Sunday, January 29, 2012

On Right Angles

Most humans seem to have a natural impulse to create right angles, and will do so despite attempted conscious override. For example, when trying to draw figure 1, most people will draw figure 2 instead. Figures 3 and 4 are more examples. Notice the right angles that are created in the incorrect examples.

Even after a person has been told of this phenomenon, they will continue to perform the same mistake. See figures 5-7: When given instructions to add “cross-contour lines” to figure 5, the typical subject will produce figure 7, not figure 6. Once again, the tendency to make the lines 'increasingly perpendicular' is evident.

Relevant Findings:
The following is taken from a relevant report; subjects were shown various angles and asked what angle they saw:
Compared to a quadrilateral on its own, judgments of the acute and obtuse angles in the cube drawings were biased towards 90 degrees.

Of interest, the judgments are attracted only to 90
degrees, not to 0 degrees or 180 degrees, 45 degrees and 135 degrees,other possible components of good form. angle illusion could be a top-down, Gestalt effect. When physical conditions approach a ‘simpler’ shape, a percept with symmetry, equality, parallels, and orthogonality is favoured, Gestaltists argue.

If the V means 90 degrees, it is seen as 90 degrees, in a strong version of this theory.

Peterson and Gibson (1993) argue perceptual input and cognitive information are processed in parallel. If recognition influences perception, angles close to 90 degrees on the page might indeed be seen as 90 degrees.
Angle illusion on a picture’s surface
University of Toronto at Scarborough, 1265 Military Trail, Toronto ON M1C1A4, Canada
Received 28 August 2006; accepted 15 March 2007

Spatial Vision, Vol. 21, No. 3–5, pp. 451– 462 (2008)
Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, 2008.

Also available online -

Peterson, M. A. and Gibson, B. S. (1993). Shape recognition contributions to figure-ground organization in three-dimensional displays, Cognit. Psychol. 25, 383–429.

Further Interpretations:
In an effort towards simplification, where all angles exist on a spectrum between 90 and 180 degrees, (either angled or straight) it is 'cognitively efficient' to assume that the angle in question is not somewhere on the angle-spectrum, but only at either end. To see things as either good or bad, right or wrong, up or down, is also much easier and at times more effective than discriminating between shades of difference.

In another override (also, one would assume, to maximize cognitive processing), it is, at times (or, more often than not, as it seems) better to "see" what a thing "is" rather than to see what it really looks like. (This implies that the viewer knows that the correctly-drawn cube is, in fact, a cube, with six rectilinear sides, just by looking at the drawing, thus knowing what it is, or is meant to represent.)

So, is this common misperception a result of simple-over-complex, or one of "what it is" over "what it looks like"

The Nature of Illusion

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Dystopian Vision

In an ironic attempt to protect our cultural artifacts, we will accelerate the globalization of culture by cutting-off future creators from the cultural legacy that has been protected, i.e. copyrighted, heretofore.

Perhaps the only way to maintain our distinct cultural identity in the face of globalization is to copyright the cultures themselves. And then you might ask: Which is the more dystopian?

The Extended Phenotype: The Long Reach of the Gene

Richard Dawkins, 1982

1999 edition w afterword by Daniel Dennett

Extended Phenotypes are extracorporeal genetic adaptations

Phylogenetic development is the evolution of the species, on an evolutionary timescale

Ontologenetic development is the evolution of the individual, on an individual timescale

“Replicators are not of course, selected directly, but by proxy; they are judged by their phenotypic effects. Although for some purpose it is convenient to think of these phenotypic effects as being packaged together in discrete ‘vehicles’ such as individual organisms, this is not fundamentally necessary. Rather, the replicator should be thought of as having extended phenotypic effects, consisting of all its effects on the world at large, not just its effects on the individual body in which it happens to be sitting (p4).”

[In the same way that gravity and electromagnetic forces shaped the paleontological earth, the life-force of evolution has shaped the earth of our current era. Something, for example, has removed all the oil from the ground and burned it into the air, redistributing the molecules of the planet in the same way that a volcano redistributes molten iron from underneath the crust to on top of it.]

