Sunday, October 25, 2015

About Albert

In September of this year, the Scientific American had a special issue on Relativity which, then, featured Albert. As one article noted, Relativity is going strong after 100 years.

Some of the other articles were: How Einstein discovered General Relativity, What Einstein really though about Quantum Mechanics, and more. One in particular is related to the theme of this blog: Does Einstein's Theory of Gravity Hold Near Black Holes?

Note: All of article pointers are to previews, however the comments are visible. Also, there are some links to additional material.


Albert's work is one example of the support that mathematics gives to science (physics, et al) and our views of the universe. As such, it is a place where quasi-empirical issues can be brought forth and discussed. There will be more of a focus toward that.

For now, there is a tie-in with the earlier post on psychether. Waiting in the wings is a better appreciation of human talent and what it means in this type of work.When we see a breakthrough there, some of the current controversy will abate. But, then, a whole new bunch will ensue.

Remarks:  Modified: 10/25/2015

10/25/2015 --

Friday, October 23, 2015

Quora, again

As of today, I have been three months on Quora. So, it's time to stop and review. The analysis will compare the Quora experience to FB (the metaphor).

Quora stats, two months

Quora stats, three months
These two have different approaches. Facebook is for the visual crowd. Quora is supposedly more intellectual, being oriented toward question and answers. However, one can embed image and video. As well, Quora allows one to build blogs and to post to these.

As one would expect, some questions and many answers leave a lot to be desired. There is a be nice policy for answers. But, some questions seem to be confessional. Or, they are out-and-out trolls, even if anonymous. As the anon types are still known to Quora.

... in the works

Remarks:  Modified: 10/23/2015

10/23/2015 --

Monday, September 14, 2015

Hacking Quora

There is this thought that hacking is cool. So, a question appeared on Quora: Can-Adrian-Lamo-hack-Quora? Adrian, himself, answered the question. So did I, on August 29. This morning, I got a note that the answer was locked as Quora Moderation flagged it as not appropriate. Oh well. So, it is reposted here (and deleted it on Quora).
    Ah, a voice of reason? One comment (by Jeremy [note 9/14/15 - this answer is missing]) on Adrian's answer asked why the "cool" response by those who think hacking is of use. But, then, the one retort (Amy [note 9/14/15 - this answer is missing]) said that it is the way to know how something works.

    It is worse than sad. A whole generation without ethics? Many of these are U.S. kids for whom we have people putting themselves and their lives on the line minute by minute so that the kids can, essentially, break the law. Give me a break, even if there are not specifics, yet, stated by law, all of this interest very much is unethical and immoral (of a small "i" so as to quiet the harpers).


    One could look at it like this. If I know that my neighbor's house is unlocked, ought I go in and make myself comfortable, eat the food, steal, and what have you? Now, at one point, I would have expected most to say no, you do not have the right, and it's illegal. But, now, these kids are saying yes (make yourself at home). This type of thinking is just that.

    Okay, suppose I only go in to "see how his house works" (see the idiocy, yet - the above retort)? Is that okay? Well, not, it's still venturing on the highly unethical. Oh, I know, people seem to have accepted pilfering.

    But, to know how it works? We can determine things like that with thought processes. This whole thing is reductionism gone wild. Gosh, thanks logical positivism? But, perhaps, the focus on code (and who can piss further) is the main symptom of the underlying problem which no one seems to be looking at. Ah, so much work to do.


    Now, we can see with the Internet, that it was let out very loosely and without proper forethought. To me, Adrian would do much better if he helped with discussions of just what went bad and where did it go bad along this whole trek of stumbling.

    I think that we let the genie out of the bottle, as I sit back and marvel at the idiocy that is driving people daily.

    But, not me. I'm not mobile for one thing (had an idiot box for about a week - enough - I'll try again when I have a clear experiment defined). I have never bought from Amazon or any of the big sellers. I do not look at ads (quite a feat to keep the concentration from that dense bit of nothingness). I distinctly remember the chagrin and pit-of-the-stomach feeling when the marketers started their incursion. There are several things that I do daily to keep myself free from the bonds of the internet-way (are birds free?).

    Now, there are arses who argue that the web is a commercial, marketing space. Say what? The original motivation was communication and then the collegial interchanges related to real thinking and work. Anymore, I am not sure how things ought to go. That they stink to high heaven is the message that needs to be brought to attention.


