~ a weird way to feed mechanical power into magnetic fields, and back ~

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Okay, you are accustomed to generating strong magnetic fields with a coil of wire around a tube. That seems normal. Or, you went-all-Tesla in your garage, and laid flat a pair of wires in a coil for a bifilar magnet. But, did you ever just spin a stack of ionized rods? Like twirling a length of bamboo on a lathe, yet you spin-up a magnetic field. …


~ a city built to fill an entire reservoir is incredibly valuable ~

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Yes, a city that IS a reservoir.

Big cities reap enormous rewards. Yet, problems arise from that size; either you sprawl, and succumb to soul-numbing commutes, or you build taller. Taller cities are expensive, primarily because those tall buildings get thicker at the base so quickly — all that material, labor, equipment grows exponentially!


~ how neural networks will speed software by orders of magnitude ~

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[TL;DR — Neural Networks turn a program’s entire input →output into a compressed image file, which is regenerated ‘pixel-wise’ to emulate the program, for manifold speed-up. Never unpack the whole image; never run the actual software again.]

Every piece of software can be re-imagined as a single, massive image file. How? Each input to your software is a particular ‘pixel coordinate’ (this image exists in a many-dimensional space, equal to the number of different bits available for inputs and program state; still, it’s a static representation mapping input-coordinates to output-values, an ‘image’ from here-on). …


~ bizarre & surprisingly efficient solar+wind paraglider/zeppelin/caravel ~

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This one is definitely unusual. …


~ these tangled strands of our poor judgement cast a silhouette virtue ~

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We have lots of errors in our mental operating system. Be real about it: we’re the prototypes. Dinosaurs needed tens of millions of years to turn flat-flipper reptile feet into fused-bones-and-ankle T. Rex. Our brains have only had a third of a million years to find bugs since the latest, massive firmware update. It’s as if we escaped from the lab!

Yet, we speak with bluster and certitude. We plough ahead with our proposals; fearing naught, planning little aside from our celebration-speeches for afterwards. An entire branch of sociology is devoted to studying our consistent errors in judgement: prospect theory, pioneered by Nobel laureate Kahneman & Tversky in the 70s and since. Sociology and economics have changed radically as a result; we now know it’s naïve to assume consumers are rational, or that they have complete information, or that they weight options by actually crunching the numbers. I’ll build a point atop their work and others’, so I’ll only be mentioning the tidbits which are relevant. I heartily encourage reading more to everyone who finds it in themselves to seek it — the whole field is a gem mine for understanding ourselves, as well as seeing how events unfold so horrifically around us. …


~ ONLY spoilers, from a math-geek who hates movies ~

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I don’t trumpet films; rarely do time-travel movies impress me. This is not an anthem to Chris Nolan. Yet, look carefully at this movie; it is a stunning, precise, and entirely unique sort of time-travel. The film executes the concepts and elaborates strategies flawlessly. So, I want to address everyone’s first complaint: “I can’t hear what they are saying!”

Yes. That is the *theme* of the movie, and, to put you in the Protagonist’s shoes, Nolan cruelly does it to you. When you are traveling forward through time, on your first weave-through, you are kept ignorant and confused. Then, when you go back again, you have that first-pass as your informant and collaborator — you know how things will go, but you have to play dumb, for their sake. …


~ let’s show all our work… ~

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TL;DR — Mostly, this world is redundant and boring, which means it’s almost certainly real. Though, if you had the perfect day, with your love, and the sunset is just… time to be suspicious that you aren’t re-living a memory.

Yeah, you probably heard it — “this is all just a simulation, dude… ask Elon!

Really? I think there’s a more thorough way of looking at the problem, checking each box, to see what we’re really talking about…

Arguing for the ‘Mundane Hypothesis’

The format here is to look at *each* sort of “they’re simulating this” scenario… and, if you think of one that’s NOT on the list, please respond! …


~ post-apocalyptic encrypted A.I. with zero tech on-hand ~

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I’ll describe the technology in a moment. Though, to appreciate it as anything more than a bizarre curiosity, imagine the scene:

In the ruins of Atlanta, you found the lead box of crystalline cubes, the iron vise bolted to the stand atop the box, and small hammer within. Yes, this was what they said awaited you, under the wreckage. You take the book from your pack, with its plastic pages, rows of small vertical dashes and circles. You turn to the spot, and read-out the symbols: “1 0 0 1 1 0 1 1”. This message — for this time, these events. The stones knew, under each possible circumstance, what action to take. Along each opposing vertical face of the cubes, at points in perfect opposition, those dashes and circles were marked. You take the first stone, and place it on the stand, tightening the vise over the points that are marked “1 0 0 1”, matching the beginning of the book’s message. Then, with the hammer and a steel pinyon beside it, you carefully set the pin at the mark on the top of the cube, where it is etched: “1 0 1 1”, the other half of the word. With a quick jolt, you whack the pin and the cube fractures, a few small chunks falling to each side of the vise. You unwind the screw on the vise, and remove the two primary halves. Turning them over, you see the fracture cut along one of the numerous lines scribed across the underside of the stone; this crack runs parallel to a line of dashes and circles: “0 0 0 1 0 1 1 0”. …


~ yeah, I’ll probably offend most of you… ~

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Strangely, people who are never held accountable for designing something with measurable performance continue to insist that a story which is simple enough to fit inside one brain is miraculously accurate at predicting the future — you want ‘X’? …


A.I. will do work that’s Dull, Dirty, Dangerous, … and Disingenuous.

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Loyalty and ruthlessness are incredibly valuable commodities for anyone who hopes to extort and corrupt. …

About

Anthony Repetto

Easily distracted mathematician

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