-The meme is a non-genetic replicator flourishing only in the environment of complex, communicating brains. –Dawkins, The Selfish Gene, 1976

-When the meme is “graven into” the receiving brain, it is in a position to broadcast its phenotypic effects using inter-individual communication and imitation apparatus, i.e. humans (~p109).

-The copying process of memes is much less precise than in genes…there is a mutational element in every [meme-] copying event (p112).

The Hierarchy (according to Dawkins)

-Sub-Atomic Particles – fundamental particles below the atomic level

-Atoms – there are about 100 different kinds; they follow their own rules; they are ignored by chemistry



-Living Matter – macromolecules, intracellular membranes, organelles, cells, tissues, organs, organisms, populations, communities, ecosystems…

-Software – integrated circuits, computers

[and how does this compare to Teilhard deChardin?]

Monday, January 23, 2012

Virus of the Mind

Richard Brodie, 1996

Introduction: Crisis of the Mind

-Viruses of the mind, and the whole science of memetics, represent a major paradigm shift in the science of the mind (p15).

-Once created, a virus of the mind gains a life independent of its creator and evolves quickly to infect as many people as possible (p17).

-Even mindless stubbornness is immunity against only some kinds of mind viruses.

“Birth of a New Paradigm”

1.Complacency/Marginalization [Indifference]




GENE – basic building block of LIFE – biological programming/bio-replicator – body/physical/natural

MEME – basic building block of CULTURE – mental programming/psycho-replicator – mind/non-physical/artificial

Chapter 1: Memes

[The science of memetics is the mind-universe’s analogue to Genetics, which studies the same thing about genes in the Biological Universe.]

Dawkins’ BIOLOGICAL Definition:

The meme is the basic unit of cultural transmission, or imitation

Plotkins’ PSYCHOLOGICAL Definition:

The meme is the basic unit of cultural heredity analogous to the gene. It is the internal [artificial, mindspace] representation of knowledge

Dennet’s COGNITIVE Definition:

The meme is an idea, the kind of complex idea that forms itself into a distinct memorable [memory…] unit. It is spread by vehicles that are physical manifestations of the meme.

Brodie’s WORKING Definition:

The meme is a unit of information in a mind whose existence influences events such that more copies of itself get created in other minds.


An attitude, idea or belief (p48)

On Plotkin:

Under this definition, memes are to a human’s behavior what our genes are to your bodies: internal representations of knowledge that result in outward effects on the world [Dawkins Extended Phenotype].

Genes are hidden, internal pieces of information stored in an embryo that result, with the influence of its environment, in the flesh and blood of the developed organism. Memes are hidden, internal representations of knowledge that result, again along with environmental influence, in external behavior and the production of cultural artifacts such as skirts and bridges. If I look around and see short skirts, that might cause the predication of a meme in my mind that short skirts are in fashion. But the meme is in my mind, not on [Megan Fox’s] body [that would be instead the extended phenotype of the meme] (p29).

[Controlling the mind is the best way to control behavior (not just controlling the body, as genes do) and since the ability to emulate and imitate (and with the advent of consciousness, to empathize) is unique to humans (at least in the capacity that we hold). Controlling the behavior, via the mind, is the best way to manipulate other humans]. (captain obvious?)

Chapter 2: Mind and Behavior

“Peer Pressure”

When people get immersed in a culture (like any company or job or high school) with strong memes it tends to be a sink or swim proposition. Either you change your mind, succumbing to peer pressure and adopting the new memes as your own, or you struggle with the extremely uncomfortable feeling of being surrounded by people who think you’re crazy or inadequate (p48). [I like how crazy is the inverse of inadequate.]

-“distinction memes” form a perceptual filter

-Mind viruses thrive on your belief that its memes are true (p53).

[How does this relate to 'realism' in art or via Kahler’s Narrative, the tendency of the author to try and make their work as ‘believable’ as possible? And see below on Ch.4Evolution…]

Chapter 3: Viruses

-One reason to take viruses seriously is that making copies of yourself is the most powerful force in the universe (p58).

-Anywhere there is copying machinery; there can be viruses (p59).

-For billions of years it was DNA that was being copied (p60-61).

Viral Workflow (p63):

1. Viruses penetrate our minds because we are so good at learning new ideas and information.

2. They are copied by us communicating with each other, something we are getting better and better at [though I would ask what parameters measure this progress].

