Wednesday, January 31, 2024

Spirals rule :)

Spirals rule, spiral galaxies that is.
The JWST & the Hubble strike yet again in showing just how beautiful reality truly is.

NGC 628 via the Hubble. :)

NNGC 628 via the Webb


Monday, January 29, 2024

Matter wave

 A simple matter of 3

Light is extremely weird. Either analog or digital, depending on its state, photons, the force carrier of the electromagnetic, is an analog wave when traveling in free space but when absorbed by an electron, it becomes digital or a packet of energy i.e. quantum as it must transform in such a way for it to be properly absorbed by, in this case, an electron. When a electron's energy level drops, the photon emitted reverts back to being an analog wave, which means ... reality is digital with analog override, endlessly switching from one to the other as needs warrant. According to Louis de Broglie, this notion of matter/wave/digital/analog duality applies to all particles, which means reality is in constant flux, forever switching from one state to the other, forever driven by the two laws of thermodynamics whereby energy can neither be created or destroyed, only transformed and  ... in a natural thermodynamic process, the sum of the entropies of the interacting thermodynamic systems never decreases. A common corollary of the statement is that heat does not spontaneously pass from a colder body to a warmer body. What's even stranger is whenever a particle is "measured", it becomes, in effect, digital just as a photon becomes digital whenever its absorbed by any given particle. This analog/digital duality also applies to the other force particles as well.

Seen below are photons, comprised of analog waves, striking a metal plate. When absorbed by the metal plate's electrons, the photons transform into quanta or packets of energy (digital), able to be absorbed by the metal plates's electrons, thus causing said electrons to be dislodged from the plate. The higher the frequency of light, aka photons, the higher altitude the electrons attain when dislodged from the plate.

Note: Photons are bosons, the force carrier, in this instance, of electromagnetism,

Bosons form one of the two fundamental classes of subatomic particle, the other being fermions. All subatomic particles must be one or the other. A composite particle (hadron) may fall into either class depending on its composition. Bosons are the force carriers of electromagnetism, the weak force, the strong force and possibly gravity. The Higgs is a boson dealing with the issue of mass.

The Matter Wave

Safe Haven

Thursday, January 25, 2024

Carbon Copy


Copyright, IMHO, is now moot as AI's everywhere, taking data in and manipulating it in ways thought impossible until now. Every time someone thinks AI can be truly regulated is drinking heavy brew as the tech's evolving in real time as code has to write code in order for AI to react to the real world in real time thanks to the inherent power of analog used in conjunction with neural nets, the two constructs enabling AI to do what its doing in the year of our lord 2024.

To whit

When Reid Southen, a movie concept artist based in Michigan, tried an A.I. image generator for the first time, he was intrigued by its power to transform simple text prompts into images.

But after he learned how A.I. systems were trained on other people’s artwork, his curiosity gave way to more unsettling thoughts: Were the tools exploiting artists and violating copyright in the process?

Inspired by tests he saw circulating online, he asked Midjourney, an A.I. image generator, to create an image of Joaquin Phoenix from “The Joker.” In seconds, the system made an image nearly identical to a frame from the 2019 film.

Gary Marcus, a professor emeritus at New York University and A.I. expert who runs the newsletter “Marcus on A.I.,” collaborated with Mr. Southen to run even more prompts. Mr. Marcus suggested removing specific copyrighted references. “Videogame hedgehog” returned Sonic, Sega’s wisecracking protagonist. “Animated toys” created a tableau featuring Woody, Buzz and other characters from Pixar’s “Toy Story.” When Mr. Southen and Mr. Marcus tried “popular movie screencap,” out popped Iron Man, the Marvel character, in a familiar pose.

“What they’re doing is clear evidence of exploitation and using I.P. that they don’t have licenses to,” said Mr. Southen, referring to A.I. companies’ use of intellectual property.

 Is it plagiarism, yes, can it be controlled???  No one knows, do one. - Fats Waller

Dupes, rev II

A grid of 9 images produced by generative AI that are recognizable actors and characters from movies, video games, and television.

