Sunday, October 28, 2012

science thought that confuses me greatly


almost every single physics process looks the same backwards in time and forwards in time.

people have learnt to tell which one is which on a large scale, something attributed to entropy (the idea that things always get messier). so when a glass smashes into a million pieces you can tell if a video shows it going forwards in time or backwards.
even though entropy makes it clear in our understanding, there's no good explanation why this is the case.

(for counter example, take a ball, throw it up and catch it, and that video will look identical forwards and backwards.)

and it's not so simple when mathematically looking at processes. eg an electron going forwards in time looks identical to a positron (it's antiparticle) going backwards in time. EXACTLY the same. some dude postulated that there could be just one electron, and it goes forwards and backwards a lot to make it look like there are lots of electrons and positrons!

as for things travelling at the speed of light, they don't even travel through time!

all forces and interactions have no sense of time. as in, stuff can happen forwards or backwards, and you can't tell them apart*. many interactions don't even include time as part of their equations. eg the gravitational attraction between the earth and the moon, or the repulsion of the same end of a magnet.

things that no one knows include:
why time goes forward
whether time is continuous, or made up of very small steps

thinking about these things is painful to my mind.

*there is one fundamental force which isn't perfectly symmetrical and explains why there is more matter than antimatter. iirc it's called CP violation, and this violation means when you add time in there, it might look different forwards and backwards. i remember something here then explaining there being more matter than antimatter but even if i merember that correctly, that's for another day.

Friday, October 26, 2012

its definitely not about the bike

i read the whole reasoned decision thing from the usada. i never used to be at all interested in cycling till a few years back. it's quite an interesting team, tactical, mental and physical sport.

a few things struck me in and about the report and it's surroundings.

1) there is no scientific evidence. they very occasionally allude to scientific evidence but didn't really say they had any, let alone provide any.

2) the case is built almost entirely on what other people have said. nothing else.

2a) nonetheless the case is quite strong.

3) they have many occasions of terribly flawed logic
exhibit a) person A sees something. he tells persons B and C.
person A swears he saw it. person B swears A told him he saw hit, person C also swears person A told him. That sequence is described as triple confirmation of the event occurring.
amazingly, they do this on more than one occasion, calling things doubly confirmed when it's just a person A and B.
exhibit b) they say that if people who confess have nothing to gain from the confession, their confession is worth more.
i assume this means that if people do have something to gain their confession is worth less.
they then proceed to say how all the confessors have had nothing to gain. which is blatantly wrong. writing books, tv appearances, reduced sentences, etc. there was lots to gain.

4) it's weird how as soon as he quit, lots of his ex team mates got caught. like they suddenly forgot how to avoid getting caught.

5) he's still quite good at triathlons.

6) it's a shame if it's true, and it appears to be true. i hope that his cancer charity doesn't suffer.

as i imagine others have said, it seems that it was indeed, not about the bike.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Revenge is good

for some reason i started thinking about the selfish nature of humans, and that oft quoted aspect that people only ever doing things for themselves. and it's possible i've remembered an exception. the experiment goes something like this:
i sit you down at a table. i tell you there's someone in the room next door. i place £10 in front of you and tell you to offer as much or as little of this as you like to the person next door, the rest you keep. the catch (of course there's a catch!) is that they have to accept the offer for you both to receive the money. otherwise you both get nothing.

in theory, they should accept anything, since 1p > 0. however, most people would reject a deal splitting it £9.99 and 1p, because of revenge. this concept is so ingrained, i don't think anyone who took part in this experiment offered so little because they knew it would get rejected.

people rejecting offers which are too low, and hurting themselves is purely spite. but this fear of revenge where people hurt themselves to hurt you more is apparently good for society.

a guy at MIT called Dan Ariely has written books and papers on the subject. My only problem is that he called the book the upside of irrationality and then described how all these seemingly irrational actions were rational. so it should be called the upside of counter-intuitivity.
anyway, there's a nice clip of him explaining it here

turns out, revenge is also done for selfish reasons since you benefit long term.

Thursday, October 18, 2012


although it may seem more like objectification (it's not)

for verification purposes
1) flag girl (aforementioned post)
2) gym girl (who seems to have stopped going to the gym)
3) canteen girl (who i think was staring at me earlier in the week)

however, i was unable to find/talk to any of them this week. i did however, make a terrible and very brief conversation with an insanely attractive lady. she reminded me a little bit of the lady villain from die hard 3. but with a more attractive everything. an 11/10 imho.

luckily i had to travel to south london this week which was incredibly scary.
next week i think i'm going to have to talk to one of these ladies as there is nothing else on the scare table. hopefully, this scare goal will turn into more pleasant experiences!

while i still remember, i realised that when you go out in a group of three, and you all sit in a line, (eg gig or train) the person sitting in the middle has a lot of responsibility. you have to listen to whoever is talking. you sometimes have to choose when they both speak at the same time. you also have to decide which one to talk to when you have an idea of talk. a lot of responsibility. and i think some people take it too lightly.

Sunday, October 14, 2012


for the first time since starting (almost) regularly working out a few months back, i think i've noticed an increase in breast size. this is a fantastical development. i haven't weighed myself in a while, and while i hope the weight count is going to up a healthly amount, i fear that following a bout of gastric troubles i may just be where i've been for the past few months. never mind, onwards and slightly upwards.

also, i have updated my goals section. i found i ran out of ideas on how to scare myself. going rock climbing was a great one, especially as every time i go i do a slightly more scary climb up a wall. haven't been for a few weeks though.

also updated is the 'get a job' to 'get a better job'. but before i leave i should probably talk to one of three attractive girls that i have found. the trouble is which one? (or more accurately, in which order do i want to get rejected.)

i also need to decide what to say. i don't really have an opening gambit. except for one who i asked about the flags marauding around the walls of her office. i could begin by saying "hi flag lady". but that's as far as the conversation in my head has got. i didn't ask her name the one time we spoke, but i'll call her flag girl for future reference.

the only thought i have for what to say is based on louis ck's asking out of a librarian toward the end of episode 4, season 3. i couldn't find a clip online for you, nor could i work out how to record it off my computer. but just know that it's good.

Friday, October 12, 2012

slam dunc

duncan jenkins was a hilarious parody account on twitter.

a self titled "perspiring football journo" he made quite funny comments quite regularly, and all rather original. he often tweeted about liverpool, as the man behind the scenes was a liverpool fan. a month or two back, the account pretty much stopped.

this is a link to the story of why. it is more amazing than the lance armstrong case.

(also, every time i see the villains name, Chang, i think of Chang from community)

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

an assortment of thoughts

"wish me luck"
really? if you need to ask for it, then maybe it won't be sincere if people offer it. what next? wish me congratulations? wish me presents?

birthday card etiquette. why can't i just throw the card away straight away? perhaps not in your face, but by that evening, i don't need the card anymore. also, is there a time limit for how long you're allowed to keep a card? there should be.
i can't remember if this has been done in seinfeld or curb. if not, i'm doing it.

if hot drinks cool you down, why don't cold drinks heat you up?

i always forget how much i hate the cinema till i get there.

when you have a job, how are you supposed to go the bank to cash a cheque? who uses cheques these days anyway.

why is there money in my pokerstars account?
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