Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Archive for September 2019

Much the same shave: Tabacco Verde, RazoRock synthetic, Baby Smooth

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The brush today is a 24mm RazoRock synthetic, and it aroused a fine lather from the old Italian Tcheon Fung Sing’s Tabacco Verde shaving soap. My other Baby Smooth—I did want a spare—did a fine job (as always), and a splash of Alt-Innsbruck finished the shave with Tabacco Verde and a touch of menthol. The weekend lies ready before me, and I am ready for it.

Written by LeisureGuy

21 September 2019 at 7:57 am

Posted in Shaving

The Communist Plot to Assassinate George Orwell

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Duncan White writes at Literary Hub:

When George Orwell returned to Barcelona for the third time, on June 20th, 1937, he discovered that the Spanish secret police were after him. He had been forced to return to the front in order to have his discharge papers countersigned and, in his absence, the Communists had initiated a purge of their perceived enemies. Orwell was on the list. As he arrived in the lobby of the Hotel Continental, Eileen approached him calmly, placed her arm around his neck, and smiled for the benefit of anyone watching. Once they were close enough she hissed in his ear:

“Get out!”

“What?”

“Get out at once.”

“What?”

“Don’t keep standing here! You must get outside quickly!”

Eileen guided a bewildered Orwell toward the hotel exit. Marceau Pivert, a French friend of Orwell’s who was just entering the lobby, seemed distressed to see him and told him he needed to hide before the hotel called the police. A sympathetic member of the staff joined in, urging Orwell to leave in his broken English. Eileen managed to get him to a café on a discreet side street, where she explained the seriousness of the situation.

*

David Crook, a young Englishman working for the Independent Labour Party’s (ILP) Barcelona office, had become friends with both Orwell and his wife over the last few months. He was not what he seemed. He had arrived in Spain in January 1937, the month after Orwell, eager to join up with the International Brigades and fight the Fascists. He was descended from Russian-Jewish immigrants and grew up in Hampstead, attending the prestigious Cheltenham College.

Like many young men who grew up after the First World War, he was attracted to left-wing causes. He moved to New York City, where he attended Columbia University and embraced radical politics, joining the Young Communist League. As a student delegate he traveled down to Kentucky to support the famous miners’ strike in Harlan County, witnessing its brutal suppression by the National Guard. On his return to London he became a member of the British Communist Party. At one meeting, the doomed poet John Cornford spoke about the Republican cause in Spain, and Crook was inspired to enlist.

Like Hyndman, Crook was thrust straight into the action at the Battle of Jarama, taking three bullets to the leg. Recovering in Madrid, he socialized with the literary set, including the brilliant war correspondent Martha Gellhorn, her lover Ernest Hemingway, Mulk Raj Anand, and Spender. At this point he came to the attention of Soviet intelligence agents. After recruiting him, the NKVD sent him to a training camp in Albacete, where he was given a crash course in sabotage and surveillance techniques.

There he became a Communist spy. Crook’s mission was to infiltrate the ILP and report on all their activities. The Soviets already had one agent in place, David Wickes, who volunteered as an interpreter with the ILP and passed what information he found on to his handlers. Now Crook was to infiltrate deeper and get hold of documents. Orwell was his most prestigious target. . .

Continue reading.

Written by LeisureGuy

20 September 2019 at 6:37 pm

Posted in Books, Daily life, Politics

MIT Media Lab Kept Regulators in the Dark, Dumped Chemicals in Excess of Legal Limit

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Another instance of overweening entitlement. Something needs to be done to slap some sense into the heads of these people with excessive self-regard. (I don’t mean literally “slap”; I mean sent to prison for a decade or so.) Lisa Song, ProPublica, and Max Larkin, WBUR-FM, report in ProPublica:

Documents and interviews show the Media Lab, already under fire for accepting contributions from Jeffrey Epstein, is being investigated for an apparent violation of state environmental regulations. They paused operations after we asked questions.

Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Media Lab have dumped wastewater underground in apparent violation of a state environmental regulation, according to documents and interviews, potentially endangering local waterways in and near the town of Middleton.

Nitrogen levels from the lab’s wastewater registered more than 20 times above the legal limit, according to documents provided by a former Media Lab employee. When water contains large amounts of nitrogen, it can kill fish and deprive infants of oxygen.