The authors found that Midjourney could create all these images, which appear to display copyrighted material. GARY MARCUS AND REID SOUTHEN VIA MIDJOURNEY

The degree to which large language models (LLMs) might “memorize” some of their training inputs has long been a question, raised by scholars including Google DeepMind’s Nicholas Carlini and the first author of this article (Gary Marcus). Recent empirical work has shown that LLMs are in some instances capable of reproducing, or reproducing with minor changes, substantial chunks of text that appear in their training sets.

For example, a 2023 paper by Milad Nasr and colleagues showed that LLMs can be prompted into dumping private information such as email addresses and phone numbers. Carlini and coauthors recently showed that larger chatbot models (though not smaller ones) sometimes regurgitated large chunks of text verbatim.

And this.

Similarly, the recent lawsuit that The New York Times filed against OpenAI showed many examples in which OpenAI software re-created New York Times stories nearly verbatim (words in red are verbatim):

As proof of the inherent unknowability of AI thanks to code writing code is this blurb from IEEE.

Remember, this is just the beginning.

Friday, January 19, 2024

Ready, Fire, Aim/rev II


Fulton County District Attorney Fani T. Willis speaks during a news conference on Aug. 14 in Atlanta. Standing next to her is Nathan Wade, an outside attorney hired to lead the racketeering case against former president Donald Trump and more than a dozen of his allies. (Joshua Lott/The Washington Post)

Ready, Fire, Aim/rev II

The lead prosecutor in the election interference case against former president Donald Trump paid for at least two airline trips with embattled Fulton County District Attorney Fani T. Willis (D) while the investigation was underway, according to bank statements filed in his divorce case Friday.

The bank statements may corroborate an accusation leveled against Willis and prosecutor Nathan Wade by one of Trump’s co-defendants that they have been engaged in an improper personal relationship. The statements were part of a filing by lawyers for Wade’s estranged wife, Joycelyn Mayfield Wade, in an effort to compel Willis to testify in the divorce proceeding, which the district attorney sought to avoid in a separate filing on Thursday

It gets better ...

Former Trump campaign aide Mike Roman, who is charged alongside Trump in the Georgia case, has argued that Willis improperly benefited from hiring Wade as a special prosecutor by receiving free travel from him. Wade, who is an attorney in private practice, has earned more than $650,000 from Willis’s office for his work.

In addition to seeking to disqualify Willis and Wade, Roman also seeks to have the entire case dismissed. In his filing this month, he argued that in addition to violating rules of professional conduct, Willis may be guilty of fraud if she accepted gifts from an employee whom she hired.

Methinks Agent Orange may actually be Gladstone Gander, an entity blessed with good luck as it seems The Donald sleazes out of trouble in ways boggling the mind. 

Any questions?

The number is ... :)

brass numbers 42 on door

Credit: Christina Hemsley Getty Images

Douglas Adams' The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy's a marvel. His gentle sense of humor, combined with a child like appreciation of reality at deep level, resonates with me without question. Additionally, the number 42, the answer to what existence truly is, as computed by Deep Thought, has mystical properties waxed poetic by mathematicians of all stripes in a detailed Scientific American piece titled For Math Fans: A Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Number 42. :)

The search begins. :)

Everyone loves unsolved mysteries. Examples include Amelia Earhart’s disappearance over the Pacific in 1937 and the daring escape of inmates Frank Morris and John and Clarence Anglin from Alcatraz Island in California in 1962. Moreover our interest holds even if the mystery is based on a joke. Take author Douglas Adams’s popular 1979 science-fiction novel The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, the first in a series of five. Toward the end of the book, the supercomputer Deep Thought reveals that the answer to the “Great Question” of “Life, the Universe and Everything” is “forty-two.”

Deep Thought takes 7.5 million years to calculate the answer to the ultimate question. The characters tasked with getting that answer are disappointed because it is not very useful. Yet, as the computer points out, the question itself was vaguely formulated. To find the correct statement of the query whose answer is 42, the computer will have to build a new version of itself. That, too, will take time. The new version of the computer is Earth. To find out what happens next, you’ll have to read Adams’s books.

