Assorted links

by on October 14, 2009 at 10:50 am in Web/Tech | Permalink

1 Daniel Klein October 14, 2009 at 11:59 am

I am a member of the International Adam Smith Society….

2 Joe October 14, 2009 at 12:33 pm

I’m hoping for a time traveling dragon…

Dr. Arkani-Hamed said concerning worries about the death of the Earth or universe, “Neither has any merit.† He pointed out that because of the dice-throwing nature of quantum physics, there was some probability of almost anything happening. There is some minuscule probability, he said, “the Large Hadron Collider might make dragons that might eat us up.†

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/29/science/29collider.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1&sq=CERN&st=nyt&scp=1

3 josh October 14, 2009 at 1:26 pm

lets not do the collider.

4 MichaelG October 14, 2009 at 3:02 pm

You don’t need to resort to time travel in explaining the failure of the LHC. If micro black holes or some other threat really is a possible outcome, then in all versions of history where the LHC was successfully run, the Earth was destroyed. We only exist because we are in a history where the LHC has failed.

As time goes on and more attempts are made to start the LHC, the failures will get more and more improbable, as the probable histories have been eliminated.

5 GermainB October 14, 2009 at 4:38 pm

Unfortunately, JR Saul is writing nonsense as usual. The population of the Northern part of Canada is 100 000 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northern_Canada). The population of Canada is more than 33 million. Anyone who thinks that the Territories and the northern parts of the provinces (also very sparsely populated) make up a third of Canada’s GDP suffers from a severe case of innumeracy.

6 rob October 14, 2009 at 7:01 pm

The collider theory makes perfect sense if you believe there are infinite possible universes. We must live in one that is possible. But if one in which a collider creates the Higgs boson isn’t possible…

7 rob October 14, 2009 at 8:55 pm

next time i dont complete a project on time im going to explain to my boss that had i done it sooner it might have DESTROYED THE UNIVERSE!

8 bartman October 14, 2009 at 11:16 pm

John Ralston Saul is an insufferable windbag, one of those clowns in love with his own “brilliance” and the sound of his own voice.

Every time has has a new experiene in life, he makes it sound like he’s the first person ever to encounter it, and then feels the need to let us know in a bombastic, self-aggrangizing 12,000 word essay filled with obviousness packaged as revelation.

In other words, he’s a major-league douche masquerading as an intellectual.

9 Alan October 15, 2009 at 1:15 am

The writer of the uncanny valley article doesn’t seem to be able to explain it very well. One important element is that beyond a certain level of humanness in a non-human we begin to accept them again. So, despite the fact that many of our current robots/animations happen to be uncomfortable to observe if we make them more ‘human’ then it may be possible to accept them again.

10 Stephen N October 26, 2009 at 10:00 pm

The idea that the Large Hadron Collider (or LHC) is preventing itself from working is ridiculous and isn’t supported by evidence. The New York Times article claims that the LHC changing the past would not create a paradox as if “you go back in time and save [your grandfather] from being hit by a bus.” This is a poor analogy. If you save your grandfather, then you allow yourself to exist in the future and can still go back in time. However, if the activation of the LHC prevents itself from being activated then it can no longer affect the past, creating a paradox. Also, the process by which the Higgs Boson could possibly affect the decisions of Congress (when they canceled the Superconducting Supercollider) is unexplained. It is unsurprising that the physicist Peter Woit wrote that the idea presented in the article has “been getting a lot of attention in the blogosphere. Pretty much all of it has been unremittingly hostile, when not convinced that these papers must be some sort of joke …” Stephen N. WCU 1257

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