3. Viruses issue instructions by programming us with new memes that affect our behavior.

4. They spread when the chain of events stemming from the new behavior reaches an uninfected mind.

5. Repeat.

Cultural Viruses






Designer Viruses


Human-generated intent


Development of Culture

--sequence of ideas and discoveries that build upon one another

--a meme pool where the ideas in our heads are shaped and transported by various forces including mind viruses.

Chapter 4: Evolution

Evolution – complexity

Entropy – simplicity

[These two forces operate in both universes.]

-Is the replicator being copied (passive) or is it making copies of itself (active) (p67)?

-In copying/replicating for evolution, error is essential, but in the right amounts: too high, nothing changes; too low, the quality that made it good for replicating changes, is lost (like an office document photocopied over and over) (p67).

-Evolution requires a certain amount of both fidelity and infidelity [and this can also be related to the ‘believability’ of artists?] (p68).

Fitness in Evolution: the likelihood of being copied (p68)

-Darwin didn’t know what DNA was (p69).

An individual of a species doesn’t replicate itself, but its genes. From the selfish gene point-of-view, a human is just another way of making genes, and evolution revolves around their well being, not ours.

-We are in the end of the DNA era (almost) (p79).

-Almost all the information stored on earth was stored in DNA until ~3000 years ago (p79).

[What is information?]

Chapter 5: The Evolution of Memes

“An invasion of armies can be resisted, but not an idea whose time has come.” – Victor Hugo

“mental-pretzeling” – Richard Brodie

The Telephone Game is a meme-evolution in a microcosm.

Advanced cultures have smaller population growth, but the most effective cultural imperialism, spreading memes, not genes (p99).

Chapter 6: Sex: The Root of All Evolution

You are the result of an unbroken chain spanning thousands of generations of males and females who were all successful at finding a mate (p104).

Chapter 8: How We Get Programmed

The “Trojan horse” of memetic programming is characterized by the memes’ decreasing order of believability:

-We all want freedom! (credible, agreeable)

--We all want democracy to work for everyone! (less so)

---We all want every American to have the opportunity to pursue the American Dream! (even less…)

----And we all want a health care system that makes that possible!

The more questionable memes ride right in on the initial, acceptable ones (p144).

Chapter 9: Cultural Viruses

All cultural institutions, regardless of their initial design or intention (if any), evolve to have but one goal: to perpetuate themselves (p158).

On Art and Such:

When the Wizard of Oz is colored [from black and white], it changes the thing, not for the sake of its artistic expression (which ‘is’ what it is, so it’s not for the sake of the thing) but for the sake of its spreadability, or for the sake of its viewership. (The viewers prefer color…) [loosely referencing p167]

Making sense is a strong selector for memes; truth is not (p168).

[The Heliocentric Theory made no sense at all initially, but alas, over time, all the conflicting memes fell away, so far way, that we have completely forgotten our once firmly-held belief that angels and demons pushed and pulled the celestial bodies.]

News is biased, but only towards strong meme-selectors. There is no morality, no politics, no truth … no conspiracies either, just super-complex, klugey evolution (~p170).

Power Shifts in Politics

The shift of power always seems to be for a good reason at first [or else it wouldn’t be selected]. While the short-term results appeal to the majority of voters, the long-term increases in government control over yet another aspect of life is not so appealing (p182).

Chapter 10: Religion

The Religiosity Spectrum:

Vehement disbelief à useful allegory à word-of-God fundamentalism

We have an enormous hunger to understand the world around us, which was extremely useful when the world was simple and mostly consisted of physical rewards and dangers. In the society of memes, however, we are constantly trying to make sense of things that simply have no sense. …We think they make sense, because our brains haven’t had much of a chance to evolve from the time when these cultural, psychological landscapes simply didn’t exist. Se we devote huge amounts of time, money and energy trying to understand and solve meaningless problems (p191). [This is the ‘self-helper’ Brodie.]

Religious Memes and Making Sense:

Religions that have clear, handy explanations for those tough questions are much more popular than those that challenge people to think for themselves, such as Zen. The answers don’t have to be true, just easy to understand (p193)

Delusion and Self Deceit: You Are Not Immune

We all live with a certain amount of delusion and self-deceit. Maybe it’s just a matter of consciously picking the right set of delusions to point us in the direction we want to go (p107-198).

