13 Matching Annotations
  1. Last 7 days
    1. First, I am a big fan of Chris’ posts. He is our best historian. Second, I did not challenge his ideas but asked for clarification about some terms which I believe are of general interest. Chris is well-positioned to answer my questions. Third, statistical mechanics is more about microscopic systems that do not evolve. As we know, ideas (from concepts to theories) evolve and generally emerge from previous ideas. Emergence is the key concept here. I suggested Phenomics as a potential metaphor because it represents well the emergence of some systems (phenotypes) from pre-existing ones (genotypes).

      reply to u/New-Investigator-623 at https://www.reddit.com/r/antinet/comments/10r6uwp/comment/j6wy4mf/?utm_source=reddit&utm_medium=web2x&context=3

      Ideas, concepts, propositions, et al. in this context are just the nebulous dictionary definitions. Their roots and modern usage have so much baggage now that attempting to separate them into more technical meanings is difficult unless you've got a solid reason to do so. I certainly don't here. If you want to go down some of the rabbit hole on the differences, you might appreciate Winston Perez' work on concept modeling which he outlines with respect to innovation and creativity here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gGQ-dW7yfPc.

      I debated on a more basic framing of chemistry or microbiology versus statistical mechanics or even the closely related statistical thermodynamics, but for the analogy here, I think it works even if it may scare some off as "too hard". With about 20 linear feet of books in my library dedicated to biology, physics, math, engineering with a lot of direct focus on evolutionary theory, complexity theory, and information theory I would suggest that the underlying physics of statistical mechanics and related thermodynamics is precisely what allows the conditions for systems to evolve and emerge, for this is exactly what biological (and other) systems have done. For those intrigued, perhaps Stuart Kauffman's Origins of Order (if you're technically minded) or At Home in the Universe (if you're less technically oriented) are interesting with respect to complexity and emergence. There's also an interesting similar analogy to be made between a zettelkasten system and the systems described in Peter Hoffman's book Life's Rachet. I think that if carefully circumscribed, one could define a zettelkasten to be "alive". That's a bigger thesis for another time. I was also trying to stay away from the broad idea of "atomic" and drawing attention to "atomic notes" as a concept. I'm still waiting for some bright physicist to talk about sub-atomic notes and what that might mean... I see where you're going with phenomics, but chemistry and statistical mechanics were already further afield than the intended audience who already have issues with "The Two Cultures". Getting into phenomics was just a bridge too far... not to mention, vastly more difficult to attempt to draw(!!!). 😉 Besides, I didn't want Carol Greider dropping into my DMs asking me why didn't I include telomeres or chancing an uncomfortable LAX-BWI flight and a train/cab ride into Baltimore with Peter Agre who's popped up next to me on more than one occasion.

      Honestly, I was much less satisfied with the nebulousness of "solution of life"... fortunately no one seems to be complaining about that or their inability to grapple with catalysis. 🤷🏼

  2. Jan 2023
  3. Dec 2022
    1. Aleatoric music (also aleatory music or chance music; from the Latin word alea, meaning "dice") is music in which some element of the composition is left to chance, and/or some primary element of a composed work's realization is left to the determination of its performer(s). The term is most often associated with procedures in which the chance element involves a relatively limited number of possibilities.
    1. What greater education and skills allow an individual to do is to move fur-ther up in the overall queue of people looking to find a well-paying and re-warding job. However, because of the limited number of such jobs, only a setamount of people will be able to land such jobs. Consequently, one’s positionin the queue can change as a result of human capital, but the same amount ofpeople will still be stuck at the end of the line if the overall opportunities re-main the same.

      There is a direct analogy to statistical mechanics and thermodynamics to be drawn here.

