Extenuating Circumstances

is a weblog by Dan Hon

Bookmarks for October 24th from 06:02 to 10:20

This is an auto-posted collection of my public links posted to Pinboard.in for October 24th from 06:02 to 10:20:

Bookmarks for October 23rd from 11:03 to 16:01

This is an auto-posted collection of my public links posted to Pinboard.in for October 23rd from 11:03 to 16:01:

Bookmarks for October 22nd through October 23rd

This is an auto-posted collection of public links I’ve either posted to, or favourites from Twitter, my Instapaper bookmarks and my public links posted to Pinboard.in for October 22nd from 20:18 to 11:56:

Bookmarks for October 22nd from 15:07 to 16:10

This is an auto-posted collection of my public links posted to Pinboard.in for October 22nd from 15:07 to 16:10:

Bookmarks for October 21st through October 22nd

This is an auto-posted collection of public links I’ve either posted to, or favourites from Twitter, my Instapaper bookmarks and my public links posted to Pinboard.in for October 21st from 21:56 to 13:24:

Bookmarks for October 19th through October 21st

This is an auto-posted collection of public links I’ve either posted to, or favourites from Twitter, my Instapaper bookmarks and my public links posted to Pinboard.in for October 19th from 21:21 to 14:29:

Bookmarks for October 19th from 12:10 to 12:35

This is an auto-posted collection of my public links posted to Pinboard.in for October 19th from 12:10 to 12:35:

  • Stet, a gorgeous, intricate, tiny story of sociopathic automotive vehicles / Boing Boing
  • STET
  • Piano training enhances the neural processing of pitch and improves speech perception in Mandarin-speaking children | PNAS – Musical training is beneficial to speech processing, but this transfer’s underlying brain mechanisms are unclear. Using pseudorandomized group assignments with 74 4- to 5-year-old Mandarin-speaking children, we showed that, relative to an active control group which underwent reading training and a no-contact control group, piano training uniquely enhanced cortical responses to pitch changes in music and speech (as lexical tones). These neural enhancements further generalized to early literacy skills: Compared with the controls, the piano-training group also improved behaviorally in auditory word discrimination, which was correlated with their enhanced neural sensitivities to musical pitch changes. Piano training thus improves children’s common sound processing, facilitating certain aspects of language development as much as, if not more than, reading instruction.
  • The Org Chart Test – Rands in Repose
  • Backwards or forwards; Reflection for a restless mind | SB129 – I end up feeling bored by the ideas I’ve already thought, annoyed at the banality of my brain, and with this come the loss of curiosity and excitement. I want to move to new pastures, think new things and imagine a different set of possibilities. This is made worse  because I’m away from teaching and away from Goldsmiths; so the book feels like I’m making a prison for myself. A way to remain in the past.

Bookmarks for October 18th through October 19th

This is an auto-posted collection of public links I’ve either posted to, or favourites from Twitter, my Instapaper bookmarks and my public links posted to Pinboard.in for October 18th from 16:29 to 09:15:

Bookmarks for October 17th through October 18th

This is an auto-posted collection of public links I’ve either posted to, or favourites from Twitter, my Instapaper bookmarks and my public links posted to Pinboard.in for October 17th from 13:29 to 12:40:

Bookmarks for October 16th through October 17th

This is an auto-posted collection of public links I’ve either posted to, or favourites from Twitter, my Instapaper bookmarks and my public links posted to Pinboard.in for October 16th from 11:19 to 10:43:

  • The Reference Frame: Chapline: black holes don’t exist – “George Chapline just gave the most provoking and most bizarre colloquium we have seen at Harvard for years. (I guess that the talk would not be bizarre enough for Quantoken and perhaps not even for Arun, and I apologize if they will be disappointed by the amount of strangeness.) Chapline used to be a T.A. for Feynman's lectures, he was awarded by various awards, but his goal right now is to revolutionize our understanding of the strong gravitational fields.”
  • [gr-qc/0012094] Quantum Phase Transitions and the Breakdown of Classical General Relativity – “It is proposed that the event horizon of a black hole is a quantum phase transition of the vacuum of space-time analogous to the liquid-vapor critical point of a bose fluid. The equations of classical general relativity remain valid arbitrarily close to the horizon yet fail there through the divergence of a characteristic coherence length. The integrity of global time, required for conventional quantum mechanics to be defined, is maintained. The metric inside the event horizon is different from that predicted by classical general relativity and may be de Sitter space. The deviations from classical behavior lead to distinct spectroscopic and bolometric signatures that can, in principle, be observed at large distances from the black hole.”
  • On the viability of gravitational Bose–Einstein condensates as alternatives to supermassive black holes | Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society | Oxford Academic – “It is argued that astrophysical Bose–Einstein condensates (BECs) most likely form through a quasi-static contraction of ultradense cores of neutron stars. Such an evolutionary track would ensure that there is sufficient time left for the nuclear matter to stably liberate the excess of thermal energy, enable the core’s matter to intercommunicate and undergo a phase transition to form stellar BECs.”
  • Dark Energy Stars – “Event horizons and closed time-like curves cannot exist in the real world for the simple reason that they are inconsistent with quantum mechanics. Following ideas originated by Robert Laughlin, Pawel Mazur, Emil Mottola, David Santiago, and the speaker it is now possible to describe in some detail what happens physically when one approaches and crosses a region of space-time where classical general relativity predicts there should be an infinite red shift surface. This quantum critical physics provides a new perspective on a variety of enigmatic astrophysical phenomena including supernovae explosions, gamma ray bursts, positron emission, and dark matter.,”
  • Are Black Holes Actually Dark Energy Stars? – Facts So Romantic – Nautilus – “Chapline and Laughlin argue that they can describe the collapsed stars that most scientists take to be black holes as regions where spacetime has undergone a phase transition. They find that the laws of general relativity are valid everywhere in the vicinity of the collapsed star, except at the event horizon, which marks the boundary between two different phases of spacetime.”
  • What I loved about Paul Allen | Bill Gates
  • Mailbag: AI Research on Dialogue and Story Generation | Emily Short’s Interactive Storytelling
  • Google’s AI-powered Piano Genie lets anyone improvise perfectly by bashing buttons – The Verge