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About J'Dona

  • Birthday 04/29/1987

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  • Location
  • Interests
    Inventing new species
  • College Major/Degree
    Imperial College London, MSci Physics
  • Favorite Area of Science
    Particle cosmology and quantum computing
  • Biography
    Avatar copyright to Jonathan Rosenberg
  • Occupation
    Transitioning from undergraduate to postgraduate


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J'Dona's Achievements


Molecule (6/13)



  1. The AP reports that he has died. Quoting a source using their brief: LOS ANGELES (AP) -- A person with knowledge of the situation says Jackson died Thursday in a Los Angeles hospital. The person was not authorized to speak publicly and requested anonymity. ...
  2. I can't speak for Oxbridge, but I expect they're at least as good and probably better. Imperial does focus on science, engineering, and medicine (the tiny humanities department was recently cut by 60%), but proportional to funding I don't think they're doing a better job than Oxbridge. Imperial's departments themselves are large, so to a student in science it may start to approach something like a production line, with a lot of material and work tossed onto students' heads but with little continuous assessment or personal feedback, unlike the tutorials system at Oxbridge. So as a student, I'd think that the Oxbridge treatment would rank them "better" in sciences. Having more faculties probably helps on league tables like the Good University Guide in terms of the funding those departments provide. Several years ago there was talk of merging Imperial and UCL to make a "superuniversity" which would surpass Oxbridge and be on the level of Harvard, somehow, by having good departments across the whole range with the funding of both. (It failed as UCL natural scientists rebelled, saying they'd be made redundant.) Maybe Imperial and LSE would have been a better match!
  3. Hmm, I'm surprised that Imperial College's research score isn't a touch higher. After all, the chief reason it has such abysmally low student satisfaction scores is that the administration tends to view it as a research university (or latterly a corporation), to the point that I wonder whether they're aware they have students at all.
  4. Well, I appreciate your comments and I think it's good that you're committed to furthering your understanding in possibly new ways. Toward that, you surely must intent to further study the mathematics and science involved, which would assuredly expand a sense of wonder by opening profound new theories and understanding to you. At the very least, it would aid your exploratory thinking by allowing you to extend your hypotheses and determine their consequences. I'm sure you can see that this would at least allow you continue the discussion by responding to many of the points raised in this thread, such as in my earlier posts, and not those that were off-topic as in my previous post, which I had asked that you did not address exclusively.
  5. Me neither. I just find that following a Möbius path of logic and explaining to the OP where it got us is good practice, even if they don't listen.
  6. throng, it should be clear that to convey an abstract, mathematical idea as you describe, you need to use mathematics. Your statements about a "finite space constant" are explicit and have derivable consequences, which are what I explored in my last post. However, you ignored my post and commented on the ones astride it, which frankly given the simplicity of the argument in it (and the ease with which you could destroy it if it makes false assumptions) doesn't speak well of your understanding of the mathematics. Please address the points made in it—not just this post—and provide a mathematical description of what you're trying to say so we can understand you.
  7. As Mokele and iNow said, I think it's quite educational, and sometimes it's good practice. Responding to posts in Pseudoscience can help people learn to construct their posts in a logical manner and think analytically and critically about the arguments at a level that they'd be embarassed to display in the main subforums (or perhaps that's just me...?).
  8. Okay, I had thought this might be the case but assumed that you meant some ratio between a point (with an assumed infinitesimal but non-zero width in a given dimension) and the size of the Universe (in that same dimension). Of course, a point is that which has no part, and so has zero width, so we aren't really talking about points, but infinitesimal scales. I take it that when you imply point E may be everywhere, you mean that we can choose a value anywhere, so that a distance between it and a point A is still well defined. You say that any finite distance as compared to an infinitesimal object (which you call a point), that is, the distance V between a point A and a point E is a "finite constant" which defines a relationship between them, so that even if the physical distance changes, relative to an infinite Universe the value of V is constant. Scaling the position of E up to infinity (as should be acceptable for the infinite space you assert in the first post), we would presumably have an object of finite, non-infinitesimal size at A. In that case the "finite constant" V doesn't obey normal rules of algebra (as described my last post), sort of like dividing by zero or, in this case, multiplying by infinity. V is undefined because the infinity can absorb any definite factor (to become infinity again) so that halving the constant and doubling the infinity to leave the finite distance on the right-hand side fixed is the same as halving the constant and doing nothing to the infinity, while still equating to unity. So the "finite constant" is neither necessarily constant nor defined. Not to belabour the point, but to be completely clear, let us define [math]V[/math] such that [math]V = \frac{d_A}{d_E} \quad \implies\quad d_E \cdot V = d_A[/math], where [math]d_A[/math] is the physical size (at A) and [math]d_E[/math] is the physical distance (to E). (If this is incorrect, do tell, but based on the minimal description provided this is the only case I can see which preserves a constant [math]V[/math] for finite physical distances and scales.) So extending to the case where [math]d_E \to \infty[/math] and [math]d_A \to 1[/math], which must be acceptable for a Universe of infinite size as you assert, we have [math]\infty \cdot V = 1[/math] . But infinity is one of those quantities (along with zero) that breaks normal algebraic rules, so that multiplying by it leads to contradictions, due to odd properties like [math]2 \cdot \infty = \infty[/math]. Specifically, we may obtain [math]\infty \cdot 2 \cdot \frac{V}{2} = 1 = \infty \cdot \frac{V}{2} = \infty \cdot V[/math], from which we can not just divide by infinity and claim that [math]V[/math] is equal to half of itself (as infinity divided