Eiron’s Archives 04

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Though I wouldn’t necessarily encourage you to do so.

Perhaps I can give as an example an associate  aquaintance of mine who, as a hobby, breeds dogs in London’s East End. He has recently crossed a Pit Bull with a Poodle to produce what he calls a ‘ Pit Poodle ’.

[ The dog is ] A repugnant wretch if ever I saw one. Being small, with white curly hair, and having a penchant to remain seated for long periods on a satin cushion which my colleague ( with great insight ) has provided.

He delights in informing me that if you look at him in the ‘wrong’ way he will ‘ have your arm off ‘. Needless to say I will make a point of never approaching the creature close enough to find out first hand.

 

Dear JyngFlex

Yes it’s true that, if by any chance one finds oneself unexpectedly ‘ lost in the woods ‘ one can find ( roughly ) the direction of due North by looking for moss growing on trees. Mosses are especially adapted for low-light conditions, and predominately prefer to grow on the North side of the trunk. This navigational tip is especially useful in that it can be used even on completely overcast days ( when the passage of the sun is not visible ) – or even at night.

Before relying 100% on such a technique though, I should like to point out to you an often-overlooked proviso to this advice. In that it depends entirely upon which side of the equator you are on. For, in the Southern hemisphere, of course the moss grows on the South side !

So, the first question you should always ask yourself is ‘ Which hemisphere am I in ? ‘.

To this end, you could perhaps try searching for signs of animals or plants which are unique to the South – say penguins.

Dear rtppxh

Many thanks indeed for sending me the kind invitation to the seminar :

Time Flexibility : Four Dimensional Quantum Perturbations and their Einsteinian Implications ‘

Nowadays of course, everyone is familiar with the malleable nature of time. Sometimes it simply flies by, and at others, almost appears to stand still. But exactly why ? And exactly how ? And perhaps more importantly, when ? It is a subject area which has not, in my opinion, received anything like the attention which it deserves. And therefore I would wholeheartedly support any further investigations into the topic.

What a pity your [ ███████ ] invitation arrived the day after the conference had ended.

Dear MahHan606Klub

Absolutely. It’s well known that Dolphins and Porpoises can ‘ switch off half of their brain at a time ‘ in order to rest. Though it puzzles me greatly why anyone should find this fact in any way out-of-the-ordinary. Surely it’s self-evident that many of the higher mammals get by only using half of their brain ?

Nothing personal.

Dear nOin7GH

You are quite right to be concerned about the population-aging balance in many countries. Not long ago, one often heard someone referring ( in a jocular way ) to the fact that the average person had 2.4 children. Now though, the falling birth rate, which has been controlled by laws and financial incentives in some countries, means that the younger portion of the population will shortly find themselves having to ‘look after’ burgeoning numbers of senior citizens – either directly, or by means of a greatly increased tax burden.

To sum up, I fear many people are in the now unenviable position of having 2.4 parents.


Dear MatHeed94

I do take onboard your point about the absurdity of throwing away über high-tech items, though sadly I must inform that I have failed to come up with any “ uses for discarded one-day contact lenses “ that you enquired about.

I can only suggest that perhaps you could just wear one at a time ( with an eyepatch for the other eye ). My calculations tell me that that should cut down your environmental impact by as much as 50%.

Dear loughBro

Thank you for sending me your alternative method for determining whether the refrigerator light really has gone out after the door has been closed. But I’m not at all sure that I can recommend readers to install a ‘ wide-angle front-door peephole ‘ in their fridge door – though I’m almost completely convinced it would work.

Dear malKNotting

Yes, it was frankly amazing to find out, via the work of the Human Genome project that we have so few genes.

In fact, disheartening as it may seem, we now know that the humble potato has more genes than we do.

Exactly what this tells us about the potato is unclear.

Is their genetic programming for some reason more demanding than ours ? Or maybe their genome is replete with redundant material – reminiscent of so-called ‘bloated’ software ? Or, of course, there is a third, and somewhat unnerving possibility – they may perhaps be more advanced beings than we are. Though if that really is the case, it has to be said that they keep their talents remarkably well hidden.

Since this unsettling notion occurred to me, I have always borne the possibility in the back of my in mind every time I order pomme de terre frite à la poêle in my favourite restaurant. To be on the safe side, I advocate that you do likewise.

Dear xosdfgiwj

You are obviously a keen follower of ‘complexity theory ‘ , specifically with reference to the idea that very large scale systems may spontaneously exhibit so-called ‘ emergent ‘ properties.

You ask whether I think it may be possible that the ‘internet’ may one day develop an ‘intelligence ‘ of its own . . .

Firstly I would like to say that the complexity of the internet is indeed truly staggering. Pundits often mention the huge numbers of interconnected computers now almost permanently in operation. We should also bear in mind that each and every one of those computers contain microprocessor chips which themselves are interconnected networks of many millions of transistors. This astounding electronic network is woven together with what used to be called ‘ the most complex man-made machine ever assembled ‘ – the global telephone / telecomm system.

So, we can now say that without any doubt whatever that its complexity is very many times more than say the brain of a whelk, or perhaps even a small fish. Thus it certainly fulfills the complexity criterion.

But now onto the main question. Is it possible , that it could ever spontaneously become intelligent – that is to say ‘alive’ ?

I like to look at it this way.

No.

Yes, I know you’re thinking ‘ how can he be so sure ? ‘ and I will explain with the following ‘ thought experiment ’.

Imagine a bagfull of hammers, each one tied to the other by a length of wet string. Now imagine that you have several trillion such bags, and that each of them is tied to every other with similar string. Now surmise that you are in the happy predicament of being able to wait for the lifetime of the entire universe to see if this extensively interconnected network may oneday become intelligent.

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