physics

Earth Never Rises or Sets on the Moon

Yes, I know, you saw the picture made by Apollo astronauts.

But the Earth just hangs there in the same place, for a million years, at least.

EarthFromMoon

Still exactly there, where it was back then; hanging and rotating partly behind this hill.

CORRECTION: Earth moves for about 3 or 4 diameters left, 3 or 4 diameters right, and up and down, around its average point on the sky. That’s enough to actually see the Earth set or Earth rise near the horizon, but quite unnoticeable around the zenith.

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Uncategorized

A Debate

M: It’s essential that some human mind understand a solution, otherwise it’s pretty much useless.

Me: I don’t see why. Your car fuel injection is operated by a tiny computer, you needn’t know the inner workings thereof, only that it works well.

M: Yes, but somebody produced this computer and at least he should understand it.

Me: I don’t see why. It could be artificially invented as well.

M: But it isn’t.

Me: Perhaps not, but let me give you another example. Unilever makes powder detergents out of liquid raw materials. Just by pumping it through a specially shaped nozzle, of which no one  understands the specifics that make it function. In fact, they employed a brilliant physicist back in the days, when those powders were still quite wet.

J: I remember that!

Me: A few scientist tried to construct a more optimal nozzle and they all failed. Then they decided to go with random non-perfect copying of the existing nozzle and selecting the alpha one among the offspring. The alpha gets the right to be copied and then another alpha succeeds it. After several generations they had an amazingly good nozzle that nobody understands.
M: One day we will!

Me: I doubt it. We don’t even understand why Navier–Stokes equations work so well, but do we really care? The Clay Institute is offering a million dollars to anyone who can explain them. And someday someone will probably do it. But who will ever care about the technical description of the Unilever nozzle?  We will never understand it fully, but we will continue to use it for billions of laundry washings.

M: There were people involved in this nozzle breeding!

Me: Sure, thank all of them, including the cleaning lady who cleaned the mess after the nozzle breeders. But still, it is a real innovation that no human mind can even grasp, yet we use it every day.

M & J: A mere mechanical process can’t invent a thing!

Me: What about a perfect stone to skin an animal? It was just lying there until one of our ancestors picked it up and used it for years?

J: That was Nature!

Me: Yet another tool which was not invented? Nature gave us strawberries too!

J: But in the case of cereals, we needed to improve the grains.

Me: No, we just gathered some existing ones. We have been doing and still do this to this day, when we can finally genetically modify corn, among other things, which you don’t want to eat it anyway. See the irony?

J: We have to have a more constructive debate, don’t you think?

Me: It was you two who wrongly claimed that “a couscous human has to understand”! I was only pointing out your error.

J: Still, we have to see what can be done here and now!

Me: Humans are full of bullshit. And those bullshit axioms in their heads have bad consequences on the validity of their thoughts and claims. Whenever you detect an error in your thinking, correct it!

M: This is a minor error, if an error at all.

Me: I don’t think so. It was (still is?) an axiom inside your axiom system, which spoils your thinking process.

M: Which axiom?

Me: An axiom, prevalent in human minds such as yours, all over the world. Namely that a human mind needs to understand every detail. I say, that that isn’t the case. You don’t know how to prove Pythagoras’s theorem. Most people don’t. So what?

M: At least someone has to be able to!

Me: I don’t see why. As I said, nobody understand the Navier-Stokes equations, yet we use them all the time.

M: Navier-Stokes understood them.

Me: Those two died without comprehending them, long ago as well.

M: But if we understood them, we could use them more effectively!

Me: Very likely, yes. But a computer program could modify those equations to be even better. We still wouldn’t understand them, but they might be even more useful. Perhaps we would even actually understand them, thanks to this computer modification! I am not against understanding, I love to understand, but sometimes we can do without.

J: Somebody ought to make such a program.

Me: Perhaps somebody who doesn’t even know what they mean. Quite possible. Human understanding was never that essential. It was good whenever it occurred, but in this complex world it is becoming less and less important or necessary.

…..

J: There are no axioms in my head!

Me: Sure there are! One of them being: “I do not operate as an axiom system calculator!” One of my axioms is, that everyone does just that. Having your axioms, you exercise them in repeating them loudly, making theorems out of them, with the very logic that you internalized. It’s just a part of your axiomatic system. You can’t think or say anything that isn’t in concordance with the axioms you hold. If your system is inconsistent, you can say just about anything. Then it’s worthless.

J: It is too narrow a view! We are not like robots, we are much more complex.

Me: Never in the history of the world, has anyone said a word, which wouldn’t be a theorem within his axiomatic system. That system is not static however. You should keep it as clean, concise and updated as possible!

M: Mechanics are primitive and stupid. You can’t have real innovation using mechanics.