Thought Contagion

Thought Contagion: How belief spreads through society (the new science of memes)

Aaron Lynch, 1996

It is written that Lynch’s Thought Contagion theory was developed independently of Dawkin’s Memetics theory: "Lynch claimed to have conceived his theory totally independently of any contact with academics in the cultural evolutionary sphere, and apparently was not even aware of Dawkins' The Selfish Gene until his book was very close to publication."

“Man is what he believes” – Anton Chekhov

A thought contagion is a self-propagating idea (similar to Dawkin’s Selfish Gene)

People-acquiring ideas


Ideas-acquiring people

Memetics is just the evolution of ideas (each one like a species), post-genes

Passive adaptation, natural, cultural mind viruses


Thought contagion, artificial, designer mind viruses

“…having more thought contagions [in a society] may accelerate the brain’s evolution for capacities for memetic immunity, pushing it towards more sophisticated levels of cultural capacity. (p25)

Lynch taking from Evolutionary Biologist Richard Dawkins’ sociobiological book The Selfish Gene:

-Genetic replicator theory: living organisms are the “machines” that genes use to copy themselves into new organisms

-Genes are self-copying information bundles in a storage medium of organic molecules

“Divine Law Enforcement”

Memetic History: Little People and Big People

Memetics’s focus on beliefs as replicators can likewise give short shrift to prominent people. To multiple aggressively memes must affect large numbers of people with in similar ways. But most of any large crowd consists of “little people” so the theory ca not ignore them in favor of prominent people.

Even in its focus on “little people”, memetics pays disproportionate attention to our more benign and unsophisticated communications. The seemingly little events of communication greatly outnumber the big ones and are easier to imitate. So they play an important role in mass movements.

The best replicators command retransmitting behaviors from adherents great and small, over wide areas, and across long time spans. Prominent figure may do more meme spreading per person, but the common fold often account for most of a meme’s replication through their sheer number. (p38)

[And so it should be reinforced here, that in order for the ‘common folk’ to replicate the meme, it must be easy to imitate, otherwise, they will either not do it at all, or do it wrong. In order for a meme to survive, it must be copied with some degree of fidelity.]

‘Be Fruitful and Multiply’ and ‘Religion’: Meme Synergy

This meme, “be fruitful and multiply”, replicates through history in its natural, logical way (those who exercise the meme have more offspring, by way of the meme itself, accelerating the rate of propagation). When the powerhouse ‘Religion’ meme reaches supreme authority, ‘be fruitful…’ slips right in and explodes on the population. The two memes work together, strengthening each other’s chances of survival by the nature of each meme in itself. (see p100)


Memetics should reach its genetic-equivalent of evolutionary biology as a mature theory.

As one of the most powerful forces of nature, the evolution of replicating entities by natural selection extends beyond biology, having newfound importance in the origin of beliefs. Where once we had thought our origins above nature, we now know the humble truth of biological evolution. Where once we had thought our beliefs and values above the laws of nature, we increasingly know them, too, as the outcomes of natural selection. [note the parallel to Kahler’s work regarding the shifting role of divine creator to moral guardian as evidenced in the history of the "inward turn of the narrative" – Llynch is suggesting that even this position is now being usurped.]

In every corner of our lives…thought contagions live with us and in us, telling us how. (p173)

The Inward Turn of the Narrative

Erich Kahler

1970 (German), 1973 (English trans: Richard and Clara Winston, Princeton U. Press)

“Erich Kahler’s view of the modern world is “the steady evolution of consciousness in the direction of the demythification and secularization of wider and wider areas of human life”.

-Joseph Frank in the forward, p ix-x

[…he continues…]

The part of mankind living in advanced industrial society “has thus become detached from the ancient certainties provided by religion and cultural tradition; it lives mentally and physically in a universe it has not yet learned how to assimilate emotionally. The spiritual crisis of the modern era is precisely this gap between the mind of the human species and its psyche”.

Literary history as the history of consciousness (preface, p3):

“The evolution of artistic forms of expression is one of the most important evidences we have for the changes in man’s consciousness and the changes in the structure of his world.”

The Denaturing of Nature (preface, p6):

The individual, by conscious objectification of reality, denatures nature.

