Jens 'n' Frens
Idle thoughts of a relatively libertarian Republican in Cambridge, MA, and whomever he invites. Mostly political.

"A strong conviction that something must be done is the parent of many bad measures."
  -- Daniel Webster

Friday, May 12, 2006 :::

  • Light with wave speeds higher than the speed of light. This doesn't actually transfer information faster than the speed of light; essentially what happens is that a wave, once it gets set up, can anticipate what's happening next, even though the information won't get there for a while yet. (If an electrically charged particle moves at a constant speed, the consequent electric field meters away will point toward the charge as it moves; if the charge abruptly stops, the electric field will continue to follow where the charge would have been until enough time has passed for light to travel from the charge to where the field is being measured. Something similar is going on in this experiment.)
  • How real are real numbers?(pdf), Gregory Chaitin asks, and looks into the possibility that many real numbers aren't physically realized in nature. It's a fairly sophisticated treatment of a topic that easily leads to sophistry.
  • A long discussion of the programming language Lisp, with an emphasis on explaning its way of thinking to those who don't know about lisp — and who have a fair amount of time on their hands. It's probably a bit longer than it needs to be, and it probably needs to be a bit long.

::: posted by dWj at 10:21 PM

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Idle thoughts of a relatively libertarian Republican in Cambridge, MA, and whomever he invites. Mostly political.

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