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From: <vznuri.domain.name.hidden>

Date: Tue, 19 Nov 2002 22:22:52 -0700

hi all. re the term "algorithmic revolution" here are a few

more ideas along this thread Id like to point out.

TCM wrote

*>My belief is that basic mathematics is much more important than
*

*>computer use, in terms of understanding the cosmos and the nature of
*

*>reality.
*

ok, fair disclosure, I have a BS software engr, writing code

since age ~10, and it affects my worldview bigtime. or, one could

say, I really know how to pick a winning horse, haha.. seriously,

I recognized & planned my life around the "algorithmic revolution"

from a young age.

at an early point I realized that software is like

"animated mathematics".

this is a very,very deep & cosmic way of looking at algorithmics. it

captures some of the revolutionary flavor. we can suggest that

mathematics has previously attempted to grasp the concept of

change, via calculus, differential eqns etc.

but something is fundamentally new about simulation. it captures

worlds that cannot be expressed via mathematical generalities. there

are no equations we can write down that describe the outcome of,

say, a climate simulation-- its all locally defined & then globally

simulated & the outcome is "emergent". & what are the differential

equations that describe the game of life??

imho algorithmics captures the extraordinary, currently very poorly

understood property of "emergence". just as

in the game of life there are thousands of glider types, none of

which one would expect/anticipate from the simple rules.

we can argue that algorithmics is a fundamentally new way to

look at mathematics. and one could argue, all mathematics up until

now has been transformed. at this point, it seems much more correct

to classify mathematics as a subbranch of algorithmics than vice

versa. I believe much mathematics of the future will be taught

from the "algorithmic point of view" instead.

imho, the invention & harnessing of the algorithm is roughly as significant

in human intellectual development as pythagoras's original

realization about how mathematics modelled nature. its easily on that

order of magnitude as far as a milestone in human thought, possibly

surpassing it. it seems to me, fundamentally, algorithmics entails

and surpasses mathematics as a new simultaneously conceptual and physical

tool for analyzing the universe

and its variegated phenomena.

so think. we've basically got several millenia of mathematical

thought, dating all the way back to the babylonians (who played

with perfect triangles, fractions etc), and quite well

developed in greece 2000 years ago. reaching heights of sophistication

with calculus, or the abstraction in the 20th century.

Im saying to some degree, all that

is childs play compared to the new universe of algorithmics.

re: TCMs questions about some of my points.

1st, I believe that we will eventually get the math for a TOE

that matches accelerator/particle physics

so perfectly that it will be considered

redundant or wasteful to do the expensive supercollider experiments, because

the accelerators will never find anything that does not match the

comprehensive theory.

that is, after all, one of the big

reasons to look for a TOE. but I agree, until that point,

physicists are not going to give up the "big science"..

a crazy thought? perhaps. but lets look at atomic weaponry testing--

thats essentially whats happened. the US has been simulating atomic

weapons testing for many years now with powerful supercomputers. and

obviously the results are considered ***extremely*** accurate. it

can indeed be done on some level.

2nd-- alas, I wish I could cite a reference. but software is

used extremely heavily in particle physics experiments to

automatically analyze particles and classify them & find

anomalous events. its basically

AI-like software, extremely sophisticated. it can look at

very complicated particle tracks & collisions and name

all the particle tracks based on analyzing the "big picture".

this used to be done by humans & by hand, and (as I understand it)

the discovery of many

particles from the last decade or around that range could

not have been done with this highly sophisticated sorting

software that can run through millions of events very quickly.

so there is a hidden story behind massive particle accelerators.

the software infrastructure for them is all invisible and

mostly unknown to the public, but its a vast edifice at

the core of the analysis, and has gone through revolutionary

changes in a short amount of time, mirroring the algorithmic

revolution elsewhere.

how much is that software worth?? I cant really estimate, but

I wouldnt be surprised if a significant percent of supercollider

budgets was spent on developing it.

if anyone knows references on software used in particle physics

analysis, I would really like to know myself.

a nice reference on the culture behind accelerators is

"beamtimes & lifetimes" by sharon traweek.

