Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Why Not Both

a hard look…

Toward a Fully Relativistic Theory of Quantum Information
Christoph Adami
Michigan State University, Depts. of Physics and Astronomy/Microbiology and Molecular Genetics.

Entropy and Information are statistical quantities describing an observer’s ability to predict the outcome of the measurement of a physical system. Because an observer’s capability to make predictions is not a characteristic of the object the predictions apply to, it does not have to follow the same physical laws as those befitting the object. Thus, the arrow of time implied by the loss of information under standard time-evolution is even less mysterious than the second law of thermodynamics, which is just a consequence of the former.
[mentioned in reference to the information loss paradox of the black hole]

Entropy…Shannon Entropy
Entropy quantifies the ability of observers to make predictions; in particular how well an observer equipped with a specific measurement apparatus can make predictions about another physical system.
[a measurement of measurements]

For Shannon entropies, or uncertainties, we only need to quantify our uncertainty about the possible outcomes of a measurement [read: quantification] of that system. (No need to consider the impossible outcomes.)

i.e. “An observer’s maximal uncertainty about a system is not a property of the system, but rather a property of the measurement device with which the observer is about to examine the system.”

By subtracting the uncertainty given by a measurement device from the maximum potential uncertainty for the measured system, we get information.

The maximum potential uncertainty is potential information (how much is knowable).

“If my actual entropy vanishes, then all of the potential information is realized.”

Quantum Entanglement Theory
-occurs between the system being measured and the measuring apparatus, which makes them one system, not a composite.

“Selves do not exist anymore after entanglement.”

After entanglement, the system grows to QA (not Q). Thus the detector is asked to describe a system (Q) larger than itself because by its very measuring-of-the-system (A) it makes the system (Q) include itself: (QA).

This non-separability of a quantum system and the device measuring it is at the heart of all quantum mysteries.

A quantum measurement is self-referential, since the detector is asked to describe its own state, which is logically impossible.

a wider view…

I think I can safely say that nobody understands quantum mechanics.
-The Feynman Lectures on Physics, 1964, Ch. 6, “Probability and Uncertainty"

All Things Quantum – duality, The Observer, the Uncertainty Principle, the simultaneous occurrence of all possible worlds, the renunciation of causality – are counter-intuitive. It is a world where certainties have been reduced to probabilities.

Quantum, the word, comes from ‘quantity’, or ‘how much’. Quantum Satis: “The amount which is needed”. It refers to the smallest quantity by which we are able to measure things. It only relates to things which happen to subatomic particles, or at extreme temperatures. The Photon, for example, is a single quantum of light, called the “light quantum”. In neurology, it refers to a fundamental unit, or discrete component, of physiological response.

In general, but still from a scientific view, ‘quantum mechanics’ helps us to categorize certain phenomena that cannot be explained using classical physics, those being both Newtonian and Relativistic, (as the latter is for big things, not small).

The Dual Processing System of Memory and Perception

In brain science, the idea of ‘quantum mind’ has been mostly cleared up and given way to ‘quantum cognition’. The neurons of the brain do not function by way of quantum mechanics; the software, however, seems to. The cognitive system can be seen as using non-probabilistic, or quantum decision-making processes, resulting in emergent properties of concept accumulation/combination, memory, judgment and perception.

the hall of mirrors…

"If all potential ‘things’ stretch out infinitely in all directions, how does one speak of distance between them, or conceive of any separateness?"
-Zohar, p. 17-18

Vector States_kevindooley-flickr

Quantum is neither here nor there. The electron is not here; it’s in this general area. Chances are, if you look in this area, you’ll find it. Quantum is fuzzy. It’s about not-knowing for sure. Quantum is not about measurement, and that is the confusing part. Is it or not? And under what conditions will it be more likely to be, than not?


Too many people are making up their minds about what ‘quantum’ means, in their own ways, in crystal clarity, or tangled knots, all of them. Whatever it is – this word, this thing – it is only what everyone says it is.

The impact of quantum physics, it seems, comes from its measuring not of things dimensional, like sub-atomic particles, but of information. Discrete, or small, is a reference to the amount, not of space or time, but of information: yes or no, on or off. To reduce a system – an information system – to this resolution – two possible answers – allows us to measure it discretely. It’s not even a measurement of things anymore, but things yet-to-be!

