Hebrew mysticism, in a typically non-binary manner, answers the question of Something from Nothing vs Nothing from Something with "Both, depending on your perspective."
Ayin is closely associated with the Ein Sof (Hebrew אין סוף, meaning "no end", "without an end" ), which is understood as the Deity prior to His self-manifestation in the creation of the spiritual and physical realms, single Infinite unity beyond any description or limitation. From the perspective of the emanated created realms, Creation takes place "Yesh me-Ayin" ("Something from Nothing"). From the Divine perspective, Creatio...
Originally written in fits and starts from 2015-2019
In unexperienced infancy Many a sweet mistake doth lie: Mistake though false, intending true; A seeming somewhat more than view; That doth instruct the mind In things that lie behind, And many secrets to us show Which afterwards we come to know. -- Thomas Traherne (1637–1674)
There is something unique in my approach to math and physics which has to do with a curious decision I made in early teens, probably around age twelve. Having reached the height of childhood thinking, I could finally see what pre...
Posted in Everything on Jan 08, 2018
I confess I had no idea what Reinhold Niebuhr's position was until I was puzzled by the following citation where Obama describes him as one of his favorite philosophers during an interview with David Brooks (it might help to know this was pre-president Obama, back when he was the idealist who hadn't yet broken any of the idealistic and inspiring promises he made on his way to the White House):
Out of the blue I asked, "Have you ever read Reinhold Niebuhr?" Obama's tone changed. "I love him. He's one of my favorite philosophers." So I asked, "What do you take away from him?" "I take away," Obam...
The Primordial Singularity is clearly very large, for it encompasses our universe, which is very large -- currently unmeasurably so. Yet it has the nature of perfect, instantaneous communication: when something happens on one "end" of its immensity, the information is communicated instantaneously to the other end (and all points between) instantaneously.
There is no time involved, (for it is somewhere within the singularity that time exists -- as a temporary state dwelling in what must be one small portion of the greater singularity). Yes, "one portion of the singularity" is a paradox, but fo...
Posted in Mathy Stuff on Jan 04, 2018
Need to think about this one for a while, I think the author is onto something, but I need to understand entropy a little better before I can assess this:
When we're working with binary states entropy isn't a 1 or a 0. Its definition is instead related to the amount of information we can hold versus how much we're actually holding. Same is true for a ternary state. The catch here is that we only have access and effects from two states. We basically have 1 and +0 and -0. With no way to tell if a zero is negative or not. We've altered entropy's definition here. Since no information actually ever...
Posted in Mathy Stuff on Jan 01, 2018
The guy offscreen arguing with the professor in the last couple minutes of the video is making a point I've contemplated many times. I'll paraphrase:
"The Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle is not a statement about the intrinsic nature of quantum mechanical things (as it is commonly presented), but a statement about the inability to measure below a certain threshold in size because our instruments of measurement are so crude they change the state of that which is being measured. So why not develop ways of knowing the state of things which doesn't rely on banging into them with photons?"
Posted in Everything on Dec 30, 2017
Posted in Mathy Stuff on Dec 08, 2017
It took me a long time to figure out the Monty Hall problem. I was relieved to discover it also took Erdos a long time, and most others. After much stumpification, I found this thread and finally got it:
The exact wording of the problem can change the answer. For example, in this version
There are two doors with goats and one with a car. You choose one door from the three. The host selects one of the doors with a goat from the remaining two doors, and opens it. Should you switch doors if given the chance?
has a different answer than this one
There are two doors with goats and one with a car...
Posted in Mathy Stuff on Dec 08, 2017
When moving from the artificially perfect world of (excluded-middle) mathematics back into the real world, we encounter significant changes to our expectations for how things work. Or, as seen from the other directions, pure math feels "liberating" because we don't have to worry about all the pesky details associated with including middles that happens in real life. There is an interesting analogy to this transition found in networking lore:
L. Peter Deutsch’s 8 fallacies of distributed computing presents a set of incorrect assumptions which many new to the space frequently make:
Posted in Everything on Dec 05, 2017