Monday, December 08, 2008

Beautiful Analogy

"One incident at Moody particularly got my attention. The elevators in the guys dorms are notorious for not closing or opening when they should. Often students will press the “close door” button over and over and over - until the door closes.

I remember once standing in the elevator, looking down at that small button, thinking how stupid it was that people would keep pressing it - when the door was going to close anyway. The thought popped into my head and nearly knocked me over: isn’t this what prayer is? Don’t most Christians intentionally pray in such a way that their faith is safe? Not only this but we all prayed for things that were probably going to happen anyway. Were we all just as stupid as those students who keep pressing the close door button over and over?" - Josh


In reply

"I noticed on another thread that you seem to care a great deal for mathematics. If this be so, do you not see the necessity for absolute values?"

I don't see how an extrauniversal concept such as mathematics has any bearing on values, other than in explaining how they arose.

I think we could accidentally slide into two sided straw man here, so I'd rather just clarify my position. I don't beleive that there are any absolute morals, and think that there is evidence for that in the research done with many tribes of only recently found forest people. I am especially fond of a recent discovery of a tribe that had no concept of divine anything. Not even demons. For the first time, it seems that we have found a naturally materialistic race of humans. I think we're all just one great product of that simple mathematical process of evolution.

"Dogmatic Science suggests that life is a simple matter of 'Just add Water'. This is a lie. Life 'may' require water, but it does not arise from water alone."

If you do some chemistry, you begin to realise that the chance of life arising is not zero. As soon as we have a non-zero chance of something happening, in an infinite universe, it will happen. Because we are here to ask the question "what caused us", we can be pretty sure that the universe "rolled the dice right for life" at least once, quite a few million years ago, in order for us to be here. How can you need anything more than that to admit that life can be created without divine intervention? (which itself begs more questions or what created it)

I myself have dabbled in creating without creating. I am a programmer, and once I allowed some algorithms to grow themselves. The only input I gave them was the same input the universe gives our gene's: limited resources of space and time and energy. The results were interesting but expected because i already had a good grasp of the evolutionary process at this point. So, did I create life? Yes, but did I design the life? No. My creation of life was just speeding up the initial "waiting for life to start" by making it start, but probability gives us the alternative to a divine spark. Another aspect of this: was the life i created useful? No. Are we useful? Well, I certainly don't see how we're helping anything at all... we're not even very good at looking after the world we've been born on. We have no use either. We are good at lots of things, but are good for nothing. There is no goal for the human race because there cannot be goals unless we are created with a goal in mind. It's a hard one to shrug off that, but it's part of most ancient teachings. Shrug off the world's goals and just become one with the cosmos.

I hope, for your sake, that you're strong enough to think about this offering I'm giving you. Allow yourself the time to contemplate it before throwing it away as "fundamentalist evolutionistic bigot speak" as one of your fellow creationists declares all of us atheistic evolution understanders to be.

(I use the term understander because I don't believe evolution, because that would be without reason. I can say that I believe there is no god, because there is no proof of that but still feel that there isn't.)

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Infinite space?

I was mulling over this morning something I probably have no business thinking about, the finite attribute of space. Is it? Well, when we consider things to be infinite, we normally mean things that exist, but the problem with space is that it is the manifestation of not existing. Which in turn is what makes us think of it as a thing. Now, space being empty doesn't make it big or small, and in effect, the universe could be a finite lump of exploding matter in a very much inifinite space time, but there is the problem of those pesky virtual particles. The matter anti-matter things that cause hawking radiation. If they are all over the whole universe, then matter itself and the universe that we consider to be the existent universe is inside something that allows for this background noise. Unless the background noise, the virtual particles, are actually caused by the big bang as well. Are these virtual particles just the result of too many gravitons or some other thing hanging around in the massy universe?

As you can probably tell, I'm not a physist. Maybe one day I'll go for that degree and then I'll understand all this mess in my head.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

beware your calculations

Rejecting the Creator results in moral depravity (Romans 1:20-32). The Bible warns that when mankind rejects the overwhelming evidence for a Creator, lawlessness will result. Since the theory of evolution has swept the globe, abortion, pornography, genocide, etc., have all risen sharply.
(http://www.eternal-productions.org/101science.html)

alternatively, if you want to trade random graphs

FSM: Sea-pirates come back! They were the reason we didn't have global warming. Just check the trends.
Polytheism: We need more polytheistic religions. The amount of crime has gone up since monotheism got popular! Just check the trends.
Ban the telephone: Since the telephone's arrival, there's been a terrible decline in home grown business and corner shop sales. Just check the trends.
Ban tools: since we've had tools, we've taken to murdering each other and dying of cancer. Just check the trends.

