"The mind is a compact, multiply connected thought mass with internal connections of the most intimate kind. It grows continuously as new thought masses enter it, and this is the means by which it continues to develop."

Bernhard Riemann On Psychology and Metaphysics ca. 1860

Today's Elites


Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Would Be Hunger Artist at the NY Times

It’s a small daily tragedy that we animals must kill to stay alive. Plants are the ethical autotrophs here, the ones that wrest their meals from the sun. Don’t expect them to boast: they’re too busy fighting to survive.


It seems that the only ethical thing to do according to this NY Times article quoted above is to starve oneself. (If only the anti-humanists like Al Gore, et al. were ethical!)

Outre science?



(PhysOrg.com) -- By implanting an electrode into the brain of a person with locked-in syndrome, scientists have demonstrated how to wirelessly transmit neural signals to a speech synthesizer. The "thought-to-speech" process takes about 50 milliseconds - the same amount of time for a non-paralyzed, neurologically intact person to speak their thoughts. The study marks the first successful demonstration of a permanently installed, wireless implant for real-time control of an external device.


One could imagine with the evolution of this technology, a nano computer system implanted in the brain (or perhaps less invasively, rather as an article of clothing in contact with the electro magnetic brainwave spectrum) such that communication would be possible between parties by thought alone and translated from their native languages automatically. Frankly, this scenario seems no further off than, say, harnessing matter/anti matter reactions to power inter stellar flight shielding humans from radiation and using inertial force as an equivalent for gravity via effect continuous acceleration deceleration.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Riemann surface and biological functions

The Riemann surface models a complex function that has multiple values on sheets connected through functional branch points. Compare that with this functional diagram of the simplest of life forms and once again it is clear that Riemann's geometric epistemology was prescient.






This image represents the integration of genomic, metabolic, proteomic, structural and cellular information about Mycoplasma pnemoniae in this project: one layer of an Electron Tomography scan of a bottle-shaped M. pneumoniae cell (grey) is overlaid with a schematic representation of this bacterium's metabolism, comprising 189 enzymatic reactions, where blue indicates interactions between proteins encoded in genes from the same functional unit. Apart from these expected interactions, the scientists found that, surprisingly, many proteins are multifunctional. For instance, there were various unexpected physical interactions (yellow lines) between proteins and the subunits that form the ribosome, which is depicted as an Electron microscopy image (yellow). Credit: Takuji Yamada /EMBL

Thursday, November 26, 2009

A Biophysical Analog of a Higher Order Process Embedded in Apparently Random Mutations

As I pointed to in an earlier post, Riemann's mathematical method in approaching "chaotic" disordered functions through elimination by degree of arbitrariness should prove instructive in applications for applied sciences. Now a new microbiology discovery bears this idea out:
When cells are confronted with an invading virus or bacteria or exposed to an irritating chemical, they protect themselves by going off their DNA recipe and inserting the wrong amino acid into new proteins to defend them against damage, scientists have discovered.
These "regulated errors" comprise a novel non-genetic mechanism by which cells can rapidly make important proteins more resistant to attack when stressed, said Tao Pan, Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of Chicago. A team of 18 scientists from the University of Chicago and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease led by Pan and Jonathan Yewdell published the findings Thursday in the journal Nature.
"This mechanism allows every protein to get some protection," Pan said. "The genetic code is considered untouchable, but this is a non-genetic strategy used in cells to create a bodyguard for proteins."
Proteins are constructed through a process called translation where cellular elements use the genetic code to guide the assembly of building blocks called amino acids into the correct sequence. First, a copy of the DNA, called messenger RNA, is made and transferred to a cellular structure called a ribosome. Transfer RNAs (tRNA), one for each of the 20 amino acids used in building proteins, read the messenger RNA code and bring the proper amino acids to the ribosome, where they are bonded together to form a complete protein.
Each tRNA can be attached to only one of 20 amino acids, a specificity that prevents errors during the construction of proteins. In artificial laboratory preparations, scientists have observed that only one out of every 10,000 amino acids is placed into a protein incorrectly, and thus protein errors were thought to be exceptionally rare.
But Jeffrey Goodenbour, University of Chicago graduate student and co-lead author along with Nir Netzer of the NIAID, decided to look at how often tRNA errors, called misacylations, occurred in live cells. After developing a novel technique for measuring these errors, published for the first time in this paper, the authors were surprised to find a much higher error rate in those cells for the amino acid methionine. As high as one out of every 100 methionines was incorrectly placed in proteins, they found.
When the cells were stressed by exposure to a virus, bacteria or a toxic chemical such as hydrogen peroxide, that error rate went even higher, as up to 10 percent of methionines placed into new proteins were different from what the gene specified.
"That was 1,000 times more than the textbook says should be there," Pan said.
Further experiments revealed that it was always the same amino acid, methionine, placed incorrectly into new proteins. Methionine is one of only two amino acids to carry sulfur atoms on its side chains, a feature that allows it to neutralize dangerous molecules called reactive oxygen species (ROS) that form inside an infected or stressed cell. ROS can damage proteins through a chemical process called oxidation, but methionine can be oxidized (and restored through a process called reduction) without being permanently damaged.
"The idea is that methionine can protect you from having oxidation of the active site of protein, which would ultimately completely block function of the protein," Goodenbour said. "You end up reducing the total reactive oxygen species load in the cell. It's a very interesting mechanism."
Cells normally put methionines near important parts of a protein to protect those segments from being damaged by reactive oxygen species. When the cell is under stress, and the amount of ROS increases, the number of methionine "errors" is ramped up tenfold, allowing new proteins to be even more resistant to attack.
"Think of a boxing match," Pan said. "If you put methionine close to active site, the reactive oxygen species has to get past it to get to the active site residues for oxidization. You've put something right in front of it so a protein can take a hit. If you have a lot of methionines, to knock this protein out will take many, many hits. So this is a strategy used in cells to create a bodyguard for a protein."
A remaining puzzle is to determine why extra protective methionines are not encoded as part of the DNA in the first place, instead of being left to the post-genetic random placement described in this paper. Pan suggests that random placement of the amino acids makes proteins even more resistant to attack, since no two are created alike.
"This sounds chaotic and doesn't make a lot of sense according to the textbook," Pan said. "But this way the cells can always ensure that a subset of these proteins is somewhat less sensitive to the extra hits. I think that's the most important part of this - to make every protein molecule different - and you cannot do this genetically."
Source: University of Chicago Medical Center