Nine months ago, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection began asking questions, but MIT’s health and safety office failed to provide the required water quality reports, according to documents obtained by ProPublica and WBUR. This triggered an ongoing state investigation.

After ProPublica and WBUR contacted MIT for comment, an institute official said the lab in question was pausing its operations while the university and regulators worked on a solution. Tony Sharon, an MIT deputy vice president who oversees the health and safety office, didn’t comment on the specific events described in the documents.

The state’s investigation adds to recent scrutiny of the Media Lab for accepting donations from Jeffrey Epstein, a convicted sex offender who was charged with trafficking minors before he died in jail last month. Joichi Ito, the director of the Media Lab, has resigned, and students have called for the resignation of MIT President L. Rafael Reif, who signed off on at least one of Epstein’s gifts.

The lab responsible for the dumping is the Open Agriculture Initiative, one of many research projects at the Media Lab. Led by principal research scientist Caleb Harper, who was trained as an architect, the initiative has been under fire for overhyping its “food computers”: boxes that could supposedly be programmed to grow crops, but allegedly didn’t work as promised.

Throughout early 2018, the lab’s research site in Middleton, about 20 miles north of the main MIT campus in Cambridge, routinely drained hundreds of gallons of water with nitrogen into an underground disposal well, at concentrations much higher than the lab’s permit allowed, according to documents and interviews. The nitrogen came from a fertilizer mix used to grow plants hydroponically.

The information comes from dozens of emails and lab results shared by Babak Babakinejad, a former researcher in Harper’s lab. Babakinejad said he decided to speak out because he’s worried about the health and environmental impacts of the dumping. Babakinejad’s account of the lab’s actions was confirmed by two other sources with knowledge of the experiments, who asked for anonymity.

Babakinejad told ProPublica and WBUR that he warned Harper and MIT’s Environment, Health and Safety Office (EHS) about the situation after he realized their hydroponic solution exceeded their environmental permit, which limited the wastewater to concentrations of 10 parts per million (ppm) for nitrogen.

EHS is responsible for health and safety throughout the institute, from environmental sustainability to the proper handling of toxic chemicals in research labs.

“Our base fertilizer regiment is at 150 ppm Nitrogen… way above the required limit,” Babakinejad wrote in an April 2018 email to Harper, other Media Lab employees and senior staffers at EHS. “I am looking forward to discuss available options such as diluting our waste water… or apply for an appropriate license.”

Harper responded to Babakinejad within the hour, scolding him for emailing health and safety officials: “Writing emails directly to Senior EHS / Facilities teams at MIT, especially those that effect [sic] our groups ability to do research, without asking [the project’s assistant director] or I to review, comment and approve is inappropriate… If emails are directed to you regarding our teams [sic] EHS responsibilities please redirect them to me until further notice.”

This followed prior emails when Babakinejad had questioned Harper about whether the lab’s food computers could really do what Harper claimed. In news reports about this question, Harper did not address allegations about the project’s shortcomings.

Babakinejad said he later spoke to the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) in the fall of 2018, prompting the agency to take a closer look at the lab’s wastewater disposal permit.

For more than five months, a MassDEP scientist tried to get basic information from MIT’s EHS office about how the lab disposed of its wastewater. This June, the scientist expressed frustration in an email to a senior EHS official:

“MassDEP is concerned about the time that it is taking to provide what should be easy to obtain information regarding the (disposal well) discharges and other on-site discharges,” he wrote. “MassDEP is concerned that MIT still hasn’t indicated to MassDEP its long term solution to the management of spent growing solution wastewater containing unacceptably high concentrations of total nitrogen.”

In a statement, MassDEP spokesman Edmund Coletta stated the agency was “concerned about the wastewater discharge issue connected to the Open Agriculture Initiative’s facility in Middleton (MA) and we are investigating the issue further. However, as this is a potential enforcement matter, I cannot offer any other comments.”

Harper provided a statement through his lawyer, David Siegal: “Mr. Harper and his lab are, and have always been, deeply committed to protecting the environment. He has been and will continue to be fully cooperative with and responsive to MIT’s Department of Environmental Health and Safety and the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection in their efforts to make sure the lab conforms to all environmental laws and regulations,” Siegal said.

At this point there is no evidence that the discharge from Harper’s lab has reached local drinking water or the nearby Ipswich River.

