Tuesday, May 17, 2022
Einstein's right yet again. Black holes scale in universal fashion thanks to Sagittarius A* black hole proving to be identical to M87*s monster.
One of the leading scientists behind the new breakthrough, Dimitrios Psaltis, professor of astronomy and physics at the University of Arizona, has revealed how the new image proved one of Einstein's predictions from his theory of gravity.
It's all down to the striking similarity between Sgr A* and MH7*, despite their massive difference in size — Sgr A*, which has a mass 4 million times greater than that of our Sun, is more than one thousand times smaller than M87*.
The new image of Sgr A* has proved one of the most fundamental predictions of Einstein's theory of gravity, Psaltis explained in a statement from the University of Arizona. Namely, the new data proves that the image of a black hole scales only with its mass. So, in other words, a black hole 1,000 times smaller in mass will look very similar; the only really discernible difference will be the size.
Scale invarience rules.
This lake, located in Tibet, freezes every winter. At night, under the low temperatures of minus 20 °C (-4 °F), you can listen to the sound of the ice cracking while capturing the most beautiful winter sky. The blue ice surface and dazzling Orion constellation create a fantasy landscape. I felt so happy to have the stars as my companion on this magical night.”
Words not needed.
I’ve been wanting to capture the Milky Way Arch setting over Lake Bonney for a long time and have finally been able to cross off that bucket list shot. The perfect night and conditions made this possible. I did the wise thing and pre-scouted the location during the day. This made it so much easier to head back to the same spot after midnight. Lake Bonney is home to some of the darkest skies in the world. This image has amazing reflections of the stars in the still waters and I love how the Milky Way can be seen. The dead trees of the past create so much depth in the image.”
Check out all the art on this amazing page from My Moderon Met, Rachel Carson would be proud.
When looking at this photograph, one sees how nature works at grand scale, a reality we will never fully understand. At the same time, nature's inherently beautiful and without judgment. It simply is, a concept Rachel Carson instinctively understood at deep level.
When the marine biologist Rachel Carson was a young girl, she discovered a fossilized shell while hiking around her family’s hillside property in Springdale, Pennsylvania. Those who knew her then would later contend that this relic sparked such intense reverie in her that she instantly felt a tug toward the sea. What was this ancient creature, and what was the world it had known?
In her final months, Carson, age 56, sickened from cancer treatments and in constant pain, still had a couple of remaining projects in mind. One of these was what she called the “wonder book.” By that point, Carson had already written four best-selling books, most famously Silent Spring, which documented the dangers of pesticides, including DDT, and is now widely credited with catalyzing the modern environmental movement. Yet Carson felt she had one more thing to say. The “wonder book”—published posthumously as The Sense of Wonder—was based on a lyrical essay about the importance of cultivating wonder in children. Perhaps because of her early experience, Carson placed great faith in this emotional response that, once found, could serve as “an unfailing antidote against the boredom and disenchantments of later years, the sterile preoccupation with things that are artificial.” Wonder led to a sense of the beautiful, which led to the pursuit of knowledge about the object that triggered the feeling in the first place. Children possessed this “clear-eyed vision” innately, but it had to be kept alive. Adults could awaken this quality in themselves too. With enough attention, she argued, anyone could “feel the rain on [their] face and think of its long journey, its many transmutations, from sea to air to earth.”
Monday, May 16, 2022
Brazil's Jair Bolsonaro, the poster child for ecological collapse by burning up the Amazonian rainforest, portends a dark future where the notion of sovereignty no longer applies when the environment collapses as it will if nothing is done to ameliorate the ever increasing impact GW is having as man moves further into the 21st century. As long as capitalism and its objective of placing profit over the environment continues unabated, collapse becomes a certainty.
As we collectively hurtle into the era of climate change, international relations as we’ve known them for almost four centuries will change beyond recognition. This shift is probably inevitable, and possibly even necessary. But it will also cause new conflicts, and therefore war and suffering.
