Sunday, December 25, 2016

Answering The Biggest Question

Let's first think about what is the biggest question for humankind.
Theory Of Everything (TOE)?
What is meaning of life?
Is there an afterlife?
Do(es) God(s) exist?
Do aliens exist?
Time travel to future/past possible?
Wormholes, teleportation, warp drives?
If you think about it there is only one question that every person would/should care.
Which is whether God(s) exist or not.
Because it is really important when it comes to how we would/should want to spend our lives.

We have mainly two competing theories.
One side predicts the answer is no and the other side predicts yes.
There are many religions claiming different God or Gods.
Let's for simplification reduce the question to whether God exists or not.

Now the question is, can science find an answer.
Because science is objective.
It can provide objective answers.
For example a math proof is impossible to argue against unless someone can find (logical) mistake in it.

One argument against existence of God is, if God created Universe then who created God?
If one says God does not need another creator then why we cannot apply the same logic to Universe itself?
Why not accept The Big Bang as the creator of the Universe and stop there?

Can science provide a better answer than this?
I think we must ask: What makes a God a God? How we could recognize God if we found God?
What are the abilities a God has but we don't.
I think those properties are mainly:
Ability to create a Universe/reality.
Ability to create life.
Ability to create mind/intelligence.
Realize that if can do all these 3 things artificially ourselves, using science/tech,
then it would be at least highly questionable why still there is a need for any God to exist.
Luckily we living in times humanity tackling all three abilities of God head-on!

There are great advancements in computer simulations using realistic physics and also virtual reality.
To create a truly realistic simulation of Universe we may need TOE first.
Because known laws of physics breakdown in the center of Black Holes and in the beginning of the Big Bang.
So that means we cannot create a truly realistic copy of the real Universe (at least in theory) until we have TOE. 
But also I still think if we can eventually create artificial reality that is almost impossible to distinguish from the real world
then ability to create Universe/reality should be considered done.

There are also great advancements in artificial life.
Not long ago the scientists created a living cell that is completely using an artificially created DNA.
Really great success but it can be argued that it is like artificially creating only the software of a computer system.
Because it was done by just replacing the DNA of a living cell.
A greater success would be to create a living cell by using only artificially created DNA, protein etc molecules
without using parts from any living cell.
If we don't have technology for that (yet) then how about doing it as a fully realistic computer simulation?
(Meaning it needs to be atomic level and must use only chemical reactions to work.
Also it needs to re-create all known behaviors of a similar real living cell to be considered living the same.)

But creation of life (w/o God) question maybe answered in another way.
Theory of Evolution already suggesting an answer but does it provide a proof that cannot be argued against really?
Theory of Evolution is based on the idea that new species emerge by accumulation of small (permanent) changes (called mutations).
So if we look at fossil records we should see each species is slowly changing to another, if we keep going past in history.
The problem is fossil records is far from perfect/through/continuous going past.
So it is practically impossible to show a very clear picture to public.
But there is another way:
Today there are thousands of known extra-solar planets and we keep discovering new ones at exponential speed.
What if we can find alien life? Obviously that would be a very clear proof for Theory of Evolution.
Because, would it be easier to believe God also created aliens or that Theory of Evolution must be correct?
(Thinking that God and Evolution can co-exist does not make any sense (to me at least).
Because if you have one of them why you would still need the other?)

There are also great advancements in artificial intelligence.
The main question is, can we artificially create human-like intelligence?
The question is tackled with both top-down and bottom-up approaches at the same time.
One group of scientists trying to create AI by using purely algorithmic approach (and having success after success!).
(Think of Watson, Siri etc.)
Another group of scientists working towards mapping the full neural network of human brain.
The hope is that if we have the full map and use it to create a realistic computer simulation of a human brain
then sooner or later we would learn how to make it work, completely in a computer.
(And then we would have artificially created a human-like intelligence/mind.)

Are there any other ways to scientifically prove or disprove existence of God?

One really important feature of the Universe is that everything seems to be perfectly designed for us.
From laws of physics enabling this particular Universe to orbit of Earth enabling liquid water and life as we know it.
Isn't this a proof of intelligent design (ID) and isn't that a proof of existence of God?
Anthropic Principle provides an alternative explanation without God.
It basically says what if all other possibilities already played out in a Cyclic Universe (that keeps reborn)
or what if there is a multiverse that new Universes bubbles up and die all the time
with different possibilities playing out in each (like a movie theater keep playing multiple movies at different times)?
So we still have explanations both ways. The question (existence of God) is not really answered.