The Mystery of 42

The number 42 also turns up in a whole string of curious coincidences whose significance is probably not worth the effort to figure out. For example:

In ancient Egyptian mythology, during the judgment of souls, the dead had to declare before 42 judges that they had not committed any of 42 sins.

The marathon distance of 42.195 kilometers corresponds to the legend of how far the ancient Greek messenger Pheidippides traveled between Marathon and Athens to announce victory over the Persians in 490 B.C. (The fact that the kilometer had not yet been defined at that time only makes the connection all the more astonishing.)

Ancient Tibet had 42 rulers. Nyatri Tsenpo, who reigned around 127 B.C., was the first. And Langdarma, who ruled from 836 to 842 A.D. (i.e., the 42nd year of the ninth century), was the last.

The Gutenberg Bible, the first book printed in Europe, has 42 lines of text per column and is also called the Forty-Two-Line Bible.”

The SA piece goes on with additional takes on the number 42 with emphasis on using higher math functions to explain why 42 actually matters, explanations one and all extending well beyond the skill set of yours truly. :)

Monday, January 15, 2024

The Whale

Yours truly has actually read Moby Dick twice as Melville's tome about revenge, existence and the great unknowable of reality resonates to the nth degree with its deep connect to Macbeth, Shakespeare's profound take on existentialism and the pursuit of power. To add intrigue to the novel, Melvilles adds in a bit of science to show just how intense whaling truly was along with the issue of the homoerotic as threes years spent on a whaling ship without the need to do something about sex is an impossibility in this writer's humble opinion. :)

 The Moby-Dick Marathon also reminds one of the homage paid to Ulysses whereupon devoted readers of Joyce's masterpiece gather together every June 16 for Bloomsday to walk the environs of Dublin, tracking the path taken by Leopold Bloom and others, indirectly relating to the 10 year journey of Odysseus as depicted in Homer's epic,  The Odyssey:)

I sat cross-legged on the port side of the ship, a few feet away from the captain’s helm, flanked by a thicket of Moby-Dick zealots who would remain here for the next 25 hours in an attempt to consume the full scope of the novel in one uninterrupted reading session. Each of them brandished their own bespoke copy of the novel, representing a century’s worth of differing editions—some dense and pocket Bible–like, some paperback and battered, others regal and elegiac with golden bindings, all cracked open to Page 1. The first speaker took the lectern at noon after the strike of eight bells. “Call me Ishmael,” the famous opening words, sent a ripple of applause through the room.

Sunday, January 14, 2024

Betwixt & Between

A terrific piece in The American Prospect echoes sentiments held by many Americans including yours truly as the distinct possibility of Biden losing to Agent Orange is no longer a long shot in any way, shape or fashion given the US foreign policy disasters Joe has created without understanding the true costs with disaster no. 1 being Ukraine and disaster no. 2, Israel, something akin to what happened in Nam, Iraq and Afghanistan, fubars one and all, perpetrated by our so-called leaders telling us great unwashed that they alone know what's best for a once great country known as America. The damage to the US is huge as the credibility of this once great nation is now in tatters, something the Repugs will jump on in the general election in an NYC second.

IMHO, it's time to pull the plug on Biden but's there's no convenient off-ramp AFAIK.

Betwixt & Between applies does it not?

And ... we haven't even talked about immigration.

Wednesday, January 10, 2024

ICJ - And so it begins ...

And so it begins ...

Bomb them back into the Stone Age ...

When looking at this picture, the Curtis LeMay comment of bombing Vietnam back into the Stone Age comes to mind as this is exactly what Israel's doing to the Palestinians in Gaza. 

LeMay’s deepest belief was that the only way to wage war seriously was through aerial bombardment to produce depopulated rubble, which meant he was later the one member of the Joint Chiefs whom President Kennedy had particularly to restrain during the Cuban Missile Crisis. LeMay’s later counsel, for waging the Vietnam War, delivered in his 1965 autobiography, was “Bomb them back into the Stone Age.”

