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4 minutes ago, K^2 said:

I don't expect people to be competent in everything. I expect people to understand limits of their competence.

It is not at you to judge and you are of the same kind, like bronze age in ancient Egypt where you critiquelessly copied a dismal Wikipedia knowledge and didn't even listen to an attempt of an archaeologist to bring you back on the right track.

It is an often observed effect (and i am not free of it) and is called psychological projection to see the own positive and negative aspects in others. Only, one should be aware of it, and not bark at anyone who doesn't fulfill the standards one prides oneself of. Because

you.are.not.better.

Hope we're together ;-)

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29 minutes ago, Green Baron said:

like bronze age in ancient Egypt

You were perfectly happy with my response to you on that topic back then. I've made precisely two claims. 1) In standard academic usage in English language, Ancient Egypt refers to a time period starting around 3,000 BCE. 2) That time period roughly coincides with beginning of Bronze Age.

Now, if you disagree with either of these two, you could have replied. And I'm happy to continue the discussion now if you wish. But if you accept both of these claims, Ancient Egypt was a Bronze Age civilization as a direct consequence of 1) and 2).

I'll also happily accept your corrections on the extent of use of bronze in culture, as well as whether or not that played any role in the collapse. There are a whole lot of details there that I don't have the faintest idea about. But the discussion never went that way. All you said was, "most of Egyptian history is neolithic," which isn't something I contradicted at any point whatsoever.

I work hard to try and be better. It's up to you whether you want to contribute to that or not. But don't tell me that I failed because you didn't bother to reply.

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Yeah, this "like" meant suit yourself :-/

To end this, and because i am tired, when i tried to explain how chronologies come into being, you barked me away. I will not risk that again because of fear of derailing everything and eventually stressing our moderator team ever more. Instead, and because i think you do have appropriate access via university network or so, i kindly ask to go on an own research.

These hints may bring you further, i hope:

"Bronze Age" is an early 19th century concept, rarely used as a generalization among archeologists. It belongs to northern Europe.

Greece and the Levant as well as part of Mesopotamia actually have their bronze age chronologies.

Egyptian has its own independent chronology. Apart from isolated finds, bronze doesn't come in wide use before ~1500bc. But copper did afaik (must be checked).

You'll probably find out that it is not that easy. The Wikipedia article i referred to simply held "Bronze age" and Egyptian chronology side by side and that is actually an oversimplification and grossly misleading. This all is a lot of ongoing work and i am not a specialist in Egypt myself (it is an own study subject under the cultural sciences, while prehistory hangs under the natural sciences where i studied), so i apologize for just repeating myself by saying, ancient Egypt was a fully developed neolithic society. With the metal ages, it started to dwindle and in the iron age, when the Romans arrived, there were only city states left (*).

--------------

You were right, i am not a physicist and to one my remarks may sound silly like some things sound silly to me. Believe me, i am aware and not at all ashamed of it. But there is no need and it is not helpful to try to silence people because they apparently lack competence in a field. Even in the scientific journals you can find publications that totally miss the point, or where the authors thought they found something new that'll stop the world turning while others, reading it, slide from their chairs and role on the floor, laughing. Because getting angry won't change the misery :-)

Be it as it may, let's end the feud. Getting angry is not useful. I look forward to reading your comments on physics if they are comprehensible to me. I got angry in spring about someone trolling me badly in here and because of that rightfully got a warning.

But, it is interesting, both fields, either physics and geoscience, do at their very fringes have the disadvantage of loosing their exactness, maybe the latter more than the former. Things can be and are interpreted this and that way.

Phew, that was time !

 

Peace on earth. Dear friends on the American east coast, stay safe !

Edit (*) i know this a terrible generalization. But i can do better: earth history for the hasty: continents together, continents apart :-)

Edited by Green Baron
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Is there any science whatsoever, in the current body of human knowledge, that goes any way to explaining how inanimate matter arranged in a particular way, achieves consciousness?

Or is that still the realm of metaphysics/philosophy, or even "currently unexplained"?

On that note, I find it fascinating how if you follow physics all the way down the rabbit hole, it starts turning into philosophy. Eg: free will and a deterministic universe.

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Afaik, the consciousness itself is not explained.

The self-organization of an inanimate matter is known better, mostly it's a pure chemistry, so-called hyper-cycles.