Excess nitrogen, when ingested by infants under four months old, can prevent blood from carrying oxygen, which can be fatal if left untreated. Municipal water systems routinely check for contaminants, but homes and businesses that use private drinking water wells are responsible for monitoring their own water. ProPublica and WBUR did not obtain any of those testing results.

Pamela Templer, a Boston University professor who studies biogeochemistry, said nitrogen is an essential component of all living things.

“But at high concentrations, it can become what we consider too much of a good thing,” she said. “In waterways, it can lead to phenomena like harmful algal blooms, which can be toxic to people and pets.” . . .

Continue reading. There’s much more.

Written by LeisureGuy

20 September 2019 at 6:14 pm

A cure for chronic pain?

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I know people who suffer chronic pain, and it’s a tough row to how. That’s why this article by Sophie Elmhirst in the Economist 1843 caught my eye:

Peter McNaughton, a professor of pharmacology at King’s College London, is a devoted optimist. He acknowledges that his positivity can sometimes seem irrational, but he also knows that without it he wouldn’t have achieved all that he has. And what he’s achieved is quite possibly monumental. After decades of research into the cellular basis of chronic pain, McNaughton believes he has discovered the fundamentals of a drug that might eradicate it. If he’s right, he could transform millions, even billions, of lives. What more could anyone hope for than a world without pain?

McNaughton, nearly 70, is long-limbed, grey-haired and bespectacled. Though he has lived in London for decades, his voice still carries the cheery cadence of his native New Zealand. He wears blue Levis and black Nikes and delights in a late-blooming informality after years of heading university departments and turning up in a suit. Now, running his own lab, he can dress as he likes. On a Friday morning in April he waited for his young team to arrive at the modern, red-brick building in south London where he conducts his research. (McNaughton is always the first to arrive.) Today the team was assembled to hear a presentation by Rafaela Lone, a Brazilian scientist, who had spent the past six months in McNaughton’s lab breeding mice with symptoms that mimic fibromyalgia, a long-term condition that causes widespread pain and chronic fatigue. Lone explained that her mother had suffered from fibromyalgia for seven years. Her life had been reduced to a misery of symptoms ranging from urinary-tract infections to intense sensitivity to cold. Some days were bear-able; on others she couldn’t get out of bed. “She learns how to hold the pain,” said Lone.

McNaughton looked aggrieved at this (he finds it so hard to tolerate other people’s discomfort that, when his grandchildren come to stay, he lets them sleep in his bed because he can’t bear to disappoint them). But there was hope. Lone’s slides revealed her preliminary findings. Using genetic and pharmacological methods based on McNaughton’s research, she had achieved a consistent eradication of the mice’s pain. McNaughton looked exultant: “It’s really worked spectacularly well, hasn’t it?”

His eureka moment occurred back in 2010. From previous research, he knew that a group of ion channels (protein molecules that span a cell’s membrane), known as the HCN family, modulated pain sensation. When a nerve is stimulated, a message is sent via the spinal cord to the brain, which then interprets it as pain. The challenge was to find the right ion channel to target with a drug. His team slowly worked their way through the group: blocking HCN1 had little effect and they didn’t want to interfere with HCN4 as it regulates the heart rate. Then they tried HCN2.

The team bred genetically engineered mice from embryos that had HCN2 excised from their DNA. Subsequent experiments showed that these mice did not develop neuropathic pain (the kind that affects the nervous system and is often caused by long-term conditions such as cancer or diabetes). Not only that, the mice with HCN2 cut out were still able to feel acute pain – the necessary, protective jolt that tells us to remove our finger from a drawing pin. “That’s the holy grail,” McNaughton told me, sitting in his modest office in his lab, pictures of his family looping on his computer screensaver. “It is! It really is!” (On the mice in question, McNaughton was remorseful: “I’m acutely aware that this is unpleasant for the mice,” he said.)

After his discovery, McNaughton’s research group developed chemical compounds able to achieve, by blocking the HCN2 ion channel, the same effect in mice as the genetic technique. These form the basis for a prospective painkilling drug with the potential to treat multiple chronic-pain conditions (further research has shown strong evidence that blocking HCN2 has a positive effect on mice mimicking symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis and migraine).

McNaughton filed three patents, pitched his research around the large pharmaceutical companies and a deal was then reached earlier this year between King’s College London and the Wellcome Trust (who helped fund the research) and Merck, an American pharmaceutical giant. The deal is worth $340m plus royalties if the drug comes to market. That may sound like a large sum, but it is nothing compared with the profits that Merck could reap, in an industry where the larger the potential patient pool, the greater the reward. Chronic pain is estimated to affect a fifth of the global population, or 1.5bn people. “It’s an absolutely vast market,” said McNaughton.

