News Briefs 14-07-2011

A piece of beauty from one of American music’s hidden (and now sadly lost) treasures…

Thanks Rick.

Quote of the Day:

Even if the simulators were scrupulous about simulating the laws of Nature [in their created world or universe], there would be limits to what they could do. They may know a lot about the physics and programming need to simulate a universe, but there will be gaps or, worse still, errors…little flaws will begin to build up. Logical contradictions will inevitably arise and the laws in the simulations will appear to break down…The inhabitants of the simulation…will occasionally be puzzled by the observations they make. Mysterious changes would occur that would appear to contravene the very laws of Nature…

…if we live in a simulated reality, we should expect to come across occasional ‘glitches’ or experimental results that we can’t repeat or even very slow drifts in the supposed constants and laws of Nature that we can’t explain.

from ‘One Hundred Essential Things You Didn’t Know You Didn’t Know’, by John D. Barrow

  1. “Dawkins Being a Dick” Revisited
    Cooler heads now seem to be emerging in the “Elevatorgate” controversy, as evidenced by the commentary at the end of the TDG feature article:

    Opinion still varies but at least the sources of those opinions are becoming more clear.

    – Many men are still very much sexist and mysogynistic.

    – Many men have changed their attitudes and actions toward women but don’t feel this is actually appreciated. To wit, only one man allegedly propositioned Ms. Watson, however she effectively reproved all men in the group.

    – Many women are still not satisfied with the present status of gender equality and/or relations.

    – Many people are resentful or repelled by “Atheist/Skeptic Pride”.

    I saw an interesting message on a T-shirt recently. It said, “I have a rocket-launcher. Your opinion is invalid.” This is the approach Dawkins takes toward Ms. Watson. While it comes across as very insensitive on a personal level, is it actually an unavoidable fact of life on a universal scale? Are we completely helpless in the face of cosmic violence? And if we are to gain any respect and equality in a universal sense, will it not require the full cooperation of both genders (and variations thereof) in that fight for freedom? Isn’t it time to lay aside petty differences for a greater and common cause?

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