    The best thing for me would be to skip around all of the knee-jerk reactions to what is supposedly "cool" and worthy of adulation. I'm a newbie on Quora and will have to filter better.

    But, Adrian being asked a question like this is the first thing that ought to raise a flag. The question is anonymous which makes it even more mischievous.

    Why, questioner, why would someone respond that they could pull a bit of highway robbery (that is a type of pissing contest you expect from young, immature males) without getting caught? You see, getting caught is the problem? Not the actual ignominious deed?


    Finally, hackers, et al, ought to be aware that some people want to do real stuff via the web and are prevented from doing so by all of the partying that goes on. What all of those partying persons ought to know is that their little bit of glee is supported by all types who patiently put up with their childish antics: those who feed them, those who house them, those who clean up after them, those who bail them out, and those who care for them as they need detox (et al) and medical assistance, and so forth.

    Where are the real contributions from this crowd?
Like I said, it is sad that we have kids wanting to follow in this type of footstep. 

Remarks:  Modified: 09/14/2015

09/14/2015 -- 

Monday, September 7, 2015

Multisense Realism

Forward: This is a brief summarization of activity on Quora.

Early on in Quora (after about two weeks as a writer), I answered a question (Aug 8, 2015), in which I used psychether. At the time, I had been using the term for years. So, the following sets the usual tone.
Notice that I mention Einstein's work as that has been a motivation all along. Of course, the phenomenon of psychether involves a lot more than human interaction.

One of the things I started to do on Quora was sync with my blog posts. As I was doing this work, I did a search on the term and found that there had been other uses. A musical group used this as a title for a CD plus there was at least one userid of this name. So, I did this post, psychether, on Aug 11, 2015. The post shows an image from mid-1990s entry in a database that used the term in relation to my research. This is to establish the precedence though the term itself does not do more than suggest something about the operational aspects.

--- On MR ---

Later on Quora, I ran across the concept of Multisense Realism (MR) while browsing questions. The concept and thoughts struck a chord. Because of theme resonated with psychetheral issues, I answered the question. The question was formulated in the fall of 2012; my answer was last Friday, Sep 4, 2015).


Now, taking this further, there is a website plus a Facebook page for MR.

Finally, having run across this work, I began to pull together my thoughts. One thing that the MR questioner noted was that people could find usefulness for and apply his concept without going all the way to spirituality or metaphysics (my interpretation).  

--- Space-time++ ---

So, I will now do a brief look at my recent musings in this regard. Of course, a lot of my work bordered on metaphysics. However, I spent my career working in geometry, meaning that I touched all the time the mathematics related to differential geometry. In the back of my mind, I was ruminating on early work which goes back decades and how all of this relates.

My original thrust had several motivations which I will get to eventually. Given that I was working alone, except for occasional discussion with some peers (to be named), the sole criterion was my own understanding. But, science has to be public to be. And, public is more than the fact of a special interest group.

Of late, it had occurred to me to take another step. I had already addressed some of this thought in either/or terms. There are several posts along this line, but they come from a claim that harmonizes Anselm and Pascal (Blaise, if you would) with the modern views. In my mind, I might add. You see, some supposed smart folks are being idiotic. One side calls the other blind while the blind call their accusers delusional.

Too, people are running after larger and larger experiments. Sheesh. Let's just use the whole planet as a laboratory. Wait, has that not already happened?

So, of late, I have been thinking that all we need is one little addition that would answer all sorts of questions. Too, we could have some type of reasonable response that is obvious (hence, scientific). But, what is that?

We'll get there, but let's use a reminder from the early days of computer evolution. We had a stage where we had 2 1/2 dimensions as we were not quite ready to handle 3D? Actually, in the 2G to 3G wars in telecom, we had something similar.

So, we'll talk ST++, as in space-time plus-plus. What is this? There are rules about how one goes about this type of thing. But, I'm going to appeal to von Neumann when he said that we don't have to understand mathematics, we just get used to it. As in, if it works, why have to explain? But, human nature wants to tear things apart.

MR brought in a more wholistic approach. There have been others. Lots. So, I will look further at this. Too, though, I will be going back to work beyond harping at people. I have been blogging about truth engineering since 2007. I first wrote up the discipline in 2000 and have slowly been working things (alone).

