Thursday Throughput for 4/11/19


Michael Siegel

Michael Siegel is an astronomer living in Pennsylvania. He is on Twitter, blogs at his own site, and has written a novel.

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10 Responses

  1. Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

    I found this amusing in relation to the black hole.

    I’ve been told that Black Holes & Time Warps by Kip Thorne is a good text for non-physicists to read if they want to know more about such things and don’t have an advanced STEM degree.Report

  2. Avatar Michael Cain says:

    ThTh1: I love that in this day of fiber optics and the internet, data transfer is by sneakernet (fly a stack of hard disks from each telescope to a central location). As we used to say, back in the day, “Consider a pickup truck full of data CDs driven nonstop from Seattle to Miami by a team of graduate students. The bandwidth is impressive; the latency sucks.”

    Tangentially, earlier this week I pulled out one of my backup CDRs from 1995. Still mounts on my Mac, and the data appears to be intact.Report

  3. Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

    ThTh10: I just finished watching the first season of a new animated show called Gen:Lock (I should do a TenShot about it…) that touches on this, a bit.Report

  4. Avatar LeeEsq says:

    The Black Hole is a flaming cheerio in black coffee.Report

    • Avatar Marchmaine says:

      I find it a sublime example of Chiaroscuro; Dutch renaissance using light to highlight the focal point off center while allowing the rest to soften, unfocus and fade into darkness. There’s also an implied motion, like a spring sprung yet captured at one singular moment. Very nearly perfect, really.

      But sure, your flaming cheerio description is good too.

      { I tease 🙂 }Report

  5. Avatar veronica d says:

    [ThTh10] Yes yes yes!

    The “AI futurist” crowd bugs me to no end. Brains are embodied, and computer programs are not. The difference seems stark.

    I do, however, think this comment skips a few steps:

    Worse still, even if we had the ability to take a snapshot of all of the brain’s 86 billion neurons and then to simulate the state of those neurons in a computer, that vast pattern would mean nothing outside the body of the brain that produced it.

    The correct answer is I don’t know (and neither do you). This is the Hard Problem of Consciousness. Can matter in motion lead to qualia? Do qualia even exist? (I think they do, at least it feels as if they do, and isn’t “feels as if X” not the definition of qualia, unless it isn’t, and dammit I don’t know.)

    I guess my point is, what bugs me most about the “AI futurist” crowd is their naivete.Report

  6. Avatar George Turner says:

    Beresheet just suffered a main engine failure during descent and impacted the lunar surface.

    Youtube feed of the landing attempt.Report

  7. Avatar Michael Cain says:

    Falcon Heavy launch this afternoon, all three booster cores landed successfully at their target return points. The live feed of the pair landing at Cape Canaveral within a few seconds of each other still looks like CGI.Report