April 24, 2014

New Directions in Space, Time, and Thought

Here is the latest news from the realm of Tumbld Thoughts. All features are interesting. In this post, we move from the latest episodes of Cosmos to new directions in economic value and the arXiv, to new directions in practicing research.

I. Making Amphibians Out Of Quarks and Other Tales of Scale

Here are the supplementary readings for Episode 6 of the Cosmos reboot, called “Deeper, Deeper Still”. These are organized by theme. I am not responsible for any groans my puns may cause.

(Episode) Origins…..
A sneak peek for this week. Daily Galaxy blog, April 12 (2014).

Ziggy Stardust and the Extra Dimensions (on Mars?):
Berkowitz, J.   The Stardust Revolution. Prometheus Books (2012).

Greene, B.   The Search for Hidden Dimensions. Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science. YouTube, May 17 (2010).

A human = 10^30 quarks?
Wolchover, N.   A Jewel at the Heart of Quantum Physics. Quanta Magazine, September 17 (2013).

Carroll, S.   Jaroslav Trnka on the Amplituhedron. Preposterous Universe blog, March 31 (2014).

Filmer, J.   New Discovery Simplifies Quantum Physics. From Quarks to Quasars blog, September 19 (2013).

Huang, C.   Scale of the Universe II. Scaleofuniverse.com.

Tardigrages and Angiosperms:
Stromberg, J.   How Does the Tiny Waterbear Survive in Outer Space?Smithsonian.com, September 11 (2012).

Nichols, P.B., Nelson, D.R., and Garey, J.R.   A family-level analysis of tardigrade phylogeny. Hydrobiologia, 558, 53-60 (2006).

Soltis, P., Soltis, D., and Edwards, C.   Angiosperms. Tree of Life (2005).

Plants Move Towards the Light and Make Food:
Wyatt, S.E. and Kiss, J.Z.   Plant tropisms: from Darwin to the International Space Station. American Journal of Botany, 100(1), 1-3 (2013).

Artificial Photosynthesis. Wikipedia, April 13 (2014).

Carbon is Versatile:
Buckminsterfullerene. Wikipedia, April 13 (2014).

Carbon Nanotube. Wikipedia, April 13 (2014).

Wall of Forever:

Tate, K.   How Gravitational Waves Work (Infographic). Space.com, March 17 (2014).

Third from top: Book Cover, You are Stardust. Elin Kelsey and Soyeon Kim.

Fourth from top: Ichetucknee Springs, North Florida, USA.

Bottom Image: Evidence for Cosmic Inflation following the Big Bang, COURTESY:BICEP2 Group.

II. Clean Room Redux

Here are the supplemental readings for the seventh episode of the Cosmos reboot entitled "The Clean Room". A bit of a departure from the previous episodes in that the focus was on the social consequences of scientific findings. As usual, readings are thematic.

Meteors, Sediments, and Early Earth:
Scientists Building Asteroid Threat Early-Warning System. Space.com, February 20 (2013).

Diverging evolution of early Earth and Mars revealed by meteorites. The Daily Galaxy blog, April 17 (2014).

Appenzeller, T.   Early Earth. National Geographic, December (2006).

Clean Rooms and Isotopes:
Radioactive Decay: a sweet simulation of a half-life. AAAS Science NetLinks.

Radioactive Dating Game. PhET Interactive Simulations.

Lewington, R.   A virtual tour of Applied Materials' clean room. Applied Materials blog.

Chemophobia vs. Public Relations and the role of science:

How corporations corrupt science at the public's expense. Union of Concerned Scientists, Center for Science and Democracy.

Washburn, J.   Science's Worst Enemy: corporate funding. Discover Magazine, October (2007).

"Silent Spring" at 50. The credit, and the blame, it deserves. Big Think blog, June 19 (2012).

Lead poisoning and health. World Health Organization, Fact sheet #379. September (2013).

Needleman, H.L.   The removal of lead from gasoline: historical and personal reflections. Environmental Research, 84(1), 20-35 (2000).

III. Pushing the Boundaries of the arXiv

I guess I am literally pushing the boundaries of the arXiv. On Tuesday, March 25, I submitted a paper called "Contextual and Structural Representations of Market-mediated Economic Value". While they normally announce the paper at Midnight (GMT) the following weekday, this paper was not announced until two days later (Friday morning).

Usually, when a paper is delayed, it means there is an issue with classification. Ultimately, the paper was placed in the q-fin.GN category. Then, 12 days later, arXiv introduced two new categories: q-fin.EC (economics) and q-fin.MF (mathematical finance). While this could be a coincidence, I still like to think that my paper broke their system. Hopefully, it ends up breaks new ground and old paradigms as well.

IV. The New, Potentially Paradigm-busting Paper on the arXiv

How do we assign value to economic transactions? In my latest paper, now available at the arXiv, I approach this problem using a computational and evolutionary approach. "Contextual and Structural Representations of Market-mediated Economic Value" is my first paper in the "q-fin" category (1403.7021, q-fin.GN).

Culturally-mediated biological markets are used to model several aspect of object valuation. Contextual Geometric Structures (CGSs) [1] are used to model individual minds in an agent-based simulation. Read the paper to fully appreciate what this means. While it is a purely computational study, it might also be of interest to behavioral economists and evolutionary anthropologists.

Proceedings of Artificial Life, 13, 147-154 (2012).

IV. Orthogonal Research: slouching towards research enterprise

In lieu of a formal academic position, I am now publishing and conducting work under the affiliation "Orthogonal Research". This is (currently) a money-less start-up, focused on research in mathematical modeling and data analysis. Right now, this just involves myself. However, potential collaborators, co-PIs, and funders are welcome to contact me.

Things are a great deal more serious than this.

The Orthogonal Research Q1 activity report is now available. "Q1" refers to the first quarter of the calendar year, not financial.

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