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Historian Tom Holland was one of those who tweeted Charlie Hebdo's cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad in the wake of the deadly attack on the magazine's office. Here he explains the ramifications of defending free speech. Religions are not alone in having their martyrs.
 free speech Charlie Hebdo philosophy
One of the fundamental and intriguing questions, at least for me, is that what are, precisely or likely, the triggers or starting point behind a certain decision problem or an event.
 trigger future decision history philosophy
In game theory, a focal point (also called Schelling point) is a solution that people will tend to use in the absence of communication, because it seems natural, special or relevant to them. ... Consider an example: two people unable to communicate with each other are each shown a panel of four squares and asked to select one; if and only if they both select the same one, they will each receive a prize. Three of the squares are blue and...
 philosophy Schelling point Schelling focal point game theory expectation
In some quarters it is taken for granted that within a generation, human beings—including you, if you can hang on for another 30 years or so—will have an alternative to death: being a ghost in a machine. You'll be able to upload your mind—your thoughts, memories, and personality—to a computer. And once you've reduced your consciousness to patterns of electrons, others will be able to copy it, edit it, sell it, or pirate it. It...
 philosophy brain consciousness mind machine soul
The discovery of more than 330 planets outside our solar system in recent years has helped refine the number of life forms that are likely to exist. The current research estimates that there are at least 361 intelligent civilisations in our Galaxy and possibly as many as 38,000.
 philosophy life extraterrestrial astronomy
Few things are as exciting as the idea of travelling somewhere else. But the reality of travel seldom matches our daydreams. The tragi-comic disappointments are well-known: the disorientation, the mid-afternoon despair, the lethargy before ancient ruins. And yet the reasons behind such disappointments are rarely explored.
 philosophy travel Alain De Botton art
Oxford University's former Professor for the Public Understanding of Science, Richard Dawkins, is one of the world's staunchest defenders of the theory of evolution...

2009-02-14

 evolution philosophy religion atheism Charles Darwin DNA genetics Richard Dawkins
Probably the authoritative source for information on integer sequences, which arise primarily from combinatorics, number theory, and recreational mathematics. However, the often deep connections between mathematical patterns and those in the real world mean that numerous sequences can be identified in terms of physical or chemical phenomena, and most branches of mathematics are represented in some fashion.
 philosophy mathematics number theory integer combinatorics
Plus magazine opens a window to the world of maths, with all its beauty and applications, by providing articles from the top mathematicians and science writers on topics as diverse as art, medicine, cosmology and sport.
 philosophy mathematics
Excellent about the need for re-unification of mathematics and geometry, and physics. ... Also: Jacobi noted, as mathematics' most fascinating property, that in it one and the same function controls both the presentations of a whole number as a sum of four squares and the real movement of a pendulum. These discoveries of connections between heterogeneous mathematical objects can be compared with the discovery of the connection between...

1997-03-07

 philosophy mathematics physics education geometry
What's attractive about studying E8 is that it's as complicated as symmetry can get. Mathematics can almost always offer another example that's harder than the one you're looking at now, but for Lie groups, E8 is the hardest one. ... Each of the 205,263,363,600 entries on the matrix is far more complicated than a straightforward number; some are complex equations...

2007-03-19

 philosophy mathematics physics geometry dimension complexity
We count in sets of ten. This seems natural to us because we have ten fingers. However the ancient Babylonians used different units, which is why we measure time in units of 60 minutes and clock-faces have 12 hours. We need not use sets of ten, any number would do. Mathematicians call this modular arithmetic. So we count in modulus ten. When perfect squares and modular arithmetic are combined strange and unexpected things happen. A...

2000-03-03

 philosophy mathematics measurement decimal Fermat nature
A fractal is generally "a rough or fragmented geometric shape that can be split into parts, each of which is (at least approximately) a reduced-size copy of the whole," a property called self-similarity...
 Wikipedia philosophy mathematics fractal nature
In mathematics, chaos theory describes the behavior of certain dynamical systems – that is, systems whose states evolve with time – that may exhibit dynamics that are highly sensitive to initial conditions (popularly referred to as the butterfly effect).
 Wikipedia philosophy mathematics complexity nature chaos
The inspiration for their theory isn't just an explanation for the Big Bang our Universe experienced 13.7 billion years ago, but lies in an attempt to explain one of the largest mysteries in physics - why time seems to move in one direction. The laws that govern physics on a microscopic scale are completely reversible, and yet, "no one gets confused about which is yesterday and which is tomorrow". Physicists have long blamed...

2008-06-06

 philosophy space time physics universe cosmology Big Bang

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