Apparent errors/mutations in RNA translation of protein production lead to extra methionine amino acid randomly being attached to proteins. But this is now shown to be purposeful because these "misreadings" of the protein genetic code lead to protection against reactive oxygen species when cells are under attack by disease or stress and these errors are then greatly accelerated. So, the question that this begs is what is the higher order functional mechanism that directs this apparent disorder? This is precisely where the zenith of scientific epistemology exemplified by nineteenth century Riemann's radically constructive non Euclidean approach needs to be brought to bear.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Fast and slow brain waves as analogue carriers versus digital information model of brain

My last entry on Fechner's concept of non interfering waves in reminiscences has gotten an interesting empirical support from new research:

ScienceDaily (Nov. 19, 2009) — The human brain is bombarded with all kinds of information, from the memory of last night's delicious dinner to the instructions from your boss at your morning meeting. But how do you "tune in" to just one thought or idea and ignore all the rest of what is going on around you, until it comes time to think of something else? Researchers at the Kavli Institute for Systems Neuroscience and Centre for the Biology of Memory at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) have discovered a mechanism that the brain uses to filter out distracting thoughts to focus on a single bit of information. Their results are reported in 19 November issue of Nature.
Think of your brain like a radio: You're turning the knob to find your favourite station, but the knob jams, and you're stuck listening to something that's in between stations. It's a frustrating combination that makes it quite hard to get an update on swine flu while a Michael Jackson song wavers in and out. Staying on the right frequency is the only way to really hear what you're after. In much the same way, the brain's nerve cells are able to "tune in" to the right station to get exactly the information they need, says researcher Laura Colgin, who was the paper's first author. "Just like radio stations play songs and news on different frequencies, the brain uses different frequencies of waves to send different kinds of information," she says.
Gamma waves as information carriers
Colgin and her colleagues measured brain waves in rats, in three different parts of the hippocampus, which is a key memory center in the brain. While listening in on the rat brain wave transmissions, the researchers started to realize that there might be something more to a specific sub-set of brain waves, called gamma waves. Researchers have thought these waves are linked to the formation of consciousness, but no one really knew why their frequency differed so much from one region to another and from one moment to the next.
Information is carried on top of gamma waves, just like songs are carried by radio waves. These "carrier waves" transmit information from one brain region to another. "We found that there are slow gamma waves and fast gamma waves coming from different brain areas, just like radio stations transmit on different frequencies," she says.
You really can "be on the same wavelength"
"You know how when you feel like you really connect with someone, you say you are on the same wavelength? When brain cells want to connect with each other, they synchronize their activity," Colgin explains. "The cells literally tune into each other's wavelength. We investigated how gamma waves in particular were involved in communication across cell groups in the hippocampus. What we found could be described as a radio-like system inside the brain. The lower frequencies are used to transmit memories of past experiences, and the higher frequencies are used to convey what is happening where you are right now."
If you think of the example of the jammed radio, the way to hear what you want out of the messy signals would be to listen really hard for the latest news while trying to filter out the unwanted music. The hippocampus does this more efficiently. It simply tunes in to the right frequency to get the station it wants. As the cells tune into the station they're after, they are actually able to filter out the other station at the same time, because its signal is being transmitted on a different frequency.
The switch
"The cells can rapidly switch their activity to tune in to the slow waves or the fast waves," Colgin says, "but it seems as though they cannot listen to both at the exact same time. This is like when you are listening to your radio and you tune in to a frequency that is midway between two stations- you can't understand anything- it's just noise." In this way, the brain cells can distinguish between an internal world of memories and a person's current experiences. If the messages were carried on the same frequency, our perceptions of the world might be completely confused. "Your current perceptions of a place would get mixed up with your memories of how the place used to be," Colgin says.
The cells that tune into different wavelengths work like a switch, or rather, like zapping between radio stations that are already programmed into your radio. The cells can switch back and forth between different channels several times per second. The switch allows the cells to attend to one piece at a time, sorting out what's on your mind from what's happening and where you are at any point in time. The researchers believe this is an underlying principle for how information is handled throughout the brain.
"This switch mechanism points to superfast routing as a general mode of information handling in the brain," says Edvard Moser, Kavli Institute for Systems Neuroscience director. "The classical view has been that signaling inside the brain is hardwired, subject to changes caused by modification of connections between neurons. Our results suggest that the brain is a lot more flexible. Among the thousands of inputs to a given brain cell, the cell can choose to listen to some and ignore the rest and the selection of inputs is changing all the time. We believe that the gamma switch is a general principle of the brain, employed throughout the brain to enhance interregional communication."
Can a switch malfunction explain schizophrenia?
People who are schizophrenic have problems keeping these brain signals straight. They cannot tell, for example, if they are listening to voices from people who are present or if the voices are from the memory of a movie they have seen. "We cannot tell for sure if it is this switch that is malfunctioning, but we do know that gamma waves are abnormal in schizophrenic patients," Colgin says. "Schizophrenics' perceptions of the world around them are mixed up, like a radio stuck between stations."