The hyper-cycle system gets surrounded by its feces and external chemicals (say, from an underwater volcano), and conditions get stable inside an organic bubble.
Such bubbles get denser and become cell envelopes.
As most complex and stable hyper-cycles run on nucleic acids, the nucleic acid molecules self-replicate surrounded by same bubbles with same conditions inside.
We call it a cell.

Later more complex abstraction like the Daisyworld gets into game, and a self-replicating system begins stabilizing its life conditions.
I.e. includes the surrounding media into its life cycle. Maybe establishes constant chemical condition, maybe stabilizes local temperature, and so on.

Appearing in the same (stable) conditions, new copies of the cell have same structure, composition, shape, and so on, for generations.
Enormous amount of same cells are a colony of the same species.

And later, while the Moon shuffles the coastal waters twice per day, the life in stromatolites is evolving, as getting twice per day above or below the water. The evolution gets faster.

Upd.:
 

Spoiler

The consciousness is an ability to ask what is consciousness and to spell this word correctly.

 

Edited by kerbiloid
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1 hour ago, p1t1o said:

Is there any science whatsoever, in the current body of human knowledge, that goes any way to explaining how inanimate matter arranged in a particular way, achieves consciousness?

Not that i knew of from anthropology ... which does not mean "no". In principle, consciousness is granted to everybody without questioning.

I don't even know about a proper definition from philosophy ... just analogies. I recall trying to read Popper's "The Self and its Brain" in younger years, where some evolutionary discussion stuff was brought in. I freely admit i have not understood it. Maybe there are good chances to navigate around metaphysics if searching for an evolutionary aspect of this in theoretic biology ...

*shrug*

 

Edit: it probably is "how complex must a brain become before it develops degrees of consciousness". I have no idea, but the answer is not 42 :-)

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On 9/10/2018 at 5:05 AM, kerbiloid said:

And btw how fast is photon? Lightspeed is a math abstraction (so ideally precise), photon is a physical particle (so by definition fuzzy).

The "speed of light in a vacuum" is a math abstraction.  A photon will only achieve it in an infinitely hard vacuum.  So your "fuzzy definition" is accurate.
- this is the only bit on this whole section of comment I'm reasonably sure about.

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10 minutes ago, wumpus said:

The "speed of light in a vacuum" is a math abstraction.  A photon will only achieve it in an infinitely hard vacuum. 

Yes, I mean in vacuum. 
Is the real physical photon fuzzy, filthy, and dirty (not an abstract ideal mathematical photon) speed in an infinitely hard vacuum absolutely equal to the "speed of light in a vacuum" as a mathematical constant?
Or it's nearly equal with some accuracy greater than zero.
(The question is mostly rhetorical, unlikely there is currently an answer).

Edited by kerbiloid
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Wow, so many things have happened in the last day! I couldn't write fast enough to keep up, so it all log jammed into a single mega post of doom :confused:. Oh well, here it goes.

 

14 hours ago, Green Baron said:

Idk. I don't play ET. I have studied prehistory (a subject of geoscience), but don't work in the field. And sometimes i play :-)

[snip]

I feel super silly now. For some reason when you mentioned you were a computer gaming archeologist, my mind interpreted it as a computer gaming archeologist rather than a computer gaming archeologist! I think the concept was in my head of a person who worked to find, recover and curate very old games because I'd just been talking with a good friend about the troubles being faced by videogame archivists due to recent copyright suits. There's a lot of work involved in creating and maintaining the emulators to play very old games in order to preserve their artistic and cultural value against the rigors of time. On the other hand, there's copyright IP. My friend also happens to be a computer gaming archeologist so you could guess her opinion on the matter!

As for the ET joke, it probably made no sense in this context! ET for the atari was one of the few games that was so terrible that copies of it were buried en masse. Over the years it's become infamous for marking the end of an era in videogames, so once-buried copies are a popular setpiece for collectors of gaming history. Happily, the public entity owning the landfill apparently opened access at one point and actual non-figurative videogame archeologists worked the midden site.. Since there was sadly little to no academic interest, the copies were taken in by a local museum and largely auctioned to collectors with the proceeds (I believe) going to promote video game history and curation.

 

16 hours ago, K^2 said:

How about 100 μeV neutrinos present in cosmic background radiation?

