Aug 29, 2004


From time to time, you find out something so strange, that you sit up and think 'how little I knew before' or 'how big is that world' or sth like that.

Few minutes ago I had just this revelation (come to think of it, if I got a cent for every time I felt like this...I'd hed 10$ or so by now :D).

So what did I find? Conlangs. I am sure you have heard of Esperanto (btw it is fun to learn that it was invented by an occultist :D).

But did you now it was just one of dozens CONstructed LANGuages? There are languages designed for fun - like Klingon or Elvish, or more serious ones designed to study logic (like LogLang) or some philosophical or linguistic theories.

Truly, the web is full of knowledge pearls. You may never know when this comes in handy.

And Google has a Klingon variant. Can life gets niftier?
Sure. Klingon has an ISO code as well. LOL. And there is a Klingon Wikipedia as well.
You may want to install Klingon fonts first for best performance :D

If we meet aliens, we will be quite ready for them, I think.


Aug 28, 2004

The explainable God

Everybody is free to believe in what he wants. Ummm. Let's leave the details, I don't want a philosphical debate right now. Just take it as an assumption for a following discussion, ok?

I believe that everything will be understandable to humans one day, and the best way to reach that point is with scientific progress.

Some people think that God (or god, or gods, etc.) is beyond our understanding. Perhaps they are right about here and how. But in the future?

If I would place my bet on a theory, I'd point to the Omega Point. This theory assumes that certain cosmological variables prove that the universe will eventually contract (and if it won't do it by itself, a sufficiently advanced civilsation can do it), and that there will be intelligent civilizations in existence at the appropriate time to exploit the computational capacity of such an environment. This asymptotic state of infinite information capacity can be viewed as being God (anybody out there read James Blish ''Cities in Flight" space opera? it has a very similar concept to that).

And here goes the part I really like. The implication of this theory for present day humans is that this ultimate cosmic computer will essentially be able to resurrect everyone who has ever lived, by recreating all possible quantum brain states within the master simulation.

Afterlife is not a bad concept in itself. And if it seems a bit unrealistic...Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic - keep those wise words in mind!

See you again...sooner or later.

Aug 27, 2004

Doomsday Equation

The idea that human progress would reach a "singularity" originated in Doomsday: Friday, 13 November, A.D. 2026, Science 132, 1291-1295 (1960) by von Foerster, H, Mora, M. P., and Amiot, L. W. The mathematical singularity appeared in that paper's human population model (Doomsday Equation). Von Foerster argued that human's abilities to construct societies, civilizations and technologies do not result in self inhibition. Rather, societies' success varies directly with population size.

von Foerster found that this model fit some 25 data points from the birth of Christ to 1958 with only 7% of the variance left unexplained. Several follow-up letters were published in Science showing that von Foerster's equation was still on track (for example, see this from '88). The most remarkable thing about von Foerster's model was it predicts that the human population will reach infinity or a mathematical singularity, on Friday the November 13th, 2026. Thus it was a model that was both validated and absurd.

Of course we all know that this is just an theoretical equasion. It can't become true, can it?

And the line goes up
And the line goes up
Everyday a little faster

Towards the Singularity...

Aug 26, 2004

Home (Very Far) Away from Home

Each day, we are able to discover more Earth-like planets - and with cheaper technology, as well.

How soon will we discover ETs out there?

It is simple. The answer can be found by using the Drake equation:
N = R* × fp × ne × fl × fi × fc × L

N is the number of extraterrestrial civilizations in our galaxy with which we might expect to be able to communicate


R* is the rate of star formation in our galaxy
fp is the fraction of those stars which have planets
ne is average number of planets which can potentially support life per star that has planets
fl is the fraction of the above which actually go on to develop life
fi is the fraction of the above which actually go on to develop intelligent life
fc is the fraction of the above which are willing and able to communicate
L is the expected lifetime of such a civilisation
And the answer is? Enjoy the calculations :)

Aug 25, 2004

Working for living

Today I received what I think is a first offer I and only I worked for.

