Wednesday, June 26, 2013

mathematical video for the day/ from Poincare to Whittaker to Ford

For the longest time, Euclidean geometry was considered like the physics of the world.  Everyone knows Einstein's theories of Relativity changed all that; but, before then, there was much non-Euclidean geometries already developed.  Poincare's half-plane models two of those non-Euclidean geometries.  There's connections between Poincare's half-plane model and hyperbolic geometry as well.   Hyperbolic geometry turns out to be the more fundamental perspective in modern mathematics.  This includes trigonometry.  This perspective goes all the way to William Thurston's classification of three dimensional geometry and the Poincare conjecture proved recently.

On the number side, set theory replaced number as the fundamental mathematics in the 1800s.  Mathematically, mankind is still living in the 1800s.  I've seen many mathematicians who, when they say their into the history of mathematics as their hobby, they mean the history of 1800s mathematics.

----------------------------science news for the day

Being able to throw objects might be unique to the line of Bipedal primates that led to Homo Sapiens

Monkey, Apes certainly throw things, but are they comparatively good at it? Maybe not as good as Homo Erectus and maybe Australopithacines. The observation that humans and anatomically maybe Homo Erectus might be uniquely good at throwing objects for hunting is interesting.  But, I noted that throwing objects could have been used to fend off predators as well.

I wonder if Homo Erectus tried to throw objects at the sun and moon?  To try to see if they could reach them!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

thought for the day/Elon Musk is today's Werner Von Braun!

So, everybody doesn't want to be a Werner Von Braun, and they don't want to acknowledge facts. So, Werner Von Braun was a rocket enthusiasts who ended up working for the military which then went bad on him(the German military was the German military before the Nazi's took over; then, they took over . . . Werner Von Braun also did not wear a Nazi uniform till six years after in 1939 . . . I hope I've made the facts suggestively clear enough for the unbiased mind to see that Werner was just interested in furthering his rocketry research).  So, if you don't want your society to go bad on you, then you should criticize your society, not what's right and wrong, and fight against wrong. 

So, o.k. lets fight against irrationalist, messianic/end of the world, "we are the chosen ones(god giving the covenant to whomever believes in him . . . inevitably this is someone, some human being telling you what they think this god's covenant is and who this god is) religion. 

I've written a "Gospel of Truth" which is the first post of this blog.  I've shown it to active comparative mythologists(the only people with a critical view of religion); and, they don't say anything; so, I'll call it very good.

---------------------------------------------crazy science/technology for the day,

There's of course been some pretty good nanotech lately,

Here's dna-nanotechnology making artificial photsynthesis possible

colloidal chemistry meets nano polymers to make arbitrary nanostructures , I'd like to show some colloidal chemistry that James Burke shows in his Connections, episode 10,

It's around 7:30 minutes.  I've seen some colloidal chemistry advances before, but the above is pretty exciting.  The advance practically meets all the definitions for nanomanufacturing.

Here's a pretty exciting general science article,

Oldest primate fossil found in China , When Anthropologists tried to find evidence for the evolution of mankind, they went from Africa to Asia and Indonesia right above Australia.  They eventually found Homo Erectus in China, but they found Human evolution goes furthest in Africa.  Recently, because of Ardi, they've come to realize that the line from Homo Sapiens to primates doesn't go through apes or anything else.  Ardi is a radically alien primate.  They've really had to push much further back to find when our line splits from the other primates of today.   They've found it goes back seven million years and in current China!

Saturday, June 8, 2013

thought for the day/ The Great Exhibition of 1851

According to some, Great Britain held the first world fair of industry and technology(most technology than science; Charles Darwin apparently attended it).  As the wiki says, it was in response to a famous French exhibition of science and technology. The wiki article links to a list of exhibitions going back to 1756 and all the way to today and tomorrow!

