“In the parton model of the nucleon formulated by Bjorken, Feynman, and Gribov, the partons (quarks and gluons) are viewed by an external hard probe as independent. The standard argument is that, inside the nucleon boosted to an infinite-momentum frame, the parton probed by a virtual photon with virtuality Q is causally disconnected from the rest of the nucleon during the hard interaction. ” https://arxiv.org/abs/1904.11974 Ah, well, that’s for convenience. Hard interactions are pragmatic when working with smashers. But a model that better represents a pile of spaghetti is also useful. I’m curious what metaphor they’ll use for the math.

“In the parton model … [read full article]


van der Waals, nano- molecular planetary system motor, Delauney and Voronoi diagrams, and a nice free modeling suite called “Molecular Workbench” I found. (I( just made this but I forgot to do music) Now to find this in tribology and I have a connection – I suspect in stick-slip mechanics, which is what I’m hoping for.

van der Waals, nano- … [read full article]


Cautiously optimistic yet skeptical, going to find: 2018 Becoming Human: A Theory of Ontogeny by Michael Tomasello A radical reconsideration of how we develop the qualities that make us human, based on decades of cutting-edge experimental work by the former director of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. Virtually all theories of how humans have become such a distinctive species focus on evolution. Here, Michael Tomasello proposes a complementary theory of human uniqueness, focused on development. Building on the seminal ideas of Vygotsky, his data-driven model explains how those things that make us most human are constructed during the first years of a child’s life. Tomasello assembles nearly three decades of experimental work with chimpanzees, bonobos, and human children to propose a new framework for psychological growth between birth and seven years of age. He identifies eight pathways that starkly differentiate humans from their closest primate relatives: social cognition, communication, cultural learning, cooperative thinking, collaboration, prosociality, social norms, and moral identity. In each of these, great apes possess rudimentary abilities. But then, Tomasello argues, the maturation of humans’ evolved capacities for shared intentionality transform these abilities–through the new forms of sociocultural interaction they enable–into uniquely human cognition and sociality. The first step occurs around nine months, with the emergence of joint intentionality, exercised mostly with caregiving adults. The second step occurs around three years, with the emergence of collective intentionality involving both authoritative adults, who convey cultural knowledge, and coequal peers, who elicit collaboration and communication. Finally, by age six or seven, children become responsible for self-regulating their beliefs and actions so that they comport with cultural norms. Becoming Human places human sociocultural activity within the framework of modern evolutionary theory, and shows how biology creates the conditions under which culture does its work.

Cautiously optimistic yet skeptical,
[read full article]

I’m a generalist that likes dipping down to where my brain hurts and then coming back up again. Category theory really hits all the right notes with me. While a lot of it is over my head, it _does_ do the magic thing of loosely tying lots of diverse things together using a consistent language. So even if I don’t understand their peculiar way of writing, simply seeing two different examples of a category together in the same place tells me that if I know one, I know the other. This is what happened with mathematical morphology. I saw these features in this graphics program that’s used for medical imaging. [I’m not a doctor but I love playing with images and trying new things]. – ImageJ. I wondered, “What is “erode”? What is “dialate?” What is “watershed function?” “what is Laplacian of Gaussian?” and discovered mathematical morphology. Things like Infimum and supremum fascinated me. It actually made logical sense and I could experiment visually. I found it it was a complete lattice. Not knowing what that was, I looked into that. Then I saw other examples of complete lattices on nLab (the Category theory site). — and it’s as if a whole bunch of math I didn’t know before, I could now at least partially wrap my brain around because it should work similarly to what I’m learning – and it does. I’m lucky in a way: I don’t worry about Gödel’s incompleteness and never did. I started with computing, which “sidestepped” Gödel by introducing steps and time and a different way to think of functions. Church, Turing, Von Neumann, with Lambda Calculus in the 1930s and 1940s, then Claude Shannon in 1948 with Information Theory. — this is the kind of family I was raised with. I didn’t know about set theory or Gödel’s incompleteness until my 20s, long after I’d already worked with computing-type things. My own mathematics abilities stopped at Trig. I got a D in Calculus because I didn’t care about slicing circles and could not understand why I couldn’t simply use rough estimates under the curves as I was used to pixels and grids not smooth things. So, it never became a dilemma for me. But the discontinuity between ways-to-think-of-math always hummed in the background of my mind and it was only a few years ago that I really paid attention to what was bothering me.

I’m a generalist that … [read full article]