I was requested to send a sample article (500 words) about something connected to the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth :)

I know it is just a sample, and the chance for success is not 100% but still...a bright thing on an overall bad day.

Isn't it nifty?

Aug 20, 2004

Nicomachean Ethics

The life of money-making is one undertaken under compulsion, and
wealth is evidently not the good we are seeking; for it is merely
useful and for the sake of something else. - Aristotle

Some things haven't changed over the past 2k years, haven't they?
Nuff said.

Aug 19, 2004

The singularity of elearning

Sometimes, US and the Western world suprises me. In Poland, we consider it good if a elementary or high school has one classroom of computers. Universities got several.

3 years ago when I was in Newcastle, they had not only dozens of comp-filled classrooms, they had at least three facilities filled with 100+ comps for general student use.

And now this.

"In the last five years, the acceleration has been amazing," said Billie Wahlstrom, a vice provost on technology issues at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. "If you look at these things longitudinally, the curve is moving to the vertical." "The question that you have to ask is not who is offering distance learning, but who isn't,"

He is talking about elearning. Recently we have been hearing about elearning being the fad of tommorow. Suprise - tommorow is today.

Knowledge feeds on knowledge. The more you know, the more you are likely to know in the future. Same goes for the entire humanity.

Singularity is a'comin...can you hear it?

Aug 14, 2004

The Damned are playing at Godzilla's tonight

While radio shows have long been surpassed by TV and 'net, they are still out there.

And when a writer like JMS writes a play, you don't think 'heck, it is just sound, I'll pass'. You look for the nearest radio and turn it on. And when I tell you that you can listen to his plays on the web NOW free, you don't think 'who cares'. You scream 'oh thank you!' and click on the below picture.

Btw, you need RealMedia player for it. Instead of adware package from the orginal site, I recommend an open source mean and lean alterantive: RealAlternative :)

Aug 13, 2004

Wikipedia is more popular then Playboy

Gotta love statistics. Or not.
My statistic teacher used to say: 'There are small lies, big lies and statistics'.

Anyway, I have been browsing Wikipedia statisctics. They are rather fun (at least as fun as statistics can be :>).

ATM of my writing, I am the #912 most active Wikipedian (out of 92543 registered users). Which puts me in the top 1%. I guess I should be proud of that, with 815 edits. When I come come to think of it, if I put my time into writing 'normal' articles, I would probably have something to sell to 'serious' magazines that would look better on my CV. But I never cared much about that. If I published something in an obscure Polish science magazine, who would read it? 100 people? Compared to my latest big project, the Warsaw Uprising article on Wiki, who has been read by over 100,000 in the past week or so. I feel that my contribution to Wiki *MEANS* something, is doing some actual good, spreading knowledge. Thus I prefer the 'feel good' to 'money to eat'. Oh well.

Hopefully my future doctoral supervisors will at least understand the importance of Wiki for the scientific community. The awarness of public about Wiki is growing.

I mean, if it is more popular then Playboy, it *is* getting rather known in the world, right? Beating smut is not easy :>

And the future predictions are good as well:

So far, the prediction model is even a bit too pessimistic - the latest data show even faster growth then predicted on the above model!

It is interesting to compare Wiki to 'normal' encyclopedias. It has a huge advantage in quantity. As for quality, opinions do vary. Personally I think that in a few years we will have a quality advantage as well. For now...well, things aren't looking bad, since in many cases we are better then Britannica :)

Statistics say that the future is looking good for Wiki. The truth...well, as always, the future will show.

See you on Wiki

Aug 12, 2004

Live on the fastest lane

50,000 years ago homo sapiens lived in the caves.

5000 thousand years ago we learned the art of horse riding. That gave us the average speed of 10 miles per hour.

3500 years ago we invented the chariot. That was a fast vehicle, and could reach 20 miles per hour in good circumstances.

Around 180 the locomotive brok the chariot record, and near the end of XIX century, let's say 120 years ago it even broke the 100 miles per hour.

For less then 80 years, the airplanes have soared with speeds faster then locomotive, reaching 400 miles 60 year ago and soon afterwards breaking the sound barrier.