This further refutes the nonsensical delirium that the human mind could ever be modeled as a complex "digital" system. Anyone who has ever experienced the nonlinear leap of creative insight best exemplified in Beethoven's compositions, immediately recognizes the absurdity of such misguided behaviorist assumptions about truly human thought.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Gustav Theodor Fechner

Recently, in examining Bernard Riemann's influences from his philosophical fragments, I came upon the work of Fechner. Today, Fechner is almost exclusively remembered as the father of the field psychophysics. In particular, his logarithmic function for the threshold of conscious perceptions. However, Riemann was very much captivated by Fechner's writing on Zend Avesta. It is quite remarkable that Riemann's work on sonic shockwave propagation predated the actual demonstration of the said phenomena by some decades. The reason for this is, I believe that the principle involved actually transcends the narrow application that Riemann gave it in that instance, i.e. of pressure and the speed of sound . That is that given a wave being propagated beyond the speed at which the medium is capable of accepting a shockwave aggregates perforce. As this continues over time the shockwave can be thought of as a negatively curved horn surface. This idea immediately links to Riemann's habilitation thesis wherein he details the non Euclidian geometries as the basis of choice for metric for physical space. It is the moving over from positively curved propagation to a negatively curved time series that is there in germ form in that thesis of Riemann. And I believe that likewise Fechner in the Zend Avesta evinces the germ of autowave phenomenology when he states (in English translation from the German): "Our future spheres of existence, though all incorporated in the same great body, the earth, will not disturb, confuse or efface each other. Even here our spheres of existence necessarily cross and intersect each other, as the means of mutual intercourse, which in the here after will only increase in intimacy, variety and consciousness; and in our brain the material changes connected with our reminiscences cross and intersect each other, leaving them nevertheless undisturbed and uneffaced." (my emphasis added) I believe that this is a remarkable instance of how a method for viewing interconnectedness of physical and psychological phenomena leads to a correct hypothesis of neurological characteristics before any experimental apparatus is available.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Elephants hear through their feet!

This research appears on first glance to be quite straightforward reasoning from the premise that extends the concept of ground based vibrational communication from bugs to mammals. But, if you review Riemann's philosophical writings and interpolate his work on hearing, then you get an interesting congruence with this research. His view of time being relative to the species and the electromagnetic wave nature of sound as primary combine quite elegantly here. By the way, the notion that all of the biological substrate persists as a kind of soliton is I think a wonderfully apt characterization.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Upon learning of Obama's new Internet Mining Policy

Obama is cool.
Obama is the real deal.
Obama is the man.
Obama is for change.
Obama is our hero.
Obama is the best president ever.
Obama is the yes we can man.
Obama is a man for all seasons.
Obama is a never ending story of hope.
Obama is an American hero.
Obama is a jazzy dude.
Obama is the biggest thing ever!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Krugman: the Laputan?

Krugman opines thusly:

So new budget projections show a cumulative deficit of $9 trillion over the next decade. According to many commentators, that’s a terrifying number, requiring drastic action — in particular, of course, canceling efforts to boost the economy and calling off health care reform.
The truth is more complicated and less frightening. Right now deficits are actually helping the economy. In fact, deficits here and in other major economies saved the world from a much deeper slump. The longer-term outlook is worrying, but it’s not catastrophic.

I retort:


In the rarified precincts of ivory tower of Nobel Prizedom, (or rather Nobel Prizedumb) the erosion and collapse of the manufacturing base means less than nothing to such high falluting intellects, of course. The fact that the government has encumbered itself with the greatest speculative bubble known as derivative securities to the tune of untold hundreds of trillions, why that is irrelevant saith these Laputan folk. Besides Hamilton's report on manufactures where he establishes that there exists a physically productive economy and attacks Smith's Wealth of Nations by name is so 18th century. "Why we live on our floating island of Laputa on information alone now" they declaim commiserating with my ignorance. But why should I cast these topics before such celebrated professors in the first place? A fools errand I'm sure.

