Thursday, August 25, 2011

Away note

I'll be away for a week on the FQXi conference "Setting Time Aright." A significant amount of the participants are reportedly nuts, so I will be in good company. I'm supposed to moderate a session on "Choice" for reasons that are somewhat mysterious to me, but since I don't believe in free will I guess they had no choice, haha.

This is my first conference attendance since the babies and, believe me, it's required a significant amount of organization. It didn't help they're doing half of it on a ship and the idea of having to get around on a ship with a twin stroller didn't really appeal to Stefan and me. So I go, and Superdaddy stays with the babies while I'll cry over the no-signal sign on my BlackBerry. Side effects may include blogging congestion.

19 comments:

  1. "I had a brain / It was insane / Oh they used to laugh at me / When I refused to ride / On all those double decker buses / All because there was no driver on the top ..."

    Joni Mitchell

    Enjoy the fun on the upper deck.

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  3. Hi Bee,

    Again one of those events I’d just like to be the fly on the wall and wondering how many on that members list will attend. One thing for certain as you mention they include quite a variety of assorted nuts so for those unsure about how they might react I would strongly advise taking along an EpiPen filled with adrenaline. Levity aside, although the National Geographic Explorer is a fine vessel with many amenities it’s not your prototypical cruise ship, so wearing a Scopolamine patch would seem be a prudent precaution. Then again the side effects are listed as confusion, agitation, rambling speech, hallucinations, paranoid behaviours, and delusions; which I suspect many of the passengers suffer from without the patch so it might be difficult to determine if they are experiencing any :-)

    With all that said, wishing you bon voyage and a great conference. I am doubtful however if you’ll be able to solve any of those questions on the list as I don’t think you’ve allowed enough time.

    “Time present and time past
    Are both perhaps present in time future,
    And time future contained in time past.
    If all time is eternally present
    All time is unredeemable”


    T.S Elliot - Burnt Norton (1935)

    Best,

    Phil

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  4. Bee:I'm supposed to moderate a session on "Choice" for reasons that are somewhat mysterious to me, but since I don't believe in free will I guess they had no choice

    Be interesting to see what you can and want to report back?:)

    Best,

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  5. The time is out of joint—O cursed spite,
    That ever I was born to set it right!
    Hamlet Act 1, scene 5 / William Shakespeare


    Oh gosh......to impart such foundational question as to alleviate once and for all, the cries about Platonism/mathematics as to being "outside of time" could be settled there?

    and wow.....my career as layman/hobbyist would not have been ended with such a "mystical" classification?:)

    Best,

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  6. Feynman's sprinkler does not run backwards. A chiral universe has a unique arrow of time. "It doesn't matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn't matter how smart you are. If it doesn't agree with experiment, it's wrong," Richard Feynman. Vacuum mirror symmetry toward mass cannot be correct - and multiply testably so, on a lab bench.

    Have a blast of a time! They may lease your participation but they cannot purchase your opinions. Religion is the art of trading imaginary things in the future for real things of value in the present.

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  7. Will Sean Carroll be in attendence? Isn't he "The Time Lord"?

    Pretty cool to be on The National Geographic Explorer, Bee. "World's number One Exploration Ship."

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  8. "Will Sean Carroll be in attendence? Isn't he "The Time Lord"?"

    Unfortunately, No. He can't make it.

    The other day he was having is breakfast. Next thing you know his eggs unscramble! Then he devolved back to a single cell, twittering to his fans the whole time. Then he simply vanished!

    Vilenken, Susskind and Nielsen surmise that the sad event was due to some sort of hiccup 10^-35 sec after the Big Bang. They claim to hear Sean calling from a hidden dimension: "I was right! I was right!"

    Will he be returned to reality? Only time will tell.

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  9. Steven Colyer said...

    Will Sean Carroll be in attendence? Isn't he "The Time Lord"?

    Gives me the creeps.

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  10. Wow! That sounds really cool! I wish I could join these nutty inter-disciplinary conferences! :)

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  11. Why does it give you creeps, Christine? Being a parent is hard enough. Why add "creeps?"

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  12. Steven: I was referring to your comment, as quoted in italics in my previous comment. Wasn't that obvious?

    Nothing to do with parents.

    Best,

    Christine

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  13. So let me state it as clearly as possible:

    To call Sean Carroll "The Time Lord" gives me the creeps.

    Best

    Christine

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  14. Hi Christine,

    How about instead he be referred to as “Lord of the Flies”; that is the lord of where many seem to be flying to as of late. Don’t take me wrong as I actually like Sean; that is except for his conviction that the nature of reality will end up be found as a consequence of what is well informed:-) Besides there are always the checks and balances, as for instance I noticed David . Z. Albert will be a speaker at the conference which Bee is attending, which I suspect will be one of only several who will attempt to keep Sean from stealing the show.

    “Information? Whose information? Information about what?”

    -John Stewart Bell, Against "Measurement", Physics World, page 33, (August 1990)

    Best,

    Phil

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  15. Oh OK, sorry, Christine. that's what his wife Jenifer Ouellette calls him. I'm just a softie for cute nicknames hubbies and wives have for each other. I have no idea how right or wrong his theories are.

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  16. I am quite concerned that all these gas-bags venting their mental flatulence will cause a deleterious increase in greenhouse gas levels.

    Especially after the chic wine, cheese and lutefisk parties.

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  17. Curious, does not believing in free will make decisions easier?

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  18. Hi Don:

    How would I know? Best,

    B.

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