Me: Whatever is calculable, is calculable with the Turing machine. This is called the Church-Turing thesis. I happen to have it among my axioms, you two obviously don’t. It’s okay if you don’t, I will not force you to adopt it. It’s a gap between minds. There are a lot of gaps, some even inside one mind. But since you claimed that you have no internal axioms, I confessed that I do. It’s a free country. Even if it wasn’t, those are my views. Your views are more common, if I may say so. But do express them, confront them and thereby become wiser!

J: Have you ever felt the beauty of a sunset?

Me: Sure. And of the rainbow. And of the double rainbow, which almost made me cry.

J: Really?

Me: No, it’s just a reference to a video posted on Youtube, Google it!

J: I am not very happy with the direction of our discussions. We have a lot of productive stuff to explore, but still we always end in this singularitarian gibberish of yours. When will the Earth become uninhabitable?

Me: If we leave it as is, in less than a billion years.

J: A lot of time then.

Me: Maybe, but it’s not our time.

J: It is other people’s time, still people’s time!

Me: That’s about three times as much as it has passed since our fish-like ancestors came to dry land. Do you think evolution has stopped? In a million years we will evolve into God knows what. Perhaps simple monkey again? Or extinct monkeys?

J: Let’s lead a sustainable lifestyle, with a minimum impact on Nature, it’s the best strategy. This way we can prosper another 30000 years.

Me: We can’t do that. A baby is born every 0.3 seconds, bringing about 5 heritable mutations with him or her which amounts to one million mutations of the human genome, every 24 hours. Mostly, these mutations aren’t significant, but some are. We are undergoing evolution in overdrive. A thousand times faster than it was 10000 years ago. We don’t have a sustainable option at all. We are not standing on a fixed platform, we are standing on an accelerating conveyor belt. Sustainability isn’t an option not just because of our inner body evolution, but also because of ever faster evolving technology, which moves and accelerates even faster!

J: We can live only here and now, so we must act accordingly. The illusion of conquering space that they had in the 50’s and the 60’s of the last century is over. Today, we thankfully abandoned the space adventure and returned to Earth.

….
Me: You are asking me, why I’m always telling you this stuff? One reason is, that you keep asking. Another reason is this: This way you will be unable to say one day – Why oh why, haven’t you mentioned it, if you knew before?

J: Still, what can we do here and now about earthly problems?

Me: I have been doing it virtually all my life.

J: It might serve your productivity to be such a fanatic. But this has no real merit.

Me: Excuse me, I have developed some very nifty tools, some of which are running at this very moment!

J: Yes, I don’t want to deny it, but I still think we should concentrate more every day needs.

Me: That’s the prerogative of those who are doing something. And those who choose to buy it, also have a say. I don’t see any other way.

J: We have to make this world a better one.

Me: Well, this should be an emergent property of our activities.

J: Why?

Me: I don’t know which gadget is good and which is bad, but users will eventually decide.  Picking a better one for a smaller price changes the world automatically.  Consumerism is the second essential blessing since it provides guidance. Creating a country, everybody will want to migrate to is better than a country from which everybody will want to escape. No matter that the founding fathers of both countries were such and such pricks/heroes. The founders of neither country knew the real outcome thereof. But we have a product now.

Me: The same goes for every other article. People either want it or they don’t thereby deciding the direction of the world’s progress.

Me: The third crucial component is our ability to produce various and new articles which grows exponentially.

Me: So we have three things now: the ability to create something, the deciding mass of humans deciding what they like and how much they want it and the exponential growth of our expertise in creating new goods.

Me: Where will these three factors lead us? To a holiday resort that nobody will want to leave ever again. And which everyone will want to visit at least once.  A perfect black hole party spot.

This is one possible outcome, far more rational than all the moralistic crap we have to listen to all the time. It only takes an entrepreneur some time in the next decade.  A SuperGates, or a SuperJobs.

J: Please, don’t expose the innocents to this kind of ideas!

Me: They already know it somehow, they aren’t that innocent.

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geology, physics

Perm Hell

Siberian super-volcano, 250 million years ago, was a sea of molten lava, about 10 million square kilometers large.

Therefore, the amount of heat radiating from there, according to Stefan’s law, was about 5 times as much as the entire Earth’s surface normally radiates. Or gets from the Sun, which is the same number. (Roughly 4 times hotter surface radiates roughly 250 times more. Then just the 2% of the surface gives you this number – 5 times as much radiation. Very elementary.)

The majority of the heat went directly to space. But there had to be hot winds, blowing in every direction possible. Today we still have long distance winds, only much, much colder. Still they are hot enough to produce heatwaves, thousands of kilometers from their origin.

So, it’s quite imaginable, that back then it was very hot everywhere on our planet. The Siberian furnace was on, all the time, for a million years.

The hypothesis of a massive CO2 buildup which allegedly caused those high Permian temperatures – isn’t even needed.

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Dialogues

With S:

Him: So you say, this technology expansion means the end of the world as we know it?

Me: Yes, I think so.

Him: You base this on your naturalistic worldview?

Me: Yes I do.

