Berfrois

Many, Many, Many, Many Worlds

Many, Many, Many, Many Worlds

I have often talked about the Many-Worlds or Everett approach to quantum mechanics — here’s an explanatory video, an excerpt from From Eternity to Here, and slides from a talk. But I don’t think I’ve ever explained as persuasively as possible why I think it’s the right approach. So that’s what I’m going to try to do here. Although to be honest right off the bat, I’m actually going to tackle a slightly easier problem: explaining why the many-worlds approach is not completely insane, and indeed quite natural. The harder part is explaining why it actually works, which I’ll get to in another post.

Read More

Vectors, Viruses and Victims

Vectors, Viruses and Victims

From American Scientist: Mosquitoes live brief but busy lives feeding on nectar and plant sugars. The females must also find human or animal blood to feast on in order to produce eggs and continue the life cycle, so they live rather longer than the males—several weeks rather than several...

Read More

‘The worst case scenario is not that humans will become extinct…’

‘The worst case scenario is not that humans will become extinct…’

Life After People, History From 3 Quarks Daily: The year is 3010 and an interesting new species has evolved: a muscular, knuckle-walking primate with sparse body hair and a strikingly human face. It appears to be deformed, with extra non-functional limbs in various anatomical positions–like something out of a...

Read More

The Cosmos: Capitalism’s New “Outside”

The Cosmos: Capitalism’s New “Outside”

Total Recall, 1990 From Monthly Review: In the early twentieth century, Rosa Luxemburg argued that an “outside” to capitalism is important for two main reasons. First, it is needed as a means of creating massive numbers of new customers who would buy the goods made in the capitalist countries....

Read More

Nature’s Zombie-Masters

Nature’s Zombie-Masters

From The Smithsonian: Some of the most successful zombie-masters are fungi from the genus Ophiocordyceps. The parasites infest many kinds of arthropods—from butterflies to cockroaches—but it is among ants that the fungi’s ability to control other beings’ behavior is most apparent. One prototypical scenario is found in Costa Rica,...

Read More

We must learn to “fly” biology…

We must learn to “fly” biology…

Learning to “Fly” Biology | by Alex Soojung-Kim Pang

American Scientist

Biological engineering is nothing new. “Biology is technology,” Carlson declares on the opening page; indeed, he says, “Biology is the oldest technology.”

Read More

An Empire Lacking Food

An Empire Lacking Food

  From American Scientist: Let me reintroduce you to planet Earth. Nearly 64 percent of its surface, close to 208,640,000 square kilometers, sits below 200 meters of water. The lack of light at those depths prohibits photosynthesis, the biological energy conversion system that is the foundation of most food...

Read More

‘The goal of igniting controlled fusion is simple in concept but fiendishly complicated in execution…’

‘The goal of igniting controlled fusion is simple in concept but fiendishly complicated in execution…’

The Promise of Fusion: Energy Miracle or Mirage? | by Alex Salkever

Environment 360

The U.S. has invested billions of dollars trying to create a controlled form of nuclear fusion that could be the energy source for an endless...

Read More

Cancering and Proteomics

Cancering and Proteomics

Listening In On The Body’s Proteomic Conversation | by W. Daniel Hillis

Edge

Instead of saying, "Somebody has cancer", we should say, "They're cancering".

Read More
Logan K. Young on The Replacements

I, myself, was barely six months old when Twin/Tone put out The Mats’ Let It Be. The day, they say, was Orwellian: Tuesday, October...

Read More
Tyranny Is a Growth Industry by Vladimir Savich and Zachary Bos

Tyranny is a growth industry. Each day brings exciting new developments. These events imprint themselves upon the world in the form of newspapers, magazines,...

Read More
Tjoa Shze Hui: 1920s

Of the many witticisms that make up The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas, one voiced by Picasso really gets under the skin. He says...

Read More
Elias Tezapsidis on Lorentzen, Batuman, Lerner, Smallwood and Stein

Contemporary narrators feel entitled to their own realities now more than ever. The internet has created this fascinating binary, one in which individuals can...

Read More
Henry Giardina on Bob Hope

All mythical creatures need an origin story. The Bob Hope character springs into being, Athena-like, from out of the head of Preston Sturges in...

Read More
Mattilda B. Sycamore: Yearning From Spurning

One problem with gentrification is that it always gets worse. But then I go into a Hooters, and it’s a vintage clothing store. A...

Read More
Alexander McGregor
Alexander McGregor: Trauma

Following World War II, the German philosopher Theodor Adorno wrote, “Nach Auschwitz ein Gedicht zu schreiben, ist barbarisch”: to write poetry after Auschwitz is...

Read More
John Crutchfield: Chords

But music, even bad music, is a symptom of hope, is it not? Naturally one would prefer the music to be good, but any...

Read More
Menachem Feuer on Robin Williams

Regardless of whether you are from Europe, the United States, Asia, or Africa, we can all agree that there is something special about the...

Read More
Reality Principles: Berfrois Interviews Frank Smecker

I don't know if I ever wanted to become a theorist. I struggle with this position. For me, it's a hystericized — and therefore...

Read More
Albert Rolls: Which (Side) Are You On, Man?

James Parker begins his review of Inherent Vice with the quip, “If Thomas Pynchon were a stand-up comedian, and Inherent Vice his newest routine,...

Read More
Keith Doubt
Keith Doubt on Serbia

The intellectual integrity of cultural anthropology is based largely on its commitment to cultural relativism as a principled notion. Cultural relativism is the principle...

Read More
A Gosse in Woolf’s Clothing by Andre Gerard

On May 31, two weeks after his death, and the day before Orlando was sent to the printer, Woolf noted his death as follows:...

Read More
Andrew Gallix: Let’s Go!

Retro-futurism, as we now call it, came out of the closet in the late '70s due to the widespread feeling that there was indeed...

Read More