by infinity is undefined, otherwise from above we'd have 2 = 1 and thus that I am the pope), but we can still see that the solution satisfying the condition is not unique, so that [math]V[/math] is not well defined. The resolution of this is to accept that there exists (at least not in this form) no definite constant which can reduce an infinity to a finite value, and so that your concept of a finite space constant V is not useful. Since a lot of the confusion here seems to stem from your use of certain words (as the multiple requests for you to define certain terms suggests), you should be more careful in referring to "points", which have no geometrical dimension, when you really mean an infinitesimal quanity, which has dimension. It also changes the algebraic properties of the quantities you are talking about (e.g. an infinitesimal divided by an infinitesimal may be, say, a perfectly well-defined derivative, whereas zero divided by zero is undefined). It's extremely important that you use the corrent terms and definitions when describing something, particularly in mathematics, or you'll end up wasting a lot of people's time as they try to understand something other than what you meant to explain.
  9. Hi throng. As you've restated yourself a number of times I hope you don't mind if I use a contracted version of one (post #5) to frame my question: Possibly I'm being very stupid but it sounds to me like you're asserting that there exists a "finite constant" [math]n[/math] such that [math]\infty \cdot n = 1' date='[/math'] where [math]n[/math] is definite, i.e. not undefined, but not quantifiable, i.e. undefined. [i have assumed for this that relative to the Universe in any dimension the size of a point may be normalised to unity, as I assume you did not mean to suggest that [math]\infty \cdot n = 0[/math] for definite values of [math]n[/math]. This is, of course, an assumption which should be justified.] Unless I've interpreted your use of these words incorrectly, I'm afraid this does not appear to be a significant contribution to science.
  10. You wouldn't happen to know (I can't find it in the linked outline) the number of times they repeated these five-minute tests? (Not that the results are unbelievable; I'm just trying to be critical.) With 53 male and 58 female participants in the second study, the noted decline in cognitive performance in men (~40 ms increased time on average) after mixed-sex interactions was only around several percent. If they didn't repeat the experiment many times, this isn't very reliable, and even if they did with such a small sample size they might just have particular people who were "slower" in those situations, such that it wasn't the case generally. Also, did these students submit their orientations before the study? I don't have the full set of data points, but the S.D. of the female mixed-sex interactions was 73 ms, versus 45 ms for the males, the difference between which is about the difference in the means themselves. So technically for normal distributions about the given means we'd expect more females at times above a little over one S.D. (~680 ms). (And even if not, with a S.D. that high presumably some females were affected and some were less so, so that the final statement that females were not affected by the different situations isn't really as general as implied, particularly if to give that mean and S.D. a fair number responded by being quicker.)
  11. However, it is one of their stated goals to provide a foundation for whole-brain simulations, which is clearly applicable to strong AI (although far beyond the scope of their research). Their research at least shows that real-time simulation of a macroscopic portion of a brain (a 0.5mm cubed neocortical column) is possible, and by doing so it may assist in developing software (like NuPIC) to simulate the same process without as much computational power.
  12. Well, the Blue Brain project recently completed its first phase where they used a Blue Gene supercomputer cluster to simulate an entire neocortical column in real time, with results matching those of actual observations. If quantum computers with capabilities along these lines are developed soon enough (as this sort of parallel processing is presumably what they're theretically best at), then as the model already exists, by scaling up the project (with multiple NCCs) we might see progress rather quickly, given perhaps some sort of business angel like Paul Allen to bankroll the research. But by 2029? I think that if they have a coherent model of any sort by then, then tied with existing AI software it might be intelligent enough to persuade most humans, but still be recognisable, so I think maybe one more decade beyond that would be needed to be sure. (20 years isn't very long from now!) I'll say though, that while I'm actually trying to get into quantum computing for explicitly this purpose (creating strong AI), it sure isn't for the trans-human, futurist slant of exponentially increasing intelligence to the point of obsolescing the human race that Mr. Kurzweil seems to promote.
  13. As far as I'm aware, VSL theories (or at least the one proposed by Albrecht-Magueijo) allow for variation in the fine-structure constant [math]\alpha[/math] by keeping Planck's constant and other constants fixed. Supposedly this can help to explain certain erroneous measurements from quasars far back in the Universe's history, which would be explained by a lower value of [math]\alpha[/math] at the time. They talk about varying [math]c[/math] versus varying [math]\hbar[/math] (without any real math) on the first couple pages of their paper here, though this may not display for you: http://arxiv.org/PS_cache/astro-ph/pdf/9811/9811018v2.pdf Other than quasars and apparently solving a few other problems in cosmology, I don't know if VSL theories are fully constistent with observations. A change in [math]\alpha[/math] should affect the probabilities of certain products in nucleosynthesis in a way that might predict different proportions of elements in the Universe (and might have [math]c[/math] varying significantly during this period), even though the proportions are very well understood by existing theories. I'd also be curious if anyone else has heard more about these theories and if they're dead or not (possibly Martin, as he tends to be deep in the know?).
  14. Well ... http://shortpacked.com/d/20050722.html I assume you weren't being entirely serious, or you wouldn't have quoted a comedy.
  15. I guess I had two pretty good moments today: 1) Learning that just about every student in my department loathes the senior tutor (with stories as to why even more disturbing than my own) when I thought it was just me. 2) First opening last year's GR exam (the only one our lecturer has written so far) to discover that he copies problem sheet questions, such that I could finish one worth 1/6th of the paper in two minutes.
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