This word, then, that which makes it so mysterious and so misinterpreted is its reference to things not of our world.

“Nothing is fixed or fully measurable, everything remains indeterminate, somewhat ghostly, and just beyond our grasp”
-Zohar, p. 11

We aren’t measuring things-that-are anymore, but the potential possibilities of things. Experiments of this nature, in both lab and mind, are conducted in the future; they are a simulation of a future (not the future). It is experimentation with potentialities, not with things.

Here is the fixation – this premise that we not only can predict, but create the future, is suspicious, to say the least. But we do this all the time. If a brick is sailing towards your face, you predict it will hit you, and you move aside. You look at the probable futures, and you choose one. But even analogy is dangerous in this prospect of questioning the quantum world.

“The world doesn’t exist until you say it does, and somehow that means you can make it whatever you want.” How did we get here? From measuring data to flexing superpowers? But there is a tempered middle becoming less ignorable. Creeping into our social behaviors and our everyday technology alike, forcing us to make sense, not of what quantum theory means, but what it means to all the people who don’t know what it means.

Zohar, D. (1990). The quantum self: a revolutionary view of human nature and consciousness rooted in the new physics. London: Bloomsbury.


Quantum Superposition
 ...fundamental principle of quantum mechanics that holds that a physical system—such as an electron—exists partly in all its particular, theoretically possible states (or, configuration of its properties) simultaneously; but, when measured or observed, it gives a result corresponding to only one of the possible configurations (as described in interpretation of quantum mechanics).

Networks are scale-free:
On the extreme separation of scales at which both quantum mechanics and relativistic gravity work.

Quantum teleportation between atomic ensembles demonstrated for first time
Lisa Zyga, November 19, 2012

One of the key components of quantum communication is quantum teleportation, a technique used to transfer quantum states to distant locations without actual transmission of the physical carriers. Quantum teleportation relies on entanglement, and it has so far been demonstrated between single photons, between a photon and matter, and between single ions. Now for the first time, physicists have demonstrated quantum teleportation by entangling two remote macroscopic atomic ensembles, each with a radius of about 1 mm.

Quantum teleportation between remote atomic-ensemble quantum memories
Xiao-Hui Bao, et. al. Edited by Alain Aspect, Institut d'Optique, Orsay, France, and approved October 11, 2012

Will we ever understand quantum theory?
Philip Ball, 25 January 2013, BBC Future

Many outsiders figure that they don’t understand quantum theory because they can’t see how an object can be in two places at once, or how a particle can also be a wave. But these things are hardly disputed among quantum theorists. It’s been rightly said that, as a physicist, you don’t ever come to understand them in any intuitive sense; you just get used to accepting them. After all, there’s no reason at all to expect the quantum world to obey our everyday expectations. Once you accept this alleged weirdness, quantum theory becomes a fantastically useful tool, and many scientists just use it as such, like a computer whose inner workings we take for granted. That’s why most scientists who use quantum theory never fret about its meaning – in the words of physicist David Mermin, they “shut up and calculate”, which is what he felt the Copenhagen interpretation was recommending.

Physicists propose measure of macroscopicity; Schrodinger's cat scores a 57
Apr 26, 2013 by Lisa Zyga

The size of an object can be measured in many ways, such as by its mass, volume, or even the number of atoms it contains. And when it comes to quantum physics, "macroscopic" objects are considered to be larger than "quantum" ones, since the former are usually described by classical laws and the latter by quantum laws. However, physicists have been challenging the boundary between these two realms by performing experiments that show that multiparticle objects can exist in quantum superpositions. But there has been no standard measure of macroscopicity until now, as a team of physicists has proposed that the macroscopicity of an object can be measured in terms of certain parameters of the experiment used to probe its quantum superposition, rather than as a single property of the object itself.