For less then 40 years we have been able to reach escape volocity speeds of 7+ km/s allowing rockets to leave Earth. Thats 18,000 miles per hour or so.

Now consider this. It took us 45,000 years to move from walking speed to 10-20 miles per hour. It took us another 4,800 to quadruple that record with steam engine and railroads. It took us 100 years to quadruple it again with early aeroplanes. And then in 20 years we increased by more then 40 times.

Any bets on when we are going to break the light speed barrier and invent an FTL engine?

Aug 8, 2004

LoGH on Aoi Anime

Apparently, Aoi Anime has begun working on DVD rips for LoGH. About time - it is so irritating when one of the best space opera series is left unfinished (unless you speak Japanese or Chineese).

LoGH. Legend of Galactic Heroes. Do I need to say more? Right, the title sounds...childish. Believe me, the series is extremly serious. An interesting discussion is here. Or my favourite review.

A quote of the day...

Is this what it's like to wield power? I'm surrounded by rascals trying to take advantage of me.
- Reinhard Von Lohengrim

Aug 7, 2004


Loki is an interesting person. Or a God. Hard to say *exactly* what he is :) A trickster, that's for sure.

Try watching anime Mystical Detective Loki for an interesting perespective. Or just read about Norse mythology for more serious perespective.

Actually it is best to do both at the same time, they complement each other quite well.

Take care during the Ragnarok

Aug 5, 2004

Tagzilla. The Big Setup. Past ctd.

Sorry for the lack of updates lately, but I didn't think you would mind, given the amount of comments :>

I have been busy rpging in Deadlands. Feel free to read the Big Setup - perhaps you will understand the magic of this universe...

An interesting plugin for Mozilla: Tagline. Increases the email signatures functionality, but still lacks few options I'd love to see - like the ability to chose a random quote from the file instead of having to do it manualy. Still, a step in the right direction.

I have been collecting some more info about the 'Western Betrayal' menitoned in my last blog. I know it is a controversial and little known issue, so hopefully this article on 'Allied policy towards Central Europe' will clear the matter.

Here are some interesting quotes from it:

France promised to start minor land and air military operations at once, and to start a major offensive (with the majority of its forces) not later than 15 days after the declaration of war.

Both British and French governments had other plans than fulfilling the treaties with Poland. On 4 May 1939, a meeting was held in Paris, at which it was decided that the fate of Poland depends on the final outcome of the war, which will depend on our ability to defeat Germany rather than to aid Poland at the beginning. Needless to say, Poland's government was not notified of this decision.

On 12 September, the Anglo-French Supreme War Council meets for the first time at Abbeville. It is decided that all offensive actions are to be halted. French divisions have advanced approximately eight kilometres into Germany on a 24 kilometres long strip of the frontier in the Saarland area. Maurice Gamelin orders his troops to stop not closer than 1 kilometres from the German positions along the Siegfried Line. Poland is not notified of this decision. Instead, Gamelin informs marshal Edward Rydz-Śmigły that half of his divisions are in contact with the enemy, and that French advances have forced the Wehrmacht to withdraw at least 6 divisions from Poland.

Secret talks were held in Moscow which resulted in signing of the Ribbentrop-Molotov Treaty on 22 August. The full text of the treaty, including the secret protocol assuming a partition of Poland and Soviet military help to Germany in case of war, was known to the British government thanks to Hans von Herwath, an American agent in the German ministry of foreign affairs. Yet, Poland's government was not informed of this fact either.

In 1945, Poland's borders were redrawn, following the decision taken at the Teheran Conference of 1943 at the insistence of the Soviet Union. Polish government was not invited to the talks and was to be notified of their outcome. The eastern territories which the Soviet Union had occupied in 1939 (with the exception of the Bialystok area) were permanently annexed, and most of their Polish inhabitants expelled: today these territories are part of Belarus, Ukraine and Lithuania. The factual basis of this decision was the result of a forged referendum from November 1939 in which the "huge majority" of voters accepted the incorporation of these lands into Western Belarus and Western Ukraine.

Till another blog...

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