    2. One of the clear signs that the bottleneck to low-income adults working moreresults from their lack of opportunities is provided by looking at their hours of workover the business cycle. When the economy is strong and jobs are plentiful, low-incomeworkers are more likely to find work, find work with higher pay, and be able to securemore hours of work than when the economy is weak. In 2000, when the economy wasclose to genuine full employment, the unemployment rate averaged 4.0 percent and thepoverty rate was 11.3 percent; but in 2010, in the aftermath of the Great Recession, theunemployment rate averaged 9.6 percent and the poverty rate was almost 15.1 percent.What changed in those years was not poor families’ attitudes toward work but simplythe availability of jobs. Among the bottom one-fifth of nonelderly households, hoursworked per household were about 40 percent higher in the tight labor market of 2000than in recession- plagued 2010.Given the opportunity for work or additional work hours, low-income Americanswork more. A full-employment agenda that increases opportunities in the labor market,alongside stronger labor standards such as a higher minimum wage, reduces poverty.

      How can we frame the science of poverty with respect to the model of statistical mechanics?

      Unemployment numbers have very little to do with levels of poverty. They definitely don't seem to be correlated with poverty levels, in fact perhaps inversely so. Many would say that people are lazy and don't want to work when the general reality is that they do want to work (for a variety of reasons including identity and self-esteem), but the amount of work they can find and the pay they receive for it are the bigger problems.

  4. Sep 2022
    1. For millions of Americans who are living pay-check to paycheck and precariously close to the poverty line, normal life eventslike the birth of a child or temporary loss of a job can send them below thepoverty line. But poverty spells tend to be short, and they are caused by the riskassociated with normal events that happen to most of us across the life course.They are just more catastrophic for some than for others.

      Can poverty be modeled after a statistical thermodynamic framework? How might we move the set point for poverty up significantly to prevent the ill effects of regular, repeated poverty?

      What does the complexity of poverty indicate? Within the web of potential indicators, what might be done to vastly mitigate the movement of people in and out of poverty? What sorts of additional resiliency can be built into the system?

  5. May 2021
  6. Mar 2021
    1. There's an interesting suggestion associated with this, that periodic fasting causes autophagy, which Taleb claims is an evolutionary process by which the weaker proteins are broken down first. If this is true, then always having a full stomach is another way of subsidizing the unfit and weakening the organism.

      This will depend on a very specific and narrow definition of fitness--perhaps one from a very individualistic and libertarian perspective.

      There is fitness at the level of the gene, the organ, the individual, and the group, and even possibly larger groupings above that.

      What if, by starving out and leaving "uneducated" people like Srinivasa Ramanujan, for example, who surely was marginalized for his time, society is left without them? While on an individual level Ramanujan may have been less fit on some levels as G.H. Hardy and may have otherwise dwindled and disappeared, Hardy adopted him and made both mathematicians better while also making dramatic strides for mankind.

      From a statistical mechanics perspective, within some reasonable limits, we should be focusing on improving ourselves as well as the larger group(s) because the end results for humanity and life in general may be dramatically improved. (Though what we mean by improved here may be called into question from a definitional perspective.)

      Compare this with [Malcolm Gladwell]]'s argument in My Little Hundred Million.

      On a nationalistic level within human politics, Republicans should be less reticent to help out marginalized Americans because it may be from this pool of potential that we may find life saving improvements or even protection from other polities (ie, in our competition or threats from countries like China, Iran, North Korea). Consider how different things may have been had the U.S. not taken in Jewish or other foreign nationals like Albert Einstein, John von Neumann, etc. in the early to mid-1900s.? Now consider, which life changing geniuses we may be preventing reaching their potential by our current immigration policies? our current educational policies?

  7. Oct 2020
    1. Come on, harvest me! I’ll just change your world some more.

      I wonder a bit here about the idea of what in a meme might have a substrate type of effect to decrease the overall energy of the process to help it take off.

    1. Problems of disorganized complexity are problems that can be described using averages and distributions, and that do not depend on the identity of the elements involved in a system, or their precise patterns of interactions. A classic example of a problem of disorganized complexity is the statistical mechanics of Ludwig Boltzmann, James-Clerk Maxwell, and Willard Gibbs, which focuses on the properties of gases.
  8. Mar 2020
    1. Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. —Steve Jobs (via lifehacker and Zettel no. 201308301352)

      in other words, it's just statistical thermodynamics. Eventually small pieces will float by each other and stick together in new and hopefully interesting ways. The more particles you've got and the more you can potentially connect or link things, the better off you'll be.