Sebastian Zearing

how to be progressive without being a stupid liberal

Tag Archives: evolution

Vasalgel and the Sexual Marketplace

This prediction was made on 17 April 2015.

Vasalgel is a male birth control technology that is currently undergoing human trials for approval by the FDA, probably by 2017 or 2018. It is a polymer that is delivered via a one-shot injection into the vas deferens, where it apparently functions by electrochemically perforating (and therefore killing) any sperm cells that pass by it. The one injection lasts upwards of several years, perhaps up to ten or more. It is easily reversible with an injection of a solvent that flushes out the polymer. It has been 100% successful in prior trials with baboons. It will be very cheap ($100 ballpark).

Read more of this post

Statistical Invariances and Hierarchical and Dimensional Variation

Look around you.

How many repeating things can you find? In my room, I can count several dozen individual blinds over the window, two windows, several dozen buttons on a remote control, several dozen keys on my keyboard, thousands of carpet threads, six guitar strings, several dozen books, four pillows, and a partridge in a pear tree [kidding]. Interestingly, if I had the right equipment, I could tell that all of these things are made from 10^bignumber electrons, quarks, and pions, though if I go back to using my eyes, I’m only interacting with these subatomic particles through photons. These subatomic particles make atoms and ions in exceedingly regular ways. These in turn make molecules in slightly more complicated ways. These molecules in turn make bulk materials in even more complicated ways (or sometimes the pattern jumps straight from atoms to bulk materials, as with most metals). And then these materials go to make all kinds of different things. We can also take a detour through biology, where the molecules, in breathtakingly complicated ways, make cells, which then make tissues, which make organs, which make bodies. So we have a world replete with all kinds of different things, the vast majority of which are not unique, isolated things but rather similar to other things.

Read more of this post

Implicit v. Explicit Information

There is a paradox in physics that occupies itself with the arcane possibility that black holes destroy information. Basically, Hawking radiation from the surface of a black hole seems to be uncorrelated with the captured material inside which is evaporating away via that Hawking radiation, and so the state pre-evaporation is not recoverable even in principle. I don’t seek to elucidate the paradox in the slightest, except that the holographic principle seems to resolve it, but rather I’d like to copy and paste their definition of “information” for my term “implicit information.” Implicit information is information regarding the configuration of a [physical] system. I’m not satisfied with that definition, but I think it perhaps more useful to contrast it with “explicit information”: explicit information is information that is ready-to-use by an intelligent agent.

Read more of this post