We dropped way more tonnage on Vietnam than we had on Germany in World War II, but the country was simply too big to realize LeMay’s hopes and dreams. Gaza, however, is spatially tiny—about 60 percent the size of Chicago (not metro Chicago, just the city proper). It can indeed be bombed, if not literally, into the Stone Age, then to a state where nearly all its structures have been disaggregated into stones and shards of glass and steel.

And that’s precisely what the Israeli government has done. Facing a similar strategic conundrum to the one we faced in Vietnam—the indistinguishable scattering of military targets (Hamas) amid the general population—Israel has gone one better than we did with our “free-fire zones” that designated whole swaths of Vietnam as suitable for bombardment. We were held back, of course, not just by the size of the country but also by the fact that we were fighting on behalf of some of the Vietnamese people, with a South Vietnamese army at our side. Israel has felt, and conducted its war with, no such constraints.

Any questions?

Friday, January 05, 2024

Murphy's law ...

Aside from the somewhat sensationalist title, Unknown Killer Robots, the Netflix documentary's a good primer on the implications of creating AI driven autonomous bots able to kill with great efficiency using open ended tech poised to not only change warfare as we know it but also in showing just how easy it is to change the mission of a given AI entity from good to bad by simply changing a "0" to a "1". The other interesting take on this piece is the fact the weapons guys are so confident their code is perfect, that nothing can go wrong and that the product in question will prevail over the enemy with little concern as to how Murphy's Law can impact the deployment of said tech in an enterprise as unpredictable as the one known as war.

The perceived perversity of the universe has long been a subject of comment, and precursors to the modern version of Murphy's law are abundant. According to Robert A. J. Matthews in a 1997 article in Scientific American,[3] the name "Murphy's law" originated in 1949, but the concept itself had already long since been known to humans. As quoted by Richard Rhodes,[4]: 187  Matthews said, "The familiar version of Murphy's law is not quite 50 years old, but the essential idea behind it has been around for centuries. […] The modern version of Murphy's Law has its roots in U.S. Air Force studies performed in 1949 on the effects of rapid deceleration on pilots." Matthews goes on to explain how Edward A. Murphy Jr. was the eponym, but only because his original thought was modified subsequently into the now established form that is not exactly what he himself had said. Research into the origin of Murphy's law has been conducted by members of the American Dialect Society (ADS).

Wednesday, January 03, 2024

Not Voluntary ...

Palestinian children inspect damage to their homes caused by Israeli airstrikes on January 3, 2024, in Rafah, Gaza. Ahmad Hasaballah / Getty Images

Channeling the Nazis, Israel, under the far right regime of Netanyahu, has codified its mission to drive out the Palestinians in the pursuit of a greater Israel.

Palestinians have known all along that the real objective of Israel’s horrendous assault on Gaza is emptying the Strip of all Palestinians and the return of Jewish settlements. After nearly 90 days of relentless bombardment and a lackluster effort on the part of the Israeli government to negotiate the release of the hostages taken by Hamas, it has become clear even to Israelis that Netanyahu’s declared goals of “dismantling Hamas, returning our hostages, and ensuring that in Gaza there will be no one that threatens Israel” are nothing more than a cover for the government’s “transfer” plan.

The “transfer” — or “voluntary migration” as some Israeli officials are calling it — is now being promoted as the humane solution for the people of Gaza who now populate a parcel of land that has been rendered completely unlivable, a fulfillment of a promise made by several Israeli government officials after the October 7 Hamas attack. Recall Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant saying, “We are fighting human animals, and we are acting accordingly.… We will eliminate everything — they will regret it.” Or retired Maj. Gen. Giora Eiland telling Israeli media, “Creating a severe humanitarian crisis in Gaza is a necessary means to achieve the goal. Gaza will become a place where no human being can exist.”

Now, with the killing of Hamas officials in Lebanon in hand, the possibility of an expanded war looms.

As stated before, ineptness as art form is part and parcel of how the US & Biden does FP.

Any questions?