Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Ask the Natives

There's been a lot of hubbub about degrowth, and countercomplexity in general. One of my favorite parables for the currently/previously (you may say that I'm a dreamer, and all that) idolized consumer hysteria vs. a more sparing, resource-based model is the tale of the Buffalo. Now, as a technology advocate, I'm particularly worried about the way we're handling the globalization of things like smartphones, etc, due to their dependence on "rare earth" - metals and other highly precious substances, sought after at great cost. So, I thought I'd share an example of getting more out of less through the power of sharing and the open-source mentality.
The Buffalo I have has several tails, each of them leading to a computer (some through the airwaves, others through a cord). When put side by side with the animal, only the method of consumption is different - in both cases, even the tail delivers sustenance.
Now, the network topology of our apartment used to be such that there was the wireless access point, then a PC for a router (running pfSense), and then the client devices. Now, the router PC was a recycled one when it got to me, but by leveraging the Power of Open Source™, I was able to integrate all of the functionality to the Buffalo router, thereby doing away with one power-chugging 24/7 machine, and a source of background noise in the apartment. The Buffalo, of course, is completely silent!
That was the really useful part. The crazy part is after the break.
That was the really crazy part. Now this is the useful part.
Let me tell you another story. Star Wars. When I read the Making Of, I was intrigued to learn that Lucas sent out "sound scouts", to look for material for the special effects. Sound scout! I'd been in the scouts when I was younger, but that sounded like something else! Looking for sounds... no... I mean, yes! Looking!
Whoa whoa whoa. So... looking for sounds is one thing. But would it be possible to look... at... sounds?
So that's how I got to VJ'ing, audiovisualism, etc.
But let's elaborate on Alice in Quantumland. If a photon is in superposition with all  the photons, could this be exploited for purposes of time travel? And if so, how could one choose the destination? Well, this is where things get interesting - but let me return to our frame of reference, the Original Trilogy, part V - where I first learned the word sond (which was used to describe the Imperial probes seen at the beginning).  The dictionary definition:
a message or messenger
So. A picture was forming - I've taken to calling it the Rembrandt effect, and postulate it thusly:
every work of art is a self-portrait; furthermore, every work of art is a reflection of its own creation
Of course, the degree to which this is true varies for every piece, etc, but to corroborate, compare the sond scouts and the sound scouts... I mean, every experienced scout knows that the first rule of ego-death is that there is no "U" ;)
Anyway, the link there leads to two fascinating answers: music (a subset of sound that is of truly paramount importance), and the uncertainty principle (that which gave rise to the original problem of how to navigate). To reiterate: music is the answer. In a broader sense, sounds are the key to navigating the light. Why? Due to the wave-particle duality: sounds, such as speech, music, clangs, pings, wooshes, anything and everything channel different energies. So this is the same principle at work as when transforming sound into images - except vice versa.
But what about the absolutes? (as a side note, there's been research into this very topic for ages and ages!). I mean, edging like scouting the hiss can take you far... but only so far. So what's the absolute furthest reach?
Well, there's been... theories and speculation for different vessels (the idea of a "Song of Songs", for one... but these tend to culminate in the pointing out of a common property). I thought there might be a more direct route.
And now we get back to the break. The silence. That was the challenge. To scout the sounds is one thing... But how quiet can you get? What is absolute zero, and what's left once you get there (notice how words become increasingly meaningless, as there'd be nothing left nor anywhere else - but bear with me here...)?
Well, as the link goes to show, even at the very lowest reached temperatures, the quantum spin states tend to remain... and, due to the "single-photon-all-photons, but waves travel at a certain speed when measured" dual nature, that's enough (this is getting closer to presenting Asimov's Last Question than answering it...). The simple answers for "how and why would the universe re-create itself, if all were to become Death Absolute?" are, respectively, "inevitably and out of necessity".

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