Monkeyshines

Flash -- this just in:

(PhysOrg.com) -- Entropy can decrease, according to a new proposal - but the process would destroy any evidence of its existence, and erase any memory an observer might have of it. It sounds like the plot to a weird sci-fi movie, but the idea has recently been suggested by theoretical physicist Lorenzo Maccone, currently a visiting scientist at MIT, in an attempt to solve a longstanding paradox in physics.

This thesis parallels the monkeys typing a Shakespeare play in infinite time. It proves that given even an infinite amount of time a physicist of the reductionist sort will never discover that he has a brain. I.e., the human mind is proof of a non entropic process (when its applied, that is.)

Monday, August 17, 2009

Prometheus Rebound

These days there are some pretty savvy global warming researchers. Sometimes I am awestruck. The latest just in is a dandy, indeed. It seems that Zeus is the original environmentalist. Who knew? What do you mean with such blunderbus you ask? I can't make this stuff up, I retort.

"Agricultural methods of early civilizations may have altered global climate, study suggests

Massive burning of forests for agriculture thousands of years ago may have increased atmospheric carbon dioxide enough to alter global climate and usher in a warming trend that continues today, according to a new study that appears online Aug. 17 in the journal Quaternary Science Reviews."

Why does this involve purely mythological figments like Prometheus and Zeus? Stay with me here. Prometheus was worshiped as one of the older Titanic gods that rivaled Zeus. His sin was giving mankind fire. You see his brother Epimetheus must have been a fraud or have doublecrossed Prometheus. (He was the one who had the gift of foresight.) He should have known that fire would eventually doom mankind through global warming.

Now this puts Christianity in a whole new light. It turns out that all this talk about the meek inheriting the earth is hokum. They are for the big multinational polluters in reality. Bring back Zeus, bring back Gaia. Io Pan, io pan! Yo' mama. Big mama.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Obamacide?

Let's see if I get the Obamacide health care bill rationale correct: Insurance companies are rationing healthcare. Rationing health care leads to people unnecessarily ill or dead. That's bad. The oversight board set up by the healthcare legislation will have the final say on appropriate coverage for patients. That means rationing care (or "triage", if you prefer). Now the government can take over from the greedy insurance companies that are causing patients to go without health care. In the current budgetary crisis we must have a major cutbacks on health care costs. Why? Because we are spending trillions to bail out too big to fail banks (e.g. Goldman Sachs) and insurance companies' (viz. AIG) gambling debts (also known as derivative securities). Therefore I believe now our liberal government under Obama wants to be brought into the business of doing evil liberally in its own right. Bravo!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Obfuscations abound

Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, Obama's top advisor on the healthcare overhaul, says he opposes euthanasia. But when you read his actual writings it is clear that he thinks some lives have more value than others. For example, the elderly have less value because they have less years of productivity left. This logic is absolutely consistent with the idea of useless eaters propagated by Dr. Josef Mengele's Nazis. Now who is obfuscating whom?

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Common Sense

Let me add a little something here to the healthcare debate, if I may. We just bailed out an insurance behemoth AIG to the tune of oh $100 billion or so. Mr. Obama wants to save $200 billion on Medicare. Can none of you left wing or right wing fools see the connection here? When money is put ahead of humanity the economics of scarce resources leads inevitably to tyranny. The war reparations placed upon Germany after WWI lead to the bestial final solution. The logic of bailing out criminal speculators too big to fail leads down that same path. If you are not able to understand this it is because you refuse to look this evil in the eye. It really is just that simple. Thank you.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

A Fishy Story

One fine morning in Washington, D.C. Barack Obama awoke to find himself metamorphozed into a large fish. He immediately panicked and reasoned thusly: "I must now get help to put myself in water or I will surely drown". (He not being used yet to living life as a fish really should have thought suffocate instead of drown.) So he began flapping for all he was worth. Soon he tumbled to the ground of the Presidential bedroom. Immediately at the door appeared a wide eyed secret service agent named Bill. Bill guffawed. "This must be the biggest practical joke ever played in the White House ever'" he thought. "Well, I guess I'd better just play along." So with almost super human strength he bounded forth and scooped up the large fish and ran out of the room.

Barack meanwhile was gurgling bubbles through his gills and thinking to himself, "I think I can get out of this jam now, because Bill is going to find me some help." Sure enough, Bill ran to the Presidential fish tank and gently eased Barrack into its confines. Barack felt very peculiar as he slid into the tank as well he might, having only been just turned into a fish. He did his best to scream at Bill that he was the President, but no sound at all came out of his mouth no matter how hard he tried.

"At least I'm alive," he resignedly thought to himself after a long pause. "Maybe there's a way out of this. If I can only retrace my actions from yesterday. Maybe there will be some kind of explanation. There must be some kinda way out of here. Think Barack! Think! What could have lead to this? What was I doing that wound me up transformed into a fish. What kind of cruel magician could have cast this spell on me?" These thoughts were running over and over in his head while he swam back and forth in wide circles in the fish tank.

