Friday, October 02, 2015

[xukesgpo] Patriarchal society with sexual freedom

Consider a hypothetical polygamous patriarchal society in which the men take multiple wives.  Somewhat analogously, the women, while permitted only one husband, take multiple additional lovers.  Critically, however, the children produced of a wife and lover belong to the family of the wife and husband, not the biological father.  This kind of "adultery" is not frowned upon but instead encouraged: the wives are expected to use their intellect and instinct to select and mate with the men most fit for the environment in hopes of producing the fittest offspring for the continuation of the patriarchal family.

The society believes that nurture trumps nature.  The children in the family are inculcated with the behaviors, values, culture, and trust relationships of and toward the family and patriarch, not the biological father.

Can such a society exist?  (Does it exist?  Has it existed?)  Or does the biological imperative of "my sperm must propagate" inevitably cause the patriarch to limit the sexual freedom of his wives?

[nqgfxxdy] Orthodox

Orthodox Judaism, Conservative Judaism, Reform Judaism.  Or, as the Orthodox Jews call it: Jewish, not Jewish, not Jewish.

Orthodox Blues Dancing, Alt Blues, Fusion.  Or, as the Orthodox blues dancers call it: Blues, not Blues, not Blues.

Identical arguments about how diverging from orthodoxy offensively disrespects the historical struggles that shaped and defined the religion or dance form.  What is actually going on?  What is the underlying commonality?

In Israel, the conflict between Orthodox versus not is (in part) about political power: e.g., who is highest on the totem pole, who gets to perform (and define) marriages, whose religious education is important enough to warrant being excused from military service.

[fkmnwkty] Polarization of material

Striking is the appearance of some glass when viewed through a polarizing filter, e.g., sunglasses: patterns of rainbows on what is normally perfectly clear.  Seems possibly to be caused by the glass under stress and strain.

Can the pattern of polarization be controlled?  Hidden artwork.  A way of encoding information into the physical structure of a material.

[juuyczxv] Celestial polyhedron

Plot the N brightest stars as points on the celestial sphere.  On each point, construct a tangent plane.  The planes together bound a polyhedron.  Label each face of the polyhedron with the name of the star.  3D print.

Point sets other than stars: cities, steganography.

[krzijdal] Editors to start with

The first apps for any computing platform ought to be a hex editor, an editor for plain text, and an editor for structured text.  These can serve as a fallback UI even if everything else is done poorly, or not at all.

Bemoaning their lack of being builtin on major platforms, e.g., Android, though third parties have stepped in.

Thursday, October 01, 2015

[sgrpzduy] Light on a fishing pole

Put a downward pointing low-weight lamp (a light light) on a fishing pole or telescoping stick to provide temporary handheld overhead light.  This should be easy with LEDs.  The battery could be on the pole instead of on the light to decrease weight and moment of inertia.

Motivated by pitching a tent at night.  One person can hold the pole. 

Inspired by art: Lit up fabric jellyfish hanging from a pole, creating an illusion that one is underwater.

Previously, light on a drone or balloon.

[zpcpiymu] Trust and the liquidity constraint

Many social mechanisms seems to be for the purpose of establishing trust relationships.  However, seemingly a well known simple financial mechanism could replace them all: the person seeking to be trusted posts a bond that the person trusting can collect if the trust is violated.

However, this mechanism doesn't work if the seeker does not have enough money to post the bond.  Normally, not having enough money is again simply solved by borrowing money, but this requires a lender who trusts the borrower: a catch-22 of trust.

What can solve this vicious cycle?  Perhaps income redistribution, perhaps transparency.

[nojhkyfi] Election consensus

The traditional "one man, one vote" democratic election is a curious system because "one dollar, one vote" better allows those who want something more to express it compared to those who care less.  Economically the latter is more efficient.

Therefore, issues to be decided by a traditional election should be those for which it is deemed need a conversation, a debate.  And people should approach such an election not to take sides, but to see the debate through to a conclusion, deciding what is the correct course of action.  Therefore, an election whose result isn't consensus, or close to it, is a failure of the political process.

