Wednesday, 26 June 2019

Trivializing philosophy is exactly what we ought to do

Your consciousness is that part of the cosmos which correlates perfectly with what it is to experience being you. In the end it doesn't say much more than that you are what you are. It's a trivial tautology. However, all valid logical reasoning is just tautologies anyway and in the end logical conclusions are nothing more than observing the unavoidable.

It is in fact unjustified thought that existence would require a reason. The cosmic wave function may be existence itself and as such it has always existed to the extent that time exists. Its deterministic time evolution among other things corresponds to our everyday experience of movement in time, but time too is just an aspect of existence like any other. We have no examples of things beginning to exist and no examples of things ceasing to exist so there is no argument to be made about the necessity of reasons for existence.

Generally speaking, trivialising philosophy (and all problems) is exactly the goal. This is the way problems are solved. Should there be something one doesn't know which would be necessary to construct a better model, one just records this gap of knowledge waiting to be filled in the future when sufficient data becomes available and stays on track with the best data and models so far until further notice.

There's almost infinite amount of complexity associated with every question imaginable, but if anyone is to get anywhere we must act pragmatically.

Saturday, 1 December 2018

Infinite and eternal

Here I describe an approach to metaphysics based on what I call the principle of metaphysical discrimination. The goal of this principle is to focus on dividing phenomena into clear meaningful distinct categories based on the kinds of limits that can be expected to originate from the continuum between the observed nature of ones own existence and all other existence (further from self). Supernatural postulates like God, being void of predictive utility, are ignored.

We could start by trying to address the question of what is consciousness and how can it exist in a world which seemingly appears to be nothing but a Turing machine (at least to the first order), but that might be waste of time and has been more or less fruitlessly done many times before. Instead, let's start by taking for granted that something we call consciousness exists, we know this because that's us. Whichever way consciousness works, cosmos contains everything that is needed. Let us also note that there exists a kind of limitation we might call a private experience or a qualia which exists for all consciousness we are aware of. This limitation appears to prevent us from knowing what (if anything) it feels like to be someone else.

This sort of limitation resembles a phenomena of complementarity in quantum mechanics which in its simplest form is a limitation on the information any single observer can possess about certain pairs of physical observables such as position and momentum. In this context we can remain agnostic about whether these variables even have an exact simultaneous fundamental existence, and instead simply note that even if they do, the nature of our existence prevents us from ever gaining such knowledge.

The existence of this sort of complementarity in nature leads me to consider the possibility that perhaps private experience is simply another facet of all existence and ultimately no more mysterious than any other observation. Then perhaps postulating that "there is more to things" is just a kind of superstition and ultimately everything simply boils down to observing the kinds of things that exist. One could bring up the experience of time evolution of "now" as another mysterious aspect of consciousness, but time too might be nothing more than another dimension of existence.

If there in fact is nothing more to existence than existence itself (is there really an alternative?) then there can be no reason for existence. Asking for such a reason isn't even coherent, reasons are just correlations in "the set of all existence". In the spirit of Gödel's incompleteness theorems, it probably remains forever impossible to exactly prove such to be the case, but it never the less can be true and the most reasonable conclusion.

Thursday, 22 November 2018

Conservation of etendue

Here's why you can't focus thermal light sources like the sun to a point which would get hotter than the emitting surface of the light source (omnidirectional thermal emitter). This would also violate the laws of thermodynamics. Here's what happens if you try... arrangement of lenses, mirrors or any passive elements allows focusing beyond the surface temperature of the source.
Lenses and parabolic mirrors rather than purely focusing, make an image which has a minimum size that is proportional to the distance of the thermal source and the intensity lost to distance balances the sheets so that focusing alone can't result in hotter spot than the surface of the emitter.

So no matter how large a magnifying glass, even the size of earth, your spot won't get hotter than the surface of the sun. It's just equalization of temperature between two objects assisted by the magnifying glass in a way similar to bringing the objects closer to each other.
However, pure unidirectional emitters like lasers don't exactly have to obey this kind of limit. High temperature corresponds to high entropy and high disorder, whereas in terms of entropy, laser light is highly ordered, but unlike cold systems which are void of energy, laser is a kind of saturated form of energy from which energy can always flow away to increase the entropy of a typical thermodynamic system. Classical thermodynamic systems can't have this sort of state as their entropy can always increase. Only certain well isolated systems can be temporarily driven to this kind of saturated state by external source of energy.

