• Perambulating the moon should be a playful thing

    Posted in Everything, Phlosphy Stuff on Apr 28, 2021

    Getting to the moon will happen in stages. The new contract just awarded to SpaceX is for the most critical stage, which has 3 steps: 1. Dropping out of moon orbit to land on the moon, 2. exploring the moon for a week, 3. departing from the moon.

    The contract is for one test flight with no one aboard, and one more with astronauts. The rocket is huge (see illustration). SpaceX says they can do this by the 2024 deadline for $3 billion, which seems surprisingly small considering the two billionaires bidding against each other for this contract are each worth well over fifty times that amount, ma...

  • The origin of synarché and why it is an infinity greater than all infinities

    Posted in Mathy Stuff, Phlosphy Stuff, Postinfinity Tergiversation on Apr 22, 2021

    The word infinity is from the Latin roots for "un-limited" or "without-end." Structurally, this word is similar to Greek aperion, Hebrew ein sof, Chinese tai-ji, and many others, all referring to the same underlying concept: that which is so great it is beyond ability to measure; without-end, endless. ("Endless" is of course another example of the same structure.)

    It's one of those little things most people don't notice or care about, but I believe there is actually a really deep question going right to the heart of the way we perceive what we call reality on a fundamental level:

    Why is a conc...

  • The Point of Grace

    Posted in Mathy Stuff, Phlosphy Stuff, Postinfinity Tergiversation on Apr 21, 2021

    I subscribe to a number of techy innovation-rich groups via social media, and every now and then a real gem of the genre comes scrolling past on my newsfeed. A few days ago, social media linked me to a curious article recently posted on Vice Motherboard. I have no interest in astral travel, but the odd twist about the CIA in the headline intrigued me (see illustration). A quick glance at the article revealed something quite unusual had been discovered, so I dived into the matter out of curiousity. It turns out, very little is about astral travel, and much more is about some topics I follow clo...

  • On the rather curious "Analysis and Assessment of Gateway Process" and its long-lost page 25

    Posted in Mathy Stuff, Neural Nets and AI Stuff, Phlosphy Stuff on Apr 16, 2021

    Consider the following sentence without any context, except that it was written in 1983: "Then I found it necessary to delve into various sources for information concerning quantum mechanics in order to be able to describe the nature and functioning of human consciousness." Think about it for a moment. Quantum mechanics and human consciousness?

    Now for some context: The person writing this sentence was working within a high level security clearance and had access to some very unusual research at the cutting edge of scientific inquiry -- information which would be hidden from the public review ...

  • Mathematical infinity at the beginning instead of at the ends

    Posted in Mathy Stuff, Phlosphy Stuff, Postinfinity Tergiversation on Apr 15, 2021

    The simplicity of emptiness

    We accept the simplicity of emptiness as a reliable foundation upon which to establish all of mathematics without question. The logic is plain: clearly, there can be nothing more simple than the empty set. We start there, and, knowing that we have begun with the most logically solid foundation possible, develop the rest of set theory. For a similar reason, Peano's axioms, widely understood to be fundamental, start with zero as the first number, and follow this same pattern; from simplicity to complexity.

    Note that we entail a few little-considered intuitions about m...

  • Imagining the Riemann Sphere rotated for new insights

    Posted in Mathy Stuff, Postinfinity Tergiversation, Pre-Preprint Stuff on Mar 19, 2021

    This article is related, and a little similar, to another recent article. I was reading through both a Wikipedia entry and a Better Explained discussion on a subject I know fairly well (Imaginary Numbers), and when I looked at a certain illustration, suddenly I could see more in it than I ever had before.

    Look closely at these two images, you may be able to spot the key difference also:

    first image from Better Explained, 2nd image is from Wikipedia

    In the first illustration of the complex plane, relying on the XY axis, i appears at the top. In the second illustration of the Riemann Sphe...

  • How to set default opening folder for Nautilus file manager

    Posted in Developing Software on Mar 19, 2021

    There are several answers given to this question at AskUbuntu.com. What worked for me was the simplest of them, and what I did was one step simpler than what was given. So here's what works for me using PopOs 20 (which is just Ubuntu 20 with some elegant UI, drivers, and useability improvements). The other answers to this question give insight on what's happening and why, but this answer worked great:

    1. Copy the global launcher to the local location:

    cp /usr/share/applications/org.gnome.Nautilus.desktop /home/<YOURUSERNAME>/.local/share/applications/

    1. Make the copy executable:

    chmod +x /home/...

  • If i² = -1, what's happening inside i² to get it to -1?

    Posted in Mathy Stuff, Postinfinity Tergiversation, Pre-Preprint Stuff on Mar 15, 2021

    A confusing thing about imaginary numbers happens when they are accidentally conflated with reals as if they are somehow on the same line. In truth, if we imagine imaginary numbers the same way we imagine reals, there is only a single point where the imaginary line and the real line coincide -- the origin, where both are at 0. All other points along these two lines are orthogonal, and thus never meet.

    While we can describe a point at 2i, it's a point which is not on the real line nor the imaginary line, but exists somewhere in the plane that stretches between these two orthogonal worlds. Alth...

  • The famous Expert comedy sketch illustrates the scapegoat mechanism in play

    Posted in Phlosphy Stuff on Mar 02, 2021

    If you have not already seen the famous 'Expert' comedy sketch, you're in for a treat. It's had 26 million views so far, so maybe you already know it.

    The sketch illustrates in a very funny way how badly an expert can be treated by a team of non-experts who all depend on his expert knowledge, but argue with him and tell him he must be wrong time after time. Basically, he's the expert... and yet nobody listens to him.

    It gets funnier as it continues because the viewer can obviously see that everything he says is perfectly reasonable, yet nothing he says or does is acceptible to the others, and ...

  • A binary mindset is actually a single-minded sort of thing

    Posted in Mathy Stuff, Phlosphy Stuff, Postinfinity Tergiversation on Feb 08, 2021

    It occurred to me the other day that one of the obstacles to people understanding how binary logic penetrates into every aspect of their lives, and how this pervasiveness causes all kinds of problems they cannot see -- just like fish cannot see water -- is the fact that binary logic manifests in day-to-day life as a sort of single-mindedness. Yes, the double-mindedness is there, under the surface, but the single-mindedness is even moreso. How it can be seen is best captured by this well-known quote from F. Scott Fitzgerald:

    "The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opp...