I've heard of many of these futuristic and current latest technology fairs before looking up the history.  George Hale and his first refractor telescope was at a Chicago world's fair in the 1890s.  James Burke mentions one in his Connections episode 7,

I had figured the world's fairs had gone away at some point due to the amount of science and technology conferences getting to be so many so often.  But, as indicated, they've continued with these to some extent.  Turning around, that means the world isn't so concerned about these things as perhaps they once were.
The world's fairs generally led to the building of great architecture cultureal centers for whomever hosted it.  The British worlds fair building of 1851 burned down in 1936.  For me, I can't help noting maybe not quite a world's fair, but something like it that left Balboa park of San Diego,
Much of the great architecture before the World's fairs were for Kings/Pharohs, religious temples in general.
--------------------------------------------science/technology extra,
The latest ability to bring down the costs of dna-nanotechnology using synthetic biology(genetically engineered bacteria) appears to be making noise.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Isaac Asimov's "The Last Question"

Image Credit: UV: NASA, Swift, S. Immler (Goddard) & M. Siegel (Penn State); Optical: Axel Mellinger (CMU)

Isaac Asimov - The Last Question

Isaac Asimov's "Extraterrestrial Civilizations" and "The Last Question" are probably his two major and most important contributions/writings. His "Extraterrestrial Civilizations" argued for the "rare earth hypothesis" before those guys wrote their "Rare Earth" hypothesis. He points out numerous problems and hence conditions for intelligent life(not just bacterial, or non-technological life) to arise on a planet.  I've seen nothing to suggest otherwise.

  Isaac's "The Last Question" shows that the pressure for a technological species to expand throughout the universe is great. Getting back to Isaac's "Extraterrestrial Civilization", there's a famous Fermi question.  At the time Fermi asked it, the Earth was finally dated by radiocarbon dating; the Big Bang Universe had been suggested at least.  At the time, the age of the universe was anywhere from ten to twenty billion years old.  The Earth and its solar system were determined to be 4.5 billion years old.  Considering that the Earth is 4.5 billion years old, and the Human technological species has grown up just over the last 4 million years ago(it's been pushed to seven million years now; but, that depends on where you want to draw the line; the real question is not just bipedalism, but the use of stones as technology; one could keep the date to 3 to 4 million years), well, that gives anywhere from four billion years to maybe fifteen billion years for a technolical species to expand throughout the galaxy at least.  Fermi asked, "where are they?"

One could generalize this with the latest understanding of the technologies Humanity Is likely to develop this century(is developing right now) - nanomanufacturing and quantum computers.  Nanomanufacturing would give rise to A.I. at least.  Bottom line, those who have explored these issues realize the industrial revolution is like a match stick next to a nuclear bomb. One all these technologies are in hand, space exploration will be easy.  Likewise for any other technological species throughout the cosmos, and as we just saw the timeframes with the history of the Earth as a minimum standard, Extraterrestrial species(compared to us of course) should be zooming all over the galaxy.  But, they are not!

People make all kinds of excuses; space is large.  But then, they argue for an abundance of technological species due to the "law of large numbers"(goes back to one of the Bernoulies).  They just make an excuse for whatever is convenient. As Isaac Asimov demonstrates in his "The Last Question", there's great pressure for a technological species to expand throughout the cosmos.  So, where are they?

---------------------------------------------science/technology news extra for the day!

I've reported some advances that help the speed of dna-nanomanufacturing, the bringing down of the price for every individual dna strand.  I might have noted that advances in bringing down the costs of dna and hence dna-nanomanufacturing will probably happen over all those reported.  Well, it's happened!

enzymatic(and bacterial factory really) production of arbitrary dna strands.

Once again, not going to say there might not be advances beyond this; but, this advance seems to be a very general capability over the previous advances.

I've also seen that the synthetic biology people(engineering bacteria to produce arbitrary medical or fuels and who knows what else) have got contracts to fuel aircraft carriers with biofuels!

The nanomanufacturing news has been a little quiet(except 3d printing!); but, I suspect it has more to do with various groups are probably working to bootstrap from dna-nanomanufacturing to something more robust, and then from there to full Feynman/Drexlerian daimondoid nanomanufacturing.

-------------------------------------------------quote for the day

"Perhaps an ideal that permeates an epoch has certain consequences for the individual experiencing the era, an ideal that in retrospect cannot really be grasped by anyone. Under such conditions, when a human life is seen and lived as a persistent and on-going struggle between constructive and destructive forces - an arena in which the decisive victory of good should triumph - one's very awareness of ones destiny and vocation on earth was etched into one's very strength, autonomy and identity." - Arild Stubhaug