  If they're confirmed to exist, those pedestrian neutrinos should be quite a lot slower! Detecting them directly promises to be a huge pain, sadly. At first glance I thought the task would be impossible, but I did a quick web search and apparently there's a system called PTOLEMY in prototype phase. Rather than relying on a high energy neutrino to whack into a water molecule and make a detectable burst of light (recoil) this experiment seeks to use low energy background neutrinos as a 'reactant' in a nuclear reaction. Best of luck!
 
  I've been wrong about things plenty too, and I have to admit, it's made me feel good about the forums that when folk have corrected me they've corrected me politely. It takes extra effort, but I think it's worth while! It's also true that flat, brusque, or pithy corrections have their place ... I remember my first martial arts instructor favored them highly, having trained under the legendary (and reputably extremely brusque) O-sensei. I think it depends a lot on your relation, the culture and the recipient. Interestingly, it often isn't a matter of the informational content of your correction, but almost entirely the wording in how it's delivered.

13 hours ago, K^2 said:

The post I quoted contains the 50 meV rest mass estimate. I don't claim to read absolutely everything, but I at least take time to read things I quote. The 100 μeV is the typical kinetic energy of background neutrons.

[snip]

 


  For example I like your explanation, but it seems the most common typographical mistake in particle physics has struck yet again! Neutrons->Neutrinos ;)

 

9 hours ago, p1t1o said:

Is there any science whatsoever, in the current body of human knowledge, that goes any way to explaining how inanimate matter arranged in a particular way, achieves consciousness?

Or is that still the realm of metaphysics/philosophy, or even "currently unexplained"?

On that note, I find it fascinating how if you follow physics all the way down the rabbit hole, it starts turning into philosophy. Eg: free will and a deterministic universe.

  Agreed with the others, and to echo them, there's no definite link going from atoms up to consciousness... yet! It is currently 'unexplained', though there's probably a thousand books on the subject :) Part of the issue is, as far as I've seen atleast, there's no research done from the top down, it's all from the bottom up! That makes it a little hard for the bottom up people to know what to look for. It's entirely possible (though I doubt it's happened yet) to accidentally make a conscious machine without knowing it. I find the concept a little harrowing.
 
  For a few unfortunate reasons, I've gotten a decent amount of experience with top down 'experiments' in consciousness. I'll put the results in here because I think it's topical and interesting, but to be taken with a grain of salt of course.
 

Spoiler

  Like any complex system, the conscious mind is made of many parts that work together, typically seamlessly. Much like how a car is made of many parts, but when they work together well, you just see it as a single 'car'. It's also possible to have the pieces of consciousness function as parts rather than the ensemble. This can happen in extreme stress (out of body experiences), deep meditation or certain extreme sicknesses. People will disagree on the specifics, but most agree that there's 2-4 autonomous sentient elements working in tandem. I count 4 and a bunch of non-sentient background processes, but that's me!
 
  As for the stream of consciousness, at least two of the main pieces run their tasks in little distinct frames that blend together to give the sensation of a single flow, much like pictures stringing together to make a movie. The speed of the frames varies widely, but the ones I can/could distinguish tend to be on the order of 10-30Hz I estimate.
 
  To be honest, it's all very evocative of how neural networks can be made to run! Not that I think we're anywhere close to unlocking the keys of our consciousness, but we're definitely on our first steps!

 

I agree, the concept of free will is super fascinating. Most physicists who care to pass comment support the notion of free will in its principal, citing the inherent randomness of quantum mechanics and how it disproves determinism. I happen to be one of the rare odd ducks who favors the de Broglie Bohm interpretation of quantum mechanics which is deterministic in nature. In my favorite pet theory, free will isn't really free at all, which is totally fascinating! Time will tell.

 

 

6 hours ago, Green Baron said:

[snip]

Edit: it probably is "how complex must a brain become before it develops degrees of consciousness". I have no idea, but the answer is not 42 :-)

Who knows, though it's remarkably improbable, even potted plants are rumored to occasionally experience consciousness when falling at the right speed :)

 

6 hours ago, kerbiloid said:

Yes, I mean in vacuum. 
Is the real physical photon fuzzy, filthy, and dirty (not an abstract ideal mathematical photon) speed in an infinitely hard vacuum absolutely equal to the "speed of light in a vacuum" as a mathematical constant?
Or it's nearly equal with some accuracy greater than zero.
(The question is mostly rhetorical, unlikely there is currently an answer).

