Some history possibly related to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

Painting of Russian Decembrists

I rarely post about contemporary events, particularly ones involving any kind of armed conflict. Too often we don't have a clear view of what's happening, and what we do know comes through the fog of war. Which I definitely think is the case in Russia's invasion of Ukraine. It's often years, sometimes decades, before we … Continue reading Some history possibly related to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

Decoded: How does a quantum computer work?

This Scientific American video, shared by Aeon, is pretty good if you're looking for a quick basic primer on quantum computing. It's short, less than nine minutes. Although I do have a beef which I'll discuss below. Decoded: How Does a Quantum Computer Work? The beef, which is pretty common with popular explanations of … Continue reading Decoded: How does a quantum computer work?

Can consciousness be simulated?

human cyborg

David Chalmers in his book: Reality+: Virtual Worlds and the Problems of Philosophy, eventually gets around to addressing the 800-pound gorilla in the room for any discussion of the simulation hypothesis. Can consciousness itself be simulated, and if so, would the resulting entity be conscious? This issue, I think, is what makes many react with far sharper … Continue reading Can consciousness be simulated?

Information, computation, and reality

David Chalmers in his book: : Reality+: Virtual Worlds and the Problems of Philosophy, has a discussion on information and reality. He identifies different types of information: semantic, structural, and symbolic. Semantic information is what we colloquially think of as information, it's the patterns that tell someone or something about reality. A map of a city … Continue reading Information, computation, and reality

Many-worlds and Bell’s theorem

Schrodinger's cat in many worlds

Sean Carroll's February AMA episode is up on his podcast. As usual, there were questions about the Everett many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics (which I did a new primer on a few weeks ago). This time, there was a question related to the correlated outcomes in measurements of entangled particles that are separated by vast … Continue reading Many-worlds and Bell’s theorem