Tuesday, March 04, 2014

A Fresh batch of nootropics

Just brought home my order of nootropics from Health Supplement Wholesalers! 

 Took a few minutes to whip up a cup of strawberry milk with a couple grams of creatine added before writing this. Delish. Was never too excited about supplementing with this amino acid since it is found in meats and can be made by our own bodies but then I came across this interactive article at data is beautiful. Clearly showing creatine above the "worth a try" line. Did a little more research and saw that it might have potential in regards to the heavy physical work load I've got coming up on the farm. Don't want to get my hopes up but I have good reason to believe this will really help.

 I'm holding off on the sulbutiamine for another day while I analyze the influence of creatine and ashwaganda extract today. So far so great on both of those. Sulbutiamine is an old stand-by with me and I know that it gives me a nice boost when it comes to having the drive to get things done.

What I'm really interested in is the sunifiram which I will be holding back for those occasions when I really need to concentrate on writing software or web code. I've had great responses to all the racetams so this could be real winner. Will be updating with more about experiences with this later.

Thanks again for quick shipping and great packaging, HSW! You always have everything I need and more!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

A salient analysis, from Reddit of all places

Found this brilliant analysis/refutation on Reddit of all places. from Thloughts
 Nobody tell Noam Chomsky ok?
This is wrong and long disproven. For even the most rudimentary of perceptual mechanisms, like the first layers in the visual cortex, neurons can act as feature detectors by learning which neurons in lower levels are likely to fire together or which will not fire if others are firing. Further layers find out when those feature detectors neurons are firing together or not, and so on up. Go a few layers up and now the brain is effectively aggregating all those first neuron reponses into much more abstract things, like regions of rapidly varying light intensity or hue (edges of objects in the visual field) or regions of similar or slowly varying color (like surfaces). Later on this information gets glommed together with information from different senses, like our kinesthetic sense, so that at higher and higher levels of abstraction we can do more interesting simulations, like mental rotations of figures.
Every step in that process is "symbology", a little piece of machinery that compactly represents lower level sensory data. People do not have stored up memories of sensory experience at the level of photons impinging on the retina. We are not cameras that can be forced to replay a scene. Rather, the states of feature detector neurons, which can represent the gist of a scene, are remembered, and this information can be used in reverse, with the feature detectors now acting as feature controllers which re-activate lower levels of features, in order to approximately reconstruct scenes. Language is built on thoughts, which are made of concepts, which are abstracted from perception. And every one of those layers is supported by more math and science than found in that book.
There are no "signs" floating around in our minds. To develop a real understanding, you need to know what the neural machinery is doing and how that behavior implements relevant algorithms. And we do know a lot of that. And no, when the results came in, the answer was not that "language is actually the structure that the human mind is made of". Language comes from the human mind; saying, of absolutely any cognitive phenomenon or process that "language did it" can not be an explanation. It's like saying lightning is responsible for electromagnetism.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

A surfeit of labor

A computer used to be a person who sat at a desk with slide rules, trigonometry charts, maybe an abacus and performed calculations. 

I get to wondering about this definition and what it means in terms of man-hours (pardon the sexism) spent doing work. Let's do a simple thought experiment.

Let's say that you have a well trained computer and she can perform any mathematical function including something complex like an algebraic equation with trigonometric function in 1 second. That's 21,600 calculations per hour. Times a 40 hour work week, 864000 calculations per week. Times 50 weeks, 43.2 million calculations a year. Times an optimum 80 year work life,  a little under 34.6 billion calculation in a human computer life.

Without pursuing the whole geometric progression of accelerating innovation, just thinking about the number of CPUs being made in the years 2011-2012, how many millions or billions of human lifetimes of labor are present in the earth's current stockpile of processors by this standard?

According to wikipedia as of 2010, the fastest six-core PC processor reached 109 GFLOPS. That's 18 GFLOPS or so per processor. Let's stretch the above figures and say 36 billion calculations in a human lifetime. So that is 1 human lifetime's worth of calculations every 2 seconds if we equate flops to a single human calculation.

What is the financial value of this calculating resource at minimum wage?

Update  [interrupted by work in the greenhouse] :
I don't mean for just 1 processor, but as I mentioned above, for all the earth's processors? Unlike humans, processors run regardless of sleep cycles, granted most of them are shut off by their human users so let's stick with the 7.2 million seconds per year as a duty cycle. 7.2 times divided by 2 makes 3.6 million human life-labors per processor per year. I'm still trying to run down the figures on annual CPU production.

Update 2: Ok, well, this will do. A ball park figure from this ZDNet article places last year's production of PCs at around 353 million possibly climbing to 500 million in 2012. So obviously there are way more CPUs than that. But let's take it easy and round it down to 250 million for both of the last 2 years. That brings us to 500 million processors arguably extent and running on the planet. 3.6 times 500 makes 1,800 trillion human lifetimes worth of calculating available for our use on the planet.

Hopefully I've fudged enough on the downside to cover any errors in my figuring.

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Thursday, March 22, 2012

The promise of broadband haptics and sensory mapping.

while nokia focuses on the simple use of this technique as a substitute for ring tones it occurs to me that with a little tweaking quite a bit more information could be routed to our attention through the wasted biological bandwidth of human skin nerves. With some practice I think you could "listen" through such a patch. Just start out simultaneously feeding the audio stream to skin and ear then gradually lower the ear amplitude as the skin nerves are adapted to carry the audio path.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

More dreams of near term nano

Nowadays when one goes in for a CT scan on your digestive organs you get this sort of milkshake like drink you have to swallow, a contrast agent. Or if you are unlucky enough to need a scope you'll have assorted piping slithered in one opening or the other. Your best hope is to get one of those pill cameras.

I'm envisioning a different approach based not on x-rays and radiation blocking contrast agents or intrusive devices but instead on food science and fiber optics. A swallowable transparent gel or syrup like solution which would make an excellent optical wave guide. Even a thin film of it persistent throughout each systalic wave would act as a waveguide. Low power laser emitters in the straw would supply pulses of light to each swallow, the light would propagate through the liquid and back scatter during dark phases between the pulses thus carrying information from the gut. Very sensitive cameras outside the patient (in a darkened room) could also capture light leaking out of the body. Pursued over a course of hours the entire digestive system could be mapped.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Cellular Lidar a step closer

Neal Stephenson's book "The Diamond Age" has reference to the use of Lidar for nanoscopic ranging and communications between nanorobots. This article makes a nice inroads in that direction.

Link

Monday, October 25, 2010

Snazzy

Love these little baby steps in nanolithography. What are we down to now in common practice? about 25 nanometers for some flash memory and processors? Wonder what sub wavelength will add to that. The critical line? "realizable using current technology." That's always sweet.

Link