[abyxowhj] Sweet tooth

Hypothesize that having a sweet tooth is correlated with having an eating disorder, or more generally, not getting enough calories.

The body counts calories in order to maintain long-term homeostasis in weight, so if it feels it is not getting enough calories through meals, it will induce a craving for calorie-packed foods, e.g., sweet and fatty, e.g., chocolate.

[thvweymd] Chess as a survival horror game

Play blitz chess against a strong computer program not to try to win or even draw, but just to see how many moves you can survive before inevitably being checkmated.

Perhaps the computer is deterministic, or provides user-selectable alternate moves in the opening (or the whole game).

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

[tyjlidig] Liberals

Are you an orthodox liberal or (for lack of a better term) an unorthodox liberal?

Inspired by the term "liberal orthodoxy".  The defining feature of liberal orthodoxy seems to be the belief that it is acceptable and worth it to suppress speech and ideas deemed harmful (but by inflicting social consequences, not governmental censorship).  E.g., political correctness.

What is going on underlying this dichotomy?

[wuoyosuq] Dystopic culture in a post-genocidal world

Imagine a world where there is no genocide, not by enforcement but because no one wants to do it.  On first thought, this seems utopic, but maybe not.  It would be a world in which no one feels strongly enough about preserving or advancing their culture, their values, their way of life to be willing to kill for it.

Everyone is fine with their culture fading away, perhaps becoming assimilated or blended into another one.  Such blending will therefore occur, with end result being a uniform world culture: no distinctiveness anywhere, nothing anyone would consider special.  Possibly a bland dystopia.

[cpkucxcv] Shakespearean songs

It's surprising that texts by Shakespeare are not more frequently adapted into song.  Texts are public domain, already have meter, and are supposedly well written.

Will there be an explosion of derivative works when (if) the poetry of Pablo Neruda becomes public domain?  (also similarly described as well written)

[gyrvsxcx] 8 pawns and a piece

Both sides start a modified game of chess with just eight pawns and a king.  This is probably very drawish game.  What additional piece or pieces on both sides most make the game less drawish?  Knight to leap over mutually blocked pawn chains.  Rook and two knights.  Replace the king with a royal queen.  Better than a knight for attacking pawn chains facing each other is a (n,3) leaper, e.g., camel, or perhaps camel+rook compound.

[mtfbmkmp] Driving and flight simulators

The entertainment world still has a ways to go in (cheaply) providing consumers with driving and flight simulators, especially the fully immersive kinds that rock and tip to simulate g forces.

Perhaps arcades.

Monday, September 28, 2015

[jabxyabs] Bubble letters

Draw block or bubble letters, where each letter partially overlaps with its neighbors.  The direction of each overlap can steganographically encode 1 bit, or even 1 trit when there is no overlap at all.

[vrnvlsbd] Ternary for the real world

Binary can compactly encode any information, but for real world tasks, perhaps when expecting a human to read and write it, ternary is superior, with the third digit used as an escape character to express the structure of a message, e.g., synchronization frames or spaces between encoded letters or words.

[siysinnz] Compressed image steganography

There are many ways to encode an image as PNG producing exactly the same decoded image.  Perhaps the choice of which neighbors to use as predictors for each row.  These different ways can steganographically encode information.

Inspired by pngcrush.

[rmlkabxb] Space filling curves on spheres

Do space filling curves that uniformly fill the surface of a sphere exist?

It's probably possible to adapt an open space filling curve of a polygon and tile it, with connecting bits, onto a polyhedron, then project it on a sphere.  There are a few polyhedra whose faces can be traversed with a Hamiltonian circuit.  This seems a boring construction, though.

[jzvoehwo] Body art

Tattoos that incorporate the body somehow, perhaps the shape of a certain body part, are interesting because they would not look as good on some other medium.  In contrast, many common tattoos would look as good or better on (say) paper.