Words are great.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Pi

The realms of discrete maths and real maths (what's the right word?) are seperated by the perception of reality.
Discrete maths, in my opinion, contains answers to questions that do not rely up any pre-suppositions at all, but real maths, like rational, irrational numbers, and calculus on those number spaces, does rely on the supposition that there can be such a thing as a continuous space.

Thinking too hard about this leads me to wonder if there is any such thing as the number Pi.

Is the idea of Pi a fiction? A made up hole filler that works fine in our universe with our set of real-number rules that we've generated from the initial assumption that a continuous number space exists?

I have a problem with the "three body problem". For me, it smells like there's something missing. I want to know if there is a way to find out if the problem is that it can't be solved, or is it that we shouldn't be trying to solve it in the first place. If the universe does work on discrete maths, then all of our problems may fold away into the peculiarities of attempting a smooth universe without having one.

I'm certainly no quantum-physicist, but at least I'm thinking.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Working Smarter

Again I return to the subject of not working harder. I have this idea for a game, its not important in itself, but I think it would be good for us to do, because it's a project that should inspire the company to do more with less.

I might have to start working on it on my own time. I thought those days had gone.

Books and more

I finished my first book in time for the birth of my son (Nathaniel), but have been treading water ever since. I've dropped a creative dribble here and there, working on my new series of books that I've been planning for years. What worries me is that I don't get much time to spend on these projects. I've not written anything big in ages and it makes me tense and feel like I'm not using myself to my full potential. I care about what I create. I care about creating. I need to work on finding a way to get enough time locked out so i can continue my creations.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

training the autopilot

I'm seeing a pattern of things being on autopilot. DNA is like the instructions to automated systems, people respond to things automatically and only get to decide what they do if they change themselves, even organisations react in automatic ways to situations. I'm wondering if this setup and run way of working is more applicable to games development than I'd previously considered. We write graphics rendering as a setup and run, why isn't the rest of the game written like that? Doesn't the brain, an organisation, DNA all benefit from setting up, then multi-dimensionally attacking the problem space? The way forward for games and computing in general then may be large setup phases followed by fast vector processing of the problem domain across more levels.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Time makes existence possible and therefore Evolution

Thinking about the essence of evolution (survival of the survivors) brings me back to the quandry of what is true. Existence is based on being at a point in time, causality being one directional, evolution could be considered to only exist in universes where time existed because of a necessity of existence being temporary.

If we can consider other things that can only come into play because of peculiarities of our universe, then maybe we shall see more truths of nature.

Monday, June 30, 2008

rational numbers versus integers

If we make an evolution sim, something that allows complexity from simplicity, it might be wise to never use an int for seeding stuff. The way in which integers are approximated in genetics seems to be by some kind of checking of one value against another, and subtracting on success, in effect allowing a quantity of a resource and letting fly until you've run out. This is more complicated to do with DNA than it is with computers, so i think this may lead to a better turnaround of hereditary complexity than any of my previous methods.

Friday, June 27, 2008

dimensional problems

I just thought about the 4 colour theorem and then thought about 3D knots. I wonder if there's something equally restrictive about 4 dimensional space, but we haven't found it because we don't "understand" 4 dimensions well.

are 3D knots the 4 colour problem of 3D space?

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Bifurcation

Species may just be simple bifurcation law coming into play. the more elements in a finite resource environment, the more likely they would be better off splitting into two differing species, so the more diverse survive better than the similar.

Truth and the tautology of evolution.

Universal Darwinism reduced is: if you have variation, selection and heredity, you get evolution.

Susan Blackmore loves the word MUST from "You MUST get evolution". Must is a word that implies some form of universality.

I shorten Universal Darwinism to "survival of the survivors" to make it even more tautological in my own mind not because I wish to invoke some horrible "Karl Popper said it needs to be falsifiable", but to compare it to mathematical simplicity and truth. Karl Popper may have been right about theories, but some things aren't theories, they're actually proofs. The problem is, not many beleive in the idea of real world synthetic a priori with ramifications to new thought. Most people think that anything that can be figured out is worthless, as useless to science as "common sense".

There is a beauty in this truth of survival though because it is irrefutable. Like 1+1=2. To me, it's the world of maths and discoverable truths leaking into every day existence. I want to know how many other truths there are out there. How many ideas that are floating around as common sense or obvious truths that only when properly considered make new bold claims and lead to new discoveries.

