Sunday, April 28, 2024

Knowing all the answers ...

Supreme Court Justices John Roberts and Samuel Alito

Eric Lee/Bloomberg via Getty Images

When looking at this picture of Roberts and Alito, one gets the notion these guys think they know all the answers regarding women's rights or in granting immunity to the presidency without questioning why the divine right of kings should not apply as America's not a monarchy but rather a republic where the president is elected, not selected by the powers at be.

To whit.

This week, the Supreme Court managed to fail to meet the already extremely low expectations most sane people already had for it. First, during the Idaho EMTALA case on whether hospitals receiving federal funding can refuse to provide abortions to women who are actively dying as a result of a pregnancy, we heard debate over which, and how many, organs a woman had to lose before an abortion becomes legally acceptable. By all appearances, it looks as though the court is going to gut the already laughably weak “life of the mother” protections by a 5-4 vote.

It followed up this abysmal performance with hearing the Trump immunity case the next day, and the comportment of the same five male, conservative justices was even worse. When Justice Sonia Sotomayor asked Donald Trump’s lawyer, “If the president decides that his rival is a corrupt person, and he orders the military or orders someone to assassinate him, is that within his official acts for which he can get immunity?”, he replied, “It would depend on the hypothetical, but we can see that would well be an official act.” 

Based on that one line of questioning, Trump’s argument should be going down in flames 9-0. A democracy cannot survive when its supreme leader can arbitrarily decide that it’s in the nation’s best interest to rub out his opponents, and then leave it to some future court to decide whether it was an official act, because he’ll get away with it as long as there aren’t 67 votes in the Senate to impeach. And given that it will have been established that the president can put out a contract on political foes, how many senators are going to vote to impeach?

Monday, April 22, 2024

From 4 to 7 ...

In Interstellar, Cooper experiences the magic of the tesseract, the Blender clip, seen above, shows what happens when one goes beyond the five dimensional space (4d + time) of the baseline hypercube, aka the tesseract. Seen below is the explanation of how this amazing sequence, scientifically accurate to a fault and profound to the max, was actually done. 

The tesseract sequence beckons. :)

Thursday, April 18, 2024

It's not all bad :)

It's not all bad :)

In reading this quote from yet again, Catch 22, remembrances of long ago rush in to fill my mind of days long gone, cherished in many ways yet often not, something I bet rings true for anybody reading this amazing passage from one of the truly great books written by Joseph Heller.

The essence of real

"It was miraculous ...

The orange one, you know, the hollow man millions follow without reservation, is a reality not thought possible to exist until now. With that said, Joseph Heller's Catch 22, a treasure for the ages, captures the essence of The Donald both astonishing and profound like the book this incredible writer authored back in the day.

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

You can live forever ... if ...

By firing a pulse of light at a semi-transparent/semi-reflective thin medium, researchers can measure the time it must take for these photons to tunnel through the barrier to the other side. Although the step of tunneling itself may be instantaneous, the traveling particles are still limited by the speed of light. By taking high-speed images of this light pulse, we can construct a movie that appears continuous. 
Credit: J. Liang, L. Zhu & L.V. Wang, 2018, Light: Science & Applications

You can live forever ... if you're a photon. :)

In the expanding Universe, for billions upon billions of years, the photon seems to be one of the very few particles that has an apparently infinite lifetime. Photons are the quanta that compose light, and in the absence of any other interactions that force them to change their properties, are eternally stable, with no hint that they would transmute into any other particle. But how well do we know this to be true, and what evidence can we point to in order to determine their stability? It's a fascinating question that pushes us right to the limits of what we can scientifically observe and measure.

One of the most enduring ideas in all the Universe is that everything that exists now will someday see its existence come to an end. The stars, galaxies, and even the black holes that occupy the space in our Universe will all some day burn out, fade away, and otherwise decay, leaving what we think of as a “heat death” state: where no more energy can possibly be extracted, in any way, from a uniform, maximum entropy, equilibrium state. But, perhaps, there are exceptions to this general rule, and that some things will truly live on forever.

Light may be emitted at a particular wavelength, but the expansion of the Universe will stretch it as it travels. Light emitted in the ultraviolet will be shifted all the way into the infrared when considering a galaxy whose light arrives from 13+ billion years ago. The more the expansion of the Universe accelerates, the greater the light from distant objects will be redshifted and the fainter it will appear.

It gets better.

Through the vacuum of space, all light, regardless of wavelength or energy, travels at the same speed: the speed of light in a vacuum. When we observe light from a distant star, we are observing light that has already completed that journey from the source to the observer.

The big fundamental ...

Even at its very end, no matter how far into the future we go, the Universe will always continue to produce radiation, ensuring that it will never reach absolute zero, that it will always contain photons, and that even at the lowest energies it will ever reach, there ought to be nothing else for the photon to decay or transition into. Although the energy density of the Universe will continue to drop as the Universe expands, and the energy inherent to any individual photon will continue to drop as time ticks onward and onward into the future, there will never be anything “more fundamental” that they transition into.