There's a lot to be said on this, but the speed of light in vacuum is 1c. It's because of the nature of what a photon is- a little blob of energy zinging back and forth between an electric field and a margnetic field. If you multiply the electric and magnetic constants together it gives you the speed of the wave they would create, and bam the speed of light falls out! As for why this speed of light corresponds with the universal speed key to relativity and our understanding of spacetime, it's because (I've been told) electricity and magnetism are fundamentally connected and are in many ways two aspects of the same force. I'll let someone who understands it better take it from here though.

That said, because the universe is always expanding, the amount of time it takes to travel between two points that are presently 1 light year away from eachother is a little greater than 1 year!

Spoiler

something like 50ms longer than a year if my scratchy maths are right. It gets pretty notable over longer distances though!

 

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@Cunjo Carl & others

Indeed, I have heard it said that the brain stem, or "The lizard brain", is a whole separate consciousness living in your head. It is nowhere near as intelligent, but it isnt "stupid" and it thinks very quickly. It watches from inside your head and intervenes in certain conditions.

Its an odd thought, but it has a ring of truth to it doesnt it? 

 

And if matter arranged on a small scale in a certain way achieves conciousness, why not matter on a very large scale?

The universe is very diffuse, matter-wise, compared to a brain, but there are mechanisms for communication between parts.

Could even humanity be a fleeting computation in an enormous uber-mind?

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Does humanity have enough stable elements periodically switching their state?

Imho, the "purpose" of humanity, as well as any biolife is to convert a chaos into the order (i.e. replace forests with parks) to keep hardware stable and predictable, so to allow to easily distinguish its elements states.

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12 hours ago, Cunjo Carl said:

As for the ET joke, it probably made no sense in this context! ET for the atari was one of the few games that was so terrible that copies of it were buried en masse. Over the years it's become infamous for marking the end of an era in videogames, so once-buried copies are a popular setpiece for collectors of gaming history. Happily, the public entity owning the landfill apparently opened access at one point and actual non-figurative videogame archeologists worked the midden site.. Since there was sadly little to no academic interest, the copies were taken in by a local museum and largely auctioned to collectors with the proceeds (I believe) going to promote video game history and curation.

There was also an ET port for the Atari 400/800 (probably 600XL/800XL/1200XL were in production and mostly compatible by then) at roughly the same time.  It was burned in ROM (like an early console game), so data was at a premium.  When loaded (or the game started, it was way too long ago) it would play the famous clip from the movie "ET phone home".  This was long before you could fit all the MP3s you wanted on cheap flash and took up something like half the cartridge's 8k ROM.  The rest of the game (which had to be crammed into a 2600 sized cartridge) wasn't all that great, which is a bad idea considering that Atari had to price computer cartridges at twice the price of a normal game.  It flopped, but I doubt they had to order a special landfill run.

13 hours ago, Cunjo Carl said:

There's a lot to be said on this, but the speed of light in vacuum is 1c. It's because of the nature of what a photon is- a little blob of energy zinging back and forth between an electric field and a margnetic field. If you multiply the electric and magnetic constants together it gives you the speed of the wave they would create, and bam the speed of light falls out! As for why this speed of light corresponds with the universal speed key to relativity and our understanding of spacetime, it's because (I've been told) electricity and magnetism are fundamentally connected and are in many ways two aspects of the same force. I'll let someone who understands it better take it from here though.

That said, because the universe is always expanding, the amount of time it takes to travel between two points that are presently 1 light year away from eachother is a little greater than 1 year

If you aren't assuming a specific speed for your photon there's also all sorts of other issues about how the "infinitely hard vacuum" exists and how big it is.  Never mind measuring the speed, even trying to calculate what the thing is doing between two points should add additional "fuzziness" to the photon.  Unless it is traveling an infinite distance it won't have a specific frequency, making the "width" it travels through effectively infinite.  Unless the photon is traveling in its own universe, expect some sort of error bars around the speed that approach zero but never quite hit it (what happens when it gets to a planck length of zero?), but somehow the error bars "above" c never transmit enough information to violate causality.

I think the above might show a difference between mathematicians, physicists, and engineers.  The mathematician happily solves the pairs of differential equations (or  not, because there are no useful theorems to prove) and considers reality an uninteresting special case.  The engineer assumes that a fuzzy "real electron" only exists in the "real world" and figures that much of the fuzziness is by existing where all the other laws of physics hold.  The physicist will simply ignore huge chunks of the physical world to ponder the interaction of certain equations and their effects (such as Einstein imagining what the world would look like from a photon's perspective).  From this perspective, the job of the experimental physicist seems absolutely heroic: having to somehow "wall off" all the fiddly bits of the universe to peer in closely on the effects of just a few physical laws (the theoretician simply ignores them, but mother nature hates to be ignored).

