Wednesday, June 22, 2016

The speed of space

During inflation, two particles traveled a millimeter or so in in 10 ^ -32 seconds. This means that they traveled at about 10 ^ 20 times the speed of light.

We Are Star Stuff

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Sunday, June 05, 2016

Degrees of freedom

So the question almost forces itself on us: is there something about your identity, your individual consciousness, that’s inextricably bound up with degrees of freedom that it’s physically impossible to clone?
 “Can computers become conscious?”: A Reply to Roger Penrose

Thursday, April 28, 2016

The Three Body Problem 三体

I haven't read sci-fi in years, and so it was with a feeling of elation that I read through The Three Body Problem 三体 and The Dark Forest 黑暗森林. A couple of thoughts:

Aside from the content, what struck me are the limited narrative devices, which seems to be the main  body of criticism that this was a good story told by a not so good story-teller. E.g. cliffhangers in the traditional sense are non-existent; some chapters end in declarative statements that do not even function as transitions. In the face of this shortcoming, I find it more remarkable that the suspense is maintained and driven by the plot alone.

National history joining world history, autarkic cultural developments bridged by the common heritage of science, contingent circumstances reverting to universal axioms. The permutation of these themes gives the novel its suppleness and originality.The first is not a new motif, but significance of this novel in the wider body of Chinese literature lies in it endowing the reader a belonging in the future of world history. And in doing so, kept Chinese society awake and brought it closer to the world.


Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Friday, April 15, 2016