Received on Wed Nov 20 2002 - 00:35:36 PST

Date: Tue, 19 Nov 2002 22:22:52 -0700

hi all. re the term "algorithmic revolution" here are a few

more ideas along this thread Id like to point out.

TCM wrote

ok, fair disclosure, I have a BS software engr, writing code

since age ~10, and it affects my worldview bigtime. or, one could

say, I really know how to pick a winning horse, haha.. seriously,

I recognized & planned my life around the "algorithmic revolution"

from a young age.

at an early point I realized that software is like

"animated mathematics".

this is a very,very deep & cosmic way of looking at algorithmics. it

captures some of the revolutionary flavor. we can suggest that

mathematics has previously attempted to grasp the concept of

change, via calculus, differential eqns etc.

but something is fundamentally new about simulation. it captures

worlds that cannot be expressed via mathematical generalities. there

are no equations we can write down that describe the outcome of,

say, a climate simulation-- its all locally defined & then globally

simulated & the outcome is "emergent". & what are the differential

equations that describe the game of life??

imho algorithmics captures the extraordinary, currently very poorly

understood property of "emergence". just as

in the game of life there are thousands of glider types, none of

which one would expect/anticipate from the simple rules.

we can argue that algorithmics is a fundamentally new way to

look at mathematics. and one could argue, all mathematics up until

now has been transformed. at this point, it seems much more correct

to classify mathematics as a subbranch of algorithmics than vice

versa. I believe much mathematics of the future will be taught

from the "algorithmic point of view" instead.

imho, the invention & harnessing of the algorithm is roughly as significant

in human intellectual development as pythagoras's original

realization about how mathematics modelled nature. its easily on that

order of magnitude as far as a milestone in human thought, possibly

surpassing it. it seems to me, fundamentally, algorithmics entails

and surpasses mathematics as a new simultaneously conceptual and physical

tool for analyzing the universe

and its variegated phenomena.

so think. we've basically got several millenia of mathematical

thought, dating all the way back to the babylonians (who played

with perfect triangles, fractions etc), and quite well

developed in greece 2000 years ago. reaching heights of sophistication

with calculus, or the abstraction in the 20th century.

Im saying to some degree, all that

is childs play compared to the new universe of algorithmics.

re: TCMs questions about some of my points.

1st, I believe that we will eventually get the math for a TOE

that matches accelerator/particle physics

so perfectly that it will be considered

redundant or wasteful to do the expensive supercollider experiments, because

the accelerators will never find anything that does not match the

comprehensive theory.

that is, after all, one of the big

reasons to look for a TOE. but I agree, until that point,

physicists are not going to give up the "big science"..

a crazy thought? perhaps. but lets look at atomic weaponry testing--

thats essentially whats happened. the US has been simulating atomic

weapons testing for many years now with powerful supercomputers. and

obviously the results are considered ***extremely*** accurate. it

can indeed be done on some level.

2nd-- alas, I wish I could cite a reference. but software is

used extremely heavily in particle physics experiments to

automatically analyze particles and classify them & find

anomalous events. its basically

AI-like software, extremely sophisticated. it can look at

very complicated particle tracks & collisions and name

all the particle tracks based on analyzing the "big picture".

this used to be done by humans & by hand, and (as I understand it)

the discovery of many

particles from the last decade or around that range could

not have been done with this highly sophisticated sorting

software that can run through millions of events very quickly.

so there is a hidden story behind massive particle accelerators.

the software infrastructure for them is all invisible and

mostly unknown to the public, but its a vast edifice at

the core of the analysis, and has gone through revolutionary

changes in a short amount of time, mirroring the algorithmic

revolution elsewhere.

how much is that software worth?? I cant really estimate, but

I wouldnt be surprised if a significant percent of supercollider

budgets was spent on developing it.

if anyone knows references on software used in particle physics

analysis, I would really like to know myself.

a nice reference on the culture behind accelerators is

"beamtimes & lifetimes" by sharon traweek.

Received on Wed Nov 20 2002 - 00:35:36 PST

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