Monday, September 28, 2009

Link Dump

So here are some blog entries (or whatever) I have recently found interesting.

At Theoretical Atlas, Jeffrey Morton recounts a talk given by Gregory Chaitin where Chaitin urges us to create a more rigorous "theoretical biology". Something where we could prove interesting theorems about evolutionary models, for example.

This is a somewhat older paper (1997) by Allen F. Randall entitled "Quantum Phenomenology". He attempts something of an updated version of Descartes' cogito (maybe mixed with Kant's transcendental project), attempting to logically derive the principles of quantum mechanics from the basic awareness of experiential existence (my phrase, not Randall's). Randall claims, "Far from being "bizarre" and "weird", as is usually thought, the strangest paradoxes of quantum theory turn out to be just what one ought to expect of a rational universe." I admit, I've only read the first part of this paper, but it's still a very fascinating idea.

At Mixing Memory, Chris reports on several studies where unpleasant stimuli (such as foul odors, messy/sloppy workspaces, disgusting video footage) harshen the severity of people's moral judgments.