Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Ramblings - Deltas - Planck - Time

Change, change, change. President Obama built a legendary campaign around this notion. I've always been intrigued by change on many levels. Newton's entire calculus is based around the analysis of change of a function with respect to some attribute. Same with Newtonian laws of motion... its all really just an analysis of changes (deltas) in some position (x, y or z) with respect to a delta in time.

Delta this and delta that.... seems like all information is really just composed of deltas. When you compress information or compress an image full of colors...if the same color runs across a large segment of the photo you can simply represent that entire range of the same color (i.e. information) by specifying the color and the number of pixels that same color runs for (also known as run-length encoding)... which is why its compressible - because no new information exists within that range and can therefore be ignored -no deltas - nothing new to report.

Emotionally, humans also categorize the greatest achievements to the events that were performed with the largest distances (deltas) traversed to achieve the goal. Man on the moon, poor child becomes millionaire, etc. The human brain seems to have evolved to only detect deltas - it doesn't just blindly capture all sensory information in a given time, it does most of its magic on the relationship between deltas that exist in its environment within a given time context - an ingenious optimization if you believe there's only "useful information" in deltas.

So what are the smallest deltas possible? ... physicists categorize these indivisibly tiny units as Planck units. There are units of space(length) and time that are the smallest measurable units possible in our universe.

Planck length = approx. 1.616 x 10−35 meters
Planck time = approx. 1.616 x
10-43 seconds

If the premise regarding deltas is correct - that useful information is available only when things change - then I guess no useful information exists below these units... supposedly the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle dooms us to never measure anything smaller than this quantum of measurement. hmmmmm.... what does that mean?

ok... i'm seriously rambling ... later.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

GEEKS REJOICE - iPhone Tech Apps & Relativity

Just wrapped up development on a cool tech-based information hub for your iPhone - iHubTech. Spend that dollar and buy it on iTunes TODAY !!!

I'm a total information slut. I need it constantly - its definitely some type of vice and/or neuro condition - its a constant craving. I can't wait til we build the next several iHub applications -- focused on Space and Science -- DELICIOUSO !!


I've owned an iPod Touch for about 3 months now and as much as I hate to admit this -- i'm hooked. I use this one little machine for so many things right now that I will freak out if I lost it.


  1. DEVELOPMENT - It's a complete development testbed. I can test all my applications directly on the device.
  2. MUSIC - It is an iPod you know
  3. APPS - Great apps - same as the iPhone since they use the same operating system
  4. SCHOOL / LEARNING - I download tons of video podcasts and actual college courses.
My current obsession is Leonard Susskind's Stanford classes on Modern Theoretical Physics and Relativity. He's a down to earth guy and explains some pretty sophisticated concepts in a clear manner. You gotta love this guy - he's from the South Bronx and he likes fighting Stephen Hawking over Black Hole theories.

Every night -- as I prepare to sleep -- I prop Leonard up on my futon (c'mon - keep it clean) -- and he gently guides me to sleep as he masterfully explains relativity from Galileo to Newton to Einstein and performs his effortless transformations between coordinate systems.....................ZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.


LINKS

iHubLife Blog - iHubTech post
Stanford iTunes University - Internet Home
Stanford iTunes - Modern Physics (iTunes will open)
Leonard Susskind Wikipedia Page
Leonard Susskind - Anthropic Arguments
Leonard Susskind - Stephen Hawking Battle