Neil deGrasse Tyson on 60 Minutes Tonite

http://www.cbsnews.com/videos/neil-degrasse-tysons-epitaph/

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Momma – there goes that quantum cat!

The image above was captured by a quantum camera that was never pointed at the cats. Strange as it may seem this experiment may have practical  applications in optical imaging:

In medicine, for instance, doctors might probe tissues using invisible wavelengths of light that won’t damage cells, while simultaneously using entangled visible light beams to create clear images of the tissues.

National Geographic – “Spooky” Quantum Entanglement Reveals Invisible Objects

The NatGeo article does a good job of explaining how the experiment was conducted and why it worked as does this IEEE Spectrum article. But quantum entanglement is notoriously counter-intuitive so sometimes a simple analogy helps

Here’s another way to think about it: imagine I want to see an object, so I shine a flashlight on it. But I don’t look at the flashlight beam. Instead I shine a second light in the opposite direction, and that second flashlight shows me the object.

Physics Central

 

Einstein on Race and Racism

 

EinsteinAtLincolnAlbert Einstein teaching a physics class at Lincoln University (HBCU in Pennsylvania) in 1946. The Nobel prize winning scientist said: “The separation of the races is not a disease of colored people. It is a disease of white people. I do not intend to be quiet about it.”

via Afropunk

Here’s a site for the book written in 2006.

Teleportation By Sound

Amiri Baraka(RIP) ends his brilliant sci-fi short story Rhythm Travel with a warning not to pick “a corny tune” but I guess the cat at the end of the Bar-Kay’s video didn’t get that memo 🙂 He probably needed to hear something more like The Staples Singers I’ll Take You There(hmmm more from Memphis) or Lakeside’s Fantasic Voyage or EWF’s Boogie Wonderland or Interstellar Space by Coltrane(perhaps this was a prototype for how some advanced form of teleportation will work).

 

Expanding The Cosmos

I’m finally getting to comment on the first episode of Cosmos hosted by physicist Neil deGrasse Tyson which I found to be very good overall. I was struck however, by the claim that Giordano Bruno merely made a “lucky guess”. This is part of the same kind of poorly informed view that ignores earlier phases of science. Others @Slate @coreyspowell have pointed out, The Cosmos didn’t do a great job presenting the complexities of Bruno but these writers are also operating from an incomplete view.  As stated earlier in African Information Engineering Part 2 a close examination challenges

“the unscientific notion that early human thinkers were rooted in and blinded by religious views.”

Frances Yate’s Art of Memory makes a compelling case for how Bruno represents a path from Egypt to the growth of the scientific method. Newton and Leibniz were both influenced by Bruno and both intermixed religion and science(google Newton alchemy).

More important than correcting the historical record, is examining how Bruno(and those before him) were able to conceive of things they had no experimental data for. “Lucky guess” isn’t a solid scientific explanation.  Bruno was using sophisticated spatial/geometrical techniques to develop and test ideas.  In his posthumously published The Computer and the Brain, John von Neumann says

“…when we talk mathematics, we may be discussing a secondary language, built on the primary language truly used by the central nervous system.”

Perhaps The Shadows of Ideas are baked into the fabric of the Cosmos in a way that makes it possible for human consciousness to perceive the math science depends on. Maybe that’s why Adinkra symbols map very easily to supersymmetry. We don’t know but good science requires us to explore the facts we have at hand. We will all benefit from a more complete view of humanity’s journey and it may likely IMO prove to be necessary in order to comprehend the wonders of the Cosmos STEM is helping to reveal.

African Information Engineering Part 3

This is the last of a three part series(links to: Part 1 and Part 2)  taken from a forthcoming publication. Dr. Peter Chen is a world reknown computer scientist. His 1976 paper on data modeling is one of the most cited papers in the the field. Chen pioneered an abstract way to describe a database known as Entity-Relationship Modeling(ERM). In 2014’s highly automated and digitized world, with so many people  living in developed urban area you’re likely using some service or device whose designers directly or indirectly used ERM or one of its descendants. If you plug into the grid in any way, “likely” becomes certainly.  A 2002 paper reflecting on the long-lived success of ERM, says:

Many people asked the author how he got the idea of the Entity-Relationship model. After he kept on  getting that kind of questions, the author thought it might be related to something that many people in Western culture may not have. After some soul searching, the author thought it could be related to his Chinese culture heritage. There are some concepts in Chinese character development and evolution that are closely related to modeling of the things in the real world.

From Wikipedia:

Peter Chen, the father of ER modelling said in his seminal paper:

The entity-relationship model adopts the more natural view that the real world consists of entities and relationships. It incorporates some of the important semantic information about the real world.

He is here in accord with philosophic and theoretical traditions from the time of the Ancient Greek philosophers: Socrates, Plato and Aristotle (428 BC) through to modern epistemology, semiotics and logic of Peirce, Frege and Russell. Plato himself associates knowledge with the apprehension of unchanging Forms (The forms, according to Socrates, are roughly speaking archetypes or abstract representations of the many types of things, and properties) and their relationships to one another.

As we saw in Part 2, Shabaka, several hundred years before Socrates, Plato and Aristotle, had preserved this knowledge that had been codified in Memphis much earlier, perhaps several millennia.

ERM deals with the structure of databases but the Memphite technology is also applicable to the dynamics of a database. There are two sets of symmetrical operations that can be performed on most databases

  1. Create-Delete
  2. Retrieve-Update

These operations, identified in 1983 are known as CRUD and remain in widespread use. The web’s HTTP protocol is based on a similar set of four operations.

  1. Post-Delete
  2. Get-Put

Every day you use the web, you’re using techniques of African Information Engineering!

Following in Leibniz’s footsteps, physicist Stephen Wolfram is seeking to make knowledge computable. One tool he’s using is the cellular automata like the one below

300px-R090_pulse_wide

Perhaps connections between African Information Engineering and cellular automata can help African cultures get back in the game.

Social Physics

Sometimes when an app seems simple, math proven in a seemingly unrelated field may be involved. In this case it’s a variant of the Laplacian operator being used to analyze social networks. You don’t need to know this math to use social networks, but if you want to get the most out of them or better yet realize your own vision of one you need to at least know people who speak the math. Often that’s a physicist or engineer and getting to know them socially can be a good way to tap into what they know. OTOH, if you are deeply literate in math and want to help the villiage, or start a company or find a different work environment sharing this kind of information can help.