Wednesday, 14 December 2011


Health and Well-being are based on four elements:
  1. What you eat;
  2. What you breathe;
  3. What you think; and
  4. How you sleep.
    Take care of those.

    Modern Society

    Law and order of a modern society is rather illusory. A western "civilized" society is mostly based on chaos, negligence, and financial greed.

    Thursday, 17 November 2011


    Those who do research in physics do so because they are too afraid to look in the face of reality: consciousness and neuroscience.

    Monday, 14 November 2011

    Carcinogenic Aloe

    I read on wikipedia that Aloe vera is "potentially carcinogenic" (List of herbs with known adverse effects). Hmm, that made me thinking. The reference is "Should we be concerned about herbal remedies" 2001 by Memory Elvin-Lewis. But in that paper she just quotes another paper titled "Anthranoid laxative abuse--a risk for colorectal cancer?" 1993 by Siegers et al, which conclues that "Anthranoid-containing laxatives--aloe, cascara, frangula, and rheum--may play a role in colorectal cancer" using a quite controversial analysis. A quick search finds another paper "Anthranoid laxative use is not a risk factor for colorectal neoplasia: results of a prospective case control study" 2000, G Nusko et al, that says "Neither anthranoid laxative use, even in the long term, nor macroscopic or marked microscopic melanosis coli were associated with any significant risk for the development of colorectal adenoma or carcinoma". I wonder, who might be interested in discrediting herbs and in particular Aloe?

    Follow up 28 Nov 2011
    A few other wikipedia articles cite a paper "Vitamins and minerals: not for cancer or cardiovascular prevention" published in 2010. I could not find the text of the paper, but from the journal content list this paper is only half a page long, and it does not have the author! I cannot believe how statements made positively and negatively polarized depending whether they are about chemical drugs or natural approaches.

    Another citation from the wikipedia article "Cancer": "Some studies have found that consuming lots of fruits and vegetables has little if any effect on preventing cancer". The paper, it is being referred to, says "A very small inverse association between intake of total fruits and vegetables and cancer risk was observed in this study. Given the small magnitude of the observed associations, caution should be applied in their interpretation.". I just wonder who wants to write "Some studies have found that consuming lots of fruits and vegetables has little if any effect on preventing cancer" referring to a paper which does not make that statement. However there lots of studies which prove that vegetarian diet significantly reduces, for example, risk of colon cancer.

    Someone wants to sell drugs badly and in large amounts.

    Thursday, 29 September 2011

    Consciousness fusion: consciousness upload without brain scan

    One of the known possible consciousness transfers is a gradual replacement of brain regions with artificial blocks. To me a problem with this approach is that even if the regions are small, there still must be the scanning procedure to extract not only functionality but the memory as well, because the brain has memory and it is stored in its network connections. Another problem in my opinion is that all this seems very unrealistic: keeping the brain alive and properly functioning with embedded artificial circuits.

    There must be a simpler procedure to transfer the consciousness into the artificial brain. Start with a conscious but fairly empty artificial brain which is associated with a body similar to human, a robot. Now connect all sensory inputs from the robot to the real brain. At the same time shut down (or force to ignore) the sensory inputs of the real body keeping the real brain alive. Attach motor functions of the real brain to the robot. The artificial body of the robot is now governed by two independent minds: the artificial and the real. The artificial mind would be quite passive because of learning, so mostly the real mind would be responsible for the behaviour of the robot. After some short time the real mind starts to associate itself with a robot – with all its sensory inputs coming from and motoric functions acting through the robots body. After longer time the memory of life experience builds up synchronously in both minds the real and the artificial; although the real mind has its own memory baggage – the life before the connection. After even longer time, the percentage of pre-connection experience decreases. It might be possible to revoke older memories like it happens with a repeating recollection which overrides the older memory, hence moving the surrogate memories of older life to the artificial mind. At some moment the old memories of the real brain can be shutdown. Once this is done the system represents two identical minds one of which is real and the other is artificial. After this, switching off the real mind will not change the conscious state because that state is the same in both minds.

    The net effect of all this process is a gradual transfer of the mind from the real brain into the artificial without conscious experience being interrupted. Obviously you would loose all your real memories obtained prior to connection. Is it worth it to live forever?