There was another attempt for a scientific proof not long ago.
There is a general (guiding) principle in physics that says, laws of physics are the same everywhere in the Universe at all times.
Idea is, if that is true then it means there cannot be any (supernatural) miracles anywhere in the Universe at any time in the past/future.
And that means there is/are no such thing as any act(s) of God and that implies no real prophet(s)/religion(s) of God, so no God.
But the problem is, the idea works great if we assume there is no God but if we assume there is then it is still possible
for God to exist because how we can really rule out if some miracles happened in the past (when there were no cameras to record them)?

Friday, December 23, 2016

Is True Virtual Reality Possible?

There are many Virtual Reality (VR) devices sold today but they only provide video and sound.
What I mean by true VR is The Matrix type where it is almost impossible to distinguish from the real world.
So not just vision and hearing but all senses must be provided realistically.

First issue is whether computers today have enough power for it or not.
Answer depends on whether the VR world(s) need to be realistic physics simulations
running at atomic scale or not. (Quantum scale is already beyond our computing power.)
I think just providing solid/fluid/gas simulations could be enough, just like in computer games, instead of realistic atomic level physics simulation.
So computing power shouldn't be a really big problem.

Second/real issue is Brain-Computer Interface (BCI).
I think none of existing technologies are really anywhere near what is needed.
Clearly the perfect solution would be a device that can read/write any/all neuron(s) in human brain in real time.
Also clearly it needs to be non-invasive.
Because any surgical operation on brain/nerves is a huge risk.
Not many people, besides of people who cannot move, would want to take such a risk I believe.

So the main problem is whether it is possible to create a device that can write (force/suppress its firings) a selected neuron,
and also can read it (detect its firings), in a non-invasive way.
I think there maybe only two possibilities to investigate.
One is by focusing ultrasound and other is by focusing radio waves.
Also even if write operation is possible (which should be easier), there is no guarantee read operation also will be.

Realize that if only write is possible then VR experience will be like a replay of memories of a person.
For a person to be able to respond/interact with VR world, read operation would be necessary.
But even having only write operation could allow applications like education/training.
(Imagine you first create a recording of someone going thru pilot training and later replaying that (fast and multiple times) using VR.)

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Why Universe must be a Cellular Automata?

I think Universe must be a Cellular Automata operating at Planck scale.
(If so failure of GUTs/String Theory etc would not be surprising.)

Some reasons to consider:

Universe needs to be computable why because it is clearly a mathematical structure and it is dynamic so it should be doing calculations.
That also means no real infinities anywhere (infinities break calculations in computers (unless added as special, non-natural treatments)).
So center of BHs or size/scale of 4 dimensions cannot be infinite.
Also if Universe doing calculations it means it is some kind of computer and CA are the simplest (thus the best) candidates.

And the reason why it must operate at Planck scale is because
known laws of physics indicate that is their limit.
It is where they breakdown.
There is absolutely no way to measure a distance shorter than Planck length and a duration shorter than Planck time.
(This means when measured using Planck length as the unit all distances are integers
and when measured using Planck time as the unit all durations are integers.)
That means if Universe is a CA than Planck length must be the size of its cells
and Planck time must be its unit of time steps.
(So every cell would update at each Planck time step.)

If Universe is a CA then it means Quantum and Relativity are its emergent properties.
If this is hard to believe then realize chemistry is the emergent property of quantum
and biology is the emergent property of chemistry.
Notice that trying to use quantum to predict chemistry or
trying to use chemistry using quantum and vice versa are really hard problems!
Also notice when you moving from quantum to chemistry, chemistry to biology back and forth
scale changes exponentially (compare size of a particle with sizes of atoms/molecules,
compare their sizes with sizes of cells/organisms).
(Actually organisms are the emergent property of cells.)
This implies when you go from quantum to underlying TOE, size must get smaller exponentially again.
(So strings are not small enough! :-)

To see how powerful even the simplest CA are consider that
emergent properties of Conway's Game Of Life studied for decades
and I think its full range of different behaviors still unknown (could it be infinite?).
There is another very simple CA called FHP that creates Navier-Stokes behavior at macro scale.
(Today a little more advanced CA called LBM is used to simulate all kinds of liquids.)