Since the Peace of Westphalia in 1648, diplomats have — in peacetime and war alike — for the most part subscribed to the principle of national sovereignty. This is the idea, enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations, that foreign countries have no right “to intervene in matters which are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of any state.”
A concept no longer viable ...
An early and tragicomic demonstration of this shift in international relations was the dust-up in 2019 between Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and his French counterpart, Emmanuel Macron. Bolsonaro, a populist firebrand, was at that time allowing fires to burn wide swathes of the Amazon rainforest. It happens to be the world’s primary “lung” or “carbon sink,” pulling greenhouse gases out of the atmosphere and storing them in trees. Except now the Amazon was belching carbon back into the air.
Speaking for many, the French president accused his Brazilian counterpart of abetting “ecocide.” Sounds like the new genocide, doesn’t it? Bolsonaro shot back that Macron was a neocolonialist and followed up with a sexist jibe aimed at Macron’s wife.
The underlying issue was sovereignty: Is a rainforest located in Brazil the business of Brazil or of the world? Would, in a hypothetical future scenario, an alliance led by France be within its rights to declare war on Brazil to prevent ecocide, and thereby humanity’s suicide? (Fortunately, 100 countries including Brazil this week pledged instead to cooperate in phasing out deforestation).
Pledges are but words, meaning nothing. If gw is left unabated, Splinterlands, awaits.
amazing graphic from Visual Capitalist.
The U.S.’ Trinity test in 1945, the first-ever nuclear detonation, released around 19 kilotons of explosive energy. The explosion instantly vaporized the tower it stood on and turned the surrounding sand into green glass, before sending a powerful heatwave across the desert.
As the Cold War escalated in the years after WWII, the U.S. and the Soviet Union tested bombs that were at least 500 times greater in explosive power. This infographic visually compares the 10 largest nuclear explosions in history.
50% may be our half of a pair of interactive worlds if researcher theories prove to be correct. In this instance, investigating properties of graphene may explain how reality works.
Physicists sometimes come up with bizarre stories that sound like science fiction. Yet some turn out to be true, like how the curvature of space and time described by Einstein was eventually confirmed by astronomical measurements. Others linger on as mere possibilities or mathematical curiosities.
In a new paper in Physical Review Research, Joint Quantum Institute (JQI) Fellow Victor Galitski and JQI graduate student Alireza Parhizkar investigated the imaginative possibility that our reality is only one half of a pair of interacting worlds. Their mathematical model may offer a fresh perspective for looking at fundamental aspects of reality—including why our universe expands the way it does and how that relates to the most minuscule lengths allowed in quantum mechanics. These topics are critical to understanding our universe and are part of one of the great mysteries of modern physics.
A curved and stretched sheet of graphene laying over another curved sheet creates a new pattern that impacts how electricity moves through the sheets. A new model suggests that similar physics might emerge if two adjacent universes are able to interact. Credit: Alireza Parhizkar, JQI
The pair of scientists stumbled upon this new perspective when they were looking into something quite different, research on sheets of graphene—single atomic layers of carbon in a repeating hexagonal pattern. They realized that experiments on the electrical properties of stacked sheets of graphene produced results that resembled little universes and that the underlying phenomenon might generalize to other areas of physics. In stacks of graphene, new electrical behaviors arise from interactions between the individual sheets, so maybe unique physics could similarly emerge from interacting layers elsewhere—perhaps in cosmological theories about the entire universe.
It's all about the magic angle and the moire patterns it produces.
Sunday, May 15, 2022
AI's everywhere but you already know that, right? Well, the EU is trying to reign in the nasty part of the tech in writing up laws designed to protect the public from an open ended technology already evolving at rates boggling the mind. The question to ask is, will this attempt to regulate AI actually work? From this perspective, it's questionable at best but worth a shot nevertheless.
It’s a Wild West out there for artificial intelligence. AI applications are increasingly used to make important decisions about humans’ lives with little to no oversight or accountability. This can have devastating consequences: wrongful arrests, incorrect grades for students, and even financial ruin. Women, marginalized groups, and people of color often bear the brunt of AI’s propensity for error and overreach.