In the meantime, a large group of secret service men gawked at him from the outside. They were frantically talking to each other on their Blackberries. "We cannot locate the President," were the words that went crackling over the airwaves. "We are on full alert. Only Cosmic Clearance and family will be informed. Let's get Biden down here now."

To be continued.

Napoleon's Detractor


ETA Hoffmann is said to have lost his government post when he caricatured the French occupiers of his homeland. I wonder if someone is being dismissed at this instant for some saucy Obama as Hitler cartoons. Hmm...

An Unhealthy Dilemma

Now let me see. Obama when questioned on the charge that his health care reform will mean rationing shoots back that health care is already being rationed. I will now try to reason through this logically to see if this is true, because I believe we can come to some meeting of the minds so to speak. When my elderly mother had a benign brain tumor removed a few years back, she did not have to succumb to any outside board inquiring whether such an operation would be cost effective. Medicare was not under any such mandate. Therefore, her treatment had no taint of being rationed whatsoever. Now, correct me, I beg of you, if I am wrong here, but wouldn't the current legislation (or the one that Peter Orzag desires) set up just such an oversight board to determine whether her operation would be cost effective from the standpoint of metrics like life expectancy, quality of life, and other such rubrics? In fact, I know I will be accused of engaging in the logical fallacy of slippery slope here, but isn't this the essence of the meaning of the term "Useless Eaters" that the Nazis used during their reign of terror? And isn’t the same type of statistical manipulation that Dr. Emanuel engages in with his "lifeboat ethics" type discussions in the New York Times which also underlies the mathematics of the so called “quants” that led us to the collapse of the speculative bubble. And why is it that we simply had to bail out insurance behemoth AIG to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars (much of which is why Goldman Sachs is doing so well today) without flinching, but can't afford too expensive medical procedures on the other hand? Please would Mr. Obama or his any of his surrogates like to enlighten me in my state of confusion on these issues?

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Why Science Benefits Humanity

No matter how much we as a species may uncover by explicating the mechanics of certain classes of phenomena, it is demonstrable that we will nevertheless remain an infinite distance from ascertaining a lasting mechanistic resolution of them.

These phenomena are of the type that Nicholas of Cusa referred to as the incommensurable cardinality spanning the divide between the other and non-other. However, following Cantor, we can further refine that notion of a quality of transfinite incommensurals. This being his distinction between the absolute infinite and transfinite. We may now locate certain classes of scientific investigations on the peripheries or boundaries of the transition from the Vernadskyan categorical domains as having a precisely analogous character. Firstly, the transition from the inorganic to the organic/biosphere. (This for today's current hypotheses is included among the "RNA World" hypothesis and Astrobiological pursuits.) Secondly, the transition from the biosphere to the noosphere. (One aspect of this, for example, would be the the research of neurogenesis and its correlation with a hippocampal locus for memory.)

Taking the latter case poses a stark case in point of a fundamental incommensurabilty. When the mind functions, whether through memory or other distinguishable modes, there is a correlated physical creation of new neuronal networks. Is it not apparent that while we may continuously define sundry connections at an ever greater infinitesimal scale of this biophysical domain, we can never come to a thorough resolution along this boundary because of the unique way that the universe is composed? However, we can expect that proceeding to investigate anomalies along these boundaries should spark breakthroughs that will of necessity benefit humanity's unceasing requirement for technological innovation.

Leibniz understood that it were a fool's errand (a la R.D. Laing) to attempt to unravel the labyrinthine paradox of the number continuum, because it is merely a mental artifact of the underlying issue to which I am referring here and not physical reality. Unfortunately, Cantor and Goedel, inter alia, did not.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Global Warming, Climate Change-- or Atmospheric Deterioration?

"The unwashed masses are like sheep which we educated ones have a duty--nay, a burden to enlighten. Let us cry out so all and sundry may understand: THE SKY IS FALLING. THE SKY IS FALLING! SAVE YOURSELF! (SAVE OURSELVES.) OH! HELP... HELP!"

Chicken Little
(proud to be a founding member of the World Wildlife Federation)

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Waterboarding

What's in a word? "Harsh interrogation techniques"-- formerly known as torture. Hmm. I guess noticing Orwellian doublespeak has become passe these days.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

History and Drama

I'm just finishing up another excellent forgotten play. Cato by Addison. I was thinking what a wonderful theme it would make for an historical study on many fronts. There are several ironies about this. Firstly, this Addison was an ally of Swift in his mission to free Ireland from the yoke of an oppressive British empire policy of looting its satrapies. Second, today's Cato Institute is the complete opposite of anything resembling true patriotism. (Perhaps they should be renamed the Sempronius Institute.) Third, there is a forgotten tale to be told which is worthy of any scholar's enterprise. Diametrically opposite of the popular entertainment of today, there was a time in our country when drama was a vehicle for nation building. View in your mindseye this play actually performed at Valley Forge in the winter of our nascent Republic's own discontent. Regard the remnants of an even greater forgotten dramatist and historian Schiller-- today only known as a nameplate for many monuments and parks around the country. (I suspect that this lapse in education was probably the result of the anti German jingoism dating from WWI.) Lastly, what more appropriate vehicle could drama today be put amidst the onrushing duel calamities of suicidal economic and military policies foisted on a mesmerized and basely "entertained" US public?

