Posts Tagged ‘Physical sciences and mathematics’

Thermal lance from the movie “Thief”


(If the video won’t play, just click through to YouTube as suggested.)

This scene in the movie appears not to be the scene where James Caan’s character uses the thermal lance to open a safe, but rather when he acquires one made for him by a friend. This is from one of the films discussed here:

Five more movies for men

More women and geometry


Another example of bluish whites of the eyes



I discussed what I think the science of this effect is here.

Why I don’t think we are living in a simulation

The idea that this world is not in some sense “real” but that we are living in a simulation has gone from a notion in the minds of a couple of fairly obscure thinkers a few years ago to mainstream news.

‘We will prove we’re in a simulation’ Silicon Valley convinced we’re living in the MATRIX

It is a remarkably hard idea to shake, and it is not surprising that the notion has been catching on among technocrats who think of themselves as radical thinkers and iconoclasts. (After all, what idol is more worth smashing than the mundane concept of “reality”.)

Nick Bostrom was one of the originators of the idea. The ever-imaginative Robin Hanson has even provided us with hints on how to live in a simulation.

In my opinion, this idea founders on the same problem that materialism cannot explain: the existence of qualia. I have written about why I consider that the existence of qualia requires a non-material solution in this paper. It seems to me that if phenomena we all experience in this world (pain, pleasure, emotions) cannot be reduced to a physical explanation, the possibility that we are living in a purely physical “computer simulation” can be dismissed.

“Shirtgate” scientist “mansplains” comet

Dr Matt Taylor, famously attacked by feminists for wearing the wrong shirt, explains how the Rosetta cometary mission is now coming to its successful end. It is good to see he escaped the feminist online mob fundamentally unscathed.

Rosetta mission to end with spacecraft crash-landing into comet


The news is that cometary water probably didn’t contribute to earth’s water but comets may have supplied some of the “building blocks” of life on Earth such as amino acids. Sir Fred Hoyle would be pleased. He used to argue that this sort of thing was likely.


Rachael’s body and Siri’s personality

What sexbots have lacked is personality.

To follow on from my previous post, I wonder if what is needed to satisfy men who will not have or desire a sexual relationship with a real woman is that the doll or fembot has a personality. Maybe one like the digital personal assistant, Siri. Here is how she is described in a left-wing publication:

” Writing in The Guardian, journalist Charlie Brooker considered Siri’s personality to be unpleasantly servile, but found that the software worked ‘annoyingly well.’ “

That sounds perfect. A combination of Rachael the replicant’s appearance and Siri’s personality would keep many men quite happy.



I predict that in a few years’ time we shall see Miss Robot World contests. Clever young men will build these ersatz females as they currently build fighting robots and chess programs. And they will appear in competitions. I am sure they can be programmed to say that they long for world peace.

Science and Girls

Sexbots: Why Women Should Panic

One of the largely unremarked aspects of James Dewey Watson’s classic account of winning the Nobel Prize by discovering the structure of DNA is the undercurrent of sexual frustration.

In his book The Double Helix, Watson discusses his disappointment in the supposedly erotic film he went to see in Cambridge (UK), and the account of his scientific success leads to his expressing a hope that he might find a non-faculty type wife. Presumably he meant attractive rather than a bluestocking.

Elsewhere he explains, if I recall correctly, that life back in those days (the Fifties) allowed few exciting outlets for young men. He states that science was one of the few available outlets for the imagination.

As Milo argues in the piece cited above, bright young men today are as happy playing modern video games as they would be solving real scientific and technical problems.

Young women have increasingly chosen not to take up their part of the traditional social bargain. It is possible that men are now poised to drop their bundle too. What part the sexbots Milo discusses will play in this is hard to say. But as real women become increasingly unattainable and possibly risky to interact with for legal reasons, a lot of men might choose to opt out of the human mating game altogether.

Wooing women has always had elements of danger. But there are now so many legal mantraps involved in the process, including after the nuptials, that it has become hardly worth the risk.

The Alt-Right is surely driven in large part by socially disenfranchised young men. Its imagination, humour and iconoclasm are typically male.

My latest copy of The Economist has a piece on the Alt-Right. They get it wrong. I suspect as they have to grapple with it more seriously, they will come to understand it better. They will be forced to.


More female geometry


Instagram creates a virtual, imaginary location

There is no such place as Ginnedra Lake (there is however a Lake Ginninderra in Canberra, Australia, where I live). But enough people have labelled their photos as located at Ginnedra Lake by mistake, that Instagram thinks it is a real place.



Lily-Rose Depp: Bluish whites of her eyes

I have written about this topic before. For example here. That is, the tendency for the sclerae (“whites”) in some young people’s eyes to show a bluish tinge. It is perhaps more common in women than men; seems to occur mostly in younger women; but does not show up all the time even in the same woman. I suspect it depends in part on the ambient light.

As I explained at the link above, I think it is probably due to the Tyndall effect.

Below are four photos of Lily-Rose Depp (daughter of Johnny Depp and Vanessa Paradis.) In the first three, the bluish whites are fairly obvious. In the last, not so much.