Middle Pane

absurdism, philosophy, science, music



Bah do bah – 23/11/2017

I am writing on the 23rd day of the 11th month of the 2,017th year since a guy that only a 3rd of the world say that they believe in was born, but really don’t you think that maybe that was a pretty important event since it is pretty much how we measure our time.

Adherent estimates in 2012

Religion Adherents Percentage
Christianity 2.4 billion 33.51%
Islam 1.6 billion 22.32%
Secular/Nonreligious/Agnostic/Atheist ≤1.1 billion 15.35%
Hinduism 1.15 billion 16.06%

17 more rows

List of religious populations – Wikipedia

But there are other important events for those religions, and they may have a calendar based on that event.  Or events.

Islamic calendar – Wikipedia

The Islamic, Muslim, or Hijri calendar (Arabic: التقويم الهجري‎ at-taqwīm al-hijrī) is a lunar calendar consisting of 12 months in a year of 354 or 355 days. It is used (often alongside the Gregorian calendar) to date events in many Muslim countries. … The current Islamic year is 1439 AH.

Hindu calendar – Wikipedia

Hindu calendar is a collective term for the various lunisolar calendars traditionally used in Hinduism. They adopt a similar underlying concept for timekeeping, but differ in their relative emphasis to moon cycle or the sun cycle and the names of months and when they consider the New Year to start. Of the various regional …

Bikrami calendar · ‎Panchangam · ‎Agrahayana

Anyway. Calendars do seem more regional than drawn along religious lines

But I guess when they were set for that region it was based on the predominant religion at that time

And if you take the predominant religion

Plus that area’s Secular/Nonreligious/Agnostic/Atheist population

Because they will probably go along with whatever works for that area

Or what works best for them to the point of not having an impact on others

Real Libertarians

So the combined amount is the majority for that region

Even today

Fractals and Imagining Higher Dimensions

If we are a simulation, then we must be a recursive function, a fractal.  With each iteration, the fractal animates.  The iterations extend forward and backwards through infinity.  A given iteration in the fractal represents a specific point in time, the collapsed state of everything.  Every unique particle existing in a specified state to form matter, light, reality.  Each step represents a quantum frame of information, and the movement of the steps flips through the frames and animates reality.

In mathematicsiterated function systems or IFSs are a method of constructing fractals; the resulting constructions are always self-similar.

IFS fractals, as they are normally called, can be of any number of dimensions, but are commonly computed and drawn in 2D. The fractal is made up of the union of several copies of itself, each copy being transformed by a function (hence “function system”). The canonical example is the Sierpinski gasket also called the Sierpinski triangle. The functions are normally contractive which means they bring points closer together and make shapes smaller. Hence the shape of an IFS fractal is made up of several possibly-overlapping smaller copies of itself, each of which is also made up of copies of itself, ad infinitum. This is the source of its self-similar fractal nature.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Continue reading “Fractals and Imagining Higher Dimensions”


Big Crunch overview
Big Crunch overview (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I keep wanting to draw some correlation between the number of possible five minute audio files (2^211M) and the number of estimated number of hydrogen atoms in the universe (10^60).  I keep going back to that audio file representing all possible audio snippets including things that did and did not happen.  That audio span contains me driving an Audi R6 down the autobahn before I shoot my James Bond rockets into the douchebag in front of me.  The audio file also has all possible scenarios of everything.  You could even take consecutive 5 minute spans to form a story reaching from the big bang to the big crunch.  Everything is possible in that five minutes.  EVERYTHING!

So that five minutes of audio holds potential.  The same is true of the universe.  These different particles just waiting in a null state ready to be perceived.  Who knows what the count of particles is.  It is large.  If the number of hydrogen atoms has been determined to be finite, then the number of particles must be finite as well.  But at the same time, it represents all possibilities.  Everything that could happen is represented by a finite number.  Every possible thing, even the stuff that we can’t fathom  as possible.

And what sits outside of that?  Who is the viewer of that?  Who is the Observer?  I know what I want my answer to be, but I cannot say it with conviction.  I think that part of the reason is that I want to jump to seeing it all.  I want to jump to seeing something specific.  I must first fully see my self.  I must first fully see this possibility as it is.  I must see this moment, and what is in front of me.   Let it be.  I shouldn’t try to interpret and build a past.  Something may have happened before this and something may happen after this, but it is not happening now.

If I am thinking about something in the past, then it is a memory and not the actual event.  Any feelings that I have are based on that memory and not the event itself.  Since my feelings are not based on the current moment then I should be swayed by them.

Will We Ever Run Out of New Music?

This is quite interesting.