The windfall would not touch McNaughton himself. . .

Continue reading.

Written by LeisureGuy

20 September 2019 at 11:58 am

How to Be Brave: The freedom to fail and recover

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Bravery in our culture right now has become a privilege for men.

— Reshma Saujani, founder and chief executive of Girls Who Code


t was a room full of colorful Post-its that put it all into perspective.

In 2010, Reshma Saujani decided to run against Representative Carolyn Maloney for her seat in the House. It seemed as if Saujani had a good chance at toppling the veteran New York congresswoman: She had raised more money than her opponent, she got John Legend to perform two fund-raising concerts, and she scored several high-profile endorsements.

On Election Day, her staff moved into a hotel room on the Upper East Side of Manhattan to prepare it for a victory celebration. They jotted down messages of support on Post-its and stuck them all over the walls. One read, “Brown girls taking over Washington” and another read, “To all the young people, it’s our time.”

Then Saujani lost, grabbing just 19 percent of the votes. “I got back to that hotel room and I just cried and cried,” she told me.

But in that rock-bottom moment, she realized failure wasn’t the end of the world. Gasp! Surprise!

After a bit more crying, some red wine and another failed race (in 2013, for New York City public advocate), Saujani went on to found her nonprofit, Girls Who Code, which teaches girls around the world to code, and publish a book, “Brave Not Perfect,” about the fear of failure.

So why is failure so scary for so many women?

It stems from years of cultural and social conditioning, Saujani said, an assertion that has been supported by several studies. “From a very young age, we tell our girls to smile pretty, play it safe, get all A’s,” she said. Boys, meanwhile, are encouraged to play rough, break things, fall hard and get back up.

“Bravery in our culture right now has become a privilege for men,” Saujani said. And if women are taught to strive for perfection, failure is simply not an option, she said — a mentality that can make women unhappy (read: regretful, envious, anxious) and discourage them from pursuing their goals.

In an effort to dismantle the perfectionist ideal, Saujani has been airing her personal failures and vulnerabilities publicly on Instagram with the hashtag #FailureFriday — like losing her son in public and failing her practice driver’s test.

She also challenges her followers to make bolder choices in their own lives — and share them. As she writes in her book, bravery is a muscle and it requires consistent, daily flexing.

How to be braver? Here are some of her tips:

  • Send an email with a typo: “We spend so much time crafting that perfect email with the perfect amount of exclamation marks,” said Saujani, that even the slightest error can push us into a mental spiral. A tiny typo will force you to accept imperfection.

  • Do something fun that you suck at: Karaoke, baking, pottery, whatever — if it’s fun for you, do it. This will help you dissociate enjoyment from achievement. For example, Saujani took up surfing last summer despite not yet knowing how to swim.

  • Get some rest: “You can’t be brave if you’re tired,” Saujani said. Take care of . . .

Continue reading.

Written by LeisureGuy

20 September 2019 at 11:27 am

Posted in Daily life

Hugh Everett blew up quantum mechanics with his Many-Worlds theory

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In Aeon Sean Carroll has an edited extract from his bookSomething Deeply Hidden: Quantum Worlds and the Emergence of Spacetime’:

One of the most radical and important ideas in the history of physics came from an unknown graduate student who wrote only one paper, got into arguments with physicists across the Atlantic as well as his own advisor, and left academia after graduating without even applying for a job as a professor. Hugh Everett’s story is one of many fascinating tales that add up to the astonishing history of quantum mechanics, the most fundamental physical theory we know of.

Everett’s work happened at Princeton in the 1950s, under the mentorship of John Archibald Wheeler, who in turn had been mentored by Niels Bohr, the godfather of quantum mechanics. More than 20 years earlier, Bohr and his compatriots had established what came to be called the ‘Copenhagen Interpretation’ of quantum theory. It was never a satisfying set of ideas, but Bohr’s personal charisma and the desire on the part of scientists to get on with the fun of understanding atoms and particles quickly established Copenhagen as the only way for right-thinking physicists to understand quantum theory.