If Universe is a CA then considering entanglement (non-local interactions between quantum particles)
for example, it is possible to deduce at least some of the properties it must have.
Another property it must have is conservation of energy (which is really conservation of information (states of the CA)).

I think the best expert on CA today is Stephen Wolfram who also thinks Universe must be a CA.
But as far as I know the idea first proposed by a German computer pioneer named Konrad Zuse. 

Monday, December 19, 2016

A PROPOSAL FOR REPLACING HTML

SCREEN RESOLUTION INDEPENDENT WEBPAGE MARKUP OR GUI LANGUAGE

Currently, web-page markup languages (HTML etc.) and desktop application GUI's (Graphical User Interface) define size and/or location of graphical elements and objects on the screen using actual pixel coordinates or sometimes using inches etc. The main problem with that is as computer screens gets larger in size and resolution, old web-page and GUI designs do not look as intended in the beginning. So there is a need to constantly re-design web-pages and GUI’s.

Even though scale-free text fonts and graphical image formats already exists, they do not provide a general solution that can be used to  create screen resolution independent web-pages and/or GUI's for desktop or smart-phone applications.

What needed is a general markup language that allows defining location and size of all graphical elements of a web-page or GUI, in a screen resolution independent way.

Here is the solution:

Assume location and size of all graphical elements on a web-page or GUI are defined in a screen resolution (or actual size) independent way. Assume the width (horizontal resolution) of a browser or application window is always 10000 units and define all location and size values of the graphical elements accordingly.

When a web browser or an application needs to display the graphical design, it would need to calculate actual screen pixel locations and pixel-based sizes of the graphical elements using these formulas:

SCRX = X / (10000 – 1) * W + TLX
SCRY = Y / (10000 – 1) * W + TLY

X: X coordinate of the graphical element in markup script.
X: Y coordinate of the graphical element in markup script.
W: Width of the browser or application window in pixels.
TLX: Top-left X pixel coordinate of the browser or application window.
TLY: Top-left Y pixel coordinate of the browser or application window.
SCRX: Actual X pixel coordinate of the graphical element on the screen.
SCRY: Actual Y pixel coordinate of the graphical element on the screen.

X values of the graphical element in the markup script, normally would be between 0 to 9999. (Fractional values like 3600.76 are allowed because some applications, like publishing, can require higher resolution then 10000 units.)
But if there are greater X values then the browser or application window would display a horizontal sliding bar to allow user to see those graphical elements completely.  
Similarly if Y values require actual pixel values outside (below) of the visible window then a vertical sliding bar would be displayed.

Similarly, actual pixel-based sizes of graphical elements on the screen can be calculated using these formulas:
SCRW = SX / 10000 * W
SCRH = SY / 10000 * W

SX: Width of the graphical element in markup script.
SY: Height of the graphical element in markup script.
W: Width of the browser or application window in pixels.
SCRW: Actual width of the graphical element on the screen in pixels.
SCRH: Actual height of the graphical element on the screen in pixels.

(If the graphical element requires an image or video to be displayed then each image or video frame must be re-scaled to fit the actual target size on the screen in real-time.)

Since calculating actual pixel-based values, to display graphical elements on the screen, depends on the current width of the browser or application window, then every-time user changes the width of the window, all graphical elements would need to be re-calculated and re-rendered (in real-time).  

A very simple example script in this markup language could be like:
(The actual syntax can differ in practice.)

Window
RGB Color: 255,255,255

Text
Position: 0,0
Size: 100,12
Text: "Hello World!"
Font: "Courier New", 12
RGB Color: 255,0,0

Image
Position: 0,12
Size: 100,200
ImageFile: "/TestImage.jpg"

Video
Position: 0,500
Size: 200,200
ImageFile: "/Test.mpg"

Notice that each graphical item have a position (top-left x,y) and size (width and height) to appear on the window, and each item can be placed anywhere on the window directly.

The web-page may have many other elements, like tables, buttons, check-boxes, radio buttons, drop-down menus etc. and each element can have many properties that can be set, like color, border etc. Some properties would be obligatory and some could be optional.
To allow existing web browsers to display web-pages created in this kind of markup language, a freely download-able plug-in software would need to be created, for each browser brand.

Also the plug-in software can be designed to accept scripts like in above format or in XML format.

The scripts can be created using any text editor, or visually by using a special GUI design software (Microsoft Visual Basic 6 is a good example of visual GUI design capability).

The format also can be extended to allow embedded scripts in other languages, to manipulate the graphical elements etc.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Does Time Really Exists?