The Nature of Narrative

from the very first sentence of ‘Part One’

Initially, the process of internalization of narrative consists in gradually bringing the narrated material down to earth and breathing into it a human soul. Narrative begins with cosmogonies and theogonies. Slowly, then, the themes descend to the level of annals and chronicles, to the recording of earthly events.


Early Occidental Epics (Homer)

-representing “complex elaborations and reshapings of real happenings”

-mingling myth and history, not mere fictions, i.e. not pure invention

-reproducing believed realities

-mythic, heroic human

“The biblical kings and prophets are not invented fictional characters; they are historical figures, though somewhat distorted by the narrative, for narrative always distorts.” (p54) [ref: Big Fish film]

“[They] are not fictional characters…they were not created for the sake of symbolizing, for the sake of meaning; they are the actors in real events, or events believed to be real…If we feel that they represent certain universal human attitudes, we are responding to a naïve symbolism which the authors were unconscious.” (p55)

Christian Influence

-deliberate, imposed meaning

Renaissance Influence

-collapse of Holy Roman Empire and feudal hierarchy/Roman Catholic Church/Christian Cosmos:

“Emperor, Pope, and Divine Ruler of the Universe as single unified power lost their claims to unlimited hegemony. God was displaced by human reason; knowledge derived from faith shattered by empiricism…Men began themselves to observe nature directly… This was the beginning of natural science” (p35)

[The displacement of God by human reason is a getting-rid-of the Great Middleman. He is disregarded; change is affected directly, by the individual.]

Renaissance Influence

-dawning of individual consciousness

“When the acceptance of supernatural authority is shaken and each individual begins to act entirely on his own responsibility, the secretiveness, caution, and a close watch on the conduct and character of other individuals becomes essential.” (p21)

“One’s fellow man, as well as one’s own inner life, become objects of conscious observation.” (p21)

Fiction at Last

-Don Quixote, first modern novel

-(new) ascending symbolism vs. (old) descending symbolism

“[^]…proceeds not from a supernatural, extrahuman, or prehuman event whose reality is assumed, but because it rises from below, from a purely human natural world, from individual characters and events which from the outset possess only a representative, not an actual reality. In fact, then have been invented by the artists for the sake of this representation.” (p57)

“To the creators of the new symbolism there is no pre-existence, no premise outside the work itself. The whole symbolic structure is built up by the artist; it is entirely integrated. This complete integration is internalization. ” Nothing more is imposed, “The whole world is now inside the artist.” (p58)

1700’s: Reciprocal Creation of Consciousness and Reality

From the 1700’s on, “A new intertwining of inner and outer life began, within the onset of a more developed consciousness. … The interpenetration of consciousness and reality, and the accelerating interaction between the two, have greatly complicated the two.” (p75)

“For the first time, then, then actual process of change is drenched with ideas, permeated by the products of consciousness.” (p69)

“Conditions become far more important than actions; dealing with them in a practical way demands abstraction. … The stuff which becomes the object of the artistic consciousness, and thus of the narrator’s consciousness – the sheer raw material of reality – is no longer a merely physical or even psychological primal substance.” (p70)

“Nature for the first time becomes an independent object of reality” (p75)

[footnote] “As was the case with the development of perspective, the graphic arts took the lead here. During the Renaissance, Altodorfer and Durer painted the first landscapes devoid of human figures.”

-technology as “the systematization and practical application of scientific results”, “strews abstractions throughout the whole field of reality”

The First Description of a Thunderstorm

--“Die auf ein starkes Ungewitter erfolgte Stille”, or “The Silence After a Thunderstorm”, by Brockes, 1735, translated in Winston’s Narrative

“…Apogee of the transfer from mystical imbuement of nature to cold, analytical, categorical description.” (p84)

“The creator was inadvertently removed from creation, his presence remained, however, as the guardian of morality.” (p89)

The ‘New English Novel’

-began in 1719 with Daniel DeFoe’s Robinson Crusoe, he describes it himself as “homely, plain writing”

-first use of naturalistic language in the history of the narrative

-“Defoe’s naturalistic exactitude is mean to reinforce the credibility of the story.” (p93)

Kahler lists a “variety of fresh motives” introduced in this phase:

-scientific empiricism

-puritan moral scruples

-bourgeoisie’s attentiveness to material things

-overseas exploration w accompanying emphasis on description

-middle class hunger for ‘true history’, in the light of which the narrator must strive harder to achieve credibility

-The development of science in the 1600-1700, the telescope and the microscope, brought about a metaphysical insecurity (later Kahler references Gulliver’s Travels in this context)


Gulliver’s Travels, Marivaux’s Vie de Marianne, Rousseau’s Confessions

-satire served as an expression of revolt or a vehicle of moralistic intention and conversely [DeFoe’s] didactic intention sometimes served as a pretext for dwelling upon prohibited subjects

-first-person narrative becomes semi-autobiographical

-the modern dilemma of the artist

-transformation of readership and narrator and the relationship between the two

-the audience becomes less easily satisfired and a new strategy is required to hold the reader

-the new inwardly coherent narrative demanded concentrated attention. This develops a more intimate relationship (btw narrator and reader).

[I am not sure what Kahler is saying anymore; here are a couple snippets.]

-an artificial aloofness where the real narrator interposes a fictional intermediary between narrator and subject [and in footnote 29, p175] making the story more convincing by objectifying it

-Broch on “The Death of Virgil”: “It’s really no longer readable”

-The narrator is now addressing an imaginary recipient.


emoticon (emotional-connotation) + acronym (Greek akros - 'tip', Greek onoma - 'name'), ex: lol, omg, smh, etc...
early 21st century, global english

These word-things (lol, omg, smh, etc...) are used to add a specific emotion to the speaker of the text in the same way that emoticons are used. They are a text-based emoticon, taking the form of an acronym. Emotinyms function more as punctuation (emoticons) than as words (acronyms). Emotinyms are not intended to be spoken aloud, reinforcing their status as punctuation. "Smh-ing" and "lolling", however, are word-forms of emotinyms.

As it is more punctuation than word, 'lol' is not meant to be spoken out loud.

Run a search for the word emotinym, and to only result remotely relevant to the idea here is found here:
Let's mix acronyms and emoticons to make emotinyms.For example, LOL=?ö? would be "laughing out loud at a moth".
25 Jan 12 - Benjamin Judge @benjamin judge

Notice, especially, the date of the posts are within 2 days of each other.
(this post originally written on 23 Jan 12)

Thursday, January 19, 2012


On the equality of weapons-power between the state and its people, and referring specifically to the French and American Revolutions, Ernest Gellner in his dense book of human history, says it will never happen that way again. The citizens themselves were armed with the same weapons as their overseers. Following the world-wars, it became obvious that the citizens would never again match the firepower of their governing apparatus (p237).

But to Gellner, it now must be noted:

DDoS. This argument has become invalid.

Plough, Sword, and Book. Ernest Gellner, 1988. U. of Chicago Press.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Adinkras: Using Beauty to Find the Truth Uncovers a Disturbing Reality

"Our sense of aesthetics is a valuable tool in guiding us to finding theories that are effectively accurate descriptions of nature."
(Dr. S. James Gates, at 9 minutes, video linked below)

Dr. S. James Gates and his colleagues are using a term, Adinkras, to refer to visual representations that interpret, and offer manipulability to, the theoretical physical laws of supersymmetry transformations.

^This image is taken from a section, "Adinkra Folding", in the paper linked below, and shows the 'adinkras' (which represent ~a set of mathematical information) being transformed visually. The results of these visual transformations can then be re-interpreted back into mathematical information.

^This image is a complex set of supersymmetry equations.

In itself, this intersection between art and science is a dream-come-true for those living on the precipitous edge of reality that cuts through these two diametrically-opposed worlds. What Gates and his group go on to postulate further, however, is much, much more staggering. Halfway through the video linked below, Gates reports that he has found (error correcting) computer codes within the equations generated by the "adinkra technique". To repeat, for effect: Gates states to have found computer code within the equations of fundamental physics.

Dream or Reality? You be the judge.

excerpts from paper linked below:
We present a symbolic method for organizing the representation theory of one-dimensional superalgebras. This relies on special objects, which we have called adinkra symbols, which supply tangible geometric forms to the still-emerging mathematical basis underlying supersymmetry.