Friday, March 27, 2009

Beethoven and Riemann: Polemicists against Chaos Theory

Figures that hover above their own epochs sometimes not only anticipate happy developments but also unfortunate declines. Both Beethoven and Riemann attacked in advance the absurdities of today's Chaos "Theory" on their own terms. The Grosse Fugue presents the hearer with an apparently arbitrary sequence which is "resolved" through the ensuing movements of the piece. Thus Beethoven established a high water mark for all musical composition and anticipated the Listian descent into manneristic chromatic irrationality of today. Riemann's Zeta function/prime number hypothesis inter alia, likewise provides a method (via Dirichlet's principle) for resolving with functions of apparently arbitrary disorder. How unlike the probabilistic unreason leading to today's information, string and chaos theories, et al!

What more fitting spectacle than seeing the march of doom of the so called "quants" on Wall Street today.



Wednesday, March 25, 2009

A NIGHT-PIECE ON DEATH.

By the blue taper's trembling light,
No more I waste the wakeful night,
Intent with endless view to pore
The schoolmen and the sages o'er:
Their books from wisdom widely stray,
Or point at best the longest way.
I'll seek a readier path, and go
Where wisdom's surely taught below.

How deep yon azure dyes the sky,
Where orbs of gold unnumber'd lie,
While through their ranks in silver pride
The nether crescent seems to glide!
The slumbering breeze forgets to breathe,
The lake is smooth and clear beneath,
Where once again the spangled show
Descends to meet our eyes below.
The grounds which on the right aspire,
In dimness from the view retire:
The left presents a place of graves,
Whose wall the silent water laves.
That steeple guides thy doubtful sight,
Among the livid gleams of night.
There pass, with melancholy state,
By all the solemn heaps of fate,
And think, as softly-sad you tread
Above the venerable dead,
'Time was, like thee they life possess'd,
And time shall be, that thou shalt rest.'

Those graves, with bending osier bound,
That nameless heave the crumbled ground,
Quick to the glancing thought disclose
Where Toil and Poverty repose.

The flat smooth stones that bear a name,
The chisel's slender help to fame,
Which, e'er our set of friends decay,
Their frequent steps may wear away,
A middle race of mortals own,
Men half-ambitious, all unknown.

The marble tombs that rise on high,
Whose dead in vaulted arches lie,
Whose pillars swell with sculptured stones,
Arms, angels, epitaphs, and bones;--
These (all the poor remains of state)
Adorn the rich, or praise the great;
Who while on earth in fame they live,
Are senseless of the fame they give.

Ha! while I gaze, pale Cynthia fades,
The bursting earth unveils the shades!
All slow, and wan, and wrapp'd with shrouds,
They rise in visionary crowds,
And all with sober accent cry,
'Think, mortal, what it is to die!'

Now from yon black and funeral yew,
That bathes the charnal-house with dew,
Methinks I hear a voice begin;
(Ye ravens, cease your croaking din,
Ye tolling clocks, no time resound
O'er the long lake and midnight ground!)
It sends a peal of hollow groans,
Thus speaking from among the bones:

'When men my scythe and darts supply,
How great a king of fears am I!
They view me like the last of things:
They make, and then they dread, my stings.
Fools! if you less provoked your fears,
No more my spectre-form appears.
Death's but a path that must be trod,
If man would ever pass to God:
A port of calms, a state of ease
From the rough rage of swelling seas.

Why, then, thy flowing sable stoles,
Deep pendent cypress, mourning poles,
Loose scarfs to fall athwart thy weeds,
Long palls, drawn hearses, cover'd steeds,
And plumes of black, that, as they tread,
Nod o'er the 'scutcheons of the dead?

Nor can the parted body know,
Nor wants the soul these forms of woe:
As men who long in prison dwell,
With lamps that glimmer round the cell,
Whene'er their suffering years are run,
Spring forth to greet the glittering sun:
Such joy, though far transcending sense,
Have pious souls at parting hence.
On earth, and in the body placed,
A few, and evil years, they waste:
But when their chains are cast aside,
See the glad scene unfolding wide,
Clap the glad wing and tower away,
And mingle with the blaze of day!'


Thomas Parnell



So it must be with all things that have such a mournful and useless appearance on this earth. Most especially the current monetary system and its apologists!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

AIG Bonuses

If we as a nation are so crazy as to forgo bonuses for AIG employees whoever can we possibly get with the requisite expertise to take their place now that Bernard Madoff is going to jail? Maybe he could get a work release. (Alas.)

General Relativity, the Monadology, Harmony of the Worlds and the Degeneracy of Voltaire

When Plato's Socrates is situated declaiming on the degenerate profligacy of the wayward arts in the Republic, the perspective that must be allowed him should only be delimited to satirizing bacchantic frenzies as art that would masquerade as anything approaching truth in beauty. This perspective or weltanschauung is the Republic's myth of the cave or the island of Sancho Panza's governiate -- the make believe world of Lewis Carroll's Flatland or the false dichotomy of right brain/left brain of art versus science. It is the phony chop logic of Dr. Pangloss mock tragedy of Leibniz' genius, i.e. the eternal and continuously reenergized monadology.