Or Why time must be a dimension?

There are at least two clear proofs for it.
Time dilation and bending of space-time.
Both of which verified to great accuracy by countless experiments and observations.
It should be very clear that if time was an artificial human invented concept neither would be possible.
In fact any kind of verification of special/general relativity should be seen as a time being a dimension.
That is because all relativity calculations based on time being accepted as the fourth dimension.
By looking at all kinds of clocks used in daily life it is easy to get the idea that time is just a human invented concept.
So that it can set set and measured in any way wanted.
But scientists today also have atomic clocks which are extremely precise.
And it really easy for them to see and measure time dilation due to changes in speed and/or gravity.
And what they clearly see is those time dilation measurements match to calculations (to extreme precision) using equations of relativity!
Hopefully someday costs of atomic clocks will be cheap enough so that verifications of time dilation could be done in high school physics labs.
The experiments could be like start with two atomic clocks next to each other.
Make sure the clocks are calibrated to match exactly (synchronized).
Later move one the clocks around so that it will experience different speed and/or gravity and bring it back to its starting point.
Measure the changes in speed and/or gravity with enough precision using suitable measurement devices.
Later compare the difference in the clocks with the time dilation calculations using equations of relativity.
What will become clear is the results match extremely closely within the error margin(s) of the measurements.

I want to speculate that I think Universe could be really some kind of cellular automata operating in Planck scale.
(Meaning made of Planck length cells which updated every Planck time steps.)
If so it would mean both Quantum and Relativity are emergent properties,
But even if that is true, dimensions of both space and time would still be dimensions.
Only with difference that whereas dimensions in math have infinite size and scale (continuity), real dimensions of the Universe have neither.
When physicists see infinities in calculation results they interpret it as breakdown of the theory.
I do not believe that Universe really has any real infinity anywhere, neither in its dimensions nor in centers of Black Holes.
Because it is very clear from known physics is that Universe is based on extremely advanced mathematics.
I think mathematics is based on calculation, so the Universe must be calculable.
(Because we clearly see Universe is a dynamical system; it is not a static mathematical structure.)
That means it must be digital. That means it must be some kind of computer.
And the simplest and thus the best candidate would be some kind of computer called Cellular Automata.
(But it may still be a more advanced CA probably nobody thought/studied before.
Especially considering entanglement (which is non-local) property it must have to be compatible with Quantum Mechanics.)

What if it turns out there are real infinities in the Universe?
I think Universe would still need to be calculable.
That means infinities in the calculations need to be treated as special values.
(Many computer programming languages today allow setting a constant/variable to positive/negative infinity and use it in calculations as specially treated values.
For example using rules like infinity plus or minus any non-infinite number is infinity; any positive non-infinite number divided by zero is infinity, etc.)

A Sci-Fi Movie Idea

The title: World of Tomorrow

The plot:

The year is 2040 and NASA sends a manned space vehicle to Mars.
Since the journey takes months, all crew is in suspended animation.
After about a month of traveling an unknown comet crosses their path.
While the vehicle trying to avoid passing through the huge tail of the comet, it start getting hit w/ ice particles. The vehicle gets badly damaged and all crew members die except one man.

The vehicle also goes out of control and enters into a new elongated orbit around the sun which will bring it back more than 300 years later.
At that time vehicle will be recovered by a large space-ship of the future.

In the future world, all people are living and working in high rise giant buildings (there are no small buildings anymore), and commuting around w/ car-like flying vehicles (which has no wheels, wings, jet engines) called pods. The pods are completely autonomous and manual driving is impossible.
All top floors of the buildings are dedicated as parking structures.
All ground spaces in the cities are covered w/ forests and almost all the remaining parts of the land are covered w/ automated agriculture fields to be able to feed a world population of 16 billion!

All cops are 6 feet tall and have big muscles. That is because becoming a cop requires lifetime contract and includes mandatory genetic enhancements.
They also wearing computerized visors at all times which gives them
perfect vision under any condition plus instant information of all kinds.

There is even cure for aging in the future world but it is illegal!

Unfortunately for our hero, a large corporation wants him to make medical/genetic experiments because his "ancient" DNA/body.
They manage to kidnap him secretly and take him to a hidden underground lab.
In there he gets subjected to many harsh experiments; in one experiment his consciousness put into a virtual reality and tested against all kinds of fear triggering events. However a secret government operative finds and contacts him in the virtual world to plot an escape.