I believe that we get evolution because at some point, something is going to have variations and heredity in a limited resource environment. Unless you get a system that survives, and has to succeed at surviving, you won't see it evolve. Unless you get evolution, you wouldn't exist to ponder it. Evolution could be seen as the best example of algorithmic anthropic principle.

Again, what other algorithms could there be out there?

Evolution is lucky to have itself linked to the anthropic principle in this way. We can talk about it because it happened. What other things, facts, allow us to talk about them? Language? What's the proof of langauge? Evolution's math is "survived because it survived", Language's math may just be the same and would therefore offer no further advance toward more truths.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Why are we intelligent?

Watching a video on the uses of evolution to generate artificial intelliegence, I had a click in my head. The video had a segment about the average brain complexity over time. The brain complexity went up then had a hump and then plateaud out a little lower. The speaker agreed with someone in the audience that one reason that the AIs may have become slightly less complex after their hump of high complexity would have been because they evolved to be as complex and no more complex than necessary to survive well. Then they surmised that the complexity of the environment affects the complexity of the entities in it.

I can see how this works today too. We evolved from bacteria to some mammalian form over a long period of time, and the mammalian form was as complex as necesary at that time. From that form to the living in groups form that we have now, the complexity of the environment has been adjusted by not only outside affectors like other life forms, but also inside ones too. The first breed of altruists lead us to a better genetic victory, but altruism brought a new layer of complexity to the world for those that worked in it's circle. It became necessary to remember those that have repaid, those that cheat, how to cheat without being found out, how to survive novel circumstances, and probably more. The complexity of the new environment may not actually be a new and more complex physical environment, but the required brain complexity for thriving survival got bigger and bigger, like an arms race of intelligence, religion and honour systems springing forth to add some reduced complexity controls, and people following others so their brains can be artificially bigger.

So, are we intelligent because we are only as intelligent as we need to be, in a complex environment made from our own intelligence which was driven by the inherent complexity of living as a group?

Monday, June 16, 2008

Pi day.

Stupid septics with their 3.14 day. They are silly thinking that they know what Pi is about. Pi is simple and irrational, so the calculation of Pi day should be simple, but produce an irrational day.

we're in 2008, soooo

2008 / pi = 639.16625145705166844783719370402
639 * pi = 2007.4777056438778793776291219156
640 * pi = 2010.6192982974676726160917652989

the last pi day was in 2007, June 23rd, 0842hrs and 5 seconds
the next one in 2010, August 14th, 0103hrs and 11 seconds.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

The need to be seen

This weekend, when I was in town walking towards the KFC, my wife pointed out that there was a woman walking the other way with her breasts on show. She wasn't topless, she was just wearing a loose dress, but had purposefully rearranged her clothes so that she was half nude.

It's moments like this that spark off lots of different thoughts in my mind. The first thoughts at the time were obvious male animal ones. Ones that meant I didn't take in her face very well. My later thoughts turned to why she was doing it. She wanted to make a display of herself, but was she aware that no-one saw her? I often wonder if people realise that by commiting extravagant acts, they realise that no-one sees them, instead they see the act. I then thought that maybe you could take the idea of hiding in plain sight one step further and hide in extreme sight. Think about it, if a bank was robbed by a few naked girls, they wouldn't even need masks to make their getaway. They could even get away with just having throw on dresses and their hair up during the raid and maybe stash the money in prams as soon as they were out of sight. Crazy maybe, but who would be looking for mum's pushing prams when they'd just seen naked girls with guns and tight and high hair dos?

The other thing that crossed my mind was how she would have reacted to someone stopping her walking. While she was moving, all was okay, but imagine if someone stopped her. I don't mean like the police, but more like just a straight forward stop her and ask her if she knew what she was doing. Would that break the spell for her enough to become ashamed? Would it ruin it for her? The moment lost?

Me, I'm all for more of these kinds of remarkable attention seeking displays. Purely from a philosophical pondering point of view of course.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Tyranny of Threes

Slow Medium Fast.

What's medium? Slow and Fast can be identified as the slowest usable, and the fastest possible, but Medium? What is it? Logarithmically halfway? Linearly?

I've noticed that in most cases, people want to use things at slow or fast, not using medium, but it's got to be there to make up the three. Medium is often too slow or too fast to be a usable medium.

Small Medium Large.

Medium feels like being short-changed.

Light Medium Dark.

Its just so grey.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Death

I don't believe in an afterlife, but i did believe that people go on in the memories of others. I believed that it was important to tell stories of the people of your past to learn from them and their actions and the resulting consequences.

But these two things don't correlate. Learning and thinking about someone is not them living. Sarte noticed it. People are only alive if they are changing.