Take, for example, Dante's Paradiso as a template. Did he not situate a sort of immortal dialectic or Socratic dialog on the completely relative frame of reference of the earth's moon in contradistinction to the idiocy of the Ptolemaic banality of "Mother Earth" Gaia corybantic phrensy (as in "Neoplatonic" cabbalists magic hokum)? Isn't this indeed that which Albert Einstein continued? The best of all possible worlds as opposed to the rock and rolldom's 666 Beast Aleister Crowley, is Einstein's own truly "gauge fixed" general relativity. Isn't this concept sempiternal? -- As it undergoes a continuous timely updating relative to one's own "mortal coil" in the here and now?

Image, if you will, the peculiar multifunctionality of the biophysical domain juxtaposed to the merely inorganic substrate whence it derives. The distance from that dead continuum to the plenum of the living realm is a "poetic" equivalent of the distance from the the living to the thinking self reflexive creativity of human endeavor. It is Cantor's transfinite conceptual updating of Nicholas of Cusa's non-other. Which is the refutation at once of both "cybernetics" and the degenerate Cartesian Grassmanian Wienerian fiction of "absolute entropy". (As opposed to the relative correctness of the Carnot cycle.)

This Schopenhauer-like world weariness emerges from a Mephistophelian myopia. In the make believe land where supposedly "we all agree that no one foresaw the current economic crisis" (except for modern day Epimethius LaRouche) we kowtow to feces on a canvass as art. This is the true aesthetic excresance of the misbegotten progeny of Mr. Voluntaire's misconception.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Is Our Future Happiness Subject to the Whims of Mere Chance?

When a promising, brilliant youth is struck down by what seems to be the indiscriminate scythe of our earthly scourge, it is only natural that we question whether justice is an but an illusion. Yet, if we look to the lights bequeathed us from the best minds humanity has had to offer, we may not only draw solace, but redouble our own dedication to make this brief lifespan mean more than the passing alternation of ephemeral joy and sadness.

Look in your heart at the scene, if you will, of Socrates becalming the tearful dread of his acolytes at the approach of the quickening poison which ended his journey among us. You will see there that the tyranny of the mob which sentenced him could not quench his perfect equanimity at the prospect of the beneficence of a knowable goodness that will forever spur mankind on to discover the ever elusive fruits of this creation. This future is so designed as to permit us to pass on something to our posterity of lasting and continuing goodness. If only we heed that challenge, then our contribution however passing cannot be for naught. For the great tapestry of civilization's delicate woof allures and encompasses all our best endeavors. And we may let our fairest Adonais be grieved to the requiem of this our imperfect inkling of immortality.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Riemannian approach to biophysical and physical phenomena

It becomes quite startlingly apparent when surveying recent biophysical experimentation that there inheres a plenum-like density of multi-valued biophysical phase space.


A genome-wide study of transcription in yeast redefines the concept of promoters

Genes that contain instructions for making proteins make up less than 2% of the human genome. Yet, for unknown reasons, most of our genome is transcribed into RNA. The same is true for many other organisms that are easier to study than humans. Researchers in the groups of Lars Steinmetz at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg, Germany, and Wolfgang Huber at the European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI) in Hinxton, UK, have now unravelled how yeast generates its transcripts and have come a step closer to understanding their function. The study, published online in Nature, redefines the concept of promoters (the start sites of transcription) contradicting the established notion that they support transcription in one direction only. The results are also representative of transcription in humans.

Investigating all transcripts produced in a yeast cell, the scientists found that most regions of the yeast genome produce several transcripts starting at the same promoter. These transcripts are interleaved and overlapping on the DNA. In contrast to what was previously thought, the vast majority of promoters seem to initiate transcription in both directions.

Not all of the produced transcripts are stable, many are degraded rapidly making it difficult to observe what they do. While some of the RNA molecules might be 'transcriptional noise' without function, other transcripts control the expression of genes and production of proteins. The act of transcription itself is also likely to play an important role in regulation of gene expression. Transcribing one stretch of DNA might either help or in other cases interfere with the transcription of a gene close by. Moreover, transcripts without a current purpose can serve as 'raw material for evolution' and acquire new functions over time.

The results shed light on the complex organisation of the yeast genome and the insights gained extend to transcription in humans. A better understanding of transcription mechanisms could find application in new technologies to tune gene regulation in the future.


The above, for example suggests "branch points" of a biophysical phase space of 2 sheeted surface of n functional dimensions. This is only one recent example. But it is quite obvious that there are a whole domain of instances wherein we find such a multi functional phase space embedded within the proteome. It is likewise becoming demonstrable that there obtains a similar ordering in many extreme regimes of the physics of the abiotic. For example, it has recently been shown that the superconductivity/permittivity band gap may coexist in certain alloys rather than being separate phases.

