can you have your pi and be in your pi too?

Scott reviews Max Tegmark's book about the many different multiverses and, as you would expect, a lot of deep thinking is happening in the comment thread.
Btw it is very likely that the best possible finite description of our world (e.g. all text ever written on wikipedia + arxiv + ...) and not just Scott's blog post, appears infinitely often in the decimal expansion of pi. The same is true for any randomly picked real number.
However, since there are infinitely many real numbers, it is also reasonable to expect that there are many which do *not* contain it even once (e.g. all the natural numbers).
A question for my smart readers: What fraction of the real numbers does not contain such a description of our world?


As I understand the news, BICEP2 has observed the effect of primordial gravitational waves in the cosmic microwave background, which is equivalent to a first glimpse of the GUT scale and in fact (indirectly) even quantum gravity (for more about it click here and there).
Or it has seen some instrument error(s) ...

added later: Lubos has a first evaluation of what it all means (assuming the observation is real) - just another example why I keep reading his blog 8-)

And this blog post has more about some issues with the reported data.

Congratulations Professor!

If I would have to write down what is great about the interwebs, Cosma's blog would be near the very top of my list.
But this is probably not the reason he just got tenure; He is a competent and innovative statistician and I never had much doubt that CMU would recognize that.