“Indeed, one could define science as reason’s attempt to compensate for our inability to perceive big numbers.”
A wonderful quote, eh? Well, I think it is.
Anyway, for some odd reason, today I was thinking about the mathematical operation of tetration. Many people have heard about addition, multiplication (which is interated addition) and exponentiation (which is iterated multiplication) but tetration is the obscure forth operation in this sequence–interated exponentiation. There are others that follow in this sequence of operations–repeated tetration, and so on–but let’s just wrap our brains around this first.
Anyway, again, I was searching the Web for information about tetration and I came across Aaronson’s interesting collection of essays on computer science, mathematics, AI and other matters. This kid’s existance reassures me that universities are still turning out smart people.
Anyway, still again, if anyone knows the rule for differentiating tetration functions, let me know in the comments. Or mail me.
A few weeks ago someone infected me with the “All Your Base Are Belong Us” meme by way of the e-mail vector. I’m not going to explain this because you probably already know about it or will hear about it soon. However, before the multinationals catch this meme and attempt to sell stuff to us with it, innoculate yourself. It’s so damn hard to be an eccentric these days.
It still doesn’t output strict XHTML 1 so I may be fiddling with things over the next few days. Namely:
- Need to make certain the script outputs strict XHTML
- Need to make certain that script outputs ampersands, double quotes, etc. as entities.
- Need to remove all the beautiful but unnecessary presentational attributes from the forms GM generates. Just so the script is easy to read.
- Need to limit what markup the comment forms accept.
- Perhaps Noah has a site with hacks up.
Today a friend sent me The Silicon Graphics Refrigerator Project. And last night I finished tweaking this page of images.
Joe Bob says check it out.
According to the NYT, quantum computers, still in their early development, have reached the ten qubit milestone. To give you some perspective, a forty qubit quantum computer can perform ten trillion calculations, ten teraops, simultaneously. Forty atoms sitting in a nuclear magnetic resonance rig can rival the power of the largest supercomputers. A thousand atoms would solve problems currently considered intractable by conventional machines.
I’m still a little fuzzy on the theory behind quantum computers, and I consider myself very well informed, but I found this page that demystified things a bit.
Some folks–well, one at any rate–have expressed surprise that I don’t have more links and rants about nanotechnology on my site. So to address that issue:
Just to give a little perspective, I first heard about nano back in 1987 when a friend told me about it. I read Engines of Creation in 1988. In other words, it’s old hat to me. That’s probably why I haven’t gone nuts and plastered my site with nano stuff. To me it’s a foregone conclusion–nano is coming and the world will change beyond recognition. That’s both good and bad.
You know those wireless gadgets with the little thumb keyboards that people use to send e-mail and chat with? I’ve decided to call those “mbiras.” An mbira is an African musical instrument, most commonly found in Zimbabwe, that is held in the hands and plucked with the thumbs. Seeing a friend use one these things reminded me of an mbira player so the name stuck in my mind.
Please feel free to use my coinage.
Gödel proved that mathematics will remain forever incomplete.
The implication is that the mathematics is infinitely rich. Another implication is that all science, being ultimately based on mathematics and logic, is infinitely rich and will never be a finished thing.
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