The European Union thinks it has a solution: the mother of all AI laws, called the AI Act. It is the first law that aims to curb these harms by regulating the whole sector. If the EU succeeds, it could set a new global standard for AI oversight around the world.
The AI Act is hugely ambitious. It would require extra checks for “high risk” uses of AI that have the most potential to harm people. This could include systems used for grading exams, recruiting employees, or helping judges make decisions about law and justice. The first draft of the bill also includes bans on uses of AI deemed “unacceptable,” such as scoring people on the basis of their perceived trustworthiness.
The bill would also restrict law enforcement agencies’ use of facial recognition in public places. There is a loud group of power players, including members of the European Parliament and countries such as Germany, that want a full ban or moratorium on its use in public by both law enforcement and private companies, arguing that the technology enables mass surveillance.
As someone somewhat well versed in tech and knowing how grossly inefficient government tends to be, a grain of salt applies as we haven't gotten rid of spam on our smart phones so how will this initiative fly regarding deep fakes and other such niceties residing on open ended code forever remaining opaque due to the fact real time programs require real time machine driven software able to modify said code to evolve as needs warrant, something this well intentioned law cannot address in any way, shape or fashion.
Saturday, May 14, 2022
Military spending in the world continues to increase as states and the elites who run them intend to keep things the way they are until nature decides the status quo no longer applies. Estimated expiration date for the status quo, 2040-50 if the climate change trajectory continues to rise as it has for the past 100+ years.
An energy-dense, liquid fuel source is a prerequisite for conducting modern military operations. Planet Earth has been carved up into territories run by armed gangs whose ability to maintain their power over the long run is inextricably tied to their capacity for violence.
By looking at the chart above, one sees the US as a prime driver in its ability to apply violence in ways defying the imagination.
End game ...
Understanding that it is the State that is most responsible for creating the climate crisis and blocking most of the systems shifts need to fight it is the first essential step to actually beating the climate crisis.
The main reason climate change is accelerating with little meaningful global action taking place to stop it is that the world’s States are all more concerned about what taking real climate action might do to their power than they are protecting people.
In essence, you gotta have a catastrophe before real change happens. For yours truly, a web bulb moment in Pakistan/India comes to mind as the temps there hit 121.1 degrees on May 4th.
To be continued.
Friday, May 13, 2022
Eastern Daylight Time (EDT). The Moon moves right to left, passing through the penumbra and umbra, leaving in its wake an eclipse diagram with the times at various stages of the eclipse.
Yea, we easterners will see this bad boy. Scattered clouds predicted for Sunday, May 15. :)
On May 16, 2022 (the night of May 15 in the Western Hemisphere), the Moon enters the Earth's shadow, creating a total lunar eclipse, the first since May of 2021. This animation shows the changing appearance of the Moon as it travels into and out of the Earth's shadow, along with times at various stages.
Tuesday, May 10, 2022
AI is everywhere, neural nets pull in data from the analogue perspective to serve it up to computers able to crunch the input digitally to come up with a right answer to question "A" with the caveat we don't know how the AI in question works. With a machine scientist, the purpose of the system is to find relationships in the data presented and come up with equations to explain how a particular event functions. In the case of the QM article, the question asked was which factors might trigger cell division?
A revolution is nigh ... with neural nets used in conjunction with machine scientists.
Channeling the past ...
Occasionally physicists arrive at grand truths through pure reasoning, as when Albert Einstein intuited the pliability of space and time by imagining a light beam from another light beam’s perspective. More often, though, theories are born from marathon data-crunching sessions. After the 16th-century astronomer Tycho Brahe passed away, Johannes Kepler got his hands on the celestial observations in Brahe’s notebooks. It took Kepler four years to determine that Mars traces an ellipse through the sky rather than the dozens of other egglike shapes he considered. He followed up this “first law” with two more relationships uncovered through brute-force calculations. These regularities would later point Isaac Newton toward his law of universal gravitation.
Into the present ...
The goal of symbolic regression is to speed up such Keplerian trial and error, scanning the countless ways of linking variables with basic mathematical operations to find the equation that most accurately predicts a system’s behavior.
