a quantum of madness

At the top of the interwebs one finds Scott and his most recent blog post. The only problem I have with it is that it encourages me to think about crazy thought experiments and I already know they will not lead anywhere.

Btw I think there is one way to resolve the problem of conscious experience as posed by Scott, but one he would certainly not like: If there is a fundamental reason a large scale quantum computer (i.e. large enough to simulate a human brain) cannot work, perhaps along the lines of Gil Kalai's argument(s), and if the phenomena responsible for such a failure are associated with conscious experience, then every paradox could be resolved imho.

elaborate stories

"Today, Mirzakhani .. still writes elaborate stories in her mind. The high ambitions haven’t changed, but the protagonists have: They are hyperbolic surfaces, moduli spaces and dynamical systems. In a way, she said, mathematics research feels like writing a novel. “There are different characters, and you are getting to know them better,” she said. “Things evolve, and then you look back at a character, and it’s completely different from your first impression.” The Iranian mathematician follows her characters wherever they take her ..."
Quanta Magazine

Maryam Mirzakhani just won a Fields medal.


added later: The Austrian mathematician Martin Hairer is another winner. But he did not get the medal for his audio editing software, rather for his work on stochastic PDEs.
Terry Tao has a blog post about all the 2014 medallists.


added even later: It is quite interesting what Cathy O'Neil has to say about this.

Pluto and Charon ...



... as seen by the New Horizons spacecraft, which will fly-by next year.