    Thursday, 22 September 2011

    Fuck Google Maps Offline III

    This is to replace two previous my posts "Maps Offline with Tile Viewer (part II)" and "How to browse Google Maps offline"

    A few years ago I wrote my own tile viewer for viewing Google Maps tiles. Then I created a quite elaborate system for downloading tiles from Google servers. That all failed miserably. For the viewer I did not have much time for full application development. For the downloader I found that Google cleverly fights with such smart-asses like me. All in all I figured out that the simplest solutions are often the best. And below is the way I found practical for all my needs.

    You need:
    0 Working Internet Explorer (IE), if you are using Unix OS run it in Virtual machine
    1. iegmsas console program
    2. SAS.Planet (optional if you have your own tile viewer)
    3. TrueCrypt (optional if you do not intent work with Tbytes of volumes)

    Starting from the bottom up.

    3. TrueCrypt is a program, which easily create a virtual hard drive. This program is necessary for the cache because if you have above 10-20 Gb of tiles moving the cache around becomes impractical. Instead TrueCrypt has all your cache in one file. If you are just starting creating you cache you can ignore this point at all and worry about it later.

    2. SAS.Planet is a nice but crooked program for viewing and handling tiles. Its advantage is that it is the best program that exists, quite reliable, and with impressive functionality. A big disadvantage is that it is written in Russian and English version is way not too intuitive and user friendly. [Maybe it is done intentionally.] I am using the English version. It is very satisfactory once you get used to it. This program has its own built-in downloader for different map services including Google maps. But it does not work reliably because as I mentioned above Google knows about little fuckers and tries to prevent this kind of activity.

    1. iegmsas is a simple console program which reads IE cache and steals tile files from there. You can download C++ source code here or Windows executable here

    * iegmsas takes two optional arguments N and T with default values 1 and 300 as
    iegmsas 1 300
    N is a number to check the IE cache; 0 for infinite loop;
    T is the time delay between cache cheking

    * iegmsas tries to read the directory HOMEDRIVE\HOMEPATH\Local Settings\Temporary Internet Files\
    Which is correct on XP, but different on other Windows like Win7
    To change the default path create a file '' and write in it a line
    ' C:\Documents and Settings\Davy\Local Settings\Temporary Internet Files\'
    No quote marks. Mind 2 spaces at the front. Fix the user name and the cache path.

    * iegmsas creates two directories 'cache' and 'gm' where tiles are copied. The first directory stores the tiles in the format for SAS.Planet. The second directory 'gm' stores the tiles in the format for OMTileViewer. So basically files are duplicated in these directories. The only important difference is that only 'gm' directory is checked by iegmsas before copying new tiles. So if you remove 'gm' directory iegmsas will copy all tiles from IE cache.

    0. IE can be left with arrow key pressed if you press an arrow key and the press Alt or another key not releasing the arrow key. If you need a more elaborate navigation send me e-mail, and I will send you programs which make IE navigate in more complex way, for example, follow the roads.

    Tuesday, 13 September 2011

    Believing in Strong AI

    People not believing in Strong AI will exist even after the technological singularity like all those who still believe in immortal soul.

    Monday, 12 September 2011

    Questions, questions...

    There are questions which are difficult to answer. Inquiring mind trying to be consistent answers them according to its own culture, not science. The very concept of knowledge fails in such areas of cognition.

    Question 1. What is the ultimate cause of everything? What is the creator of the Universe? If the beginning of the universe had a creator then who is the creator of the creator? If the creator made himself, what is the reason of such creation?

    Question 2. Is there any mind in the Universe different from ours? Another mind may be different so much that interaction with it may be impossible or virtually impossible.

    Question 3. Is the Universe controlled by determinism? Quantum physics tells us that quantum processes are fundamentally non deterministic for any observer. So the question is, is it non-deterministic for the Universe itself as well?

    Question 4. Is there free will in a deterministic world? Assuming, that the quantum world is not needed for explanation of intelligence and consciousness, how certain laws create your own personal free will?

    Question 5. How the past can be multiple? The double-slit experiment proves multiple histories ....

