entangledamplitude's recent activity

  1. Comment on What if you don't know if you want a child? in ~life

    entangledamplitude
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    Since nobody seems to have mentioned this... have you considered the possibility that wanting a child could be a motivating/driving force to help you and your SO put in the effort to improve? The...

    Since nobody seems to have mentioned this... have you considered the possibility that wanting a child could be a motivating/driving force to help you and your SO put in the effort to improve?

    The emotional biochemistry is complicated, but biology definitely plays a role in these desires. Further, we’ve evolved to handle these situations, so it’s definitely possible, if you choose to. A defeatist attitude to the basest off human nature would be a depressing life in its own way. It’s a question of how you both choose to construct/discover meaning in your lives, together. That is something you both could talk about.

    2 votes
  2. Comment on What's something that's better than expected? in ~talk

  3. Comment on How did we reach 7 billion people without informing/educating all about how we really live? in ~talk

    entangledamplitude
    Link Parent
    Since you mentioned Korea as an example, one of my favorite economics authors is Ha-joon Chang, who has written about this, and other examples of how nations develop, along with a fairly...

    Since you mentioned Korea as an example, one of my favorite economics authors is Ha-joon Chang, who has written about this, and other examples of how nations develop, along with a fairly level-headed take on the strengths and weaknesses of both capitalism and economic theory.

    5 votes
  4. Comment on How did we reach 7 billion people without informing/educating all about how we really live? in ~talk

    entangledamplitude
    Link Parent
    You’re arguing against a straw man. Access to information has not been a constraint for several decades now, so I don’t see why schools are particularly important. It’s easy enough to learn from...

    You’re arguing against a straw man. Access to information has not been a constraint for several decades now, so I don’t see why schools are particularly important. It’s easy enough to learn from other (older) people, or from books/internet/shows/etc. (Yes, I understand schools are often the lowest common denominator solution for serving underprivileged people, but I’m making an orthogonal point)

    What I’m arguing is that in modern times, curiosity & inquisitiveness (and connectedness to context) is far more lacking than access to information.

    I was specifically addressing OP’s question:

    I wasn't taught about the real world, I never really thought about how the food on my plate was grown or how we plunder the living world for resources etc.

    Every single person who was involved in making decisions to externalizations costs, globalize supply chains and reduce buffer inventory (Eg: wrt current crisis) probably was “well educated” and had access to all the information.

    But we have totally lost connection to the local context. We don’t think about where our food or our water comes from. We don’t know what goes into making high quality food (ingredients). Cut off from logistics we couldn’t survive a week (imagine a week long electricity/water disruption). We take so much for granted.

    1 vote
  5. Comment on How did we reach 7 billion people without informing/educating all about how we really live? in ~talk

    entangledamplitude
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    See, here's a funny thing: It's modern "education" (actually a form of socialization into a particular set of beliefs) that plays the strongest role in disconnecting humans form their environment...

    Why can't we have good quality education for everyone

    See, here's a funny thing: It's modern "education" (actually a form of socialization into a particular set of beliefs) that plays the strongest role in disconnecting humans form their environment and living context. A child who doesn't go to school will naturally wonder what vegetables are, where they come from, how they reach the supermarket, how are they produced, depletion, etc. A child who goes to school doesn't have time for questions "outside the syllabus", because... (some form of) "opportunity cost".

    But if we don't grow, how can we progress?

    We need to think carefully about our assumptions here. Why is "progress" linked to "growth"? (that too, defined very narrowly as economic growth). I think that economic growth is a flawed metric that is only weakly correlated with improved quality of human life.

    2 votes
  6. Comment on How did we reach 7 billion people without informing/educating all about how we really live? in ~talk

    entangledamplitude
    (edited )
    Link Parent
    It seems to me like these standard economic theory statements are full of vague platitudes and abstract truisms, with little contact to reality. Your reply is full of common tropes in economics,...

    It seems to me like these standard economic theory statements are full of vague platitudes and abstract truisms, with little contact to reality. Your reply is full of common tropes in economics, so shall we dig into some of those claims?

    other things being equal, a rich country is better off than a poor country?

    Okay, but other things are almost never equal, and aspects like resource depletion become “externalities” (translation: somebody else’s problem)

    Although economic growth often does result in more resource usage, this isn't strictly necessary.

    Are there any examples where significant (non-illusory) economic growth has been achieved with decreasing resource consumption?


    EDIT: Economic theory has the tendency to make asinine assumptions, and then cry "but nobody could have foreseen" or "black swan" when one of those breaks down and we have systemic crises.

