tribute to Science 2017, shifting, shearing, maybe a crossroads

hi all. science is in the news. it looks like the US public has realized fairly quickly that this is nearly an anti-science admin through the administrations rhetoric and many early anti-science decisions.[a] the public “protests/ marches” for science are unprecedented (triggering this post/ “outburst”).[b] but one might argue they are not entirely protests but in fact an advocacy. there is strong overlap with climate concern.[i]

my favorite area/ subspeciality is Computer Science a very neat blend of STEM.[d] years (decades!) ago an interviewer asked me “whats the difference between science and technology”? that was before the STEM term was invented. found it difficult to answer the question.[j] but my focus is not so narrow and recognize that CS is part of Science and there are all kinds of ripples/ shifts/ waves going on in the latter. and ofc have a lot of physics ideas/ engagement/ writing on this blog.

science & technology are fusing in our lives like never before. the boundaries blur and some new capabilities may seem nearly god-like compared to the prior human condition. but there is also always the icarus aspect of flying close to the sun with waxed feathers. or pandoras box. the greeks seemed to dream uncannily far into the future in their legends/ mythology.

science is an ideology, but one that is threatened in various ways. its like those big ideas like Democracy that require active engagement by the public and is no longer something to be assumed or taken for granted.

science has given us miraculous stuff in the US and the US has been a world leader, but it seems some of that edge is eroding. its not something that comes automatically, it requires something like a vibrant/ thriving infrastructure, even ecosystem, and that cultural/ intellectual ecosystem is threatened quite analogous to the earths. academia is a big part of it, facing some difficulties.[f]

Continue reading

springtime with Collatz, the Sea Monster, and a (Very?) Big Idea

157097F7-480D-483B-9A2E-199DC0D4DD49-1264-0000009F24919BBEhi all, have gotten a sizeable spike in hits over the last week on collatz related blog posts! it seems to be traceable to an old reddit page on collatz from jun 2015 by level1807 talking about using a new feature in Mathematica to graph the collatz conjecture. profiled that finding/ graph myself here in this blog around that time. not sure how people are finding that page again, but googling around, it looks like this graph is now immortalized in a mathematical coloring book which was announced in a recent March 28th numberphile video getting just a few thousand short of ~200K hits at the time of writing this (maybe a few ten thousand in a few days!), and profiled the same day by a popular mechanics blogger weiner under the title of the Sea Monster. so, essentially viral, but putting the bar a little lower for mathematics! and as for the “elephant in the room” much to my amusement/ chagrin the video never once uses the word fractal (bipolar moods again attesting to a longterm love-hate relationship, not to mention the other (mal?)lingering facet of mania-depression!).

and this coincides very nicely with my announcement of the following. have been making some big hints lately and think finally have a Big Picture/ Big Idea from the most recent experiments. (yeah, no hesitation in the open Big Reveal on a mere blog after years of a similar routine…)

what is looking very plausible at this point is a formula in the form of a matrix difference equation/ matrix recurrence relation. the devil is of course in the details, but heres a rough sketch. prior experiments have some “indicator metrics” that are based mainly on binary density of iterates, and other “surface-like” aspects such as 0/1 run lengths etc… and its now shown that these are strong enough to predict future iterate sizes (10 for now) with some significant degree of accuracy.

Continue reading

universe as a simulation hypothesis, holographic principle, recent developments/ notes/ minisurvey

hi all. have blogged before here (admittedly, enthusiastically, even ebulliently) on the “digital physics” concept, an enamoring idea (for some!). recently within last few weeks and last year there seems to be substantial new interest and developments even in “semimainstream” physics, and now even the mainstream media is in a semi-lather over close topics. (skeptics will ofc argue the word “semimainstream” sounds something like “semipregnant”!) its hard to keep up! there are many different angles of povs, events, personalities, etc… this post attempts to collect and summarize some of this and bang it all into a semicoherent story (as much as such a thing is possible). some old but evocative buzz/ magic words thrown around about internet expansion into multiple industries come to mind: consolodation/ convergence…

to start, these ideas are now going under the headline of the “holographic universe/ principle”[a2] or “simulated universe/ hypothesis”[a1] concepts. they are interconnected in major and/ or subtle ways.

mentioned Aaronsons recent blog[i3] on subj citing Hossenfelder [i1][i2] in a recent near-throwaway comment in the SE physics chat room “hbar”[a5] to a new accomplished user BenNiehoff (phd KU Leuven working on string theory with 9 papers on arxiv!). hes met a lot of famous physicists at conferences personally eg Susskind, Zee, Green, Schwarz, and Witten and other famous theorists. am trying to recruit him for a guest session in our elite and popular series, but thats another story!

laid out some of the basic concepts/ “pros” of the simulation hypothesis ideas incl/ eg longtime endorsement/ driven pursuit by nobel prize alumnus ‘t Hooft, which thought were not generally very controversial, but the room denizens/ regulars reacted quite adversely-bordering-on-negatively, with some really stinging retorts! guess those big fat shiny nobel prizes and the proverbial “trip to stockholm” just aint what they used to be! Ben expressed his disinclination and looks like they all smelled blood in the water & went in for the kill! 😮 o_O 😦

Ah, as usual you have no actual argument to make, I should’ve known. —ACuriousMind [a6]

vzn; do you have any mainstream views? —John Rennie [a7]

Continue reading

cyber 2017, milo yiannopoulos, pewdiepie, online content, other zeitgeist

hi all, two recent high profile events caught my eye, #1 the meltdown of Milo Yiannopoulos and #2 pewdiepie losing a lucrative contract with Disney for his controversial youtube content. these seem to me to be strongly reflecting current cyber zeitgeist in various ways. so, a release of another/ the latest huge batch/ selection of items/ headlines.

in case #1 its “live by the sword, die by the sword”.[a] yiannopoulos reminds me of british commentator piers morgan who made a big splash years ago with his biting/ acerbic analysis of america, but seemed to burn out from his high profile/ near-trollery. did not track milo much at all but his downfall splattered very heavily across sites regularly browsed. it seems like a case of “troll culture”. theres also connections to the video game area. and of course, intense connections to current politics/ Trumpism which is still impacting cyberspace with roiling waves.[i]

Continue reading

collatz, tightening screws on general invariant

this tightens the screws some )( on the prior findings and show they generalize nicely. prior analysis seems very solid but there is always the shadow of question of bias in the generation algorithms which start from small seed sizes and build larger ones out of smaller ones. an entirely different strategy for generating sample seeds is used here based on a genetic algorithm. the idea is to start with a fixed bit width and alter the bits in it just like “genes”. fitness is based on glide length (or equivalently ‘h2’ for a constant seed width). it starts with 20 random parents of given length. there is 1 mutation operator and 2 crossover operators. 1 crossover operator selects adjacent/ contiguous bits from parents at a random cutoff/ crossover point (left to right) and the other just selects bits randomly from parents not wrt adjacent/ contiguous position. fit24 is again used for the linear regression fit. these runs are for 50, 80, 100 bit sizes and ~200 points generated for each. 50K iterations.

because of declining # of points for higher widths, this is circumstantial evidence that as widths increase long glides (relative to width, ie ‘h2’) are (1) increasingly hard to find and/ or (2) rare. these two aspects interrelate but are not nec exactly equivalent. hardness of finding seeds with certain qualities ie computational expense does not nec mean theyre rare. an example might be RSA algorithm. finding twin primes is somewhat computationally expensive (although still in P) but theyre not so rare. technically/ theoretically rareness and computational expense are related through probabilistic search aka “randomized algorithms”.

Continue reading