Physicists Stefan Nimmrichter of the University of Vienna, Austria, and Klaus Hornberger of the University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany, have published a paper on the new definition of macroscopicity in a recent issue of Physical Review Letters.
Macroscopicity of Mechanical Quantum Superposition States, linkarxiv

just the intro to a relevant article:
One of the most basic laws of quantum mechanics is that a system can be in more than one state – it can exist in multiple realities – at once. This phenomenon, known as the superposition principle, exists only so long as the system is not observed or measured in any way. As soon as such a system is measured, its superposition collapses into a single state. Thus, we, who are constantly observing and measuring, experience the world around us as existing in a single reality.
Researchers suggest one can affect an atom's spin by adjusting the way it is measured
phys.org, Mar 18, 2013

New scheme for quantum computing
phys.org, Jun 25, 2013

The trick is to design algorithms so that wrong answers cancel out and correct answers accumulate. The nature of those algorithms depends on the medium in which information is stored.

Meyer and Wong considered a computer based on a state of matter called a Bose-Einstein condensate. These are atoms caught in an electromagnetic trap and chilled so cold that they "fall" into a shared lowest quantum state and act as one.

Tom Wong, graduate student in physics and David Meyer, professor of mathematics at the University of California, San Diego

Uncovering quantum secret in photosynthesis
phys.org, 20 Jun 2013

Watch the process of photosynthesis closely enough – at the femto-scale – and it appears there are little packets of energy simultaneously "trying" all of the possible paths to get where they need to go, and then settling on the most efficient.

In an article published in the journal Science, researchers from ICFO- Institute of Photonic Sciences, in collaboration with biochemists from the University of Glasgow, have been able to show for the first time at ambient conditions that the quantum mechanisms of energy transfer make photosynthesis more robust in the face of environmental influences.

Monday, January 28, 2013


War between those who accept the limitation of humanity and those who embrace the power of the possible is inevitable. The humans will not accept us, will not tolerate us, will not leave us in peace. They will fear us for our greatness, just as Nietzsche said they would fear the Ubermensch. In fearing us, they will seek to destroy us. They will be legion. We will be few. We will triumph, whatever the cost.
-Anonymous, POSTHUMAN MANIFESTO, January 2038


In order to combat criminals and terrorists using prescribed technologies, we have little choice but to embrace the enhancement of our own operatives. We can and must maintain operational supremacy on the battlefield. As such, we will use any means to ensure that the capabilities of our agents are unparalleled.
-ERD POSITION PAPER, November 2035

we're fuched.

Nexus, by Ramez Naam, 2012

Primitive Minds

She felt the missiles fire. They were aimed at the car. She couldn’t penetrate the security of the second helicopter, but the missiles were a different matter. They depended on an external source to inform them of their targets. She twisted their primitive minds, sent them spiraling back up at the craft that had fired them.

Nexus, by Ramez Naam, 2012

No Place for Humans


A World that is not where Bodies live...

source: "A Declaration of Independence of Cyberspace", distributed via the Internet, circa. 1996, by John Perry Barlow
via: The Souls of Cyberfolk: Posthumanism as Vernacular Theory, Thomas Foster, U of Minnesota, 2005

The coding used the same four "letters", or bases, but in a language living cells would not understand

DNA 'perfect for digital storage'
23 January 2013, Jonathan Amos, BBC

"The DNA we've created can't be incorporated accidently into a genome; it uses a completely different code to what the cells of living bodies use," he explained.

"And if you did end up with any of this DNA inside you, it would just be degraded and disposed of. It really has no place in a living being."

-Team member Nick Goldman, European Bioinformatics Institute (EBI) at Hinxton, near Cambridge, Mass.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

On Ephemerality

'Melt in the body' electronics devised
James Gallagher, 27 September 2012

(the 'E' is for Ephemerality)

Ultra-thin electronics that dissolve inside the body have been devised by scientists in the US and could be used for a range of medical roles.

The components are made of silicon and magnesium oxide, and placed in a protective layer of silk.

It is part of a field termed "transient electronics" and comes from researchers who have already developed "electronic tattoos" - sensors that bend and stretch with the skin.

They described their vanishing devices as the "polar opposite" of traditional electronics, which are built to be stable and to last.

did someone say ephemerality?
Banana Art, by Phil Hansen:

correction: This leopard banana is by Filiz Kusan
Filiz Kusan
and so's this, very nice..not a banana
Filiz Kusan

Phantom Streets and Authenticity

In an article about a mysteriously undiscovered island in the South Pacific, scientists wonder what happened. Did mapmakers, perhaps, create the fake island on purpose, they ask, because -

...some map makers intentionally include phantom streets to prevent copyright infringements.

