Wednesday, May 27, 2020
Sunday, May 17, 2020
Wednesday, May 13, 2020
Sunday, May 10, 2020
According to these scientists, who used 25 separate "parameters" or "variables" to describe every aspect of a bicycle's motion, there's no single reason for a bicycle's balance and stability. As they say:
"A simple explanation does not seem possible because the lean and steer are coupled by a combination of several effects including gyroscopic precession, lateral ground-reaction forces at the front wheel ground contact point trailing behind the steering axis, gravity and inertial reactions from the front assembly having center-of-mass off of the steer axis, and from effects associated with the moment of inertia matrix of the front assembly"
Or, in simple terms, it's partly to do with gyroscopic effects, partly to do with how the mass is distributed on the front wheel, and partly to do with how forces act on the front wheel as it spins. At least, I think that's what they said!'
I see a danger to the future existence of the human race, and it is the kind of thing that people should think about and prepare for now. Sometime in the next 50 years, machines will be smarter than people. There are major technical hurdles to overcome, such as the inevitable end of Moore's Law, which probably means that it is not right around the corner or even within the next couple of decades, but it will happen, and easily within this century. And if for some reason it does happen within the next couple of decades then that means the results will be upon us that much sooner.
We can predict what will happen next and follow it to its logical conclusion, which is a future without people.
As machines become smarter, people will become increasingly reliant on technology. We can see that already with smartphones, which only have been with us for barely over a decade. Eventually, machines will do all the heavy mental work, which will make our lives easier, but also make us more dependent.
And since we will be so dependent on the machines, we will start incorporating them into us. This will evolve over time until we are no longer purely human, but human-machine hybrids. Perhaps when your biological brain dies, the machine part of you will be able to continue with all your memories intact. Maybe it would have an artificial body or maybe it will exist in a virtual world. It is likely that some would prefer to live in a virtual world where they can do more things than they could in the real world. Taken to the eventual extreme, our descendants would no longer bother with biological bodies and prefer to exist as machine intelligence either in the real world or in virtual ones.
The evolutionary pressure will be against purely biological people. Having machines incorporated into you will make you more productive, competitive, and increase your quality of life.
The future I describe might be long distant, but if it is not the future we want for the human race then we should start thinking about it now. Maybe we could have a Pure Human movement that would prohibit the merging of machine intelligence with human intelligence? This could be roughly analogous to the current legal ban on human cloning, because we very likely have the technology right now to clone humans, but countries ban it because they are uneasy about the implications of where that might take us.
However, we might not be able to prevent it. Linking machines with human intelligence is likely to happen in such small steps that we will easily adjust to it. It is sort of happening already with our dependence on computers. It could also start as a series of military applications where having the most effective soldiers determines who wins wars. And once the genie is out of the bottle, we will never get it back in.
Saturday, May 9, 2020
Friday, May 8, 2020
Sunspots go through a cycle roughly every 11 years where they alternate between no sunspots and intense sunspots. This affects temperatures on earth and can interfere with communications. There have been some really bad sunspot eruptions, like around 1860, where the electromagnetic interference damaged telegraph wires. If this were to happen again then we could see disruptions to the electrical grid and communications.
We did not know why this happens every 11 years but now we think that we do. The planets, Earth, Jupiter, and Venus align roughly every 11 years, and the combined effect creates gravitational tidal forces that interfere with the magnetic/electrical currents on the surface of the sun. The video gives more details.
Tuesday, May 5, 2020
Monday, May 4, 2020
Some of this ties in with conspiracy theories, which seem to me to be fueled by the belief that there are sinister forces that intend to do us harm.
A crude chess program in order to look 10 half moves ahead would take the hypothetical 25 moves possible and do roughly 25 to the 10nth power calculations, which would take a very long time. However, the alpha-beta algorithm eliminates mathematically unnecessary calculations making this more like 5 or 6 to the tenth power, which is a huge difference.
What surprises me is that program Stockfish reduces this to more like 2 to the N power, which is considerably less. Exactly how it does this I'm not sure, although I have some idea.
I would contend that looking deeper in chess will always involve an exponential increase, by definition. To not be exponential means that we could look infinitely far ahead and completely solve chess. This is kind of the point of the video.
This is interesting.