Category Archives: breakthrough

norbert blum P vs NP attack goes CYBER-SCIENCE-VIRAL!

⭐ 💡 ❗ 😀 😎 ❤ hi all! want to write a lot on this, have all kinds of impressions and things to say on one of my favorite topics in the world for 2½ decades now and which this blog is partly dedicated to, but am starting out by just collecting some links vacuumed up mostly today for others to check out, the top locations for commentary. unf there is not really a key/ central place so far where all the action is happening. will be adding to this post as time goes on. its very hard to figure out when to time a post wrt very fast moving developments like this, but my trigger just hit mostly right after RJLipton[a10] blogged about it. oh yeah, that comment by gowers that “I think it may reach the level where the experts feel that it needs to be checked” is highly triggering for me too (referring ofc to himself in 3rd person, maybe being more than a bit )( coy about this— doncha just love hardcore mathematicians! which reminds me of the joke about shoelaces…) … oh and then theres also fortnow who literally wrote the book on it! (oh yeah wrt that theres this by RJL too!) 😛

it looks like the Norbert Blum paper[a14][a15] basically went “pop/ scientific viral” today or so probably after mentions on Reddit[a8][a9] and Hacker News.[a11] of the experts Trevisan[a1] was the first to wager a reaction along with some curious onlookers like Baez[a2] and verging-on-jester-or-gadfly-or-even-troll Motl[a5] who along with some mild conspiracy theory about CS research(ers) (lol!) says, wrt the #1 top problem in TCS…

Except that unlike the case of string theory, there exists absolutely no rational evidence that there exists something stunning waiting to be discovered.

@#$% 😡 👿 ❗ whoa, fighting words and/ or near-sacrilege there! excuse me, what is “stunning” is that the problem with $1M prize over 1½ decade has eluded/ stymied/ thwarted the worlds greatest scientific minds for almost ½ century now! and the proof either way, in whatever shape or form, will be assuredly stunning to anyone who isnt jaded or a nihilist! hey physics bozo! think of a great experiment that guaranteed leads to an extraordinary answer either way! arent there any examples like that in your field anyway? or is maybe someone looking a little envious over there? or out of the loop or maybe dont even know how to flirt at all? :mrgreen:

the TCS stackexchange post by a n00b newbie (who didnt know enough to not ask! hows that for “zen beginners mind”?) is now up to 136-4 votes and 28K hits (thursday eve 8/17).[a3] (joy that the lame heavyhanded/ constricting/ dictatorial policy of the self-appointed cyber spoilsports and partypoopers also long criticized here in this blog, is overruled by striking mass opposition!) that post slipped my radar for a few days! found the paper on the 1st day (monday this wk) but thought it might stay “unviral” (you know, like those killer viruses locked in the… thawing… arctic, right?) based esp on the last Hauptmann attempt.[a12][a13]

discovered the big commotion today via reddit myself and spent excited hours poking through sites! but my hits on the Hauptmann blog post had been creeping/ climbing up massively all week, merely from google searches (many from germany), and figured it was due to questions on the Blum attempt. turns out theyre both profs at the same university! (Bonn/ Germany) pardon me but wtf?!?… some kind of story there eh? are any reporters listening?

cyberspace is such a joy sometimes, in my quasi-bipolar days, mostly-sometimes seemingly very flat for days, weeks, months, even years at a time, this is a massive manic spike for me… the adrenalin is flowing! didnt sleep as well this week! there is so much cybersynchronicity to this, must admit, its a very rare event, am myself (and defensively, some others are too) having a bit of a mini-cyber-orgasm so far… 💡 😮 o_O 🙄 ❗

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qm computing summer 2017 update

hi all, seem to have reached a momentary lull in my own schedule and also the QM computing news that typically runneth over. maybe a moment of breath to clear out the queue. years ago it was cutting edge to talk about it but now it looks like a lot of the media is attuned and into covering the race[k] esp with inroads by big corporations (Google, IBM, Microsoft, Intel) into the area. Intel seems a relative newcomer but did finally show up on the radar.[a10]

can recall some of the earliest QM computing books came out around late 1990s eg 1997 or so, so now its been almost exactly 2 decades. here is a technology with immense promise but also immense engineering challenge.

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Google Deepmind strikes again: AlphaGo 3-0 over worlds best player Ke Jie

hi all Google Deepmind has pulled another rabbit out of the hat and won 3-0 against the worlds reigning Go champion Ke Jie who coincidentally is also Chinese, only about 1yr since last historic match.[a] the 19year old was reportedly literally in tears.[a17] quite a different reaction than kasparov ~2 decades ago! looks like emotions really run the gamut eh? last years match with Lee Sedol had him apologizing for/ to humanity at the end! reminds me of the so-called “5 stages of grief” concept from psychology… where the “loss” is one of mankinds most priceless/ treasured possessions, its uniqueness wrt intelligence/ mind! o_O

theres a brand new AlphaGo movie/ documentary on the prior history, cant wait to see it, has anyone else?[a8] what do you think? how does google/ deepmind top this? apparently they cant and actually theyve announced theyve decided to avoid any further human media/ spectacle matches! or is that just my interpretation? Hassibis is quoted as saying AlphaGo will stop/ retire, but not sure exactly what he means by that, its a big question mark, and the funky/ choppy chinese translation certainly isnt helping any.[a17] doesnt it make some sense to continue to refine it some, or release parts or all of it, do some maintenance, etc? it seems even after it beats the top human there is some small )( suspense left. (have always thought it a bit of a historical loss verging on tragedy that IBM Deep Blue chess hardware/ code was “decommissioned” and maybe never archived or released to the public.)

various alignments and massive themes going on here. the Chinese have funneled billions of dollars into AI research and yet this match was not really publicized much or celebrated within china, in stark contrast to last years international Korean media extravaganza, verging on near-media-circus! the state censorship system apparently decided to cut off the live feed of the match ~30m into it after uncertain/ unknown reasons, and/ or it became clear that maybe their human player would not dominate. and then theres the trickiness of Google having withdrawn from china in the prior few years due to their hacking, and wanting back into the gargantuan market. but oops! chinas semi-state-sponsored companies compete directly with google services. as the teenagers say, AWKWARD! 😳

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Royen proof of gaussian correlation inequality

hi all theres been a recent shock of awareness of the Royen proof of gaussian correlation inequality, pop-sci publicized by Wolchover for Quanta, a big milestone… this is a nearly ½-century-open problem![a] Quanta funded by Simons institute is one of the top outlets for scientific/ mathematical writing around today. a real community resource/ treasure!

the Royen proof is not exactly my area so cant write a lot on it but do note that its a key case study in dynamics of scientific peer review, and seems like it has some parallels to the ongoing mochizuki proof analysis.[b] it took over ~1½ year for “community” to begin to grasp the correctness of this proof and Wolchover has a nice historical timeline for how others began to notice/ accept it, a mapping of the spread of awareness. it did not help that Royen was somewhat isolated and did not seem to personally contact any cohorts for peer review. he published openly but it got lost in the noise. it shows how community acceptance is sometimes far from a black/ white binary decision, esp for “big problems”.

is there any way to improve peer review? its definitely a bit of an achilles heel of the scientific process. my feeling is that there is no way to improve it very much except maybe to try to increase transparency somehow. its very similar to the problem of “fake news”. how do you measure quality in content? we live in the vast Information Age but as has long been noted, theres a big difference between Information and Wisdom, and in a way peer review is the major mechanism that is designed to separate/ discriminate the two.

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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]

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