In essence ...
Deep knowledge goes real time and becomes ubiquitous and embedded.
Monday, May 09, 2022
Asked about the draft, he began, "I think it is intellectually and historically bankrupt. The founding document did not list all of the rights we have. It doesn't say anything about our right to marry, our rights to decide how to bring up our children, our freedom to think what we will. It protects liberty in very broad terms. It protects equality."
Minority rules in the land of the free and home of the brave ... Bush 1 & II and Trump, aided and abetted by The Turtle, Republicans one and all, created the worst SC in history.
"This idea by Justice Alito -- he is backed by the right-wing of the court and by many right-wing activists, this idea that the Constitution protects only those rights that are listed and those rights that are rooted in a misogynist history that really did not take account of women at all," he continued. "It is simply a prescription for turning the clock back, not just to the 1950s, but to the 1850s. It is a regressive approach, it is not consistent with our trajectory of constitutional rights, which have expanded and expanded."'
This will be the first time that the Supreme Court has taken away by a majority vote of people who were put on the court by someone who did not even win the majority of the American people, the first time that a basic right has been taken away, that people have built their lives around for 50 years," he elaborated. "Justice Alito says, 'Oh, there has not been any big reliance on it, women have the vote now, women are all over the place, they are in the workplace' they don't need this right.' That's ridiculous."
Dogma rules ... for now.
The need to control employees in professions not requiring them to be on-premise to continue to do quality work is rapidly becoming a battleground as ... Several studies over the past few months show productivity while working remotely from home is better than working in an office setting. On average, those who work from home spend 10 minutes less a day being unproductive, work one more day a week, and are 47% more productive.
It gets better.
77% of those who work remotely at least a few times per month show increased productivity, with 30% doing more work in less time and 24% doing more work in the same period of time according to a survey by ConnectSolutions.
So the question to ask is, why is Apple being rather hard ass on its demand that talented people must show up for work three days a week beginning May 23?
Apple's director of machine learning, Ian Goodfellow, has resigned from his role a little over four years after he joined the company after previously being one of Google's top AI employees, according to The Verge's Zoë Schiffer.
Goodfellow reportedly broke the news to staff in an email, saying his resignation is in part due to Apple's plan to return to in-person work, which required employees to work from the office at least one day per week by April 11, at least two days per week by May 2, and at least three days per week by May 23. "I believe strongly that more flexibility would have been the best policy for my team," Goodfellow said in the email.
Apple employees began returning to Apple Park last month, with the three-day in-office work policy being enacted on May 23. Some employees have been unhappy about the plan to return to in-person work.
One or two days is reasonable time spent at the company for communication, not coding, something I know a little bit about as several of my friends are coders working remotely
for large companies with great success.
Hubris comes to mind here IMHO. Stupidity's also an option as it seems
Goodfellow was rather talented given the position he held at Apple.
Sunday, May 08, 2022
- A team of researchers have found a way to simulate the haunting echo sounds x-ray light makes when it bounces around a black hole.
- The tool the team used to generate these sounds is—no joke—called the “Reverberation Machine.”
- Listening to these echoes and other cosmic sounds can help scientists learn more about how black holes evolve.
Saturday, May 07, 2022
In tech, the acronym RTFM, aka Read the F*****g Manual, refers to the necessity of learning how a certain piece of hardware or software functions by actually reading the documentation showing how said entity works before using said entity. Yours truly taught at Pratt Institute for 6 years teaching advanced computer graphics to kids getting their masters in design with the proviso one must take the time to learn, in this case, Quark Xpress, before asking questions because without learning the basics of Quark, questions on how to create anything of quality using the program is useless as there's no frame of reference to lean on when asking a given question. This approach worked without question and it still works in the age of misinformation as you must make the effort to vet what you read or watch because if you don't, you become a victim. This is why Maher's take is correct and also why education is absolutely essential to be able to separate wheat from the chaff in the so-called "information" age of the net.
As often said in BRT, there's always a cost to everything as TANSTAAFL.