Friday, November 22, 2019

"Quantum Theory Reveals Parallel Universes", but please don't make the wagers


Arvin Ash presents “Quantum Theory Reveals Parallel Universes and Quantum Immortality in Alternate Universes”.


Toward the end of the video he presents the thought experiment by Max Tegmark that suggests your consciousness (“real you”) is the path of quantum choices that survived – there is a 100% chance that you exist in a parallel (not multiple) universe where a non-zero probability of a choice existed.

This sounds dangerous in a way, because common sense says you can’t undo an irreversible wrong choice. If you’re in prison, is “the real you” experiencing it, or a copy?  (I hate to say this, but such thinking could have led to mass catastrophes we have heard about caused by individual persons.)

Arvin talks about the “box wage” experiment (similar to Schroedinger cat) in an animated sequence.  (I hope videos like this aren’t called “made for kids” by meta-logic; I’ve blogged about the threat to videos recently from FTC  and COPPA). There are other videos that deny this idea.

But I do have to admit that some of the ironies in my life and the way improbable coincidence intervened in a few situations is quite hard to explain. “Coincidence” seems much more common than probability alone suggests.  There are a couple in play now that I can’t talk about publicly.

I am also reminded of some of the funny videos by young vloggers like Luke Korns where he tries a silly experiment and “this is what happened”. 
   
I even remember first grade (Fun with Dick and Jane) where the idea of spoiler was introduced;  on the last page of a little story in a reading lesson, we find out “what happened” (like Baby Sally said Oh-Oh-Oh [castles long in a chess game] or Puff the Cat ran back home; oops, grown-up science presented as “made for kids”.)

Arvin says that a major test of this whole idea will come with the development (like by Google) of a quantum computer.   (The NSA will have one first.)

Arvin says that 

Thursday, November 21, 2019

"Rendition": A gentle Jake Gyllenhaal plays a CIA agent and internal investigator witnessing "his first torture" overseas


“Rendition” was a dramatic film about the intelligence community in 2007, directed by Gavin Hood, for New Line Cinema.  It seems appropriate to review now given recent films like “The Report” and “Official Secrets”. 

  
After a terrorist attack in North Africa kills an American, an Egyptian engineer is arrested when returning to the US. The man’s wife seeks assistance.  In the meantime, the CIA, to cover its behind, sends a young officer Douglas Freeman, played by a gentle Jake Gyllenhaal, abroad to witness the interrogations. 
  
  
There is a funny line where Doug says, “I am supposed to witness my first torture.”  The film proceeds to connect these two disparate threads.  

Gyllenhaal looks good in this picture as I remember, but in other films he has defaced his body. I think there is a term "extreme rendition". 

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

"The Golden Age of the Internet Is Over" by Glink (it looks like it really is)


Glink presents “The Golden Age of the Internet Is Over”.
  

The golden age lasted between about 1999 and 2009, and maybe reached its nadir in 2007.

Myspace, the film says, allowed more creativity (an anonymity) than Facebook does today.

Facebook emphasized using real identities and social connections, rather than just content publishing.

The Internet became corporatized. Remember the days of the dot-com boom and bust?

He covers the censorship and sensitivity to mobs and cancel-culture (and vulnerable to left-wing tactics) as a natural result of too much consolidation and not enough competition, like there used to be.
  
At the end, Glink sings and performs and Internet song and tastefully shows himself off.  I believe I have seen him in DC before (but the film seems to be shot in Arizona and probably California judging from outdoor shots).  This short film (26 minutes) gets 5 stars.  He should enter it into DC Shorts (film festival every fall).

Monday, November 18, 2019

"How to Think in a Foreign Language"



Stop Translating in Your Head: How to Think in a Foreign Language”, by Luca Lampariello.

  
He compares Italian to Spanish, and then his native Italian to Japanese.
  
He advises using translation at first, and then learn to think in short sentence fragments, and then immerse yourself in conversation in the language.
  
I took four years of French in high school.  I can remember we read a lot the last three years (Les Miserables) and the final exams were mostly answering essay questions in French. In college, I took German, and we had an audio lab with tape recorders and 1962 technology.
  
German is easier to understand when spoken, even if the language is seen as a little harder to learn from English.
  
Madrid Spanish (in the movies) is easier to follow than Mexican Spanish.

Sunday, November 17, 2019

"What If We Could Build Wormholes?" Maybe the Lorentzian model is possible


“Unveiled” on YouTube has some videos about wormholes, and a good introduction is “What If We Could Build Wormholes?


The video explains the difference between Lorentzian and Euclidean wormhole.  The former is considered more likely to be possible to build in the future (and later we’ll look at a video on building one).

The technology could be like an Internet on steroids, but capable of moving people among various nodes, and it offers limited time travel, back to when the nodes were set up.

Mankind probably has a few hundred million years to do this before natural global warming (from the Sun getting hotter, not just human activity now) makes the Earth uninhabitable.

Saturday, November 16, 2019

"Masked": short film from Australia festival circuit on a female-to-male trans teenager



Masked” (15 min, from Momentum Films) is a short film (15 min) from Australia, about a trans teenager Zoe (Kelsie Schultz) who wants to transition from female to male.


A birthday arrives, and her mother still thinks this is something she will outgrow.  On social media, she gets some brutal messages (“you can’t make it as either”).  She already wears a patch on her wrist.

Some contemporary friends seem more supportive.

The film is directed by Michael Jay Haredinge and Jay Beckenleg.
  
The short has been aired in a trans film festival (it premiered in January 2019).

Friday, November 15, 2019

"Shisak": India's first silent gay film



Shisak”, by Faraz Arif Ansari, bills itself as “India’s First Silent LGBTQ Love Story”. There are no words.


The film says it is commemorating the final decriminalization of sodomy in India, where homosexuality is very much a taboo, still.

A young man, maybe 20, keeps playing eye candy with a well dressed business executive on repeated commuter train trips. 

Somehow this film (15 min) reminds me of Alfred Hitchock's "Strangers on a Train" (the opening, with the footsie playing). 
  
Will they ever meet?
Wikipedia: By Nikhil B - Own work, CC BY 3.0, Link