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Showing posts from June, 2008

Feed off Evil...but don't spread it.

In the last 6 years I've taken a long term view on the pay out for the sacrifices I've made in finishing my framework and applications and launching my business. These sacrifices required a trade off between my desire to achieve certain things now versus being able to throw those resources into my business now. Along the way I've interacted with my peers both socially and professionally and in relaying my goals have noticed several personality traits in the people that I've discussed my goals with. It has always fascinated me how some people are quick to form an opinion having little to no information about a subject. At the same time other people are incredibly meticulous, silently gathering information until they have enough to make a reasoned opinion or assessment of the topic of discussion. Some of these people seek to be facilitators of the dream, they do this by bringing up information that they may be privy to that you were not aware of as caution, others seek t…

Phoenix processing a revolution ???

The Phoenix lander has succeeded beyond the hopes of its designers and has not only successfully landed on Mars near the ice cap but has managed to unearth (or unmars to be precise) frozen ice just under the soil surface near the lander. Now the lander undergoes the process of chemical analysis of the ice to determine if it has anything in it that we might consider as a form of life. It is amazing that we are in a position to answer the question of weather or not life is unique to our blue orb, at the same time the relative silence in the media is disturbing. I think the most important consequence of a discovery of living entities in the Martian subsurface ice would be the ability to adjust our estimates for the probability of life in the Galaxy.

We've known since the 50's that the elements of life, simple amino acids , lipids can be formed by simulation of conditions similar to what was found in the early Earth. However, amino acids do not life make, before we get to life we n…

the living snowflake

The definition of what constitutes a living thing is not as cut and dried as many would think. If we define a living thing as something that takes materials from its environment , consumes them to make energy and reproduce themselves, and then excretes waste...then stars are alive and most chemical reactions can also said to be living ones, so how do we distinguish what we familiarly call "life" from ordinary chemical processes. Can we add in the restriction that the interactions must be performed by multicellular organisms to be alive then we have just removed many types of archaic bacteria and viruses from the category of "life" and we know that these organisms are capable of reproducing themselves. Maybe the problem is the question, maybe we have used a much too narrow definition of "life", I propose that instead of defining life in terms of resource utilization and reproduction that we define it in terms of one thing that life does that non life does …

the inverse existence probability of a multiverse and God

Disclosure: Following post modified from comment posted at Richard Dawkins web site.


I'll say that the idea of a "God" as a creative force that might be sentient but not cognizant of its work is not one I wince from. I could accept an absent minded God:

' a Giant in another dimension sneezed and 10 centimeters from his nose was born our Universe'

: does that make our Universe a theist one? If we are to accept the plausibility of multiverse theories over those of the theists that postulate a controlling conscious God for our Universe, we have to accept the possibility of what these theories predict. If Universes are born and die in an infinite foaming of space not unlike the Planck scale undulations we know occur in our space time, then it is possible that there was a "God", in this thought experiment it was completely oblivious of its creation just as we are oblivious of the riot of particle creation we engender as we wave our hands in the wind and give…

commerce enable redux

The chronicles of commerce enabling my startup continue, after wrestling with the draconian and Gordian loops that Paypal requires for developers to get their payment services working properly I did some more research on the subject and decided to go with Amazon payment services as an alternative. You'll recall I first mentioned my attack of this issue way back in April.

The main trouble I had with paypal revolved around the amazingly complex set of actions that must be performed to test code, the unreliability of their system (they just recently had a string of hiccups that led to possibly millions of dollars in lost revenue from their existing customers...good thing I was not up and running at the time. I battled those issues for just over a week after writing that post and then decided to just let it rest until either paypal's issues resolved and or I had a calm mind enough to work through the issues they presented. I decided to finish up everything else that I had waiting w…

nothing from something from nothing...

It is a demonstrable fact that some things can indeed come from "nothing". The best example is the zero point energy that is practically seen as the Casimir effect between two plates in *empty space*. The answer comes from realizing that we live in a quantum world, one of probabilities not certainties. The equations that govern particle behavior (to unheard of accuracy)dictate the probable emergence of particle pairs in empty space at zero temperature (absolute zero). Virtual particles they are called, however they can become very real if an event interrupts the annihilation that would normally attend their creation. The problem that people have in understanding the meaning of "nothing" is that the very concept is relative to time and energy because we are embedded in a space time. Thus over sufficiently long or short periods of it the meaning of "nothing" varies. The equations are commutative across energy as long as all the energy of the system is alloc…

the burning sun...

The sun, the enabler of the processes that gave impetus for the formation of life burns ever present in the summer sky of NYC. There was a time when the idea of the sun as simply an orb rotating around the Earth was common but that time has come and gone, most people today know that in the hierarchy of celestial spheres , the sun is preeminent being the most massive by far of all other orbiting bodies put together.

What less people know is the amazing physics and chemistry that happens inside the sun itself. It is not a homogeneous ball of fusing hydrogen gas, it has complex flows of electromagnetic energy across its surface which occasionally burst free in the form of Coronal mass ejections that travel near the speed of light toward Earth. Some theorize that these CME's have drastically changed events here on Earth, CME's of sufficient strength could devastate the modern communication system built on orbiting satellites by causing massive overloads in the delicate circuitry of…

breaking the silos that fester ignorance...

I've always been fascinated by what I perceived with wonder in the makings of the natural world. I spent hours as a child just observing the patterns that unfold on this living planet, hearing, smelling and seeing all that occurs and questing it all. I could find no greater joy then to be able to sit and ponder what ever curiosity reality has conjured up for my observation at any given moment.

That said, I take great pride in regaling friends, family and often times random strangers with curious bits of fascinating science such as:

"did you know that you and the sun exist because suns before that one have died.?"

"did you know that you and that squirrel are greater than 50% genetically identical?"

"did you know that the brain you have, developed thanks to an accident of our ancient ancestor happening to live on both sides of what would be a great geological rift?"

Depending on the party, the responses range from apathy to interest, a few times I find absol…