A New Movie Idea For The Matrix Franchise

Title: The Matrix 4: Rebirth

The Plot:

In the end of the Matrix Trilogy (made by WB), a peace agreement between
the humans and the machines was reached, but most of the humans
stayed connected to the matrix (because of dependence of the machines
on them) and the real Earth was still a desert-like wasteland.

This movie starts long time after the trilogy ended (a completely new cast).
The peace between the machines and humans is deteriorating because
some humans illegally continue to revive more people from the matrix; the
machines growing impatient against to attack and kill all freed humans.

But an outcast human researcher secretly goes around the desert wasteland
of the real world and finds the remains of a old human military outpost.
In there he finds documents talking about a secret military human facility
that was built deep underground and it contains a command center to control
a stealth satellite network. When triggered the satellite network would generate
a massive EMP pulse that would destabilize the artificial smog in the Earth's
atmosphere and thus clearing the smog away. The control center also contains a
vault which has DNA samples from all species lived on Earth before the war started.

Unfortunately when the researcher goes back the human city (Zion) he gets imprisoned
and nobody believes him.
Now some people must find a way (a new Neo) to evade all the machines and humans in both
the real world and the matrix, to find the secret base and start the rebirth of real world!

A SUPER REALITY SHOW IDEA

I was never interested in any Reality Show and still don't (Shark Tank seems kind of interesting though :-).
If I have to tell why I am guessing it must be because they are unrelatable to me (maybe because of my cultural background).
But first what would make a reality show better than others?
I think number of viewers would be a good measure and that is ultimately what TV producers would care about, isn't it?
Then what would be the best bet to get more viewers?
Find something almost everybody can relate to!
If so then wouldn't you say that if you really find such an idea it could be the biggest reality show ever?

Here is my idea to offer a candidate:
I think almost everybody in the world sometime(s) in their lives thought that
"Look at that rich guy(s) keep making tons of money!
If that was me I could do even better!
"But dang it I didn't born rich and I never have nowhere near enough money to make the investments I want!"
But what if a rich guy came to you and said (gasp!)
"Put you money where your mouth is! (nah!) Here is N million dollars!
I give you N week(s)/month(s)/year(s?)!
Until the end of that time, you tell me how to invest this money (buy/sell anything anytime)
but you just need to make sure, by the end of your given time, all money is back in the same currency as it started!
Let us see if you are really the great investor you always claimed to be!"

For adaptation to a reality show, imagine you (the TV producer),
selected N contestants any way you want,
put them in a Big Brother style house that has no communication to outside,
and made all or each of them the same offer as above!
And you let the whole country/world watch how things really went and turned out in the end!
(So everyone can take lesson(s) for themselves!)

PAPER OR PLASTIC?

I always thought paper grocery bags are better for the environment and everybody should use those.
But still I always chose plastic bags at the grocery shopping!
Because I didn't want to spend extra money for trash bags!
Now I finally realized that is why plastic is better actually!

Or one of the reasons anyway:

You can use plastic bags as trash bags and save money!
(Which also means less number of trash bags need to be produced for everyone.)
Paper bags are not really suitable as trash bags.
Neither when accumulating trash at home,
neither when carrying them to a dumpster,
neither when they are waiting in the dumpster to be picked up by garbage pick up service
(Paper or plastic bags would smell more?;
Paper or plastic bags would be torn open and leak more?
Paper or plastic bags would attract flies, cats, birds etc more?
What if it rains?),
neither when letting your trash on the street to be pickup in some places,
(On top of the other reasons as above (for waiting in the dumpster),
if you were a garbage pickup person, which kind of bags would be easier for you to handle?)

If your answer is, then just use trash bags, instead of paper or plastic grocery bags,
then I would like to remind you, they mean extra cost for everybody!
Also big trash bags harder to carry especially for children and teenagers,
and so are more prone to accidents also.

Also isn't paper bags mean many trees to cut?
(I really don't know if trees are always thoroughly checked for nests of birds or any other animals before they cut down.)
Also plastic bags are made from petroleum which is an nonrenewable global resource.
That means if you don't use it to make plastic bags, sooner or later, someone else will use it some other way.
I think chances are it most likely will be used as fuel to burn, for vehicles, for power plants, for heating instead!
Also keep in mind, plastic bags maybe recycled from landfills to produce new plastic bags etc.
Can same be done with paper bags? I think possibly but with more cost.