During this time, I have calmed myself with Faraday's work. That is, he was an early experimenter who helped get theoretics settled. Michael was about 40 years older than James Clerk Maxwell, for example. Why does the analogy having a tie in with electromagnetics? Look at MR's approach.

Too, this work is being done in a autodidact mode.


So, I have become convinced that an operational approach is now suitable to bring forth. There are many analogs from computing: closures, extensions, etc.

I had hoped that the internet would be amenable to gathering the data. And, that may be a more viable thought now than before, except there is so much noise now. Fortunately, a lot of my work dealt with reducing this type of interference.

My next step will be to look at MR further; too, I want to document all of the different views that I have run across over the years. At the same time, I will work on firming up my hypotheses (several) sufficiently that they could be discussed.

Remarks:   Modified: 09/07/2015

09/07/2015 --

Friday, September 4, 2015


For now, a collection of links:

Remarks:   Modified: 09/10/2015

09/10/2015 --

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Wayback machine

I was looking for an old web page, yesterday, and thinking of the changes that we have seen. You know what, not all of them have been good. Early on, we had mostly hand-crafted pages. Some of these may have used a fancy editor but not all of them. I am still using a rudimentary HTML editor, myself.

Of course, all of the slick methods have run rampant. This summer I have run across several bots that have been problematic. In fact, one of these encounters was today. Too, there is more of an emphasis on databases that is warranted.

So, we have fluidity, everywhere, with little structure. Unfortunately, this is bosh as we find structure in nature; the whole thing of relativistic-ally attuned mayhem in presentation is troublesome, to say the least.

Be that as it may, we will see how things are five and ten years from now. I will suggest that structure will get some respect (papers on advanced subjects are skirting around this subject).


One of my interests is "intelligence" which is an important subject for several reasons. One reason is that we ought to know what it is, or might be, if we're going to argue for an artificial type. Too, testing, thereof, is currently a partitioning scheme that can be unsettling; the ramifications from misuse impacts everyone  (see testing example, AGCT on Wikipedia). Of course, there will be more on that.

Wayback look on the left
Newer format on the right
Now, one type of test is the academic filtering type. I ran across this page while looking for ACT to SAT mappings. This page is done by a tutor (coach); of course, one goal of this role is to improve scores. I really liked this history, though which comes up to 2013, even though the format is old.

I went to the home page of the site and found this comparison of the page found in Wayback. It tickled me, for several reasons. One can imagine all of the possible formats that could be done with the newest, latest iterations of the editors and page creators.

Remarks:   Modified: 08/12/2015

08/12/2015 --

Tuesday, August 11, 2015


The following is a question, and my answer to start the discussion. It was posted on a forum which came back with this: "The question Why has no one asked about (or even mentioned) quasi-empiricism? was marked as possibly insincere. 45m ago"

This was similar to what I got with another question. In this case, it was published but marked. The former question was bounced. Again, I took it off, albeit the question did sit there a few days.

The use of quasi-empirical, in this blog, has been there from the beginning (2007). I knew that there would be an uphill trek; yet, does not anyone even think of these things?

-------- Question ---------

Why has no one asked about (or even mentioned) quasi-empiricism?"

Starting with Eugene Wigner. ... Would this @question's subject be amenable to the Answer Wiki method here? ...