Never stay the same. If you do, you're dead. Choose to improve or choose to fail, it's just important to choose something. If you don't choose, you end up being a dead entity running on auto for the rest of your pointless life.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Tron

I wanted a computer-desk a long time ago. Now though all i want is a small collection of USB ports in my desk. The rest is just technical nonsense.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Some people may not like this.

I'm sorry if you're offended.

You should be aware that you are defined by your actions, and that you don't have full control over them either. It is a good idea to judge a book by its cover, but be aware that the cover is the product of some marketing campaign set in motion by an entity that is not the object of your judgment. Once you have grasped that you need to judge by the intention of the entity responsible for the cover you can then make better decisions based upon it. Also, for those poor souls who believe that they dress that way because they like it and not because they are copying someone else, pity their inability to break free from their automated self system and adjust their direction. You can't choose your actions, you can only adjust the strategy and tactics. You will always do what you would do unless you actively pursue something that is difficult, that requires will power to achieve. Living in a world of other people who also have to survive this situation without themselves being aware of it can at times be tiresome, but inevitably, your own ability to appreciate just how difficult using will power is can make the act of forgiveness for human frailty a simple one.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Fun is Difficult: Difficult is Fun

I've managed to explain to my children (well the one old enough to understand anyway) that things that are difficult are fun because they are hard to do, the activity of attempting it is fun in itself... but then i came across python ;)

Things that are difficult to do well (like driving, pool, computer games that are not zelda/final fantasy, cooking) are fun because they are difficult, probably because there is a sense of achievement in them. With python though, i get the same sense of achievement without the blood dripping fingers.

Python ruined my moral tale!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Religion Explained by Pasta Sauce and Evolution without Pirates

Okay, probably all pointless accidental crap, but i just thought that the reason why there isn't a "perfect pasta sauce", that being that people like different things and making everyone happy is a lot easier if you let yourself have multiple solutions at the same time (this ties in with my theory of multidimensional complexity being much more satisfying than low dimensional complexity). Relgion could be a by-product of a tendency to allow for some sideways bias when it comes to perceived more important issues such as beliefs and traditions. We may have evolved to appreciate a group satisfaction (why it's possible to have a rally of people who "mostly agree" with the rally, and not just one made from "strongly agree"s) over personal bias as a way to help ourselves be seen as part of the group and therefore the target of a greater quantity of altruistic attention.

Or, maybe we do need pirates.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

It's just true.

After a discussion the other week, and now this article, I feel like the whole world is going mad. Just because people can be mistaken about something, unable to figure something out, unable to comprehend, doesn't make it less true.

If you don't understand how to make a car, you don't immediately assume that cars are magical fantasy creations do you? If i told you that in ten years they'll make computers a hundred times more powerful than they are now, you'll even agree with me even though you, nor anyone else in the world knows how to do it right now.

Just because you don't understand calculus doesn't mean that its not true, or useful in everyday life for engineers that do dynamic studies. Just because you don't know about a kind of maths that might come about in ten years doesn't mean that its a faith based system.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

It's not just me.

one of our greatest philosophers (according to Nassim Nicholas Taleb of The black swan fame) Betrand Russel said this in his work "Why I am not a christian":

"The essence of the conception of righteousness, therefore, is to afford an outlet for sadism by cloaking cruelty as justice."

He leads this by claiming that righteousness implies unrighteousness, which I also agree with but with a slight modification. In grouping people you automatically create non-group members. This group mentality rather than individualistic thought gives us group justice which transcends the morals of man into a nether world of democratic truth. As soon as you fight for a cause, you begin to forget that the defenders are human too. Group members tend apply their group's actions to themselves personally, yet only admit to fighting the good fight against the oppositions inhumane causes when it's them committing similar atrocities.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

We are all unique. Just like everyone else.

I went searching for myself on Google again and found that I was still not on the first page. It wouldn't be so bad if it wasn't for who was in my place. You see, I'm a pretty strong atheist and the idea that the first person you come across if you look for my name is a man of the cloth... well.

I'm not just an atheist though. I'm actually quite against all forms of groups. I have a theory that it isn't religions that are the bad thing in this world (like Richard Dawkins appears to believe), but any form of following. I've started writing a play to expand this point, but I've only managed to write 1/6th of it so far (got a bit sidetracked recently with new book plans and baby coming). I've finished my first book (a story about power and freedom I suppose) and though I'm not done editing it, I feel like I've achieved something.

I have plans to write a series of smaller children's books that deal with moral issues from modern society and promote individuality, free thinking, and exploration without fear of the shame of failure.