Saturday, 3 November 2018

Small Broadcast Video Monitor for Retrogaming

Retrogaming is best experienced with CRTs. There's least amount of delay and timing and scanline reproduction is authentic. SVGA CRTs designed for 70 Hz would perhaps be the sharpest, but their phosphors are a bit too fast so they flicker with PAL (50 Hz) and NTSC (60 Hz) refresh rates a bit too much in addition to requiring at least line doubling. They don't natively support the TV-era 50/60 Hz 240p modes, but were instead operated in line doubled modes where the common game resolution of 320x200 (70 Hz) was actualy drawn as 320x400. However, some SVGA monitors can be operated at twice the refresh rate at 120 Hz and 240p giving in some ways the best result. This still isn't fully NTSC faithful as there's no way to draw the image without a frame buffer, but it never the less is good for image quality comparisons.

I recently acquired a Broadcast Video Monitor (a kind of high quality TV-style display) so I could authentically and natively view PAL/NTSC signals.

Click to enlarge. Sony BVM-9044D (9" 450 line Trinitron) with analog coaxial RGB input (composite sync). Very clear scanlines. The signal is 240p 60 Hz NTSC. The displayed image has a resolution of 320x200. Horizontal resolution could perhaps be a bit higher, but overall I feel this kind of display would have been perfectly fine for DOS-era games.
Click to enlarge. Nokia 449Xi (15" >1000 line Trinitron) with analog VGA input (RGB). The displayed resolution is single scan 320x200 at 120 Hz.
Click to enlarge. Nokia 449Xi (15" >1000 line Trinitron) with analog VGA input (RGB). The displayed resolution is double scan 320x200 (so 320x400) at 70 Hz (standard mode 13h). Double scan results in very clear and sharp image.

Standard (S)VGA monitors can not be used to faithfully reproduce games such as those of Nintendo Entertainment System due to incompatible signal standards (PAL/NTSC vs. VGA). NTSC having a 15.723 kHz horizontal sync rate vs. VGA 31.46875 kHz. NTSC needs to be either line doubled or vertical scan rate doubled (or both). Doubling the vertical refresh rate would be desirable, but at the same time needs an undesirable frame buffer that adds some delay.

Difference between textmode (80x25) in 240p (60 Hz) with Sony BVM and 400p (70 Hz) SVGA monitor. VGA textmode characters are 9x16 pixels whereas in 240p the characters consist of 8x8 pixels. These correspond to resolutions 640x200 and 720x400.

A few more 240p shots perhaps less commonly from DOS games at 240p.

The monitors.

The TSRs needed for 240p 60 Hz and 120 Hz output in DOS.

Monday, 10 September 2018

Most new ideas are stupid and dangerous not unlike many old ideas, but some of the new ideas are vital and without them we're going to perish and die

The problem with reasons for causal things is that they're related to time, but causality is just an observation. Sticks don't come into existence at their tips. The tips are just an edge (of an object that exists). If the universe exists today, why would it exist tomorrow? What is the cause for the existence of tomorrow? No reason? Perhaps we should try to demonstrate that existence can never have a reason or more exactly that reasons for existence are ultimately nonsense. Then is the reason for the existence of consciousness also nonsense? Perhaps it too is just an observation about a thing that exist.


Why not just say that morality and values originate from our state of existence which is fundamentally arbitrary, but can be universal over a broad range of different societies to the extent that we humans share such conditions due to our evolutionary history.

Pareto efficiency is a state of allocation of resources from which it is impossible to reallocate so as to make any one individual or preference criterion better off without making at least one individual or preference criterion worse off. A production-possibility frontier, the red line in the figure above, is an example of a Pareto-efficient frontier, where the frontier and the area left and below it is a continuous room of choices. The red points on the frontier are examples of Pareto-optimal choices of production. Points off the frontier, such as N and K, are not Pareto-efficient, since there exist points on the frontier which Pareto-dominate them [wikipedia].
Suppose evil is defined as ignorance of all the well-being you and others would experience if you behaved another way. In principle dictatorship, free market economy and communism can all be Pareto optimal. Perhaps even societies with slavery. What is Pareto optimal depends on your values so even if evil is ignorance of the landscape of well-being you may well find yourself in favor of dictatorship even if you're well aware of the landscape. Even adding the veil of ignorance won't solve the equation.