And so it begins ...

Saturday, April 13, 2024

3D Interactive Anatomy ... Its Free! :)

Very cool, very French, don't worry, this app also works in English. Awesome without question.

Here's the site. Stellar to the max. L)

Check it out. You'll learn a lot. I know I did. 

Asymmetrical Warfare/rev II

Yours truly has waxed poetic about asymmetrical warfare with the poster child of cheap drones leading the way to changing the course of war forever as inexpensive tech can be produced by the thousands while expensive hardware used to combat said tech cannot. 

To whit

Any questions?

Saturday, April 06, 2024

Gravitons ... the quest begins :)

For over 100 years, researchers have tried in vain to marry general relativity to quantum mechanics without success as the science of the very large doesn't play nice with the science of the very small yet both entities give rise to the existence in which all things reside. With this being said, the possibility gravitons, the theoretical force carrier of gravity, may exist after all, a revelation potentially leading to the holy grail of integrating relativity to quantum into one theory capable of explaining how reality functions at deep level, may finally be at hand.

“Our work has shown the first experimental substantiation of gravitons in condensed matter since the elusive particle was conceptualized in the 1930s,” Du Lingjie, the study’s lead author from Nanjing University, told state news agency Xinhua, as reported by SCMP.

This experiment, which was published in the journal Nature, opens new avenues for the search for gravitons in laboratory settings.

The graviton, if it exists, is theorized to be massless and capable of traveling at the speed of light, embodying the force of gravity. Yet, its direct observation has eluded scientists until now, if the team’s research holds up. The recent findings stem from an excitation phenomenon discovered in 2019 when Du was a postdoctoral researcher at Columbia University. This phenomenon led theoretical physicists to speculate about the potential detection of gravitons.

Some details ...

And so it begins ...

Friday, April 05, 2024

The Seventh Seal ...

Illustration by Ricardo Santos

As everyone knows, There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch applies to every endeavor, including AI, the open ended tech forever to remain unknowable thanks to code writing code in order for said tech to react to the real world in realtime, may soon become the stuff of nightmares but this time, it's a lucid dream civilization is currently having regarding the specter of AI and what it means to the future of mankind.

It gets better

Deep learning powers the most advanced AI systems in the world, from DeepMind’s protein-folding model to large language models (LLMs) like OpenAI’s ChatGPT. No one really understands how deep learning systems work, but their performance has continued to improve nonetheless. These systems aren’t designed to function according to a set of well-understood principles but are instead “trained” to analyze patterns in large datasets, with complex behavior — like language understanding — emerging as a consequence. AI developer Connor Leahy told me, “It’s more like we’re poking something in a Petri dish” than writing a piece of code. The October position paper warns that “no one currently knows how to reliably align AI behavior with complex values.”

Curvature 2018

It's all about the money.

In spite of all this uncertainty, AI companies see themselves as being in a race to make these systems as powerful as they can — without a workable plan to understand how the things they’re creating actually function, all while cutting corners on safety to win more market share. Artificial general intelligence (AGI) is the holy grail that leading AI labs are explicitly working toward. AGI is often defined as a system that is at least as good as humans at almost any intellectual task. It’s also the thing that Bengio and Hinton believe could lead to the end of humanity.


Bizarrely, many of the people actively advancing AI capabilities think there’s a significant chance that doing so will ultimately cause the apocalypse. A 2022 survey of machine learning researchers found that nearly half of them thought there was at least a 10 percent chance advanced AI could lead to “human extinction or [a] similarly permanent and severe disempowerment” of humanity. Just months before he cofounded OpenAI, Altman said, “AI will probably most likely lead to the end of the world, but in the meantime, there’ll be great companies.”

The Seventh Seal

When reading the Jacobin piece, an indirect connect to Ingmar Bergman's The Seventh Seal readily comes to mind as a Disillusioned knight Antonius Block and his cynical squire Jöns return from the Crusades to find the country ravaged by the plague. The knight encounters Death, whom he challenges to a chess match, believing he can survive as long as the game continues.

Death and Antonius Block choose sides for the chess game

At least Death agreed but will AI?

‘Once you go automatic, target generation goes crazy’

Yours truly has written copiously about weaponized AI and the implications of same in all things related to war, something seen in Israel's relentless assault on Gaza where an AI's being used to help Israel commit genocide 24/7.

To whit.

Channeling the Nazis ...

But wait, there's more ...

Tuesday, April 02, 2024

Driven by The Wind

Wind, the great invisible until it hits something, generates sound and imagery most mysterious and wonderful depending on what the wind encounters on it's endless journey on planet earth. Enjoy.

Monday, April 01, 2024

Google Timelapse ...

When looking at the Google Timelapse videos, one see the Anthropocene happening in real time even though some researchers state there is no anthropogenic impact caused by man on planet earth. From this perspective, what planet are these guys on as we move further into the 6th great extinction cause by us. 

Here's another, this one focusing on cities.