In the Copenhagen view, we distinguish between microscopic quantum systems and macroscopic observers. Quantum systems exist in superpositions of different possible measurement outcomes, called ‘wave functions’. A spinning electron, for example, has a wave function describing a superposition of ‘spin-up’ and ‘spin-down’. It’s not merely that we don’t know the spin of the electron, but that the value of the spin does not exist until it is measured. An observer, by contrast, obeys all the rules of familiar classical physics. At the moment that an observer measures a quantum system, that system’s wave function suddenly and unpredictably collapses, revealing some definite spin or whatever has been measured.

There are apparently, therefore, two completely different ways in which quantum systems evolve. When we’re not looking at them, wave functions change smoothly according to the Schrödinger equation, written down by Erwin Schrödinger in 1926. But when we do look at them, wave functions act in a totally different way, collapsing onto some particular outcome.

If this seems unsatisfying, you’re not alone. What exactly counts as a measurement? And what makes observers so special? If I’m made up of atoms that obey the rules of quantum mechanics, shouldn’t I obey the rules of quantum mechanics myself? Nevertheless, the Copenhagen approach became enshrined as conventional wisdom, and by the 1950s it was considered somewhat ill-mannered to question it.

That didn’t bother Everett. The seeds of his visionary idea, now known as the Many-Worlds formulation of quantum mechanics, can be traced to a late-night discussion in 1954 with fellow young physicists Charles Misner (also a student of Wheeler’s) and Aage Peterson (an assistant of Bohr’s, visiting from Copenhagen). All parties agree that copious amounts of sherry were consumed on the occasion.

Under Wheeler’s guidance, Everett had begun thinking about quantum cosmology: the study of the entire Universe as a quantum system. Clearly, he reasoned, if we’re going to talk about the Universe in quantum terms, we can’t carve out a separate classical realm. Every part of the Universe will have to be treated according to the rules of quantum mechanics, including the observers within it. There will be only a single quantum state, described by what Everett called the ‘universal wave function’.

If everything is quantum, and the Universe is described by a single wave function, how is measurement supposed to occur? It must be, Everett reasoned, when one part of the Universe interacts with another part of the Universe in some appropriate way. That is something that’s going to happen automatically, he noticed, simply due to the evolution of the universal wave function according to the Schrödinger equation. We don’t need to invoke any special rules for measurement at all; things bump into each other all the time.

Imagine that we have a spinning electron in some superposition of up and down. We also have a measuring apparatus, which according to Everett is a quantum system in its own right. Imagine that it can be in superpositions of three different possibilities: it can have measured the spin to be up, it can have measured the spin to be down, or it might not yet have measured the spin at all, which we call the ‘ready’ state.

The fact that the measurement apparatus does its job tells us how the quantum state of the combined spin + apparatus system evolves according to the Schrödinger equation. Namely, if we start with the apparatus in its ready state and the electron in a purely spin-up state, we are guaranteed that the apparatus evolves to a pure measured-up state, like so:

The initial state on the left can be read as ‘the electron is in the up state, and the apparatus is in its ready state’, while the one on the right, where the pointer indicates the up arrow, is ‘the electron is in the up state, and the apparatus has measured it to be up’.

Likewise, the ability to successfully measure a pure-down spin implies that the apparatus must evolve from ‘ready’ to ‘measured down’:

What we want, of course, is to understand what happens when the initial spin is not in a pure up or down state, but in some superposition of both. The good news is that we already know everything we need. The rules of quantum mechanics are clear: if you know how the system evolves starting from two different states, the evolution of a superposition of both those states will just be a superposition of the two evolutions. In other words, starting from a spin in some superposition and the measurement device in its ready state, we have:

The final state now is an entangled superposition: the spin is up and it was measured to be up, plus the spin is down and it was measured to be down. This is the clear, unambiguous, definitive final wave function for the combined spin + apparatus system, if all we do is evolve it according to the Schrödinger equation. The world has ‘branched’ into a superposition of these two possibilities.

Everett’s insight was as simple as it was brilliant: accept the Schrödinger equation. Both of those parts of the final superposition are actually there. But they can’t interact with each other; what happens in one branch has no effect on what happens in the other. They should be thought of as separate, equally real worlds.

This is the secret to Everettian quantum mechanics. We didn’t put the worlds in; they were always there, and the Schrödinger equation inevitably brings them to life. The problem is that we never seem to come across superpositions involving big macroscopic objects in our experience of the world.