South Pacific Sandy Island 'proven not to exist'
BBC, 22 November 2012 

Go Home Time, You're Drunk

Some places — labeled in red — have no time zone, and just observe Coordinated Universal Time, by default.

So this is what time zones look like in Antarctica
Robert T. Gonzalez, Jan 22, 2013


Sunday, January 13, 2013

Public-Private Partnerships and Bandwidth-as-Currency

Investment in fiber optics is down, wireless is up. It leaves unused fiber laying around. By being able to deliver to specific customers on-demand, as opposed to a large-investment, wide-area of customers, PPP's can use up this unused fiber, and then run your life with it. (but not really; but then again; see below.)

NASA Langley Research Center - Multimedia Repository

Why Is Google Fiber the Country’s Only Super-Speed Internet?

"Seattle is one of several cities left behind by the major broadband providers, but it happens to have excess fiber capacity. But according to The Seattle Times, few residents have been able to take advantage of it, though Spectrum Networks does offer service in the South Lake Union neighborhood."

"The problem, Ansboury explains, is that the most expensive part of a fiber deployment is the what’s called the “last mile” service — bringing fiber from the big “backbone” connections to the customers’ homes and office buildings. Gibabit Squared will lease fiber capacity from the city and build much of the last mile infrastructure itself."

-Mark Ansboury, president and co-founder of GigaBit Squared, broadband provider company\

[The topic of bandwidth is next mentioned in the article, where we are looking at the potential for wireless to equal fiber. It is so very difficult not to remember Charles Stross, in his posthumanist scifi Accelerando (2005), where he places a lot of value on bandwidth in the future, and ever offers a solution to the Fermi paradox, claiming that the apparent lack of intelligent life in the universe is an illusion created by a shortage of bandwidth. Anyway, back to reality.]

...the secret to getting and maintaining these speeds is keeping the user count low, according to GigaOM

...the issue with both CTC and DARPA’s project is how many simultaneous users it can support

It's hard to see the future without wireless communication dominating all other forms. The problem with the future of bandwidth will not be what -  the medium of transmission - but who and when is using it and at how much. It's a time-management issue mixed with some user-prioritization. We can imagine myriad package deals of data use, similar to peak times and multi-tiered data plans already in play. But now imagine that you need data to live, more than money, in fact, and the better job you have, the better your data package. The president can have maximum access of the total bandwidth if he wants, whenever he wants. Children under 6 years old get much less.

With so many new ways to create disparities within society, what laws will we be fighting for and against?

Zoning Laws in the Metaverse
JUNE 25, 2012
Decision-making, Public Oversight, and Privatization
AUGUST 4, 2012


Meet the Genius Behind the Trillion-Dollar Coin and the Plot to Breach the Debt Ceiling
RYAN TATE 01.10.13

“It was really a pointless conversation” 
...underlines how ad-hoc online communities, like an anonymous international band of commenters, are increasingly able to move their ideas from the fringes into the middle of political debate.
Goliard Figures, in Umberto Eco, The Infinity of Lists, 2008. p. 263.

It may have started as a game, but Beowulf and his pals are poised to inject an important new tactic into oversight of the government’s monetary institutions.

The coin hack even surprised and impressed former U.S. Mint director Philip Diehl, who co-authored the law that enabled the platinum loophole in the first place.
“When I first heard about the idea to mint a trillion-dollar coin, I was very surprised,” says Diehl. “But because I know that law backwards and forwards, I knew immediately that the guy who came up with the idea was right."

But it wasn't 'a guy' who 'came up with' the idea, it was many.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Preconceptions Blinds Perception

Sorayama Gynoids (Sexy Robots), circa 1980's

"We have preconceptions about how an intelligent robot should look and act, and these can blind us to what is already happening around us. To demand that artificial intelligence be humanlike is the same flawed logic as demanding that artificial flying be birdlike, with flapping wings. Robots will think different. To see how far artificial intelligence has penetrated our lives, we need to shed the idea that they will be humanlike."

Better Than Human: Why Robots Will — And Must — Take Our Jobs
KEVIN KELLY 12.24.12, Wired