- Just schedule an intervention if one of them buys a CRISPR machine in order to produce a spherical cow.

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7 hours ago, p1t1o said:

@Cunjo Carl & others

Indeed, I have heard it said that the brain stem, or "The lizard brain", is a whole separate consciousness living in your head. It is nowhere near as intelligent, but it isnt "stupid" and it thinks very quickly. It watches from inside your head and intervenes in certain conditions.

Its an odd thought, but it has a ring of truth to it doesnt it? 

others here :-) Almost surely not an odd thought. Since there is no hard definition of consciousness it is reasonable to assume different grades. I would say, everybody who has closer contact with animals (i mean vertebrates) can experience this more or less. People who work with animals (esp. dogs and horses come to my mind) can actually let them fell simple decisions on their own. The work horse can find its way through a forest, dragging a log behind it, or the dog can help a blind master go shopping and decide where and when to cross the road ...

Quote

And if matter arranged on a small scale in a certain way achieves conciousness, why not matter on a very large scale?

We run in a problem here. In a somewhat sciencey approach a consciousness is always connected to a brain, right now to a biological one. There is no consciousness outside a brain, thus the tenor from biology and philosophy. This to avoid drifting off into world views that see matter animated, or a spirit in things. Shamanism is the classic example for this. But it clearly leaves science and so ... well ... :-/

When searching, one finds o lot of pseudo science on this, even "scientists have found a consciousness outside the brain". This is simply not true.

Quote

Could even humanity be a fleeting computation in an enormous uber-mind?

"I have not enough information, Dave."

Seriously, the universe follows physics, there is no hint that there is a mindful plan or so. I am as sorry as possible ... :-) Or, if there is a mastermind at work, i must have word with it :-)

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1 minute ago, Kernel Kraken said:

How much wood could a woodchuck (groundhog, or Warthog, I forgot)) chuck (throw) within twenty minutes if a woodchuck could chuck wood?

New York state wildlife expert Richard Thomas found that a woodchuck could (and does) chuck around 35 cubic feet of dirt in the course of digging a burrow. Thomas reasoned that if a woodchuck could chuck wood, he would chuck an amount equivalent to the weight of the dirt, or 700 pounds.

https://mylandplan.org/content/how-much-wood-would-woodchuck-chuck-if-woodchuck-could-chuck-wood

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8 hours ago, p1t1o said:

The universe is very diffuse, matter-wise, compared to a brain, but there are mechanisms for communication between parts.

I think you've hit on a real key there. From Turing to neural nets, consciousness seems to be all about little parts taking inputs, making decisions, and communicating them to the next part as new inputs. While there's certainly mechanisms for us to communicate outside our planet, like SETI, I don't think any of them are active enough to construe us being an element of a greater consciousness. As a fun example, one of the few famous possibly-extraterrestrial signals discovered was the WOW! signal, which didn't change human activity much. If we were to frame human kind as a 'neuron' of a greater consciousness our decision node would look like:

NeuronOutput = phi(InputSignal) = {10000GB internet cats if WOW signal received, or 10000GB internet cats otherwise}

Which sadly poses us as not being as intelligent as we'd like to consider. ^_^

All this having been said, perhaps we're communicating with the greater universe in ways we haven't realized yet! This line of reasoning heads pretty quickly into 'the truth is out there' territory, but it's an interesting thing to consider. Another aspect to consider is, when the human brain is still growing and new neurons are being born and added into the network, the new neurons will spontaneously flicker ("I am here!"). If they connect correctly to their neighbors and eventually get signals back they'll stay alive and become part of the brain. If they hear nothing, they'll take their own lives in a process called apoptosis to make room for better functioning/connected neurons. I think this describes humanity fairly well. I happen to be a pessimist at heart, though!

I hope you discover some cool things your journey!

 

@wumpus, I'd never heard of the Atari 400 version! I'm curious about the music now, I'll have look up a let's play later. I'll date myself here, but I grew up with a Commodore Amiga in the house, so the music was always amazing.