Him: But, if for example Creationism is true, it will not happen?

Me: No, it will not! In that case all science is a myth and all technology is a mirage. No Singularity then. Most likely.

Him: I see.

Me: I wouldn’t count on that, though.

With J:

Him: How can you expect, a stupid machine to ever surpass the magnificent evolution of the whole Earth system, that has already been going on for 4.5 billion years. And now, a primitive machine can overtake this grand wisdom accumulated over eons?

Me: Look at these machines and technology as a pinnacle process caused by this grand natural wisdom you admire so much! In fact, we needed Evolution, I’ll give you that.

Him: We should be grateful to and respectful of Nature! And not just look at her as a source of raw materials.

Me: What is a deer for a wolf? A source of raw materials. All biology works this way.

Him: No it doesn’t. Ecology, the most advanced biological science teaches us, that spices look for their niches, and don’t just compete brutally in a Darwinian sense.

Me: They look for niches just to catch raw materials in the form of vegetables or meat.

Him: It is remarkable how primitive your views on some topics are.

With A:

Her: You don’t like Chomsky, why?

Me: His main (single) theory failed. Languages aren’t structured as he predicted.

Her: How come, what do you mean?

Me: For example, some languages have no recursion. You can’t say “my brother’s wife’s dog’s collar”. And those same languages have no numbers except one, two and many. Even “two” is vague, they say. This is something Chomsky has no explanation for.

With E:

Him: So you say, the Internet will rise and we are all doomed.

Me: No, that’s not me, that’s Cameron in Terminator.

Him: No, that’s not Internet, that’s Skynet. But what are you saying, really?

Me: I am saying, we should run 1 billion trials with 999,999,999 errors per second. Then we will do whatever we want.

Him: Do you realize, how stupid and wasteful the process of evolution is?

Me: It is not. I think however that we shouldn’t evolve a new BMW, but rather the whole plant for producing this still unseen new model. (You can process it per partes. A crane hand first, for example.)

Him: Do you know how many atoms there are to calculate with on even a small part? That would be an epic scale waste of computational resources with no results.

Me: There is no need for atomic precision here. Sometimes there is. Look – you do it your way, I’ll do it my way. The history will tell.

Him: But Evolution may be dangerous!

Me: I thought you said it doesn’t work.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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futurism

The Earth-Moon Tunnel

Is the most natural extension of the Space Lift. This idea is based on the fact, that looking from the Moon, Earth is a seleno-stationary satellite. On the Moon, there is a point, that has the Earth in the zenith all the time!

Therefrom, we should build a chimney, about 340,000 kilometers high, and wide enough to accommodate a cruiser ship. Modern carbon based materials are already strong enough for this purpose.

Then, we should build another chimney, much like the one on the Moon, only 8 or so times shorter, from any equatorial point on our planet. Just another model of the Space Lift.

Both chimneys are slightly  curved at the top. The domestic one to the west, the lunar one to the east. Both ends meet once every day. There are thousands of kilometers of empty space between the tops at the the closest point.

They pass by each other with the speed of a ultra fast jet, relative to each other, several Earth radii high, somewhere above the Earth’s geostationary satellite  area.

I would like those chimneys to be two transparent electromagnetic rail-guns. With some barely visible Faraday cage on the outside, for protection against the Sun’s weather.

Now, take this large cruise ship and eject it with this cannon, precisely enough that the Moon space chimney will catch it, decelerate it and lead it safely to the Luna.

The journey would take a few days in each direction, just as it took the last time we were on the Moon. Only the ship is much bigger now, transporting thousands.

This is what I mean by an Earth-Moon Tunnel. There should also be 24 space chimneys here on Earth, for a ship leaving port every hour.  There could be several lunar chimneys as well. Maybe of varying height, to shorten the open space traveling time to a minimum. A minute in a three days voyage, perhaps.

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algorithms

Order by String Proximity

50 US states ordered by name similarity, based on Levenshtein string distance  There are 50! (fifty factorial, 3*10^64)  possible orders here. But take a look at this one! Some nice clusters are clearly visible, some patterns that otherwise wouldn’t, emerge.

Perhaps you’ll want to order some of your lists on this principle, not just by alphabetically or numerically. No popular tool supports this option, as far as I know.

Massachusetts

Mississippi

Missouri

Wisconsin

Washington

Michigan

Maryland

Pennsylvania

Rhode Island

Louisiana

Indiana

Montana

Kentucky

Connecticut

Minnesota

Tennessee

New Jersey

New Mexico

New Hampshire

New York

Delaware

Hawaii

Iowa

Utah

Idaho

Ohio

Maine

Wyoming

Vermont

Oregon

Arizona

Arkansas

Kansas

Texas

Nevada

Nebraska

Alaska

Alabama

Oklahoma

Illinois

California

Colorado

Florida

Georgia

Virginia

West Virginia

South Carolina

North Carolina

North Dakota

South Dakota

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