Saturday, 1 September 2018

If you can't do the impossible, do the honorable

Often times when I sleep, I forget that there are painful and sometimes nearly impossible things I must eventually overcome or suffer what is to come. For a moment there I feel fine, but even in my sleep, I know that when I wake up, I will forever remember what's ahead. This is the state of my being, my every waking moment short of a few most intense minutes of the year. Every time I awaken from my amnesia, the memories hit me hard. It never goes away, and almost nothing affects it.

As time is running out, my faith in a future where I'm free from that fire is slowly fading away. Time itself has shown me, things I derive value from don't appear to be going my way. This is cause my true goals have always had poor prospects within my expected lifetime, but also because I've always had extremely hard time finding comparable value in anything else. The universe may hold unimaginable wonders, but that doesn't mean I wouldn't be stuck right where I am - until the end of time. Yet I go on.

Your existence is not knowledge you’ve discovered by deduction or any other method of reasoning. Rather it is a state of affairs you keep observing.

Reddit had some funny questions two people should ask each other before getting married. I'm not getting married, but theoretically speaking...

How many kids do you want? 0, so many of the following answers are purely theoretical.

What values do you want to install in your children? Kindness, thoughtfulness, rationality, fairness, forgiveness, patience, honesty, stability, nature, health, sense of hope and direction.

How do you want to discipline your kids? I haven't though about it since I don't want to have any kids. Probably would have to figure out something that would make them understand clearly why they're being disciplined and something that is fair and proportionate.

What would you do if one of your children said he was homosexual? Nothing, I'm fine with homosexuality even if I'm heterosexual myself.

What if our children didn't want to go to college? That's up to them, but I suppose I might consider having failed as a father a bit. Depends on the specifics. Difficult to say.

How much say do children have in a family? Some.

How comfortable are you around children? Not at all.

Would you be opposed to having our parents watch the children so we can spend time alone together? Sounds nice, theoretically speaking that is.

Would you put your children in private or public school? Public, unless there was some strong reason not to.

What are your thoughts on homeschooling? I think there are benefits to both, but I think I would be in favor of the regular.

Would you be willing to adopt if we couldn't have kids? Theoretically yes, but if I wanted kids I think I'd still want my own kids primarily. I guess half of the "fun" would be to see how crazy they ended up being. Also there would be the research aspect and the project aspect.

Would you be willing to seek medical treatment if we couldn't have kids naturally? Certainly. If I wanted kids that it. Otherwise medical reasons for not being able to have kids might even be ideal to simplify sex life.

Do you believe it's okay to discipline your child in public? Preferably not, but if the circumstance demands it then I suppose.

How do you feel about paying for your kid's college education? Should the government not pay for it, I would probably think of it as our responsibility together. If my wife could't afford to pay for it I would probably attempt to pay for it myself.

How far apart do you want kids? If I wanted kids, I have no clue. Besides, I think one would be plenty.

Would you want someone to stay home with the kids or use daycare? I have no clue.

How would you feel if our kids wanted to join the military rather than go to college? Difficult to say. I'm not fundamentally opposed.

How involved do you want grandparents to be in our parenting? It might be nice to have them fairly involved. Difficult to say what I would think about such in reality.

How will we handle parental decisions? I have no idea.
Would you be willing to go to marriage counseling if we were having marital problems? Yes. Especially if it's financially reasonable.

If there is a disagreement between me and your family, whose side do you choose? Whomever I believe is right.

How do you handle disagreements? By prioritizing and negotiating.

Would you ever consider divorce? Yes. I intend to live forever and can't really see myself spending all of eternity with a single person anyway. Maybe 100 years if everything goes well, but not eternity and certainly not under every conceivable circumstance.

Would you rather discuss issues as they arise or wait until you have a few problems? As they arise, though I admit that I might look for comfort and ignore some things for a while.

How would you communicate you aren't satisfied sexually? Verbally if there is something to be gained.