Transport properties of high transition temperature (high-Tc) superconductors apparently demonstrate two distinct relaxation rates in the normal state. We propose that this superficial inconsistence can be resolved with an effective carrier (quasiparticle) density n almost linear in temperature T. Experimental evidence both for and against this explanation is analyzed and we conclude that this offers a clear yet promising scenario. Band structure calculation was utilized to determine the Fermi surface topology of the cuprate superconductor versus doping. The results demonstrate that an electron-like portion of the Fermi surface exists in a wide range of doping levels even for a p-type superconductor, exemplified by La2−xSrxCuO4−δ (LSCO). Such electron-like segments have also been confirmed in recent photoemission electron spectroscopy. The Coulomb interaction between electron-like and hole-like quasiparticles then forms a bound state, similar to that of an exciton. As a result the number of charge carriers upon cooling temperature is decreased. A quantum mechanical calculation of scattering cross section demonstrates that a T2 relaxation rate is born out of an electron–hole collision process. Above the pseudogap temperature T* the normal state of high-Tc cuprates is close to a two-component Fermi liquid. It, however, assumes non-Fermi-liquid behavior below T*.



This bridging of the abiotic domain to the biotic domain represents a boundary layer whereby a kind of potential shockwave forcing curvature operates. That is, scientists may, by forcing an ordinary physical phase into an extreme configuration "mimic" a rather ordinary biophysical condition. (For instance, quasi-crystals and the Bose Einstein state also immediately come to mind.)

Now, the movement across this boundary may also be seen as a multi-sheeted Riemann surface. Photosynthesis represents one such sheet in this overarching manifold; whereas, technological intervention creating such extreme regimes would represent another higher order sheet whereby the noetic domain reorders the characteristic biophysical space. Likewise, noesis (technological creativity) may operate upon the boundary between the biophysical to noetic domains as is evident in the history of advances in agronomy and medicine, inter alia.

As I have referenced elsewhere, it is via a combination of Riemann's method that accurately predicted sonic shockwave theory, and Cantor's transfinite sequencing of nested manifolds, that this functional interplay among Vernadsky's identification of three qualitatively distinct domains comes into focus. This overview represents a long term project orientation for science.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Tilting at Windmills

Indeed, I believe you are quite right to abjure this delusory modern day jousting at windmills by the environauts. However, the solution to the current deleveraging of the multi-trillion dollar speculative derivatives bubble is neither neo-Keysnianism nor gold bug/Ron Paul phantasmagoria. Both of these mindsets hold that wealth is a material "thing." Either money for the Keynesian monetarist or some quantity of gold for the anti National Bank Jacksonian populists. These are just two sides of the same coin. The crisis we have now to overcome is due to the abandonment of the funding of our physical economy. It has broken down. Trying to save the bubble of speculation is like a doctor trying to save the cancer rather than the patient. We need to put the speculators through chapter 11 bankruptcy and set up a new credit creation mechanism not controlled by Wall Street ala the Federal Reserve. We need credit investments in infrastructure, rail, power grids, waterways, and power production, i.e. nuclear. It doesn't matter if we hoard all the gold in the world in our fallout shelters with our tinfoil hats. Investment in that which progressively improves the standard of living is what we must move into. If we don't then I'm afraid we will live to sorely regret it.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Fickle Fingers

This is a scream, although I'm exhibiting a longer middle finger for the financial traders.




"Abstract

Prenatal androgens have important organizing effects on brain development and future behavior. The second-to-fourth digit length ratio (2D:4D) has been proposed as a marker of these prenatal androgen effects, a relatively longer fourth finger indicating higher prenatal androgen exposure. 2D:4D has been shown to predict success in highly competitive sports. Yet, little is known about the effects of prenatal androgens on an economically influential class of competitive risk taking—trading in the financial world. Here, we report the findings of a study conducted in the City of London in which we sampled 2D:4D from a group of male traders engaged in what is variously called “noise” or “high-frequency” trading. We found that 2D:4D predicted the traders' long-term profitability as well as the number of years they remained in the business. 2D:4D also predicted the sensitivity of their profitability to increases both in circulating testosterone and in market volatility. Our results suggest that prenatal androgens increase risk preferences and promote more rapid visuomotor scanning and physical reflexes. The success and longevity of traders exposed to high levels of prenatal androgens further suggests that financial markets may select for biological traits rather than rational expectations."

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Lucrezia Borgia: Epitome of an Historical Lesson

Diane Yvonne Ghirardo has taken a page for the method of historical investigation from Dupin's purloined letter of Poe's fable. Fiction: which is stranger and more real than the flatulent pedantry of empiricism. Ms. Ghirardo, society owes you an undying debt of gratitude (of historic proportions) for your detective work.

While history's dunces compliment one another on their oh so profound erudition like Goya's educated donkeys. Their deviltry having even pulled the wool over Shakespeare's eyes anent republican Machiavelli, they have scoured the sewers of Rome with their poison pens. But Lucrezia has cleared herself by draining the stinking fens and doing what no mere diabolic female was meant to do: the work of Ben Franklin's Mrs Dogood.

Hail to thee - most divine ladies all. Your ethereal irony has thwarted the pestilent lackeys of the creeping Hoggian ilk.

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