Nov 08

Fluidity

If you accept transgender, then why not trans-aged?

This isn’t farfetched. I’m 42 but most people think I am in my late 20s or early 30s. My athletic performance and capability is that of a much younger person. It’s only declined very marginally since my early 20s. I also tend to get along better with younger people, male or female (though in general I more easily bond with women).

Compared to my peers, I’m much younger physically no matter what my birth certificate says. And as is often pointed out on Clarissa’s blog, once you declare a certain set of properties fluid that used to be fixed, what is the limit to that fluidity? Since the standards are arbitrary and not based in science nor reason, can you draw any boundaries at all?

I think it’d be perfectly reasonable to declare myself 31 instead of my actual age. No one would know the difference. In the age of fluidity, why not?

Nov 08

Slow down and slow up mean the same thing

Smartphone advancement has experienced a slowdown. I’m hoping that means I can continue using my small iPhone SE for at least 3-4 years more. It’s unlikely that small phones will be made again, it appears, and I have no use for a phone without a headphone jack. Wireless headphones are all terrible and I don’t need a bunch of adapters to lose.

After that, I am not sure what I will do. I hardly use the phone now as it is and wish I could toss it in the garbage. It’s another mind virus, though not as bad as Facebook. If I could get by with a flip phone I would do that. I could if I didn’t depend on mapping applications so much — but those are the only real apps I use on my phone.

When I retire, I won’t have a retirement party. I’ll have a “torch the smartphone” party.

Nov 08

Bane

There’s quite a few things in my life that I’m proud of, my wonderful partner foremost among them.

However, one of them that’s definitely up there is recognizing very early that Facebook was a baneful mind virus and staying far away from it. I don’t always do the smartest thing but I am very adept at not doing the stupidest action possible — and that seems a fatal attraction for all too many, far above just chance.

Nov 08

Encyc

When I was younger, a lot of people called me a walking encyclopedia.

When I got older, a lot of people called me a walking Google. But I am no longer a walking Google because in general I can find more relevant results in my own brain now than the new, evil Google.

And I’ve forgotten many, many things. We need better…everything.

Nov 07

Lifting Alive or Dead

My personal record (new workout regime) on the deadlift is now 250 pounds. I started out at 185 pounds so in a little over a month I’ve gotten 35% stronger on that exercise.

I stopped a little early because I was spent. That was a big pull and I just didn’t have much gas left in the tank after.

Nov 07

Negatory

Does antimatter fall upwards? New CERN gravity experiments aim to get to the bottom of the matter.

No, antimatter will not fall up as that would require negative mass. There is no such thing as negative mass. QED.

Yes, this experiment is still worth doing because if there is even the slightest chance of being wrong, it’d be world-shaking in it import. It would mean that anti-gravity is in principle possible.

But it’ll fall down because that’s just how mass works in this universe.

Nov 07

Waste Not

Please don’t waste your money on stuff like this.

That’s $3,000 for something that won’t nearly be as effective as free weights and requires a monthly subscription fee. I don’t like going to gym, either, but why are people so allergic to free weights?

Resistance bands and such aren’t totally useless (and for certain parts of certain exercises are more effective), but you’ll never get as good as workout with this over-engineered gear as you get with free weights — and free weights are a lot cheaper. Just buy a $400 weight set and some dumbbells and watch some YouTube videos and you’ll have saved $2,200, be able to get more fit and won’t be sending anyone money every month.

But if you do buy this garbage, please let me know because I have some other useless crap…uh, I mean quality goods….to sell you.

Nov 07

Analogy Failure

The mistake that people make in thinking about quantum phenomena is attempting to analogize it. Your understanding doesn’t have to be fully mathematical (I don’t understand all of the math), but it also can’t be metaphorical as there simply isn’t a valid macro-level metaphor for much that occurs (or is mathematically represented) in the quantum realm.

For instance, spin. Or more accurately, “spin quantum number.” What does this mean? Well, nothing’s spinning. Not really, anyway. There is a completely different number that represents orbital angular momentum that is totally unrelated. And yes, the names of both particles and properties is often confusing. You’d think something labeled “spin” would involve actual spinning as we think of it. But no. “Spin” is a mathematical construct of something that is happening in reality but that maps to nothing we can think of as an analogy to anything you’d witness in everyday life.

(For instance, why the electron is not spinning in the sense of rotating: for it to have the magnetic moment it in fact does, an electron’s outer “surface” would have to be rotating 100 times the speed of light.)

“Spin” is a vector in ordinary space applied to complex space — space that can only be represented by a complex number. Ain’t no visualizing that no matter how hard you try. It is not just difficult. It is impossible. That’s why so many explanations of quantum phenomena are terrible. There simply is not any analogy that will assist in understanding. They only obfuscate what we understand and don’t illuminate anything.

Nov 07

Time Is

The problem with this idea is that people see the future as both capable of perturbation but fundamentally unpredictable. Since counterfactuals are impossible, who knows if they are right?

I suspect that the future is not very perturbable by an individual nor very predictable so most people if they traveled to the past would have almost no effect at all but a few individuals would have huge effects. This is what the chronologically-normal world is like, so why would a world where time travel is possible be that much different?

However, if corporations controlled the time machines, we’d all be dead.