SMBC: What if the universe is made of math?



I loved this SMBC.  It echoes something I’ve observed before, that some physicists have disdain for philosophy, while often engaging in it themselves.

Hovertext: “Philosophy is dumb, unless it comes out of the mouth of a physicist.”

Click through for full sized version and red button caption.

via Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal.

I’ve discussed the question before on this blog on whether the universe is mathematics, mathematics is the universe, or some weird combination.  Personally, I’ve gradually become more convinced that the foundations of mathematics and logic are empirical, that they are our most fundamental theories about how the universe works.  This isn’t completely intuitive because we are born with some logic and quantity cognitive pre-wiring, giving the illusion, perhaps, that it comes from somewhere else.

One consequence of seeing math and logic as theories, is that they are subject to revision, something many will find intolerable.  Still, arguably quantum…

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‘The Martian’: Robinson Crusoe meets Apollo 13



TheMartianCoverI recently read Andy Weir’s novel: ‘The Martian‘.  Weir’s book is a self publishing success story.  An admitted life long geek, he enjoyed thoroughly researching how a mission to Mars might work and what might go wrong with it.  He originally published the book, in serialized form, on his web site.  In response to reader requests, he put it in a Kindle book on Amazon.

It was so popular he was offered a deal with a traditional publisher and a movie deal, almost simultaneously.  The version I read was a Kindle book published by Broadway Books.  The film, which is directed by Ridley Scott, and starring Matt Damon, will be coming out in October.

I could write a few paragraphs describing the basic premise of the story, but I think it will be easier to just call your attention to the movie trailer.  It does a pretty good job at…

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Steampunk Ghostbusters Charity Ball Report


Cogpunk Steamscribe

I am very proud to share with you the donation amount raised by the Steampunk Ghostbusters at our Charity Ball:  $7109.92

The Ghostbusters portrait - sadly, I was collecting tickets at the door and didn't make the shoot. The Steampunk Ghostbusters with the representatives of the Queensland Cancer Council – sadly, I was collecting tickets at the door and didn’t make the shoot.

This is due to the hard work of the committee members and our supporters, the generosity of all our sponsors, and the warm hearted Steampunk Community who threw themselves into having a good time at the ball. Special mention should be made of those people who helped on the night without being committee members, like Amy Driscoll, Brian Green, Sai the Sound man and Tay the Photographer, the Burlesque performers, and Nadine Tallon, who helped set up.

I  would in particular like to thank Lea-Anne Martin, whose generous donations were made as a personal gesture, rather than as a sponsorship.

The venue was brilliant…

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