicable or not may not matter so much in the nano-future. Let me just say that as Alvin Toffler says in his Powershift, information is often a substitute for matter; the more knowledge often makes things ever more efficient.   The more mathematics, the more ways to code things up and substitute knowledge for matter. Mathematics no matter how deep will inevitably find applications.

astro picture for the day

ESO VLT(very large telescope)

Thursday, June 14, 2012

quote for the day

"Intuition is the root of all superstition." E.T. Bell

I've pointed out how understandind abstraction shows the the commonalities and differences between all knowledge.  The differences come from whether we want to be vague or not. As the video below this 'quote for the day' points out, the foundations of mathematics  . . . really all the way to the early 1800s with the non-euclidean geometries . . . have become problematical.  The different schools that have sprung up after 1931's publishing of Kurt Godel's incompleteness theorems don't necessarily address the issue of conception of mathematical concepts.  But, occasionally, mathematicians do wonder about the issue. They often use the word 'intuition' for the idea that sometimes mathematicians don't understand where and how they get their mathematical concepts.

The use of intuition by the mathematicians here is a far cry from the way the supernatural religious use vagueness(see my logical disproof of the existence of god post way down(7/12/11)  to keep from being disproved.  Mathematicians just point out there is vagueness as a placeholder till they can give rigorous conception of the problem.

Of course, we come from ignorance, and sometimes people are born to it and don't like change.

youtube/Mathematical Mystery Tour

I just found this; so, I'll reserve comment for now!  So far, it's the best mathematics video I've seen since "Not Knot"!

-------------------------------------------------Jun15, 2012 edit---------------------------------------------------

This video concentrates on the story of mathematics from the logic viewpoint - Greek deductive reasoning to Frege, Bertrand Russel and then Godel.  This is by no means everything that can be said about deductive logic; the video doesn't even mention George Boole.  Still, they point out some other mathematics other than just deductive logic; for the most part, it presents as much of the story of mathematics in one hour from the progress of deductive logic viewpoint.  Not a bad choice; and, the video is better than most I've seen.

A major point I'd point out that mathematicians for one don't like to point out is that the nature and origin of mathematics is not a settled issue; this is part of what I've made this blog for.  It proves Jacob Bronowski's viewpoint from a James Burkian concrete example.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

youtube for the day/ Venice tornadoes!

maybe we should spend on our money on space colonization instead of trying to make buildings on earth with its vortices, volcanoes, earthquakes, and so on?

Monday, June 11, 2012

quote for the day

"It is difficult to give an idea of the vast extent of modern mathematics. The word 'extent' is not the right one: I mean extent crowded with beautiful detail-not an extent of mere uniformity such as an objectless plain, but of a tract of beautiful country seen at first in the distance, but which will bear to be  rambled through and studied in every detail of hillside and valley, stream, rock, wood, and flower. But, as for every thing else, so for a mathematical theory-beauty can be perceived but not explained." - Caylay

astro picture for the day

ESA/NASA Hubble Space Telescope

Sunday, June 10, 2012

youtube for the day/ Strangeness Minus Three (BBC: Horizon - 1964)/ the physics community appears to be bracing itself for the Higgs particle to be announced

This shows Richard Feynman(who thoughts of both nanomanufacturing and quantum computers; he did a renormalization of quantum electrodynamics which made it workable; some physicits would say the renormalization problem is still not completelly solved.  I for one would argue that Richard Feynman's physics isn't that much better than many others; Dirac . . . who came up with quantum electrodynamics in the first place . . . Pauli/weak nuclear force, Weinberg/Salem/Glashow who made the unification of electromagnetic and weak nuclear force, Alan Guth, and many others; but, when you add his atomic bomb work, his imagining of nanomanufacturing and quantum computers, he was definitelly imaginative in a logical way.  My previous blog had a write up on Richard Feynman pointing out his central influence on perhaps humanities soon to be star trekkish future) describing Murry Gell Mann's quark theory, and Yuval Ne'eman(who's work helped lead to Higgs theory if I recall correctly).

Speaking of the Higgs, i've heard one interesting sentence that the physics community is bracing for the announcement of the Higgs.  I grew up in the weak/electromagnetism unification experiments(so did probably anybody who reads this at age 35 or so);  the electroweak unification of CERN was the greatest particle physics accomplishment of our time(even the discovery of the Top quark of like 1990).  In astronomy, there was the Cobe cosmic radiation background I suppose, which could be as big a physics accomplishment as the electroweak unification of particle physics(around 1983).  Since that time, the higgs has basically been the major problem. 