My current primary position is the generalist engineer for a few academic experimental physics groups, and I really appreciate your interpretation of the work! It is, almost exactly, how you put it. I like to imagine it as mother nature having 1000 things going on at all times and we need to pin 999 in place to see the one danged thing we're interested in :D . On a good day it feels like a symphony for 999 pieces, and on a bad day it feels like trying to herd 999 cats into a bag.

As for the light thing, it winds up boiling down to one of the oldest unanswered questions of modern science: Relativity and QM disagree with each other, so what in the heck is going on? The inherent fuzziness and spooky action at a distance of QM just don't jibe with the 'c is absolute' premise of relativity, but neither alone is able to describe the universe at all length scales! So I guess our disagreement is really a matter of scale and premise.

You've already laid out the QM fuzziness stuff, so I'll add the relativity side to the table. Also, I'm no theoretician, so grain of salt time. Despite all the fuzziness, the speed of light's traversal through vacuum is constant, and as a result it's every other thing in the universe that's fuzzy! Putting it in another way, the speed of light considered to be more fundamental than the the ability of light to travel between two points in a certain time; c is constant even as delta X / delta T is fuzzy.  A lot of this boils down to exactly how relativity was derived. 'c (describing the speed of light in vacuum) being absolute' is one of its two starting assumptions, so everything relativity is able to do and predict is built on that as a keystone (along with one other). Now I'll be the first to admit that this may not be how the universe sees it! Though it's fundamental to our understanding, it may not be fundamental to nature. But when rationalizing the countless idiosyncrasies of the real world, it's often considered to be one of the few solid foundations to cling to at above-micron length scales.


Side thoughts on fuzziness, because I couldn't resist:

Spoiler

Agreed that there's lots of sources of fuzziness.

At sub-atomic length scales there's lots of fuzziness in how we define the absolute position of two points, or for that matter two times! There's also lots of elements of fuzziness in the activities photons at atomic length scales, due to their abilities to interact with all sorts of things such as evanescent waves, typical matter / metamaterials, or multiphoton interactions. I've heard that if you've created strong enough uniform EM fields it will alter the traversal of light (though I haven't done the math myself). There's the ability of 'set' points in space to move, thanks to the expansion of the universe, and also the ability of straight lines to curve thanks to gravitational fields. And I'm aware of the instantaneous transfer of information through light in superposition such as in the bell experiment, thin film diffraction or the Elitzur-Vaidman bomb-tester, which can certainly cause unexpected 'fuzziness' in a signal.

As a side note, all of these things tend to happen on extreme length scales. For human length scales, we actually make devices that utilize the speed of light to pinpoint nuclear reactions / recoil-events based on the time of flight of the resulting photons! The most striking example of this is a medical PET scanner. It's pretty wild.

 

 

 

32 minutes ago, Green Baron said:

"I have not enough information, Dave."

Ah man, the whole thing gave me the willies. With quantum computing on the horizon, I wonder how many more decades we have before HAL is a reality? On the flipside, the possible benefits are just too tempting to ignore, and I think there's a good possibility that AI won't be any better/worse than people... 'May you live in interesting times', I guess!

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I have tried again lately, but until now i have not yet made it through the hole film 2001 without fast forwarding. Without an explanation from the "special features" i didn't even dig what it is about; that aliens save the world by letting all the nuclear weapons vanish ...

---------------

Will quantum computing really be faster than the classic electric stuff ? Or must we search for problems to the solution in order for it to be so ?

The enthusiasm and google style hype seems to slow down or am i mistaken ?

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9 hours ago, Green Baron said:

I have tried again lately, but until now i have not yet made it through the hole film 2001 without fast forwarding. Without an explanation from the "special features" i didn't even dig what it is about; that aliens save the world by letting all the nuclear weapons vanish ...

---------------

Will quantum computing really be faster than the classic electric stuff ? Or must we search for problems to the solution in order for it to be so ?

The enthusiasm and google style hype seems to slow down or am i mistaken ?

I read a thesis or a paper or something online once that made a good argument that it is not about space or space aliens but about the nature of cinema (eg: the monolith as a cinema screen as seen from "the other side")

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*lol* Really ? I had the impression that it was somehow connected with A. C. Clarke's book of the same name :-) Or the other way round, the book tries to interpret the movie ?

I wish somebody had made a movie about Stanislaw Lem's "Peace on Earth" :-)

 

 

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33 minutes ago, Green Baron said:

*lol* Really ? I had the impression that it was somehow connected with A. C. Clarke's book of the same name :-) Or the other way round, the book tries to interpret the movie ?

