Back to analog… Looking at the forest again…

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Analog computers were used to predict tides from the early to mid-20th century, guide weapons on battleships and launch NASA’s first rockets into space. They first used gears and vacuum tubes, and later, transistors, that could be configured to solve problems with a range of variables. They perform mathematical functions directly. For instance, to add 5 and 9, analog computers add voltages that correspond to those numbers, and then instantly obtain the correct answer. However, analog computers were cumbersome and prone to “noise” – disturbances in the signals – and were difficult to re-configure to solve different problems, so they fell out of favor.

Digital computers emerged after transistors and integrated circuits were reliably mass produced, and for many tasks they are accurate and sufficiently flexible. Computer algorithms for those computers are based on the use of 0s and 1s.

Yet, 1s and 0s, pose limitations into solving some NP-hard problems. (e.g. the “Traveling Salesman” problem) The difficulty with such optimization problems, researcher Toroczkai noted, is that “while you can always come up with some answer, you cannot determine if it’s optimal. Determining that there isn’t a better solution is just as hard as the problem itself”.

[Note: NP-hardness is a theory of computational complexity, with problems that are famous for their difficulty. When the number of variables is large, problems associated with scheduling, protein folding, bioinformatics, medical imaging and many other areas are nearly unsolvable with known methods.]

That’s why researchers such as Zoltán Toroczkai, professor in the Department of Physics and concurrent professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Notre Dame, are interested in reviving analog computing. After testing their new method on a variety of NP-hard problems, the researchers concluded their solver has the potential to lead to better, and possibly faster, solutions than can be computed digitally. (1)

Breaking a problem into pieces can do so many things.

But at the end you will have to look at the problem itself.

And the problem does not have any components.

But only a solution.

Visible only to those who do not see the problem.

You cannot ride the waves.

All you can do is fall into the sea and swim.

You cannot live life.

All you can do is let go and prepare to die.

Look at the big picture.

You can solve anything.

As long as you accept that you cannot…

At the end, the voltage will reach zero.

At the end, the computer will shut down.

You might see this as a sign of failure.

But it would be the first time it really solved anything…

Insects. Man. Road-map to life… Through silence.

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Whether a worm, a human or a blue whale, all multicellular life begins as a single-celled egg. From this solitary cell emerges the galaxy of others needed to build an organism, with each new cell developing in the right place at the right time to carry out a precise function in coordination with its neighbors.

This feat is one of the most remarkable in the natural world, and despite decades of study, a complete understanding of the process has eluded biologists.

Now, in three landmark studies published online April 26 in Science, Harvard Medical School and Harvard University researchers report how they have systematically profiled every cell in developing zebrafish and frog embryos to establish a roadmap revealing how one cell builds an entire organism. (1)

How was the cosmos created?

How did the stars come to be?

How did life become… alive?

Irrelevant questions. Boring quests.

Searching for the how. In a world made out of Whys.

Looking for death. In a cosmos made out of life…

Imagine a cosmos without causes. A world without laws. A universe governed by will. A fascinating universe. See that little blind man. Brought into the universe unwillingly. Caring about nothing. Just wanting to find out how everything happened. An insect in a universe governed by titans. A shadow of nothingness, in a cosmos made out of everything.

The world will soon get rid of that insect.

The cosmos will be silenced again.

Logos will utter its last words.

And just out of nothing.

A man will be re-born…

Too many questions…

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How do our personalities develop? What do we come with and what is built from our experiences? Once developed, how does personality work? These questions have been steeped in controversy for almost as long as psychology has existed.

In an article in Psychological Review, Carol Dweck tackles these issues. She proposes that our personalities develop around basic needs, and she begins by documenting the three basic psychological needs we all come with: the need to predict our world, the need to build competence to act on our world, and, because we are social beings, the need for acceptance from others. (She also shows how new needs emerge later from combinations of these basic needs.)

Infants arrive highly prepared to meet these needs – they are brilliant, voracious learners on the lookout for need-relevant information. Then, as infants try to meet their needs, something important happens. They start building beliefs about their world and their role in it: Is the world good or bad, safe or dangerous? Can I act on my world to meet my needs? These beliefs, plus the emotions and action tendencies that are stored with them, are termed “BEATs”. They represent the accumulated experiences people have had trying to meet their needs, and they play a key role in personality – both the invisible and the visible parts of personality. (1)

A seemingly elegant theory.

But imagine you are being thrown into an unknown forest.

Waking up among big tall trees. Listening to the silence.

Afraid of the darkness.

What would be your first thought?

How to predict? How to act? How to become… accepted?

Or the simple and raw questions… Where am I? Who am I?

It is easy to get lost in the forest.

If you only look at the millions of trees.

We have lost our ability to ask the right questions.

Because we ask too many…

Why?

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Why?

A question that hides all the answers.

Why does the world exist? We wander…

Without understanding just how what we ask also answers our question. How would we look for whys in a world without cause?

How?

A question that in itself explains why we should not even ask her…

Everything can be done in many ways. And any question with many answers tells us that it is not even worth answering it…

Where?

A question that hides in a common view its insignificance… A question with so many possible equally valid answers that cries out how unnecessary is to try to find out which one is the correct one.

Where did this happen? you ask.

And at the same time you ask you feel that what matters is what happened and not where it did happen.

Who?

A question you consider crucial only if the “he” or “me” makes sense. Yet you and anyone else exist only out of time and space, on a level that the “self” remains unchanged, and therefore makes any other question useless. In such a world it makes no sense to ask who did anything. In such a world only one “I” exists and contains everyone.

Look around you and listen to the silence of the night.

She asks the most important questions.

Under the moon, the Why does not make sense.

In a dark world, only light can exist.

And it is in no mood to ask why.

The darkness can only give birth to light.

And this can only evolve to darkness.

One can only give birth to the many.

And the many only point towards One.

There is no Why with no Answer.

And yet every answer hides a question.

Why do you ask why there is something?

Do you not see that you are born of nothing?

Why do you answer how your life makes sense?

Do you not see that if this is the case then you wouldn’t even ask this question?

Everything was once part of One. And then you decided to break the mirror. Everything was once You. And then you decided to start seeing others. Nothing ever happened. And then you decided to start looking for what and how. Once upon a time you did not wonder why. You were the answer to everything.

Once upon a time you never asked any questions.

Because you had all the answers…

Now you ask everything.

And you do not know anything.

Look at the answer.

It hides a basic question within it.

Why do you ask?

Do not you want to learn?

Spyridon Kakos

Kythira,

2018-08-06, 11: 55pm

Avoiding uncertainty. By simply hiding it. Avoiding ignorance. By simply not asking.

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Researchers report the discovery of a new technique that could drastically improve the sensitivity of instruments such as magnetic resonance imagers (MRIs) and atomic clocks. The study reports a technique to bypass the Heisenberg uncertainty principle. This technique hides quantum uncertainty in atomic features not seen by the instrument, allowing the scientists to make very high precision measurements. (1)

Learning everything is impossible.

Because every new knowledge always generates new questions.

You must accept your ignorance in order to know.

Answering is not the solution in answering.

Stop asking1 questions is.

There is no ignorance.

You always knew.

All you had to do was to realize it.

1 Not in the sense of being consciously ignorant, but in the sense of consciously accepting the cosmos and realizing the fact that all the “knowledge” you supposedly gain is built on notions arbitrarily defined.