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Mystery MLB Team Moves To Supercomputing For Their Moneyball Analysis

alienmole Re:The Million Dollar Question (56 comments)

In that case why not go have your picnic somewhere where you're not surrounded by a bunch of frightfully boring cricket fans?

about 5 months ago

How Far Will You Go For Highest Speed Internet?

alienmole Re:Also how is the backhaul? (142 comments)

In this case, the connection out of Svalbard is decent - 10 Gb/s, "with a future potential capacity of 2,500 Gbit/s" via currently unused fiber. See Svalbard Undersea Cable System.

One imagines that with the $50 million cost partly funded by NASA, that they also paid some attention to the peering connection at Harstad, where the connection terminates.

about 5 months ago

Why We Think There's a Multiverse, Not Just Our Universe

alienmole Re:Not the quantum mechanical multiverse (458 comments)

would particles have formed differently, or at all?

Many different outcomes are possible. It's not due to "energy vibrating at different frequencies" - energy does that anyway, every color of visible light you see is energy vibrating at a different frequency, for example. But during an event like the Big Bang, properties of the universe that we observe as constants or laws today could have turned out differently.

Victor Stenger describes it as follows near the end of his 1990 paper The Universe: the ultimate free lunch:

Rather than representing order, symmetry principles actually correspond to a state of high disorder; they describe situations where no particular axis is preferred and thus a system has no structure. Order is not symmetry - order is broken symmetry. It occurs as the result of a phase transition from more symmetric but less orderly states, as with the freezing of a cloud of water vapour into a six-pointed snow-flake. Force laws result from broken symmetry.

Those phase transitions as an early-stage universe cools could lead to different force laws, among other differences, in the resulting universe.

about 8 months ago

Regex Golf, xkcd, and Peter Norvig

alienmole Re:Regex this (172 comments)

Why does this upset you? Is it the recognition that people much more intelligent than you are spending time on problems whose significance you don't understand, and attacking them makes you feel better?

about 8 months ago

Why We Think There's a Multiverse, Not Just Our Universe

alienmole Re:If you accept those things ... (458 comments)

The article is discussing a consequence of some of the most well-established scientific models in existence: general relativity, quantum field theory, and the Big Bang cosmological model. That knowledge is what allowed the computer you're using to be built, and what allows GPS satellites to work. Those models make predictions which have been tested over and over and found to be accurate. The article is describing another prediction of those models. Your argument from incredulity (a logical fallacy) is nothing but a reflection of your own ignorance.

about 8 months ago

Why We Think There's a Multiverse, Not Just Our Universe

alienmole Re:multiverse != multiple observable regions in sp (458 comments)

There's no standard definition for the term "multiverse", because it's not a term that corresponds to any established physical theory. The theory described in the article has a good claim to the term multiverse, because it's much more than just separate regions.

The region of the universe we're in almost certainly extends beyond the limits that we observe, so there are already "separated observable regions" in the universe we know. The article is talking about a scenario in which multiple Big Bangs occur, so each region is not just separated by distance but also by the nature of the space in that region - how much it has inflated, how fast it is inflating. Each such inflating region is possibly also distinguished by different laws of physics in that region. There would also be non-inflating regions which would have properties different from anything we're familiar with.

Back when other galaxies were first discovered, they were originally referred to as "island universes". This eventually changed to "galaxy" as our understanding of the extent of the universe shifted. If the theory in the article were somehow confirmed (difficult!) then in future, we might indeed refer to that larger space as just "the Universe", and refer to the inflating bubble we're in as something less all-encompassing than "the Universe". For now, though, it would be very confusing if we started referring to speculative constructs way beyond our ability to observe as "the Universe". Multiverse is as good as a term as any.

about 8 months ago

Why We Think There's a Multiverse, Not Just Our Universe

alienmole Re:My God... (458 comments)

I spent a good bit of time trying to explain this to laycreatures

Sounds like the blind leading the blind.

You can't naively apply Popper in this case (who in any case is by no means the last word on philosophy of science), because the situation is quite complex: the article describes a possible consequence of existing established theories, including quantum field theory, general relativity, and Big Bang cosmological models. As such, Popper's rules don't say anything about those theories not being science, or whatever.

While it's true that "the math does not lead only and exclusively to that conclusion", it's a valid possible conclusion. As such, given the status of the theories that it's based on, we can't avoid taking it seriously as a possible description of reality. The task then becomes to discover if there's any way to improve our certainty about its correctness or lack thereof, and that's why people like Linde write papers about this stuff. Rejecting this as "not science" or whatever based on one particular view of what science is, is terribly short-sighted, and it's lucky that actual scientists don't pay attention to such nonsense.

One of the interesting consequences of eternal inflation style theories is that in principle, it addresses questions of fine-tuning. One can take the "evidence of fine tuning" as an argument in favor of multiverses in some form. From that perspective, the idea that our observable universe that started with the Big Bang is the only universe is actually the more difficult theory to defend, since we don't know how some of the parameters managed to come out on the knife-edge of allowing the universe to expand to a useful size and have useful properties like the ability for matter to form.

Re Popper, you should look into Imre Lakatos, who pointed out various flaws with basing all of science on falsificationism. See e.g. The Methodology of Scientific Research Programmes.

about 8 months ago

Why We Think There's a Multiverse, Not Just Our Universe

alienmole Re:You mean (458 comments)

The "big bang" is the flat earthers looking out at the horizon, the most distant photons they can see... "yep, that is as far as we can see, it must be the edge of everything!"

No cosmologist says that. The edge you're referring to is the edge of the observable universe, nothing more.

If you *heart* science but suck at it, be a troll.


about 8 months ago

I'd rather measure my days by means of ...

alienmole Re:Beeps - Seconds of eternity (534 comments)

As a coder of the software for some of those machines, I should confess that we just put those skips in to mess with you.

more than 4 years ago

Roland Piquepaille Dies

alienmole Re:Um, how? (288 comments)

He was killed by a digestive virus? Oh, those French doctors...

more than 5 years ago

Virtual Fence Could Modernize the Old West

alienmole Re:Intelligence of cows (216 comments)

That's why I don't eat steak. If you're going to eat meat, you may as well make it intelligent meat. As Professor Farnsworth said when eating dolphin, "Pass me the speech center of the brain!"

more than 5 years ago



alienmole alienmole writes  |  more than 7 years ago

alienmole (15522) writes "Congressman Ed Markey has rescinded his call for the arrest of PhD student Chris Soghoian, according to this Wired blog entry. (Also mentioned on Soghoian's blog: A bit of good news.) The release of this statement on a Sunday indicates that Markey took the issue quite seriously. The statement reads in part:
Under the circumstances, any legal consequences for this student must take into account his intent to perform a public service, to publicize a problem as a way of getting it fixed. He picked a lousy way of doing it, but he should not go to jail for his bad judgment. Better yet, the Department of Homeland Security should put him to work showing public officials how easily our security can be compromised.
Here's hoping that the FBI and the prosecutor involved have a similar change of heart. A Slashdot submitter can dream, can't he?"


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