    Tuesday, 6 September 2011

    Theory, reality, and a white car

    I have a theory that my car is white. The facts are that my car was white when I was buying it. Yesterday it was white, and every day earlier I saw it being white. Now the prediction of my theory is that tomorrow my car will still be white, because I have a law in my theory that my car is white always. This theory is not reality, it is just a theory. Because it might happen that the car will get painted to some other colour. In that case my theory would fail. The law would be broken by reality.

    My theory is that the words: theory, knowledge, memory, word, concept have one root of meaning. Every word in a language is some kind of theory with its predictive power. We use language constructs to model the reality only eventually to be able to make predictions. In situations when we can descent to greater details of the model, more precise description is possible; for example, science theories. In other cases when the model is difficult to break into composites, we invent a concept, label it with a word, and use that word in a context to pass the information about future events; for example, knowledge or thoughts. I think that my car is white. Here I pass the model of my perception of the car. You would be surprised to see me not surprised seeing that my car is not white, because I told you that I think it is white, unless I lied. Lie is another concept quite different from think. In your model of me you may assume that I may sometimes lie. So your prediction of future events consists of many theories and concepts put together. The scientific method is built in our language, which appears to be the only way to describe the reality, via models and theories even if the models and theories do not look like models and theories in their usual meaning.

    Thursday, 25 August 2011

    Pedagogical advice

    If you ask someone to do a particular job, then that person subconsciously bears in mind that taking care of this job is your responsibility, hence less likely taking the initiative in the future. This works especially apparently with children.

    Thursday, 18 August 2011

    On Memory 2

    Memory is information. Information has sense. Sense is only included in the future. Different senses cause different futures.

    The past is one. Futures are many. Every possible branch of the future is defined by the conscious selection of an organism. The conscious selection of the organism is defined by its prediction of the future, and this prediction is the sense of the information.

    Hence the past and the future are linked through the prediction of organisms, the sense of information which forms the organism's memory.

    An active agent, organism, submerged into the environment possesses information about the environment forming its memory. Since no organism is programmed by a (or the) creator, that information is the only product of the environment allowing us to distinguish the organism from the environment.

    To me, the separation between the past and the future, and between the organism and the environment is only a perceptional effect. In reality it is just one entity like one building viewed from different angles.

    Little wrongness amongst many

    In confrontation the easiest situation is when your enemy is wrong. How frustrating it is when your opponent is almost right and wrong just a little; and this wrongness is supported by many. That always have devastating effect which everyone understands to be wrong, but no one seems to understand why. Little wrongness among many builds up, pours itself out in immoral actions or simple stupidity which cannot be fought.

    Friday, 3 June 2011

    Life and Science

    Science is an aspiration to increase knowledge by any opportunity. Life is an aspiration to increases its presence by any opportunity. Things which can be copied must be copied.

    Friday, 20 May 2011

    Road for a thought

    With age the mind becomes more like a highway: thoughts move much faster, but leave no trails.

    Tuesday, 17 May 2011

    Real art

    Real art must not only be useless, it must also be incorrect to ensure no possible practicality in the future.

    Tuesday, 22 March 2011

    Principles of relativity

    1. Relative Motion
    If you move in uniform motion relative to some surface and the surface is perfectly smooth, then you cannot make a physical experiment to find out whether you move or not.

    2. Uniform Motion
    If you do not have objects of reference, you cannot make a physical experiment to find out whether you move or not.

    3. Special Relativity
    If two events A and B take place so that A happens after the point in time necessary for light to reach from A one to B, but earlier than the point in time necessary for light to reach from B to A, then you cannot make a physical experiment to find out which event happened earlier and which later.

    4. General Relativity
    If you do not have objects of reference and experience inertial force, you cannot make a physical experiment to find out whether the force is caused by acceleration or gravitation.

    These principles have so beautiful symmetry that it is difficult to imagine that they are not true. However the first one is obviously false because the surface must be made of atoms. Only in an imaginary universe where the matter can be continuous this principle holds. The second is the Galilean invariance. And the last two are Einstein’s.

    Monday, 14 March 2011

    Memes war

    Evolutionary principle of information propagation is universal. Starting from a simple hydrodynamic turbulence and stretching to more complex systems in chemistry, biology, genetics and politics, informational entities procreate as soon as new area suitable for existence is recognized.

