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Adam Black
Gotta Punch Nazis till they Cry.
Gotta Punch Nazis till they Cry.

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Mathematicians create warped worlds in virtual reality:

Immersive experience set to become accessible to all.

Davide Castelvecchi

>>>> Full Story <<<

It feels like the entire universe is within a sphere that is maybe within a couple metres’ radius,” says topologist Henry Segerman at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater. He is describing, not an LSD trip, but his experience of exploring a curved universe in which the ordinary rules of geometry do not apply.

Segerman and his collaborators have released software allowing anyone with a virtual-reality (VR) headset to wander through this warped world, which they previewed last month in two papers on the preprint server1, 2.

To explore the mathematical possibilities of alternative geometries, mathematicians imagine such ‘non-Euclidean’ spaces, where parallel lines can intersect or veer apart. Now, with the help of relatively affordable VR devices, researchers are making curved spaces — a counter-intuitive concept with implications for Einstein’s theory underlying gravity and also for seismology — more accessible. They may even uncover new mathematics in the process.

“You can think about it, but you don’t get a very visceral sense of this until you actually experience it,” says Elisabetta Matsumoto, a physicist at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta.

Traditional, Euclidean geometry rests on the assumption that parallel lines stay at the same distance from each other forever, neither touching nor drifting apart. In non-Euclidean geometries, this ‘parallels postulate’ is dropped. Two main possibilities then arise: one is spherical geometry, in which parallel lines can eventually touch, in the way that Earth’s meridians cross at the poles; the other is hyperbolic geometry, in which they diverge.

Both Matsumoto and Segerman are part of Hyperbolic VR, a collaboration that is bringing hyperbolic spaces to the masses. Their team, which includes a collective of mathematician-artists in San Francisco, California, called eleVR, will unveil their efforts at an arts and maths conference this summer.

 #ScienceOnGooglePlus #VirtualReality #SymmetryAddiction  #ScienceSunday

In Euclidean space, staring at a point at infinity means that the lines of sight of the two eyes track parallel lines. But in a hyperbolic world, those two paths would veer apart, says Segerman, forcing a different response from the viewer. “Here, if you look at a point at infinity, you have to cross your eyes slightly.” To our “Euclidean brain”, that makes everything feel kind of close, he says.

But the smallness is deceptive. One of the oddest facts about hyperbolic space is its sheer vastness. Whereas in Euclidean space the surface area within a given radius grows as fast as the square of the radius, and the volume grows as fast as its cube, in hyperbolic space areas and volumes grow much (exponentially) faster relative to the radius. One consequence is that a user roaming a planet in the hyperbolic world finds much more to visit within walking distance.

So far, there is not much to do in the eleVR world, apart from exploring tilings made of geometric shapes such as pentagons and dodecahedra. But the team plans to build hyperbolic houses and streets, as well as interactive experiences such as playing a non-Euclidean version of basketball. The researchers hope that their open-source software will become popular with science museums and the growing legion of consumer VR enthusiasts.

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The Unraveling has begun...

Reports Ex General Flynn turns States evidence.

The Supreme Court pick will gains new Urgency, as Trumpco might depend on it to evade Justice

Note: If you're reading this, see also the more detailed piece I just put up at Medium:

In the continuing saga of "News stories that I would never have believed if you told me they were going to happen when I was a kid," there are multiple reports at this point that the FBI has gotten (former National Security Adviser) Michael Flynn to flip and turn state's evidence. (Flynn, through a spokesperson, has declined to comment)

If so, this is a very big deal – Flynn was reportedly in the room for quite a few of the more interesting meetings which Abramson was providing details about yesterday.