The traditional remedy has been to monkey with the fundamental rules of quantum mechanics in one way or another. The Copenhagen approach is to disallow the treatment of the measurement apparatus as a quantum system in the first place, and to treat wave-function collapse as a separate way the quantum state can evolve. As Everett would later put it: ‘The Copenhagen Interpretation is hopelessly incomplete because of its a priori reliance on classical physics … as well as a philosophic monstrosity with a “reality” concept for the macroscopic world and denial of the same for the microcosm.’

The Many-Worlds formulation of quantum mechanics removes once and for all any mystery about the measurement process and collapse of the wave function. We don’t need special rules about making an observation: all that happens is that the wave function keeps chugging along in accordance with the Schrödinger equation. And there’s nothing special about what constitutes ‘a measurement’ or ‘an observer’ – a measurement is any interaction that causes a quantum system to become entangled with the environment, creating a branching into separate worlds, and an observer is any system that brings about such an interaction. Consciousness, in particular, has nothing to do with it. The ‘observer’ could be an earthworm, a microscope or a rock. There’s not even anything special about macroscopic systems, other than the fact that they can’t help but interact and become entangled with the environment. The price we pay for such a powerful and simple unification of quantum dynamics is a large number of separate worlds.

Even in theoretical physics, people do sometimes get lucky, hitting upon an important idea more because they were in the right place at the right time than because they were particularly brilliant. That’s not the case with Everett; those who knew him testify uniformly to his incredible intellectual gifts, and it’s clear from his writings that he had a thorough understanding of the implications of his ideas. Were he still alive, he would be perfectly at home in modern discussions of the foundations of quantum mechanics.

What was hard was getting others to appreciate those ideas, and that included his advisor. Wheeler was personally very supportive of Everett, but he was also devoted to his own mentor Bohr, and was convinced of the basic soundness of the Copenhagen approach. He simultaneously wanted Everett’s ideas to get a wide hearing, and to ensure that they weren’t interpreted as a direct assault on Bohr’s way of thinking about quantum mechanics.

Yet Everett’s theory was a direct assault on Bohr’s picture. Everett himself knew it, and enjoyed illustrating the nature of this assault in vivid language. In an early draft of his thesis, he used an analogy of an amoeba dividing to illustrate the branching of the wave function:

[O]ne can imagine an intelligent amoeba with a good memory. As time progresses, the amoeba is constantly splitting, each time the resulting amoebas having the same memories as the parent. Our amoeba hence does not have a life line, but a life tree.

Wheeler was put off by the blatantness of this (quite accurate) metaphor, scribbling in the margin of the manuscript: ‘Split? Better words needed.’ Advisor and student were constantly tussling over the best way to express the new theory, with Wheeler advocating caution and prudence while Everett favoured bold clarity.

In 1956, as Everett was working on finishing his dissertation, Wheeler visited Copenhagen and presented the new scenario to Bohr and his colleagues, including Petersen. He attempted to present it, anyway; by this time, the wave-functions-collapse-and-don’t-ask-embarrassing-questions-about-exactly-how school of quantum theory had hardened into conventional wisdom, and those who accepted it weren’t interested in revisiting the foundations when there was so much interesting applied work to be done. Letters from Wheeler, Everett and Petersen flew back and forth across the Atlantic, continuing when Wheeler returned to Princeton and helped Everett to craft the final form of his dissertation. It omitted many of the juicier sections Everett had originally composed, including examinations of the foundations of probability and information theory, and an overview of the quantum measurement problem, focusing instead on applications to quantum cosmology. (No amoebas appear in the published paper, but Everett did manage to insert the word ‘splitting’ in a footnote added in proof while Wheeler wasn’t looking.)

But Everett decided not to continue the academic fight. Before finishing his PhD, he accepted a job at the Weapons Systems Evaluation Group for the US Department of Defense, where he studied the effects of nuclear weapons. He would go on to do research on strategy, game theory and optimisation, and played a role in starting several new companies. It’s unclear to what extent Everett’s conscious decision not to apply for professorial positions was motivated by criticism of his upstart new theory, or simply by impatience with academia in general.

He did, however, . . .

Continue reading.

Written by LeisureGuy

20 September 2019 at 11:01 am

Posted in Science

The true Paleo diet: LOTS of plants

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How do we know? Because dietary fiber comes only from plants.

Written by LeisureGuy

20 September 2019 at 9:02 am

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