Mathematical understanding does not expand in a monotone direction. Our understanding frequently deteriorates as well. There are…

“Mathematical understanding does not expand in a monotone direction. Our understanding frequently deteriorates as well. There are several obvious mechanisms of decay. The experts in a subject retire and die, or simply move on to other subjects and forget. Mathematics is commonly explained and recorded in symbolic and concrete forms that are easy to communicate, rather than in conceptual forms that are easy to understand once communicated. Translation in the direction conceptual -> concrete and symbolic is much easier than translation in the reverse direction, and symbolic forms often replaces the conceptual forms of understanding. And mathematical conventions and taken-for-granted knowledge change, so older texts may become hard to understand. In short, mathematics only exists in a living community of mathematicians that spreads understanding and breaths life into ideas both old and new.”

Bill Thurston

About 20 years ago, while doing research in algorithms for robot motion planning, we managed to reduce the problem into a…

“About 20 years ago, while doing research in algorithms for robot motion planning, we managed to reduce the problem into a certain property of quadratic curves. It was clear from the examples that both (1) the statement held, and (2) it was likely known in the XIX century. Lo and behold no modern book had the theorem. Eventually we took the plunge and proved the result from scratch. A year later, while perusing in a used bookstore I found the result an 1880s high school textbook. I still have the book in my shelves as a reminder.”

Alex Lopez-Ortiz

"This is the concept behind Uninvited Guests, a short film released last month by design firm Superflux. Commissioned by…

Superflux, IoT, smart home, surveillance, give me convenience or give me death, objects

“This is the concept behind Uninvited Guests, a short film released last month by design firm Superflux. Commissioned by ThingTank, a research project focused on the design and business of the Internet of Things, the film offers cautionary musings on the future smart home. How will we coexist with the data-gathering, service-oriented objects supposedly designed to make our lives better? As Thomas’ smart bed incessantly relays messages to his phone, prompting him to get to sleep by 10PM, it’s impossible not to feel his frustration. You root for him as he struggles to win his life back, concocting ways to dupe the objects—and his children—into thinking he’s accomplishing his daily goals. Ultimately, however, it’s hard to celebrate his successes as a true triumph of human agency, as he’s now locked into leading a double life: the one he wants to live, and the one his objects demand of him.”

http://thecreatorsproject.vice.com/blog/man-vs-smart-house-a-cautionary-tale

"On the left you can see features of good science, with authors providing their data and software code, and in the best cases…

science, open access, open data, research, p-hacking, fabrication, deception, progress, peer review

“On the left you can see features of good science, with authors providing their data and software code, and in the best cases even using pre-registration of their study and version control for maximum transparency. The grey area in the middle shows questionable research practices, which can include p-hacking, sloppy statistics, peer review abuse etc. On the right side and marked ‘red’ is scientific misconduct as commonly defined (falsification, fabrication, plagiarism). Between the grey and red are is data secrecy.”

http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/impactofsocialsciences/2015/07/03/data-secrecy-bad-science-or-scientific-misconduct/

Cognitive Biases in Software Engineering

Jonathan Klein, software, engineering, congitive bias, biases

Human logic, unlike that of the machines which we program and use every day, isn’t perfect. We make mistakes, we establish bad mental habits, and we have many cognitive biases that negatively impact our ability to be successful engineers. I want to go over five of the most common biases that I see on a regular basis as a software engineer.

http://www.jonathanklein.net/2013/06/cognitive-biases-in-software-engineering.html

Japan is building solar energy plants on abandoned golf courses

solar power, energy, golf, Kyocera, Japan, golf courses, land use

Meanwhile, Japan’s energy strategy in the aftermath of Fukushima calls for roughly doubling the amount of renewable power sources in the country by 2030. It is already building solar power plants that float on water. Perhaps inevitably, then, the nation has turned to building solar plants on old golf courses. Last week, Kyocera and its partners announced they had started construction on a 23-megawatt solar plant project located on an old golf course in the Kyoto prefecture. Scheduled to go operational in September 2017, it will generate a little over 26,000 megawatt hours per year, or enough electricity to power approximately 8,100 typical local households. The electricity will be sold to a local utility.

http://qz.com/445330/japan-is-building-solar-energy-plants-on-abandoned-golf-courses-and-the-idea-is-spreading/

One Fungus, One Name

Fungi, One Fungus One Name, phenotype, phylogeny, biology, mycology, naming, nomenclature, teleomorp

The naming of organisms is an important part of how we communicate. When a fungus is found, be it a mycelium from a rotting fruit, a mushroom from the forest, or something growing on a petri dish, we have used morphological and other phenotypic characteristics to group them together and identify if it is an already known species or a new one. However, some fungi have very different shapes and forms that occur during asexual and sexual (after mating with a partner) stages, some incredible elaborate and even (to some people) beautiful. Because these stages mean that fungi can look very different, and often these fungi are not amenable to life in the laboratory (e.g. we can’t get it to complete the lifecycle in an petri dish in the lab), it was the case that observed asexual (or anamorphic) and sexual (teleomorphic) forms of a species get different names. For some species, connecting the two forms has eluded mycologists, and those which had a lack of a sexual stage were called Fungi Imperfecti. Some fungi are only thought to have an asexual stage, though that may change as more molecular and other data is developed.

http://fungalgenomes.org/blog/2011/08/one-fungus-one-name/

Piracy and Politics At the Ports

Medium, Christine Haughney, fish, marine conservation, fishing, fisheries, IUU, trade, food, crim

In regulator-speak, this portion of the fish trade is dubbed IUU: Illegal, Unreported, Unregulated. IUU fish can include everything from a striped bass that local fishermen offload to friends after they catch more fish than quotas allow to a live lobster that comes in at less than one-eighth of an inch below regulation. But by far the biggest IUU problem is the many tons of international fish that pass through multiple foreign ports and are intentionally mislabeled to fetch a higher sales price or avoid detection as an overfished commodity. The former is an issue that exists at the species level: It’s likely that haddock filet you bought for dinner isn’t haddock at all.

https://medium.com/food-crimes/piracy-and-politics-at-the-ports–20f55a681ce5

THEOREM II Neither the circle without the line, nor the line without the point, can be artificially produced. It is, therefore,…

hierophage:

THEOREM II

Neither the circle without the line, nor the line without the point, can be artificially produced. It is, therefore, by virtue of the point and the Monad that all things commence to emerge in principle. That which is affected at the periphery, however large it may be, cannot in any way lack the support of the central point.