    7 votes
  7. Comment on Periodic functions in ~science

    entangledamplitude
    (edited )
    Link Parent
    Oh yes, absolutely. The Fourier basis also has nice symmetry properties under translations, which is often why it is preferred. (The symmetry properties are easier to see intuitively by studying...

    Oh yes, absolutely.

    The Fourier basis also has nice symmetry properties under translations, which is often why it is preferred. (The symmetry properties are easier to see intuitively by studying Fourier transforms on a circle, and thinking of the line as a circle of infinite radius).

    1 vote
  8. Comment on Periodic functions in ~science

    entangledamplitude
    Link Parent
    Awesome, yes :-) So if you understand that, then what’s the motivation behind the original question? I don’t get it. What is special/surprising about piecewise functions, that doesn’t fit in that...

    arbitrarily good approximation almost everywhere. ; )

    Awesome, yes :-) So if you understand that, then what’s the motivation behind the original question? I don’t get it. What is special/surprising about piecewise functions, that doesn’t fit in that framework?

    1 vote
  9. Comment on Periodic functions in ~science

    entangledamplitude
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    In a sense, trigonometric functions are the fundamental periodic ones. If you look into Fourier analysis, you’ll see that any periodic function can be expressed as a sum of sines and cosines, to...

    In a sense, trigonometric functions are the fundamental periodic ones.

    If you look into Fourier analysis, you’ll see that any periodic function can be expressed as a sum of sines and cosines, to an arbitrarily good approximation (even piecewise defined periodic functions).

    6 votes
  10. Comment on Learning resources for my soon to be twelve year old son? in ~comp

    entangledamplitude
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    Racket is a fantastic general purpose programming language (best for someone to learn young, before their mind gets warped by imperative/procedural programming :-). I’ve heard fantastic things...

    Racket is a fantastic general purpose programming language (best for someone to learn young, before their mind gets warped by imperative/procedural programming :-). I’ve heard fantastic things about this book, which is basically an introduction to Racket with making simple games: https://www.realmofracket.com/

    I’ve also heard very good things about Scratch (Smalltalk, which is a world in itself) which was also made with the goal of introducing kids to computing, and making it very easy to control the behavior of ALL the objects in that system.

    2 votes
  11. Comment on Programming Languages that are Both Interpretable and Compilable? in ~comp

    entangledamplitude
    Link Parent
    I’m very curious... what kind of stuff do you do, that you’ve been using Julia for the last few years? I had the good fortune to work with it for a few months (academic project), but these days...

    I’m very curious... what kind of stuff do you do, that you’ve been using Julia for the last few years? I had the good fortune to work with it for a few months (academic project), but these days I’m coding in Python and constantly wistful about Julia.

    1 vote
  12. Comment on Programming Languages that are Both Interpretable and Compilable? in ~comp

    entangledamplitude
    Link Parent
    Julia really hits a sweet spot! It also has nice meta programming affordances (being structurally very lisp like, and friendly to a functional style). Not to mention, clean Julia code compiles to...

    Julia really hits a sweet spot! It also has nice meta programming affordances (being structurally very lisp like, and friendly to a functional style). Not to mention, clean Julia code compiles to something that runs really fast.

    3 votes
  13. Comment on Millennials are now the new lost generation in ~finance

    entangledamplitude
    Link Parent
    That may well be the case, but your calculation is forgetting the risk of debt. If you’re renting, you have the flexibility to move, whatever the circumstances. Wouldn’t it amplify every little...

    That may well be the case, but your calculation is forgetting the risk of debt. If you’re renting, you have the flexibility to move, whatever the circumstances. Wouldn’t it amplify every little financial stress in your life? (Look at all the companies now needing bailouts... excerpt will individual home owners get the same?) If you buy a house and the prices drop significant, your down payment just gets wiped out, and worse — you’re on the hook for the original upmarked price.

    2 votes
  14. Comment on Trump order encourages US to mine the moon in ~space

  15. Comment on What everyone’s getting wrong about the toilet paper shortage in ~finance

    entangledamplitude
    Link Parent
    I'm curious... how does one order the industrial stuff? If they're such different products, presumably their distribution mechanisms are also very different.

    I'm curious... how does one order the industrial stuff? If they're such different products, presumably their distribution mechanisms are also very different.

  16. Comment on What's on your bookshelf? in ~books

    entangledamplitude
    Link Parent
    I did a course based on Nielsen & Chuang many years ago. It’s more in the spirit of a reference book (up-to-date collection in its day), and wouldn’t recommend it to read. For QI, I liked Vlatko...

    I did a course based on Nielsen & Chuang many years ago. It’s more in the spirit of a reference book (up-to-date collection in its day), and wouldn’t recommend it to read.