It explores the possibility that we may run out of unique music.  He starts out by taking the digital approach and discusses how many bits can fit into a span of five minutes on a CD, which is about 211M.  All possible combinations of those bits is 2^211M.  So it is a finite number, but it is really mind boggling big.
That five minute span includes every possible audio file.  Not just music, but every possible audio file.  It contains a five minute recording of a conversation you had with your mom.  It contains all five minute conversations you didn’t have with your mom.
The estimated number of hydrogen atoms in the entire universe is 60 digits long.  The number of possible 5 minute audio files is 63M digits long.  That number is so large that your brain will pop out of your head and start talking to you.  In fact there is a five minute audio of that very event happening.

StarTalk Ponderings

This is the first episode of StarTalk with Neil de Grasse Tyson that I have seen. There are a quite a few interesting topics covered in this show. It is interspersed with sometimes annoying, sometimes funny comic jabs. Overall, I think the show is interesting and the comedy does keep it light and from being too heady. Plus Cara Santa Maria is really hot.

Evolutionary goodness of extreme emotions – “Emotions evolved as a need for seeking out pleasure (food, water, sex). As we evolved we developed these more cerebral cortexes which interpreted these emotions and applied labels to them” The thing that can mess us up is that we label these feelings and those may be the wrong label. We attach ourselves to our interpretations of our feelings instead of just feeling. The point that is brought out is that this really is what makes us human. This is what gives us words, art, poetry, science…

Another interesting aspect is that we can be primed to answer a specific way without really knowing why. We make a decision and after the fact we come up with a justification for it. The example given in the video is of a word association test where participants are given words like “moon, ocean” then asked what do you think of when you hear “laundry
detergent”, and most people answer tide because they have been primed with “moon, ocean”. However the justification that is given by the participants is “well, my mom used tide”. They are unaware that they were primed for the answer, but were still able to provide some sort of justification that allows them to agree with the answer. This then leads
into the question of free will. How much of what we do is influenced by external sources. Are our thoughts our own? If there is no free will, what does that really mean?

I am pretty sure that I have seen this used with hypnotists and magicians. One that was on TV a while back had the audience try to think of a shape. Try to think of a shape. Not a square. Now around that shape draw another shape. Were you thinking of a triangle in a circle or the other way around? This may not work with text or the way I think, but the words he uses “try” and then diverting attention from the most likely shape you thought of disrupts your thoughts and you go to Tri-angle. He then used the word “around”. For me, around conjures up images of round objects and thus a circle. Unless I force myself to think outside of that, that is the shape combo that I come up with.

Persistence of self – “We can a lose sense of self and gain a sense of connection with a greater cosmos. There are ways that we can affect the brain so the sense of self becomes less tangible.” Why do we wake up as the same person every morning and not another person.  We are all made of like materials, but every morning we wake up as the person that we went to bed as? The persistence of self. If I lost my sense of self, would I wake up as someone else? When I wake up, are my memories made fresh or am I really persisting though my years? Was I someone else yesterday, but the memories that I have place me here today. Everything that I need to prove that I have existed is there, but is it really? They don’t really go into this, and that is a shame.

Can computers gain consciousness – “[We are the bottleneck to computers gaining consciousness.] Until we as humans understand computational neuroscience, we are going to have a hard time programming computers to learn beyond our limitations.” Can we give life to something that we ourselves do not understand? Can we create something that has the ability to learn at a faster rate than we can learn? I think that at some point just the sheer speed and brute force of computing will produce something that we don’t understand. It will produce what we call life or being. If our soul/essence/being/self can inhabit stardust that has formed into what we call organic material, can it inhabit something that is not completely organic or something organic that we engineered? Gene manipulation is no different than computer programming.

We are the universe experiencing ourselves, but what if we have a distorted vision of our place in the universe – “Perhaps these aliens, these space creatures with the big heads and big eyes who come down to see us are really us evolved coming back to visit us with a greater understanding of who we are and we are these primitive ape like creatures. […] The aliens see us and think their smartest are as smart as our toddlers and just zoom on by thinking that we are not evolved.” – We see the smartest primates (which are genetically different from us by 1%) as being as smart as human toddlers. What if aliens see us the same way? They see us a primitive, unevolved creatures no smarter than

their most simple. Is this possible? Could there already be an intelligent life above us that sees us and says “maybe in a few hundred thousand years”? We have such hubris thinking we are the top, but what if we are in the middle or on the bottom of universal intelligence. How do we make that next leap to have the recognition? Personally, I
think it has to be advancements in quantum physics. Our understanding of that level is so small, but what goes on there seems so powerful. I can turn a quark and then 10 kilometers away another quark turns the same way. I think we have to have some breakthrough in our understanding of the cosmos for us to be really noticed. Or it may just be us, floating on a rock, in a vast sea of nothingness. Either way it is pretty amazing.

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