Thursday, September 18, 2008

The brain and GPUs

I enjoy programming for a GPU (graphics card) because in order for the card to understand what you are talking about, it requires everything in visual form. For example, a 2D array of data is called a "texture." Since this is how my brain works, it is easy to use.
Human brains have big sections of specialized hardware designed for certain tasks: especially visual and language processing. When we do other tasks, such as math, we have to map it onto one of these tasks (such as geometry or written language) in order to use it successfully. These specialized areas are where humans still are better at tasks than computers. We can think of people as a kind of special co-processor to offload certain tasks to. Other tasks may be somehow remapped into one of these areas in order to take advantage of this special hardware. When Ethan/Kraisri solves the knot puzzles to break encryption, that is what is going on.

Thursday, September 11, 2008


Cosmosis (from Greek, meaning to put in order) is the tendency of small objects to pass from one universe rich in those objects to a neighboring one that is poor in them. For example, our universe is rich in sock/antisock pairs, so one of a pair is often drawn across the M-brane separating the universes.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Anthon manuscript

Continuing the theme of the last post, I thought there were some interesting similarities between this example of Hieratic script and the Anthon Manuscript (which is supposed to be characters from "reformed Egyptian.") In particular, the sign shaped like a capital H and the one with four lines crossed seem like they could be the same. Certainly it looks more like Hieratic than Mayan or any other script I'm familiar with. (Click to enlarge the images.)