Even more crazily, there was this story from the WSJ yesterday, in which it appears that while serving as an advisor to Trump's campaign, Flynn was in a meeting with top Turkish government ministers, where the subject was a plot to kidnap Turkish cleric Fetullah Gülen, who now lives in Pennsylvania, and spirit him out of the country to hand him over to Turkish president Erdogan, who views him as his chief political foe. (Erdogan has blamed Gülen for the attempted coup against him last year, although the evidence for this is scanty to say the least; tens of thousands have been arrested there on claims they are linked to him)

This was admitted by the former director of the CIA, who was also at the meeting and says he thought the entire idea was batshit crazy. Flynn has denied this through a spokesman, but he has recently admitted that he was working for the Turkish government at the time (!) and has retroactively filed his status as a foreign agent, indicating a salary of over $500k for his work. He is also under separate investigation by the Army as to whether he received illegal payments from the Russian government in 2015. (

So just to make this news story clear: a retired three-star general, while simultaneously working on a Presidential campaign and as a well-paid agent of the Turkish government, was in meetings with senior Turkish officials about (completely illegally) kidnapping Turkish-Americans seen as enemies of the regime. He was also meeting with the Russian ambassador and (very possibly illegally) negotiating to lift sanctions on Russia if Trump was elected, and is currently under investigation as to whether he was a paid (but illegally undeclared) Russian agent at the time as well. (The payments are not in question; the question is whether, as they were made via RT, which is not officially a government agency, they make him a Russian agent or not.) He definitely lied to investigators about said meetings, which was caught on wiretaps (presumably of the Russian ambassador), and the revelation of that led to his resignation as National Security Advisor after only 24 days.

On top of all this, he may have been present at the "Mayflower Meetings" between Trump and senior Russian figures, with several senior Trump aides (including Sessions, Kushner, and Manafort) present as well, at which deals involving large sums of money (e.g. 0.5% of Rosneft), illegal campaign assistance (e.g. leaking DNC documents hacked by the FSB, SVR, and GRU), and changing US policy around Russian oil interests were all being discussed.

Absolutely confirmed out of this is Flynn's work as a Turkish agent (he's admitted this and filed the forms), his covert meetings with the Russian ambassador (wiretap evidence, his resignation), and his receipt of payments from the Russian government. Highly likely is the Turkish kidnapping meeting (testimony of Woolsey). Arguable in court is that the Russian payments make him an unregistered Russian agent as well as a Turkish one. Reported but not yet confirmed are the contents of the Mayflower Meetings and that Flynn has turned state's evidence. If the latter is true, then the former may soon be explained in great detail to investigators.

Just let this sink in for a moment. We already know for sure that a retired three-star Army general, who served for three weeks as National Security Advisor before being forced to resign, was a paid agent of at least one, and probably two, other governments, engaging in negotiations which range from the "somewhat illegal" (hacking, campaign collusion) to the "holy shit illegal" (kidnapping). And the fact that it's even a possibility that he flip can only mean that the investigators have even bigger fish in their sights.

There aren't many bigger fish than the National Security Advisor.

This is just getting surreal.

(ETA: I just posted a long thread on Twitter with more of this, including lots of links to the underlying news stories and sources. )

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... Alternative Fa .. Hags 

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Exactly this --- but without the Sarcasm

President Kushner? Nah he'll probably get indicted too. It's going to be hard for Pence to avoid getting pulled in to this mess.

#SpecialProsecutorNow ! #Mayflowergate

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MayflowerGate: Trump sells out America for Rosneft at the Mayflower Hotel

Demand A #SpecialProsecutorNow #MayflowerGate
A quick post because I don't have time to write a full piece right now: Seth Abramson has done a very serious job of connecting the dots, and a picture of direct Russian influence and/or control over key aspects of the Trump campaign and its policies is starting to emerge. In particular, we're starting to get names, dates, places, and subjects of meetings.

For those of you old enough to remember, this is reminding me a lot of what happened with Iran-Contra around the middle of 1987, when the big chunks of information started to come out. Suddenly it was going from conjectures to concrete timelines, graphs of people and who knew what and when. But unlike Iran-Contra, here the top-level principal – in this case, Donald Trump – was clearly directly in the room from the get-go.