I wish somebody had made a movie about Stanislaw Lem's "Peace on Earth" :-)

I have no idea if it is an accurate interpretation but I gather that Kubrick was putting ideas into it that werent necessarily connected to the book although it was the source material. Or something.

***edit***

I do kind of like the "cinema" interpretation, imagine you are viewing a movie. Now imagine if the characters became aware that you were watching them, what would you seem like to them? You live in a different universe. You have 3 dimensions. You are temporally disconnected from the movie - you can fast forward, rewind, pause etc. What would it look like if a movie character literally entered the screen and attempted to reach us? Well we dont know, perhaps it is a mind-frack like Kubrick showed. One interpretation of the psychadelic space travel scene where Boorman enters the monolith is the light effects are what he sees as he travels up the cinema projector beam. 

Either way it would be a meeting between two very different beings that may well have a hard time not only understanding each other, but understanding the nature of each other. Which is kinda what we see.

All that mixed in with a very healthy dollop of artistic license of course, if it is supposed to be an allegory of cinema of some kind, it may not be supposed to be 100% scientific.

Art is weird.

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On 9/11/2018 at 4:40 AM, Green Baron said:

Egyptian has its own independent chronology. Apart from isolated finds, bronze doesn't come in wide use before ~1500bc. But copper did afaik (must be checked).

Cool. Thanks, that was the part I was missing. I remember learning something like 3k BCE in school, and yes, I've checked to see if it's consistent with Wikipedia. But yeah, I don't expect these things to be set in stone (sorry). It does make me wonder what altered the accepted timeline on this. I'll try and find some papers, as you've recommended.

On 9/11/2018 at 6:27 PM, Cunjo Carl said:

If they're confirmed to exist, those pedestrian neutrinos should be quite a lot slower!

Would you mind giving a number? I could do it myself, but that would defeat the purpose in that discussion.

On a more concrete note, while observing low energy neutrinos is absurdly difficult, hence no observations yet, what alternatives are there? That early stars didn't produce them? Or that they were not impacted by expansion? I appreciate the experimentalist's desire for confirmation, but as a theorist, I have to think about the alternatives. Not finding slow, background neutrinos would indicate a very serious problem in Standard Model. I can see us finding too many or too few, requiring adjustments somewhere, but if we find none, it'd put the very existence of neutrinos into question, because our interpretation of experiments observing them rely on the very models that would be broken.

In short, degree to which I can doubt existence of slow neutrinos is dominated by degree to which I can doubt neutrinos in general. So I'm pretty confident saying that slow background neutrinos do exist.

10 hours ago, Green Baron said:

Will quantum computing really be faster than the classic electric stuff ? Or must we search for problems to the solution in order for it to be so ?

Inherently, QC is only faster for certain classes of problems. Specifically, QC can search for solutions in parallel. This doesn't help with a simple direct problem. If I want to multiply two numbers, classical or quantum computer will do it in the same number of operations. But if you have many sets of numbers that you need to multiply together, QC can do these at the same time. Likewise, if you want to know factors of a number, which requires many attempts to divide that number by potential factors, QC can try many divisor at the same time, speeding up the process. So while not every problem benefits from QC, many problems can be reframed in a way that they do.

Of course, the specific hardware matters as well. Modern computers are limited by electrical properties of silicon. QCs will probably run on something entirely different. Some of the candidates involve electron spins or photonic circuits. These operate at a much higher frequency, so a QC like that might simply perform operations faster to begin with. Such computers will be a lot faster than modern ones even on problems that do not benefit from quantum mechanics.

The only commercially available QC that I'm aware of is capable exclusively of a very specific subset of simulated annealing problems. These have a very narrow window of applications, and they aren't terribly fast to begin with, as they are built out of tiny superconductor magnets. So they can only compete with classical computers on very few problems. But apparently, these have uses in machine learning, so there's a lot of research being done in that direction.

A general purpose QC is probably very far off, because I still haven't anything that scales beyond a few qubits.

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13 minutes ago, K^2 said:

... I don't expect these things to be set in stone (sorry). ...

Nothing is set in stone, even that what is set in stone :-) It is the current view, subject to change without notice.