As I further related in my previous blog(hopefully, I keep this one; i think I will), the discovery of the Higgs reminds me of the discovery of the Neptune.  Astronomers and mathematicians had generalized(both the mathematics of Newton's principia, and the data of part three of his Principia which was called "The System of the World") much of Isaac Newton's Principia till finaly, Laplace's "Celestial Mechanics" filled five thousand page volumes; it was made obsolete by William Hamilton just a few decades later(William Hamilton came up with quaternians, a generalization of complex numbers).  Well, this effort revealed orbital anamolies of Saturn and Uranus(discovered by William Herschel; Herschel also notes some curious energies which he suggested correctly were infrared light); they were able to calculate that there must be a planet at such a time and place; they convinced some astronomers to do so, and to the astonishment to them, there was Neptune!   The Higgs likewise has more or less been known that it's got to be there. The Higgs is involved in the electro-weak unification and Alan Guth's inflationary generalization of the Big Bang theory(confirmed by the Cobe satellite around 1990); it's got to be there!

Why does some of humanity anyways try to learn the universe?  Intellectual scientists would argue because of our curiosity(why doesn't 95% of humanity not have this curiosity?).  This maybe the reason for some people; but, the truth is that humanity has struggled, back and forth, with rationalizing whether we should risk money and time that could be spent hunting/gathering and farming on exploring.  The truth is that eventually, push comes to shove; the environment changes; this may leave an impression on the next generation that maybe it would be a good idea to learn something about the motions of the sun, moon, stars, and planets(named by the Greeks) and so on and so forth.  Today, CERN and particle physicists and even astronomical telescope makers say that the effort to explore the universe creates spinoff technologies.  I'm surprised that James Burke didn't note this; for instance, giving the example of digital cameras came about from ccd astronomy of the 1980s; this technology has connections back to the beginnings of the semi-conducting industry in the 1950s.  There's recently been the exciting prospect of nuclear energy by means of particle accellerators!  This was actually thought of decades ago; but, those on capital hill thought they knew better!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

thought for the day

James Burke makes few connections from mathematics to all the science and technology(except for in the most indirect ways).  I've filled in a little bit throughout this blog. Some more mathematical connections would be Monge's descriptive geometry.  This is basically technical drawing - schematics. 

Sometimes you want a more functional schematic than a pure drawing.  A functional schematic looks nothing like the actual physical entity; it just shows connections whether electrical or mechanical.  It shows objects and how they are related.  Functional schematics often has codes to the literal, kind of projective geometric, drawings of the object(whether, computer, radio, car, airplane etc). 

Schematics isn't exactly mathematics; but, then again, calendars are not either; yet, calendars allowed the Egyptians and Mesopotamians to make agriculture happen.  What's more schematics allows techs to fix things they otherwise would have no business touching.  I was former Navy; the saying goes, the airplanes, and really everything in it are 'sailer proof'! Modularizing of aircraft components and schematics allows technicians to get a job and do the job and keep the airplanes up pretty continuously for the last hundred years!(not to mention massive amounts of statistical analyses; every nut and bolt has had a good amount of statistical analyses by engineers to make airplanes or anything work as they should).

Monge was much more of a mathematician than this; he's generally credited with starting differential geometry.  Differential geometry in the hands of Frederick Gauss and Bernard Riemann at least became pretty powerfull.  Differential geometry can determine the overal shape of space by considerations of local curvature.  This hints at it's application to General relativity.  In the late 1700s, early 1800s, mathematicians created non-euclidean geometry(Euclidean geometry being the plane geometry of today's high schools) just by switching out the fifth postulate. There were three, euclidean geometry with the parrallel postulte, and two others with angles suming to more than ninety degrees or less; one is a kind of spherical geometry, the other is a kind of hyperbolic geometry(or the use of a psuedosphere).  These were not differential geometry; but, Bernard Riemann, in one of the things he did was to create a differential geometry which could derive all three!

As for schematics and differential geometry, well, maybe someday human's will need schematics of spacetime to get around the solar system and then interstellar space!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

quote for the day

"The greatest benefit of the astronomical sciences is to have dissipated errors born of ignorance of our true relations with nature, errors all the more fatal since the social order must rely solely on these relations. Truth and justice are its immutable bases. Far from us be the dangerours maxim that it may sometimes be useful to deceive or to enslave men the better to insure their happiness!  Fatal experiences  have proved in all ages that these sacred laws are never infringed with impunity."

E.T. Bell, in his "Men of Mathematics" scholarly further observes an analogous quote made by Laplace decades later,

"Let us conserve with care and increase the store of this advanced knowledge, the delight of thinking beings. It has rendered important services to navigation and geography; but its greatest benefit  is to have dissipated the fears produced by celestial phenomenon and to have destroyed the errors born of ignorance of our true relations with nature, errors which will soon reappear if the torch of the sciences is extinguished."