Not long after posting, there was this response.
    CJ -- 1 vote by John M. Switlik
    I think you'll need to expand before you can expect answers.  Not having a context topic, asking an ambiguous question, then requiring people to read through two dense links before answering may not be the path to mutually edifying discussion, and definitely won't get you any answers from people with math professors or philosophy professors (I'm still not sure which you'd rather hear from.)
At that point, I added this Introduction.
    We all have marveled at the results of the growing prowess evident from scientific and engineering efforts. At the same time, some (many?) can identify, and discuss, the downside of the prowess. And, as time goes along, effects keep rolling on from the prowess, seemingly without end and definitely without control (hubris, itself, rages). What gives? 
    Too, the STEM thrust has come about as a direct consequence of people trying to capture what they understand from observing the better practitioners at work into a set of practices and skills. Along with that thrust, we see a strong notion that all knowledge can be encapsulated in computational modes which are inherently supported by mathematics. Those modes can be thought of as being very broad, leading to worries by some (of late - name the technical celebrity), to wit: singularities, dystopian situations, and more. 
    Many have sought to understand the capabilities that underlie progress. In 1960, Eugene Wigner published his reflective article: The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics in the Natural Sciences. Letting Wigner's article speak for itself: The miracle of the appropriateness of the language of mathematics for the formulation of the laws of physics is a wonderful gift which we neither understand nor deserve. We should be grateful for it and hope that it will remain valid in future research and that it will extend, for better or for worse, to our pleasure, even though perhaps also to our bafflement, to wide branches of learning.
    In 1980, Richard Hamming provided some thoughts on Wigner's theme. He pointed to humans being primed by evolution as a factor. Others have commented, as well. Of late, Max Tegmark argues thus: Our external physical reality is a mathematical structure. 
    Much like attitudes about Pascal's later thinking which led to his Wager, many ignore Wigner's ruminations. However, given the rapidity of technology's advancement and the growing awareness of the pitfalls thereof, one might expect that the quasi-empirical discussions would be of extreme interest. One inhibitor could be that these issues have not been addressed in a universally available medium. 
---- My (seeding) answer to start the discussion -----
    John M. Switlik, Timeless autodidact

      Why? Why? 

      Does that sound like a 2/3-year old? Mature, successful adults learn to suppress a lot of their inquisitiveness. Too, pressures keep people in line when they may want to relapse (up to, even, peer-reviewed journals) as if inquisitiveness were bad in itself.

      Success, for the most part, comes to those who apply the current state of knowledge in a useful (to some one or ones (why else the remuneration?) manner. But, at every point, some have to be thinking forwardly, and tinkering (which, again, for the most part, is the effective means), in order to advance what is the current situation (status quo, in other words). For the most part, advances come via perturbations, hopefully controlled, to the established basis. 

      But, sometimes, we get jolts that are disruptive (though, the effects might be a long-time coming to many folks - there are others who being at the center of the change feel the impact very soon - comparatively). 

      At any of the shared points of experience, do we know how things are going to pan out? Well, it's like they say with the markets, past performance does not guarantee future returns (paraphrase). Yet, this applies to science, to boot, which is supposed to be provisional, etc. 

      One might ask, how does this strong belief (all ways to characterize, so punting, for now) come about? In fact, many feel certain-ness, in their situations, though uncertainty is the reality (again, punting). 


      That little bit leads us to the following list which will be part of the discussion. We have to ask how people know if they are heads-in-the-sand types. "know" implies a whole lot about effective action based upon knowledge and rationality (again, a punt).  

      Aside: Everyone is like an ostrich when dealing with things outside of their expertise - yes, of course, ... -> chemists --> physicists --> mathematicians --> (?) -- I will not give them the credit of talking to God (not in mathematics, anyway). One might say, from this we see the imperative nature and emergence of the autodidact (again, not a know-it-all).

      Let's end by listing a few ways to know. 

      By authority (impression) - That is, someone (or something) provides the means to making choices, including, many times, forcing behavior (ah, so many youngsters drugged to get them in line). In this bucket, throw loved ones, heroes, stars (as in, the faces on the screen - what I call, talking heads). Enumeration is required ().

      By rationality (reason) - Some make this claim. We can let them talk for themselves. In many cases, they are using the advances associated with the original question (by Wigner, who was pondering the glee being raised by some - oh yes, we can now pollute in ways that are unfathomable to grasp). Based upon what? Oh, Russell said that, Frege said this, whoever said that, ... Circularity (well, tautology, okay?). ... We have to ask, how the heck can this conglomeration of wetware, ourselves (even Spock), rise above the swamp creatures that we are (lizard brains, one Quora guy, says here). Again, let us count the ways ().

      Knowing-ness (differs from the first and second bullets, in this sense - let's say, autodidact - independent and wise - knows the gamut). This implies the ability of which we see the effect of without knowing how to affect that state (so desired by many - but which is right outside the grasping fingers?). Too, note that there are all sorts of knowing types that we have to address (the more sensitive thinkers have, at least, opened their eyes a little).

      This list can be extended in the Wiki piece (via Answers, remember the rules). In fact, a look at the categorizations that have come about is about due, except we're not writing a book here. Outlining one, perhaps. 
Remarks:   Modified: 08/11/2015

08/11/2015 -- First posted on 8/7; Quasi-empiricism has been a constant theme in this blog. So, there is no insincerity.