Abbreviated timeline

, on November 24, 2015

Firmament – The past

Confederate States of America – The past

Information Age – The present, also a running history of humanity

Gene drive – The future

Mostly about us

, , , , on November 1, 2015

“Ethics” is advertising – the article leisurely goes through some good ideas. Here are some summed up thoughts: 1) Signaling; important for the survival of organisms is communication about the qualities of an individual organism to others; all of the characteristics and behaviors of organisms transmit this information through various symbols; humans are no exception and our idiosyncratic behaviors both knowingly and unknowingly share information about who we are. 2) Taking a view of common behaviors through the lens of signalling we can understand that religion is an efficient symbol of ethics, philosophy, and virtues. We can also see that the point of advertising is not to persuade you to buy an object, but convince you that an object is a symbol of a certain wealth, philosophy, and personality. 3) The symbolism of various objects, ideas, and behaviors as signals changes over time, with occasionally dramatic societal consequences. 4) What something means is more important than what it is.

Computer Show – computing from the 1980s, today

Look at Me – we all have stories

Katrina Refrigerators – a cool wiki article

Apollo Missions – engenders a feeling of propinquity

Big 5 personality test – if you want another

George Boole Google logo – hopefully google will continue to become more abstract

Solar Time

, , on October 6, 2015


Solar time uses the position of the sun in the sky to mark and coordinate events. Time is complicated (my definition is in the preceding sentence). Light cones are a new breakfast cereal. Can you name the controversial seven fundamental base units?

This neat figure shows the difference between solar time and standard time. When I’m in charge of time keeping some day I assure you a sundial and length of daylight will be involved.

Awareness and Intention

on August 19, 2015

The urge to be grateful, he said, is not a function of his faith. It’s not “the Gospel tells us” and therefore we give thanks. It is what he has always felt: grateful to be alive. “And so that act, that impulse to be grateful, wants an object. That object I call God.

What punishments of God are not gifts?

Interview with Stephen Colbert by Joel Lovell.


, on August 11, 2015


Beautiful-simple-complexity. The universe is extremely complicated and we cannot comprehend all of it. When we reduce that complexity to invented concepts we start to be able to see and understand such discrete concepts in their entirety. Tiling is one such dramatically simplified concept that is just on the edge of our human ability to understand its complexity. That is what reductionists do, try to break down reality into intelligible ideas. Of course you can also observe the universe from way up high, which is also beautiful, but in a very different way and scope. Intelligible vs unintelligible beauty.

unknowably complicated → knowingly complicated → knowingly simple → unknowably simple ↺

Pentagon tiling – above are the only 15 ways we currently know of to tessellate pentagons

Voronoi diagram

Truchet tiles


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