Sunday, February 16, 2014

Design Science (again)

So what was design science again?  My school of thought puts a premium on artifacts as the precursors of social change, recognizing the feedback loop i.e. necessity as a mother of invention (but perhaps not the only parent).

We have a rooted middle class apartment or home based lifestyle, a more mobile on the road style, or styles, depending on the media of conveyance.  The trucker sleeps at rest stops some nights, or at a motel depending on size of parking lot accommodations.  A Best Western right off the freeway...

Then we have outright camping, which borders on abject poverty on the one hand, and recreational hobby on the other.  In between, there's living in your RV, a motorized lifestyle the North Americans enjoy, but has some appeal to gypsies and traveling circuses, as a technology.  The hippie school bus was a local variant.

Design science is about lowering the barriers to entry, for those idealistic groups that aren't just escapist cults, though maybe some are.  To publish a catalog of livingry solutions is not to pass judgement on every lifestyle experiment people come up with.  The "army surplus" store takes the same angle:  the gear here could save your life or fail to, if not used wisely or pushed beyond its means.  Is that sleeping bag really warm enough for what you have in mind?  Too heavy?

Fuller especially was concerned about weight.  He wanted portability and easy deliverability, a solution you could trust and forget about in most circumstances.  That thing about "but how would we survive in this wilderness a 100 miles from any supplies" starts to have an answer.  He imagined helicopters doing a lot, but that's really just one option.  You'll need some power, some 3D printers, bandwidth, LCDs...  the global average "university dorm" is none too shabby.  Aerospace tech.  But not unaffordable as in "only for the super rich".

In other words, how might one facilitate peoples producing those experimental communities they always dream about.  Get the paperwork done ahead of time, let local communities screen applications, if locals pertain.  We could be attempting a true wilderness community, for science in some way.  The beauty of lightweight and portable is you have the capability to leave no trace, once the experiments have run their course.

One of the more dreamed-about models was the Fly's Eye Dome, I think because of its tri-pod foundation, that of a landed spaceship.  They idea would be these things could be lowered and/or assembled just about anywhere and not require extensive pouring of concrete.  That was my fantasy at any rate.  I feasible these things would be in practice we may not learn in my time slice / generation.  Some of this research into livingry options is currently on hold, as we continue to contemplate our weapons of mass suicide.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Double Slit Experiment

The double slit experiment is always animated in depressingly the same way.  Let me offer another viewpoint, not in contradiction with any experiments.

Have the screen at the back where the light "hits" be a landscape you're in, which suggests, because of gravity, that your beams are shooting "down" (already a change!).  You're in a position to walk around.

You're like a microscopic bug, or no, wait, human sized is fine, but over your head is this vast firmament, a ceiling, a light blocker, with only one or two slits opening for light.

When one slit opens in the Great Vault, your prison under it illuminates with a dull light from the great brightness beyond, a "cone" (slit-sourced) of brightness, a single shaft.

We could go on and on about when you might or might not know about the world outside -- not relevant.

When two slits open in the Great Vault, you get a "bar pattern" of light and dark on the floor.  You can stand in a shadow.  Looking up, the slits appear darkened.  Shift over, and they're double bright.  As you move, you see waxing and waning in brightness from the slits.

Your eyes are the sensors on the plate, in other words, and the bands of light and shadow have a "first person" aspect.  You might say:  "the bar between the slits casts many shadows as the light is bent around it at various angles" -- your wave theory is kicking in, as waves are bent by slits in just this way.

This might be called First Person Physics in the sense that you paint your self in as a sensing observer and imagine (animate, simulate) yourself in various places, experiencing the phenomena.

Being aware of an observer is nothing new in physics.  One remembers the observer must be likewise accounted for as an energy sink or perhaps source, in any observed scenario.

Enough pretending the cameraman was never there.  To have any information at all about a situation is to feed off it in some way, an energy transaction in the conservation equations.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Why Wanderers?

Why do we name our little chat club at the Pauling House "Wanderers"? 

We cite this quote:

“Science would be ruined if it were to withdraw entirely into narrowly defined specialties.  The rare scholars who are wanderers-by-choice are essential to the intellectual welfare of the settled disciplines.”   -- Benoit Mandelbrot