 - Dr. John Dee, Monas Hieroglyphica (1564)

The Port of Hamburg - known as Germany’s “Gateway to the World” - is located on the Elbe River in Hamburg. On an average day,…

dailyoverview:

The Port of Hamburg - known as Germany’s “Gateway to the World” - is located on the Elbe River in Hamburg. On an average day, the facility is accessed by 28 ships, 200 freight trains, and 5,000 trucks. In total, the port moves 132.3 million tonnes of cargo each year - that’s roughly 1/3 of the mass of all living human beings.

Port of Hamburg
Hamburg, Germany
53.532581146°, 9.916544334°
Instagram: http://bit.ly/1C9YH82

MICHIEL HENDRYCKX [Robin Heifetz, 1960s] Composer Robin Heifetz on the piano at IPEM (Institute For Psychoacoustics And…

bal-semactiv:

MICHIEL HENDRYCKX [Robin Heifetz, 1960s]

Composer Robin Heifetz on the piano at IPEM (Institute For Psychoacoustics And Electronic Music)’s Muinkkaai studio. This photo was taken to illustrate Heifetz’s piano and tape composition  That Which Is The Beginning. The image is one of Ghent University’s selection taken from the IPEM’s archive, as featured in a recently published book on the studio.

In 1963, the BRT (Belgian Radio and Television) set up a studio for electronic music in cooperation with the State University of Ghent, with the intention of operating it as both a creative studio, and a research institution. One of the inventions is an instrument that used electronic tubes to generate eight octaves derived from a single base frequency. 470 compositions were realised at IPEM between 1963–1987. It is still operational, housed in the University building Technicum, in the same place it was founded.

[TW][IPEM][META]

There was no master architect for the nagri, and in fact the festival administration employed no architects at all, so each…

“There was no master architect for the nagri, and in fact the festival administration employed no architects at all, so each group was responsible for the construction of the section of the grid that it would inhabit and brought in its own contractors and construction teams. The festival site became a collage of cotton, bamboo, tin, plywood and plastic, materials typical of Indian slums, here converging in a constantly changing texture of materials and styles. By January, a fully functional city capable of supporting millions of residents stood where two months earlier there had been only a muddy plain, and throngs of holy men, teachers, students, tourists and service personnel brought the city to bustling life.”

Rahul Mehrotra,Constructing the World’s Biggest (Disassemblable) City’ (2015)

Tailings - the waste and byproducts from mining operations - are pumped into the Gribbens Basin next to the Empire and Tilden…

dailyoverview:

Tailings - the waste and byproducts from mining operations - are pumped into the Gribbens Basin next to the Empire and Tilden iron ore mines in Negaunee, Michigan, USA. Here, the materials are mixed with water to create a sloppy form of mud known as “slurry” that is pumped through magnetic separation chambers to increase the mine’s total output. For a sense of scale, this Overview shows approximately one square mile of the basin.

Tailings
Negaunee, Michigan, United States
46.408652671°, -87.530031400°
www.dailyoverview.com

The Last of the Monsters with Iron Teeth

Carcinisation, culture, children, internet, isolationism, adult culture, children's culture, explor

Children’s society exists on the internet if at all, with raids in video games and chat rooms replacing geographically colocated monster hunts. (This is increasingly the case with adult society as well, which also lacks architectural and geographic support.) It should be noted that the internet is not the cause of these problems. Rather, the internet is the precarious reservation onto which culture has been driven, bleak and uncanny, inhuman in scale. And even the internet is increasingly monitored and reshaped by the same malignant tiling system that drove culture here in the first place. What will happen to culture when even this frontier is closed?

http://carcinisation.com/2014/10/04/the-last-of-the-monsters-with-iron-teeth/

Page from an album of auroral photographs obtained during Carl Störmer’s first expedition to Bossekop in northern Norway. It…

punlovsin:

Page from an album of auroral photographs obtained during Carl Störmer’s first expedition to Bossekop in northern Norway. It shows a sequence of images of quiet and rayed auroral arcs, together with other less distinct forms, obtained on the night of 3-4 March 1910. The camera employed an objective lens by Ernemann of Dresden, adopted from a small children’s cine-camera, and sensitive ‘Lumière etiquette violette’ photographic plates. With such equipment, the exposure time for bright auroral forms could be reduced to half a second.

LSD neural net

Jonas Degrave, NN, convolution network, convnet, VGG, image recognition, classifiaction, programmin

We decided that we wanted to try and reproduce this, and make some convnet art ourselves. To save time, we downloaded the parameters for a trained VGG-16 network. This architecture with 16 trainable layers was proposed by Simonyan et al. and was used to reach the 2nd place in the 2014 ImageNet Large Scale Visual Recognition Challenge. A VGG-16 network primarily consists of convolutional layers with 3-by-3 filters, with the occasional 2-by-2 max-pooling layer in between.

http://317070.github.io/LSD/