    In this sense biological organisms are not much different from turbulence vortices. When liquid changes its state from laminar to turbulent, there is a point of instability where an appearance of one vortex cause an avalanche process of recreating vortices first in the neighbor area and finally in the whole volume. One can say that a vortex wants to reproduce. Later they can fight for space killing each other and reproducing whenever possible.

    Memes use people as an environment. When mutually exclusive memes clash and fight for survival the most effective solution is to eliminate the enemy meme habitat, i.e. a person who has an incompatible belief. Less severe measures are possible, but they are less effective. As long as people possess mutually exclusive memes, there will always be violence and wars.

    Memes as any other evolving things do cooperate to fight common enemies. This cooperation assumes acceptance to some extent to foreign memes. Another acceptance can be to non-hostile or irrelevant memes.

    Wednesday, 9 February 2011

    Pull and Push Requirements Revisited

    Architecting is bringing together two entities: what we have and what we need.

    What we have can be improved and modified in a number of ways both simultaneous and mutually exclusive. You can imagine a tree of paths starting from one node. The node is what we have. The branches are what can be done about or with it.

    The same situation is with the other pole – what we need. If it’s a node, then the branches coming out of this node are the possible objectives which if achieved can deliver what we need.

    The architect work is to build the branches and link the branches from the different sides. Building architecture for complex systems is a hard work, often not achievable in the original idea. I find it important to identify five directions of thoughts: what we have, what we need, what can be done, ingredients of what we need, and the grey area of linking.

    Monday, 24 January 2011

    Evolution without natural selection

    I find the idea that evolution is possible without natural selection fascinating!

    Suppose that there is a fixed number of species with equal number of male and female and exactly the same length of life for all species. Each pair produce two offspring male and female keeping the perfect balance of the whole population. Now is the question: is evolution possible in this scenario? One answer is no, because there are no natural selection and no preference is given to one carrier of genes before another.

    If genes are taken from the parents in exactly random way then each parent pair pass 75 per cent of their genes to their offspring, because it is 50 percent from each parent to each child, so 25 percent is shared between two offspring. It means that with each generation a quarter of all genes are lost. However due to genes variety and enough repetition within the whole population, the number of distinct genes may not be decreasing. If there are random mutations in genes the variety can increase. In the other case when passing genes is not fully random, less than 75 per cent is being passed, so the washing out of genes is even faster.

    Suppose however that there is a mechanism which marks genes of the individual as better or worse. If two genes one from each parent fight for the place to be in the descendant based on their marked value, then better genes are passed to the next generation and worse genes will be lost. In this case the natural selection happens on the level of genes and not on the level of species. Overall trend is that each generation has better genes even that no preference is given to any creature during its life.

    Obviously there are two questions here. First what is that mechanism which makes genes to be marked and compete? And second, what means a better gene? Or in other words, how the organism decides which gene to reward and which to punish? Let them to be open. What is interesting is that evolution happens in a completely perfect and stable environment for species.

    If something like this happens in reality, the main reason for this probably is the elimination of undesirable mutations in genes.

    Thursday, 13 January 2011

    On Memory

    You know what is memory. It is in your memory. But what is it? It is defined vaguely as 1) something remembered; 2) preserved data for retrieval. How do I know that someone has memory? It is simple - if his behaviour adequate to his past experience. But what if that someone does not reveal any behaviour? In such case to assert that the memory exists is problematic. In the simplest case the memory is a table device with input and output entries. For any particular input the device manifests output. In a computer, memory input is the address of a memory cell and output is the value stored in the memory cell. Note that in computer computation it is important that the addresses in memory are associated with each other by arithmetic operations; otherwise no useful computations would be possible.

    Behaviour or output is necessary in memory definition. If no behaviour present (for example one cannot extract values from the memory) then it does not matter whether a device has anything in its memory or not. For an external observer memory is not present.

    Time is necessary for memory definition. Memory links two events distant in time. And the opposite is true, if two events distant in time are linked, then there memory exists.

    Space is required for memory associations. Different memories can be liked in space by association. In other words memory about memory maps time link into space link. The most interesting thing here is that mapping back space link into time link can be done arbitrary by a device. For example time can shrink or be reversed. In the first case, the device reveals ability to predict and in the second to infer.