Quantum computing, sandwiches, scandinavian unexceptionalism, social pain and 3d printed coffee foam

But if quantum computers provide a new regime in which to probe quantum mechanics, that raises an even broader question: could the field of quantum computing somehow clear up the generations-old debate about the interpretation of quantum mechanics? Indeed, could it do that even before useful quantum computers are built?

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/blogs/physics/2015/06/can-quantum-computing-reveal-the-true-meaning-of-quantum-mechanics/


What Hayek understood, as did Fisher, is that politicians will supply what the public demands. Politicians are vote seekers. They have to get elected to office before they do anything else, and that means they have to respond to what the public wants. What the public wants, of course, is whatever they believe government can and/or should be doing. And what they believe government should be doing comes from the ideas they hear peddled by intellectuals.

https://www.atlasnetwork.org/news/article/reclaiming-classical-liberalism-through-the-realm-of-ideas


America is suffering from rampant, run-away corporatism and crony capitalism. We are increasingly a plutocracy in which government serves the interests of elite financiers and CEOs at the expense of everyone else.

You know this and you complain loudly about it. But the problem is your fault. You caused this state of affairs. Stop it.

But the moderate left didn’t want radical socialism. They just wanted regulatory agencies to rein in the excesses of the market. They wanted the government to subsidize or own areas that ought to be considered public goods, like healthcare, transportation, education, and the environment. But good intentions are not enough, writes Brennan.

We told you this would happen, but you wouldn’t listen. You complain, rightly, that regulatory agencies are controlled by the very corporations they are supposed to constrain. Well, yeah, we told you that would happen. When you create power—and you people love to create power—the unscrupulous seek to capture that power for their personal benefit. Time and time again, they succeed. We told you that would happen, and we gave you an accurate account of how it would happen.

You complain, perhaps rightly, that corporations are just too big. Well, yeah, we told you that would happen. When you create complicated tax codes, complicated regulatory regimes, and complicated licensing rules, these regulations naturally select for larger and larger corporations. We told you that would happen. Of course, these increasingly large corporations then capture these rules, codes, and regulations to disadvantage their competitors and exploit the rest of us. We told you that would happen.

http://fee.org/anythingpeaceful/detail/neoliberalism-making-a-boogeyman-out-of-a-buzzword


MOND does have a big victory over dark matter: it explains the rotation curves of galaxies better than dark matter ever has, including all the way up to the present day. But it is not yet a physical theory, and it is not consistent with the full suite of observations we have at our disposal. The reason you hear about dark matter is because it can give us the entire Universe, consistently, with the same single modification. MOND may yet turn out to be a clue to a fuller theory of gravity, and there are many who hope to someday derive the phenomenology of MOND from dark matter itself, a very ambitious project indeed!

But at present, MOND’s failures, cosmologically, make it far disfavored when compared to dark matter. It has its adherents and deserves to be considered and worked on, but it is not yet a viable alternative.

View story at Medium.com


Toulmin was a fascinating figure who led a fascinating life. He was trained in the sciences, and contributed to radar development and refinement for Britain during World War II. After the war, however, he turned his attention to philosophy, rather than the sciences, and took up an immensely important project.

http://ideas.aeon.co/viewpoints/fredrik-deboer-on-who-is-the-most-underappreciated-thinker-of-the-20th-century


A cliffside Slovenian castle sits on not just a network of secret caves that hid an infamously swashbuckling knight—who successfully held off a full offensive by the Holy Roman Empire for more than a year—but also a cache of buried treasure.

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/06/27/what-a-world-robin-hood-s-secret-castle.html


In 2007, Americans spent $2.9 billion on homeopathic medicine, a treatment based on the belief that minuscule amounts of what causes symptoms in a healthy person will alleviate symptoms in someone who is ill. From nutritional supplements to energy healing to acupuncture, treatments outside the medical mainstream are big business. But the vast majority of scientists find much of alternative medicine highly problematic.

http://www.wired.com/2015/04/alternative-medicine-believers-journey-back-science/


Just as leap years keep our calendars lined up with Earth’s revolution around the sun, leap seconds adjust for Earth’s rotation. This kind of fine-tuning wasn’t much of an issue before the invention of atomic clocks, whose ticks are defined by the cycling of atoms. Cesium-based clocks, one kind of atomic clock, measure the passage of time much more precisely than those based on the rotation of our planet, so adding a leap second allows astronomical time to catch up to atomic time.

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2015/06/150626-leap-second-earth-rotation-time-atomic-clock-science/


Human: what is the purpose of living?
Machine: to live forever.

http://www.wired.com/2015/06/google-made-chatbot-debates-meaning-life/


Good food is good food, no matter how you, er, slice it; whether you call a piece of bread that is smothered in pulled pork, cole slaw, and melted cheese a “sandwich” or something else won’t change the fact that it is delicious. In other ways, though, the sandwich-not-sandwich thing is an important distinction. It affects how foods are regulated and labeled. It also affects how foods are taxed.

http://www.theatlantic.com/video/archive/2014/09/what-is-a-sandwich-no-seriously-though/379944/


To answer that question, we follow the line of thinking of Max Planck, arguably the father of quantum mechanics, who wondered what a “natural unit” of distance might be—something not based on an arbitrary standard like meters or feet. He proposed a natural unit expressed using universal constants: the speed of light in a vacuum (c); the constant of gravitation, expressing the strength of the gravitational field (G); and what we now call Planck’s constant (h), expressing the relationship between a particle’s energy and its frequency. Planck found he could construct a distance, now known as the Planck length, LP, with the formula LP =(hG / 2πc3)1/2.

The Planck length turns out to be a very short distance: about 10-35 meters. It is a hundred million trillion times smaller than the diameter of a proton—too small to measure and, arguably, too small to ever be measured.

http://nautil.us/issue/2/uncertainty/a-universe-made-of-tiny-random-chunks


The descendants of Scandinavian migrants in the US combine the high living standards of the US with the high levels of equality of Scandinavian countries. Median incomes of Scandinavian descendants are 20 per cent higher than average US incomes. It is true that poverty rates in Scandinavian countries are lower than in the US. However, the poverty rate among descendants of Nordic immigrants in the US today is half the average poverty rate of Americans – this has been a consistent finding for decades. In fact, Scandinavian Americans have lower poverty rates than Scandinavian citizens who have not emigrated. This suggests that pre-existing cultural norms are responsible for the low levels of poverty among Scandinavians rather than Nordic welfare states.

http://marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2015/06/scandinavian-unexceptionalism.html


“I firmly believe the question of same sex marriage is a question of the definition of an institution, not the dignity of a human being. Every American has the right to pursue happiness as they see fit. Not every American has to agree on every issue, but all of us do have to share our country. A large number of Americans will continue to believe in traditional marriage, and a large number of Americans will be pleased with the Court’s decision today. In the years ahead, it is my hope that each side will respect the dignity of the other.”

http://townhall.com/tipsheet/christinerousselle/2015/06/26/roundup-2016-candidate-reactions-to-n2017928


social pain – the profound distress experienced when social ties are absent, threatened, damaged, or lost – is elaborated by the same neural and neurochemical substrates involved in processing physical pain

http://scitechconnect.elsevier.com/brain-feels-heartbreak/


“Where Ripple Maker will truly succeed is likely through business partnerships. What brand wouldn’t want to turn a cup of coffee into a drinkable billboard that almost everyone will surely Instagram?”

Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2015-06-message-bearing-coffee-foam-printer-mechanics.html#jCp

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