I'd expect this to start to develop very seriously in news articles in the next few days. Questions of Congressional investigation, FBI investigation, and so on will obviously be highly politicized, and the Congressional situation in the near future will depend heavily on the aftermath of the AHCA vote later today. However, this may soon reach the scales where even reluctant members of Congress feel forced to act. I've never seen anything like this – not Iran-Contra, and not Watergate. We're heading into uncharted territory.

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Jill Crankenstein wins Us a Tar Sands Pipeline

Clap your Hands Together and thank #JillCrankenstein

This pipeline couldn't have happened without her.

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Special Prosecutor Now: Mannafort steals tens of Millions from Ukraine

While working for Putin across the ex Soviet CIS.

This fucker is a traitor who organized anti NATO riots.

I dropped the ball by missing this developing story this week. I'll catch up

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Evidence for Hypnosis from Intentionality * ..

Interesting article on Hypnosis and "Intentional Binding". The Cognitive Biases of misperceived Temporal Order ( due to intentional Acts ) imply Hypnotized people are acting outside of their conscious will.

 #AlteredStates #PhilosophyOfMind

Best evidence yet that hypnotised people aren’t faking it

By Clare Wilson

You are feeling sleepy…or are you? In a hypnotism performance, ordinary people seem to somehow become puppets, made to talk in silly accents, or act like a baby or in other embarrassing ways. But have they really lost command of their bodies, or are they just pretending?

Now we have some of the best evidence yet that people who are hypnotised really are acting involuntarily. When estimating split-second timings, hypnotised people behaved as though their actions were outside their control, in ways that would have been difficult to fake.

Hypnotism has long been contentious. Sceptics think that rather than being in some kind of special state of altered consciousness, hypnotised people do as they’re told because it would be socially awkward not to. People who are highly susceptible to hypnosis – about one in ten of us – could just be especially suggestible and eager to please, say the cynics.

Now Peter Lush at the Sackler Centre for Consciousness Science in Brighton, UK, and his team have used a known trick of the mind to investigate this mystery. When we think we have done something that causes something else, we perceive these two events to occur closer in time than if we think they are unrelated. For example, if we think that pushing a button makes a sound, it seems like the sound occurs sooner after pushing the button than if we think they’re independent events – a phenomenon called “intentional binding”.

Lush’s team asked 18 people who were highly susceptible to hypnotism to sit in front of a very accurate clock and do a task repeatedly where they pressed a button, triggering a beep after 250 milliseconds, in three different circumstances.

Involuntary action

If their finger was pulled down involuntarily – by an attached string – they perceived the period before the beep as 176 milliseconds. If the string wasn’t pulled and they chose when to press the button, they experienced it as 91 milliseconds – showing intentional binding.

But if they pressed the button due to a post-hypnotic command, they perceived it as 156 milliseconds – closer to the involuntary state than the voluntary one.

“This feeling of involuntariness is a key element of the hypnotic experience,” says David Spiegel of Stanford University.

This result is more convincing than simply asking hypnotised people whether they feel in control of their actions, because they could always be lying, says Devin Terhune of Goldsmiths University of London. In this latest study, the volunteers were unlikely to have known what their answers should have been in the three different conditions. “It’s much better than self-reports,” says Terhune.


*Or maybe not. Grr Phenomenology

I forget if internal perception of self-will is itself a subset of Intentionality . Re : I know Intention does not equal Intentionality. But I think in this instance it does. I'm that's wrong correct me below and explain why.

Well if it does qualify as Intentionality maybe I should move this to Altered States. 

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... "Just Imagine" .... You have Healthcare

Cause that's the only place left you will have it

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Burn, Dumpster Fire , Burn

Senators Question Nazi's Citizenship.

For the first time in decades, the White House's statement on Holocaust Remembrance Day failed to mention the Jewish victims, an omission which Dr. Gorka publicly defended," the letter read. "President Trump was slow to condemn the wave of attacks on Jewish community centers and has yet to condemn the surge in anti-Muslim bigotry."
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