A post inspired by Godel, Escher, Bach, Complexity: A Guided Tour, an article in this week’s New Scientist about the clash between general relativity and quantum mechanics and personal humiliation. The everyday incompleteness: This is the personal humiliation bit. For the first time ever I went on a “Parkrun” today – the 5km Finsbury Park… Read More Incompleteness in the natural world
Regular readers will know I am usually unstinting in my praise of the New Scientist. But not this week. There is a very poor article by Michael Brooks, an admitted non-programmer (would you have someone who could not speak French write on the Académie française?) lamenting the “teetering tower of Binary Babel” of the “jerry-rigged”… Read More Programming languages in the New Scientist
The forward march of time is possibly the most basic and shared human experience. Whatever else may happen in our lives none of us can make time run backwards (the title of this post recalls Martin Amis‘s brilliant novel premised on this idea – time running backwards – if you’ve read it you will understand… Read More Time’s arrow
(I was about to post something about this when I noticed the Stephen Fry nomination of Turing’s Universal Machine as a great British “innovation” and decided to write about that first … but the two dovetail as I hope you can see.) I was alerted to this by an article in the latest edition of… Read More Patenting reality
Reading through a copy of the New Scientist from a few weeks back (2 February edition), I was struck by the comment in an article on the effects of sleep on the human body by Nancy Wesensten, a psychologist at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research in Maryland: Sleeping deteriorates like everything else does… Read More Another reason why exercise keeps you younger?
The world’s Dreamliners are currently grounded while regulators and the manufacturer aim to sort out problems with the plane’s batteries – which supply a heavy duty electrical system that replace the more traditional (and heavier) hydraulic controls in other planes. I imagine, and hope, that the battery problems can be sorted out – though the… Read More Why I would not want to fly in a Dreamliner (yet)
This week’s New Scientist reports (online link below- it’s a short piece in the physical edition on p. 19) that Duolingo – a free online service designed to help people learn a new language by translating web content is working very well. To probe the site’s effectiveness, Roumen Vesselinov at the City University of New… Read More Online translation a new way to learn a language fast?