    For QI, I liked Vlatko Vedral’s textbook: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/374285.Introduction_to_Quantum_Information_Science

    For QC, I’ve been meaning to check out Kitaev’s textbook... “someday“.

    ——

    BTW, Peskin & Schroeder is useful, but the QFT book I liked the most is Anthony Zee’s. I also like some of the more cond. mat. / stat. phys. perspectives, and enjoyed the variety of themes/problems in Mehran Kardar’s textbook.

    3 votes
  17. Comment on What's on your bookshelf? in ~books

    entangledamplitude
    (edited )
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    A fellow quantum field theory aficionado! :-) Here a snap of my bookshelf: https://postimg.cc/yDC7NPw5 Unfortunately the resolution on most mobile cameras is barely acceptable for reading book...

    A fellow quantum field theory aficionado! :-)

    Here a snap of my bookshelf: https://postimg.cc/yDC7NPw5
    Unfortunately the resolution on most mobile cameras is barely acceptable for reading book titles.

    I’ve read only a small fraction of these books :smh:
    But most of the books I’ve read aren’t on that shelf. I had to give away a significant chunk of a former collection when I moved after grad school, and only recently started splurging on (used) books that fill up the shelf, with the notion that even if I end up reading a fraction, that comes out to a win!

    6 votes
  18. Comment on William Deresiewicz: Solitude and leadership in ~life

    entangledamplitude
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    The discussion on deep literacy reminded me of this old classic.

    The discussion on deep literacy reminded me of this old classic.

    1 vote
  19. Comment on The erosion of deep literacy in ~misc

    entangledamplitude
    Link Parent
    Reading both your comment and the article, led me to several thoughts: While the article touches on a couple of fairly important themes (loss of deep literacy; political unsophistication), I...

    Reading both your comment and the article, led me to several thoughts:

    1. While the article touches on a couple of fairly important themes (loss of deep literacy; political unsophistication), I wouldn’t put this article among the most thought-provoking / well-written reads — which is actually emblematic of another problem — we have floating around on the internet way too much undeserving long form content (zero marginal cost of bytes). From the point of view of the first problem, my resolution is that I would rather deeply read what I consider to be “classics” and conceptual breakthroughs, rather than every other long form article.

    2. I read more than most people I know, and I’ve noticed that anytime I share an interesting article longer than 10 minutes, people ask me for a TL;DR! The funny thing is that my concentration/dedication is not great in an absolute measure — I barely manage to read 10-12 books a year (I do, however, read a lot of articles online).

    3. The medium is the message, and the printed word had a strong cultural effect towards interiority, rationality and enlightenment. I’m very surprised the article doesn’t cite McLuhan, who studied this thoroughly, several decades ago.

    4. I wonder how much of a relation exists between the physical size of the screen, and the depth of thinking. I personally feel significantly “freer” with larger screen in a manner I cannot articulate, but an increasing amount of reading now happens on mobile screens, which probably has a distinct contribution.

    5. More fundamental than just literacy is that straightjacketed interfaces and passive consumption lead to a form a learned helplessness wrt thinking. From what I’ve seen, this malaise is depressingly endemic. People seem to have tunnel vision about most things, most of the time (focus on the immediate). I consider this a crisis of leadership — what does “leadership“ even mean without vision? (Interestingly, Deresiewicz makes a related point in his classic article on leadership and solitude; JGI).

    6. I consider “computing” to be a skill on par with Reading, wRiting, aRithmetic (3Rs). Whatever our misgivings about lack of deep literacy, the primitiveness of computing ability (and most popular tools) is abysmal.

    7. There seems to be some flavor of the problem articulated by Ivan Illich, regarding the “industrial” displacing the “convivial”. The fact that culture and communication have been increasingly industrialized over the last few decades probably a contributing factor. Polarization and culture wars are just a symptom of opinions and identities becoming amenable to the same sensibilities as industrial products (uniformity, economies of scale, few competing brands, identity-based marketing, etc.).

    8. Lastly, there are interesting relations to Robert Kegan’s orders of consciousness; the systematic reasoning mode corresponds to the 4th stage of psychological development. Just wanted to mention it... following that trail might be a digression.

    Epilogue: FWIW, I spent well over an hour reading that article and writing my comment. I wonder what that says :shrug:

    I enjoy slow, thoughtful and immersive experiences, try to regularly create such opportunities for myself. It’s possible that a lot of people have either never experienced the joy in that, or have forgotten it. (Of course, not everyone needs to enjoy this, but I would expect a larger fraction of people to do so, than currently do)

    7 votes