Example: until a few weeks ago, Denisovans where regarded as distinct from Neandertals, having separated >300ky before. A new analysis now suggests (based on a 2cm piece of bone :huh:) that the D. were Neandertals as much as Europeans are Sapienses (no comment on the latter).

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16 hours ago, Cunjo Carl said:

 

@wumpus, I'd never heard of the Atari 400 version! I'm curious about the music now, I'll have look up a let's play later. I'll date myself here, but I grew up with a Commodore Amiga in the house, so the music was always amazing.

It wasn't music.  It was just the clip of ET saying "ET phone home".  4k is *small*.

On 9/11/2018 at 7:40 AM, Green Baron said:

Egyptian has its own independent chronology. Apart from isolated finds, bronze doesn't come in wide use before ~1500bc. But copper did afaik (must be checked).

Ötzi the Iceman (Italian Alps, 3100BCE-3400BCE) had a copper axehead.  Copper was available to at least some neolithic tribes in the Mediterranean well before ~1500BCE (of course trading for copper and making it yourself are two different things when considering an ancient civilization).  [dates from the infallible wiki, although I knew about the copper tool from elsewhere.  Wiki also claims that Egypt was slow getting into iron as well (~500BCE even though "nearby" cultures were using it around ~1200BCE), even though you would expect them to have contact with the Hittites and other iron-using cultures.]

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2 hours ago, wumpus said:

Ötzi the Iceman (Italian Alps, 3100BCE-3400BCE) had a copper axehead.  Copper was available to at least some neolithic tribes in the Mediterranean well before ~1500BCE (of course trading for copper and making it yourself are two different things when considering an ancient civilization).  [dates from the infallible wiki, although I knew about the copper tool from elsewhere.  Wiki also claims that Egypt was slow getting into iron as well (~500BCE even though "nearby" cultures were using it around ~1200BCE), even though you would expect them to have contact with the Hittites and other iron-using cultures.]

I know when copper, bronze and iron was available when and where :-) And this is the same problem i tried to address above: The sporadic or even unique use of certain materials does not name a time frame and is by no means uniform over different or even adjacent geographic areas. A chronology is always connected to local cultural expressions, not to make students lives difficult but to enable archeologists to work out the differences in every day lifestyle and culture. And a chronology needs enough material to set things in relation, relative (is older than ...) or absolute (calibrated C14 date of x +/- y) or dendro- chronological or whichever of the numerous methods can be used in a certain case.

I know how many arrows the mummy from the Hauslabjoch had and what wood they were from and the state of his belongings and health as well as what he ate. But he has nothing to do with Egypt, his copper came from Tuscany.

I responded to "Ancient Egypt was a bronze age society" which is not the case though in other areas a Bronze Age was taking place. The great pyramids were built by a neolithic society (use of copper is called chalcolithic period in parts of southern Europe and the Near East, but it is unsuited for hewing granite).

The guys who wrote the wiki articles on bronze age and Egypt don't even have an academical education, they are probably less knowledgeable than you. I have that info from a wiki page where they were interviewed, admitting that they are just interested laymen (aaaaaallll of their life of course :-/).

For the 3rd time: many people are working on relating Egyptian chronology to the surrounding. It is far from being complete, but i am not an expert for Egypt. If you are really interested, go or write to a museum with an Egyptian department and ask for the latest publications. Egyptian national museum might be a good place ;-)

Edit: a link i found with metal finds and dates, no guarantee: https://www.ucl.ac.uk/museums-static/digitalegypt/metal/metalinegypt.html

Do not believe Wikipedia if you can't check it. Go to the sources, university pages, books written by real academics, museum pages. Forget wikipedia. Anybody can write in there. Imagine i would write an article on physics ... ridiculous ! :-)

 

I am probably talking to a wall since the force is strong with wikipedia. It is too tempting to just click and have a ready made answer. But in principle, what is ready made for a complex situation is almost always made up, willingly or not.

Phew, don't be mad at me :-)

 

 

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Depends on the subject matter if wikipedia is a good reference or not. I work in chemical safety and its quite a good resource if you are just looking for some simple chemical properties or things like say, the most common uses of glycerol or whatnot.

And personally, it is quite a good place to start if you want to learn about scientific concepts (there are few people arrogant enough to not know anything about, say, quantum gravity, but still write an article about it) but you would never use a wiki page as a formal reference.

For the sciences I think wiki is ok, its just too hard to lie effectively. But still dont reference it, follow the trail.

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