Most mathematicians today deride E.T. Bell's "Men of Mathematics." They'd say it's not technical enough.  They'd further say his "Development of Mathematics" isn't technical enough.  They'd point out that John Stillwell's technical histories are far better.  I've read Mr Stillwell's "Mathematics and it's History".  I find it's modern alternative proofs that allows him to smooth over past difficulties, and his choice of easy proofs which allows him to cram lots of mathematics in five hundred pages to be more of a "Naive technical mathematics history."  Mathematicians like to make "Naive" as they call it mathematical expositions; these are books that have found easier roads for mathematians to get through a certain amount of mathematical material, and allow them to get on with mathematical research.  See Paul Halmos's "Naive Set Theory." John Stillwell's "Mathematics and it's History" also doesn't get into nearly as much analyses of the 1900s much less 1800s that E.T. Bell does in Bell's "Development of Mathematics."  When you consider how much mathematical history E.T. Bell stuffs in "The Development of Mathematics", John Stillwell's "Naive technical history" is hardly an improvement.  This doesn't mean that John Stillwell's books are not fun and good; but, they have their problems as well; they're more a watered down technical history in my opinion(see Van Der Waerden's 'Science Awakening" for a great technical history of ancient mathematics and compare to see what I mean). 

For the longest time, even I agreed that E.T. Bell's "Men of Mathematics" isn't technical enough; but, I've just started to reread it, and am finding great scholarlship that isn't found in his "Development of Mathematics".  With the arguement above, this all comes to show that the amount of scholarship in the history of mathematics is large enough that neither E.T. Bell, John Stillwell, and even Van Der Waerden combeined cannot do it all justice(the history of mathematics); but, they are all noble attempts.  So far, I'm only disappointed with E.T. Bell's account of Leonard Euler in his "Men of Mathematics"; E.T. Bell does a much better job of analyses in his "Development of Mathematics." 

Getting back to Laplace,

The quotes above are interesting in the light of that Laplace started out with theology which just about every mathematician back then and before him often did; only, with these mathematicians, often, within a year or so, they found mathematics one way or another.  Laplace appears to be a mathematicians with a thick skin(actually, all mathematicians seem to have thick skins); when Napolean Bonaparte took a look at Laplaces five volume "Celestial Mechanics", he asked why there's no mention of the creator; Laplace told him straight in his face, "There's no need of such a hypotheses".  This is the beginning of atheism in many scientific humanists scholarly explorations.  When Napolean when to bring this up to Lagrange, Lagrange responded with his "I don't know" responce to all religious inquiries.  Curiously perhaps, when Napolean was arrested and sent to prison, Laplace just signed off to sent him to prison and switched allegiance to Louis the XVIII.

Monday, June 4, 2012

quote for the day

"History shows that those heads of empires who have  encouraged the cultivation of mathematics, the common source of all the exact sciences, are also those whose reigns have been the most brilliant and whose glory is the most durable." Michel Chasles

Friday, June 1, 2012

thought for the day 1.2/ quantum computers as simulators of quantum mechanics

I seem to recall an article recently about a scalable photonic quantum computer . . .

Feynman/Drexlerian nanomanufacturing can do much.  It can improve all technologies of today from ten to a thousand times in any number of properties.  It would make the industrial civilization of today look like the stone age; that may not describe the technological revolution enough.  If you consider that just changing the geometries or the atom combinations changes chemical properties, then you can see that by really taking control of those atomic alignments, one can make an astronomicaly more advanced technological base.  Considering that life is nanotechnology, one can see that one can do this astronomically more advanced technological base for the price of growing potatoes.  And yet, even Feynman/Drexlerian nanotechnology could be turbo-charged or even replaced all together!

Quantum computers could lead to quantum technologies.  What are these quantum technologies?  Quantum dot technologies which can make for solar power of like 90% photon to energy conversion rates.  How about Star Trek teleportation?  Alternative chemistries!  Control how photons interact with electrons and protons, and one could make alternative chemistries materials.  We're already seeing cloaking technologies develop.  I've actually mentioned all this before; the youtube above is one of the first open statements to the affect.  Much like nanomanufacturing, we probably don't even know all the technologies that can come out.  Obviously, quantum computers can burry classical computers in computation speeds and solving problems that classical computers never have a chance to solve.  Of course, what's always left out is the affect of all this on mathematics; what mathematics problems can be solved in no time flat?

thought for the day/ faster dna-nanomanufacturing

A few years ago, Paul Rothemund slashed the time for new self-assembled nanostructures by dna-nanotech from years(Ned Seemans; dna nanotech founder) to weeks; now, we've got it down from weeks to hours. This new single-strand dna-nanotech affect on all previous dna-nanotech should prove interesting in itself.

For me, lets use these dna-nanotech to self-organize piezo-electric graphene into nano-stms; then, make chipboards of these piezo-graphene nano-stms, and that's pretty good; such a chipboard of nano-stm's would essentially define Feynman/Drexlerian nanomanufacturing.  Better nano-manufacturing systems than that could be built(almost certainly would be built).

Still, if you had the nano-manufacturing chipboards as I'm describing them, one could really get the nano-era going as envisioned by Eric Drexler in his "Engines of Creation."  I would think we could do this in three months time at least.

astro picture for the day

Image Credit & Copyright: Martin Pugh