Huvitavat lugemist x 5 (loodusseadustest Futuramani)

Ikka ja jälle satun artiklite otsa, mida tahaks ka teistega jagada. Pühapäeva pärastlõuna tundub olevat hea võimalus mõnedele neist viidata.

New York Times’i huvitav artikkel loodusseadustest, kus mainimist leiavad vist kõik suuremad ja tunnustatumad koolkonnad, millest üks huvitavam kui teine:

Dr. Tegmark maintains that we are part of a mathematical structure, albeit one gorgeously more complicated than a hexagon, a multiplication table or even the multidimensional symmetries that describe modern particle physics. Other mathematical structures, he predicts, exist as their own universes in a sort of cosmic Pythagorean democracy, although not all of them would necessarily prove to be as rich as our own.

“Everything in our world is purely mathematical — including you,” he wrote in New Scientist.

Samas ajalehes ilmus jaanuaris aga artikkel sellest, kuidas me ei pruugi olla midagi enamat kui kosmose avarustes ringi lendavad ajud:

This bizarre picture is the outcome of a recent series of calculations that take some of the bedrock theories and discoveries of modern cosmology to the limit. Nobody in the field believes that this is the way things really work, however. And so in the last couple of years there has been a growing stream of debate and dueling papers, replete with references to such esoteric subjects as reincarnation, multiple universes and even the death of spacetime, as cosmologists try to square the predictions of their cherished theories with their convictions that we and the universe are real. The basic problem is that across the eons of time, the standard theories suggest, the universe can recur over and over again in an endless cycle of big bangs, but it’s hard for nature to make a whole universe. It’s much easier to make fragments of one, like planets, yourself maybe in a spacesuit or even — in the most absurd and troubling example — a naked brain floating in space. Nature tends to do what is easiest, from the standpoint of energy and probability. And so these fragments — in particular the brains — would appear far more frequently than real full-fledged universes, or than us. Or they might be us.

* * *

Wired’is pikem artikkel Futurama elustamisest, uute osade valmimise protsessist ja inspiratsiooni allikatest:

Groening, 53, is an omnivorous mediaphile, and it shows in his work. The Simpsons began as a straightforward parody of the conventions of domestic sitcoms but quickly turned into a nonstop barrage of pop culture references and allusions. For Futurama, Groening drew upon a childhood shaped by Isaac Asimov stories and the colorful covers of pulp magazines. (There’s a stack of Amazing Stories and Fantastic Adventures from the 1950s on a shelf near a few of his Emmy statuettes.)

Groening shows me another media archive housed nearby in the studio: a wall full of sci-fi paperbacks. He points to some that he and Cohen studied while working on their show. Arthur C. Clarke! Alfred Bester! Stanislaw Lem! Rudy Rucker! Kurt Vonnegut!

* * *

Wired’is ilmus hiljuti ka lugu iPhone’ist, kust selgub muu hulgas kui lühikese ajaga õnnestus Apple’i inseneridel teha seadmest kasutamiskõlbulik, kui salajased olid läbirääkimise operaatoritega ja kuidas iPhone sunnib operaatoreid tootele, mitte toodet operaatorile kohandama:

But as important as the iPhone has been to the fortunes of Apple and AT&T, its real impact is on the structure of the $11 billion-a-year US mobile phone industry. For decades, wireless carriers have treated manufacturers like serfs, using access to their networks as leverage to dictate what phones will get made, how much they will cost, and what features will be available on them. Handsets were viewed largely as cheap, disposable lures, massively subsidized to snare subscribers and lock them into using the carriers’ proprietary services. But the iPhone upsets that balance of power. Carriers are learning that the right phone — even a pricey one — can win customers and bring in revenue. Now, in the pursuit of an Apple-like contract, every manufacturer is racing to create a phone that consumers will love, instead of one that the carriers approve of. “The iPhone is already changing the way carriers and manufacturers behave,” says Michael Olson, a securities analyst at Piper Jaffray.

* * *

Ühes Uus-Meremaa ajalehes ilmus huvitav artikkel ühest väikesest Nikaraagua külast. Selgub, et küla asub poolel teel Kolombia narkolaborite ja USA vahel ja kuna USA piirivalve jälgib piirkonna laevaliiklust ülima tähelepanelikkusega, siis on narkokullerid sunnitud sageli enda laadungi merele loovutama, et mitte tõsisemate süüdistuste osaliseks saada. Erinevad hoovused kannavad aga kokalaadungi selle väikese Nikaraagua küla vetesse, mis on üha rohkem ja rohkem orienteerumas “valgete krabide” püüdmisele:

Those bales of cocaine float, and the currents bring them west right into the chain of islands, beaches and cays which make up the huge lagoons that surround Bluefields on Nicaragua’s Atlantic coast.

“There are no jobs here, unemployment is 85 per cent,” says Moises Arana, who was mayor of Bluefields from 2001 to 2005.

“It is sad to say, but the drugs have made contributions. Look at the beautiful houses, those mansions come from drugs. We had a women come into the local electronics store with a milk bucket stuffed full of cash. She was this little Miskito [native] woman and she had $80,000.”
. . .People here now go beachcombing for miles, they walk until they find packets. Even the lobster fisherman now go out with the pretence of fishing but really they are looking for la langosta blanca – the white lobster.”
. . .
The police and Navy have few resources and less trust from the local public. Bluefields is effectively an anarchist nation – no Government, no organised institutions and the rules are made by community groups.

Given the massive amount of cocaine in town, violence is surprisingly rare. Gunfights are nearly unheard of and most of the town seems to lounge around or play baseball all day and then erupt into a frenzy of energy by late afternoon, fuelled by Flor de Cana, a Nicaraguan rum, fresh fish, an endless supply of native oysters, and “the white lobster”.

“Down by Monkey Point, a family found an entire boat … they stashed it and bought up houses all over town. It was 57 sacks [about 1995kg],” says Jah Boon, a local Rasta man. “Those people have money and still have coke buried in them hills. It is another way of having money in the bank.”


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