What is the best way to handle disagreements in a marriage? By prioritizing and negotiating.

How can I be better about communicating with you? I don't know.
What are your views on infidelity? Should under no circumstance happen. Immediate grounds for termination.

What are your religious views on marriage? I have no religion. Marriage is irrelevant, but can be done for traditions/entertainments sake.

What's more important, work or family? Depends. I suppose family would be, but all in moderation.

What are your political views? No stupid bullshit. Mind your own business. The society is supposed to maintain infrastructure and act as an insurance against unpredictable and out of control events that affect individual life in undue way. Sustainable ecosystem is a top priority.

What are your views on birth control? An important thing that should without exception be trustworthy.

Would you rather be rich and miserable or poor and happy? I suppose most people would choose happy, but given it might be impossible for me to be happy and poor then perhaps something in between those two extremes. Neither miserable nor poor. Even if that leads to a situation where I feel nothing, that might end up being the best alternative. Preferably of course best of both worlds.

Who will make the biggest decisions of the household? We do.

What would you do if someone said something bad about me? Other than verbally defend you should you deserve it, nothing.

Would you follow the advice of your family before your spouse? Which even was more rational in a given situation.

What do you believe the role of a wife is? I don't believe in roles. The goal is happiness.

Who should do household chores? Whoever finds them necessary.

What do you believe the role of a husband is? I don't believe in roles. If we're happy, it's all good.
How do you feel about debt? I don't want any, but I suppose it's mandatory if one wants to buy a house. That's pretty much the only situation I'm willing to consider it.

Would you share all money with your spouse or split the money into different accounts? Split.

What are your views on saving money? There must always be savings that are enough to sustain current lifestyle for at least a year. Preferably there is a long term plan that will make us financially independent.

What are your views on spending money? A complex one, but quite rational.

What if we both want something but can't afford both? If it's not something we can't share there is no problem because we have separate accounts.

How well do you budget? Extremely.

Do you feel it is important to save for retirement? In some respects yes.

Would you be willing to get a second job if we had financial problems? Potentially.

Do you have any debt? No.

What if a family member wants to borrow a large sum of money? Generally speaking I'm not borrowing anyone any money unless I have significant excess.

Who will take care of the financial matters of the household? Both do their part.
What would you do if we fell out of love? Probably feel quite sad.

What are your career aspirations? Scientific research and financial independence as soon as possible after which I plan to spend my time doing financially independent research and in general stuff that interests me.

What would you like to be doing five or ten years from now? Travel the world and do independent research.

What do you think is the best way to keep the love alive in a marriage? I don't really know. I guess we'll just have to find out.

How do you think life will change if we got married? Hopefully in no particular manner.

What is the best thing about marriage? The cake and maybe the organ music.

What is the worst thing about marriage? The guests and the costs.

What is your idea of the best weekend? Climbing a mountain.

How important are wedding anniversaries to you? Not at all.

How would you like to spend special days? Doing something fun.

What kind of grandparent do you want to be someday? I don't, but if I did then I suppose the kind of person I could rely on and respect.

What type of house do you want to live in? Big, luxorious, at seashore, large private lot, nice view, no neighbours, surrounded by nature. Not too far from a big city.

What is your biggest fear about marriage? Change.

What excites you about getting married? Nothing in particular.

What do wedding rings mean to you? Nothing in particular.

Are you afraid to talk to me about anything? No.

What do you think would improve our relationship? I don't know.

What would be one thing you would change about our relationship? Hopefully nothing.

Do you have any doubts about the future of our relationship? Yes.

Do you believe love can pull you through anything? No.

Is there anything you don't trust about me? Probably plenty, but hopefully nothing critical. I don't trust anyone fully, including myself.
Which would you choose - dishes or laundry? Laundry.

Do you like pets? Not really. I like animals sometimes, but I wouldn't want to take care them.

How many pets do you want? 0. Unless we live on a big ranch and have plenty of people to take care of them. Then it might not matter if there are some animals hanging around.

What do you want to do during retirement? I'm not planning on retiring ever or alternatively I'm planning on retiring as soon as possible and doing what I please for the rest of my life. Maybe sail around the world, visit the moon, climb Everest or something similar.

At what age would you like to retire? If not never then this age.