There are important examples in which theoretical physics incorporates elegant motifs to represent mathematical conceptions that are vastly simplified thereby. One such example is the wide-spread use of Feynman diagrams. Another one of these is Salam-Strathdee superspace, a stalwart construction which has proven most helpful in organizing fundamental notions in field theory and in string theory. Despite its successes, however, there are vexing limitations which bedevil attempts to use this latter construction to understand certain yet-mysterious aspects of off-shell supersymmetry. This situation would seemingly benefit from an improved organizational scheme. In this paper, we introduce a graphical paradigm which shows some promise in providing a new symbolic technology for usefully re-conceptualizing problems in supersymmetric representation theory.

The use of symbols to connote ideas which defy simple verbalization is perhaps one of the oldest of human traditions. The Asante people of West Africa have long been accustomed to using simple yet elegant motifs known as Adinkra symbols, to serve just this purpose. With a nod to this tradition, we christen our graphical symbols as “Adinkras.”

Adinkras: A Graphical Technology for Supersymmetric Representation Theory
Michael Faux and S. J. Gates, Jr
July 2004

"Does Reality Have a Genetic Basis?"
S. James Gates Jr. at the Perimeter Institute, posted by The Ontario Educational Communications Authority (TVO)
[There is no date on the video, but it is assumed here to be circa 2009.]

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Absolute Zero

In a recent article published regarding information storage at the atomic scale, a single statement alludes to the superiority of computing in absolute zero vs. room temperature.
New Storage Device Is Very Small, at 12 Atoms
January 12, 2012
Via this, it can be easily imagined that the future of computing will take place in absolute zero. Consequently, these computers will be either on the moon or in earth’s orbit. Following the latter, and considering a time in a few decades when we become inextricably linked with this technology, we will, in a sense, and perhaps more than that, exist in this aggregate of satellite-computers, having freed ourselves from Earth’s gravity. We could call this The Anthroposphere – a physical sphere that surrounds the earth and yet contains us within it.

just an update...

The Pirate Bay Blog, 03.18.2012
With the development of GPS controlled drones, far-reaching cheap radio equipment and tiny new computers like the Raspberry Pi, we're going to experiment with sending out some small drones that will float some kilometers up in the air. This way our machines will have to be shut down with aeroplanes in order to shut down the system. A real act of war.

We're just starting so we haven't figured everything out yet. But we can't limit ourselves to hosting things just on land anymore. These Low Orbit Server Stations (LOSS) are just the first attempt. With modern radio transmitters we can get over 100Mbps per node up to 50km away. For the proxy system we're building, that's more than enough.
In the skies above the city a drone flock drifts into formation broadcasting their local file sharing network. Part nomadic infrastructure and part robotic swarm they form a pirate internet, an aerial napster, darting between the buildings....

Today we are much closer to our virtual community than we are to our real neighbours. This death of distance has created new forms of city based around ephemeral digital connections rather than physical geography. The infrastructure that drove the development of the city was once large permanent networks of roads, plumbing and park spaces but are now nomadic digital networks, orbiting GPS satellites and cloud computing connections.

Drones, Caves, and Toilets: When Data Centers Go Rogue
Caleb Garling, July 6, 2012 

Oregon-based Server Sky wants to build data centers in space — and power them with the sun.

“Integrating power generation and computing in space can greatly reduce the materials and manufacturing needed to deploy and power a data center,” Keith Lofstrom, Server Sky’s director, tells Wired. “Delivering computation from space, Server Sky can focus on cities, villages, even small companies poised for rapid growth, without having to deploy and maintain nationwide communication and electricity infrastructure.”

Saturday, January 7, 2012

On Photography, The Collective, and Street Art

C215, talkin bout street art:

I usually don't like to paint on blank surfaces and prefer to paint on neglected surfaces with a maximum of layers of posters, tags or advertising...then we can feel the time and interaction with people who passed by and left a sign on the wall, a visual history we've all set up together: if street art exists, it would be precisely this collective visual poetry of human beings, and not only artists, that are gathering together in the streets, constantly evolving. The city is the real street artist, not you alone. Never. And at the end, you need again someone else to open their eyes and put the stress on this poetry including your work. Street photographers are a very big part of the process.

juxtapoz nov 2011 no 130 p85