Filtered for some nice words

10.20, Monday 1 Feb 2016


From this article about how computers play chess,

The values [of moves] are commonly measured in units of 0.01 called centipawns – figuratively hundredths of a pawn.


See also: The micromort which is unit of risk measuring a one-in-a-million probability of death. For example, simply living in England and Wales exposes you to 24 micromorts daily; flying 12,000 miles adds one more.


Look, it’s awkward to mention anything by Ezra Pound – and by “awkward” I mean, wasn’t he a fascist and wildly antisemitic? Not the kind of ideas I want near me.

Anyway, he wrote Revolt Against the Crepuscular Spirit in Modern Poetry which is… well, full of feeling.

I bid thee grapple chaos and beget

Some new titanic spawn to pile the hills and stir

This earth again.

See also Ozmandius by Shelley which I hadn’t realised was so short, just a sonnet, but picture-packed to the rafters.


The fall of Jersey: how a tax haven goes bust, an article which includes this gorgeous phrase:

45 square miles of self-governing ambiguity entirely surrounded by water.

The ridiculous physics of the free market.


So there are rumours that gravity waves have been detected.

But waves in what? Waves in the fabric of spacetime itself, or in physics words: it’s perturbations to the Metric (a description of the curvature of spacetime), where zero-amplitude corresponds to Minkowski space.

From the linked paper,

There are also a number of “exotic” effects that gravitational waves can experience … scattering by the background curvature, the existence of tails of the waves that interact with the waves themselves, parametric amplification by the background curvature, nonlinear coupling of the waves with themselves (creation of geons, that is, bundles of gravitational waves held together by their own self-generated curvature) and even formation of singularities by colliding waves

You know that feeling where you’re listening to choral music in Latin, or Buddhist chanting, and you don’t know the words but the sound of them is enough? Yeah. Perturbations to the Metric.

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