User:Quietly

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eπi+1=0 This user is a mathie.

Hi, I'm Cody—I mostly read wikipedia, but I fix mistakes when I recognize them. I've got a B.Sc. degree in Math-Physics, and spend most of my time reading math, science, and economics articles, which all tend to be pretty mature. I consider myself a scientific humanist, a strict physicalist, and I subscribe to metaphysical naturalism.

These are the most interesting people of whom I am aware: Steven Pinker, PZ Myers (blog), A.C. Grayling, Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Richard Feynman, Christopher Hitchens, Steven Weinberg, Karl Popper, Bill Hicks, Bertrand Russell, Ann Druyan, Doug Stanhope, Carl Sagan.


Interesting people[edit]

People I respect or just find interesting (I believe these people to be worth listening to—many of them are polymaths, and thus defy categorization).

Physicists[edit]

Mathematicians[edit]

  • Hypatia (notable as one of the earliest famous female mathematicians and an early casualty of intelligence)
  • Jon von Neumann (polymath-computer science/mathematics/physics)

Philosophers[edit]

Ancient Greece[edit]

  • Thales (c. 624 - 546 BCE) "Western philosophy begins with Thales" —Bertrand Russell
  • Anaxagoras (c. 500 – 428 BCE; Pre-Socratic Greek philosopher, proposed scientific ideas)
  • Democritus (c. 460 - 370 BCE) formulated an atomic theory
  • Epicurus (341 - 270 BCE) who espoused atomism and materialism
  • Aristarchus of Samos (310 - c. 230 BCE) proposed the first known heliocentric model and may have correctly deduced the relative sizes and distances of the Moon and Sun (though not the absolute sizes or distances)
  • Archimedes of Syracuse (c. 287 - 212 BCE)
  • Eratosthenes (c. 276 - 195 BCE) who first calculated the circumference and axial tilt of the Earth

Writers[edit]

Biologists[edit]

Computer scientists[edit]

Artists[edit]

Algorists[edit]

Architects[edit]

Computer science, graphics oriented[edit]

Film makers[edit]

Comedians[edit]

Peace & Social Activisits, Environmentalists, Humanitarians[edit]

Economists[edit]

Psychologists[edit]

Hard to categorize (or for whom categories would be sparse)[edit]

People, organizations & ideas I find seriously harmful to the human race[edit]

Mostly Religious[edit]

  • Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins and their left behind series of books
  • Becky Fischer (and anyone else who thinks children should be taught that religious belief is worth dying for, or who advocates any form of religious war)
  • Kirk Cameron (who I think is mostly too silly to be truly harmful, but has portrayed such ignorance as to convince me he is a liar)
  • Henry M. Morris ("father of modern 'creation science' ", d. 2006) and the Institute for Creation Research that he founded
  • David Barton—evangelical minister, right-wing advocate, and political activist—who appears to think footnotes are a reasonable measure of a text's value, and he doesn't understand basic history or science.
  • Dinesh D'Souza (for this sort of drivel)
  • Peter Popoff — faith healer (a.k.a. fraud) minister who after being exposed in 1987 has remained a tremendously financially successful con-man preying on the poor of mind.

Mostly Political[edit]

Mostly Pseudoscientific (though truly religious as well)[edit]

Other ideas which I tend to agree with or find interesting[edit]

-ists and -isms[edit]

Physicalism, Inclusionists, Rationalism, Critical Rationalism, Secular Humanism (as well as scientific humanism), Progressivism, Activism, Skepticism, Brights, Freethought, Libertarian socialism, Cornucopian, Absurdism, Antimilitarism, International Humanist and Ethical Union, Empiricism, Consilience. ...okay, so they aren't all -ists and -isms.

Interests[edit]

My interest is some combination of physics, computer science and mathematics, specifically the nature of phase transitions in both physical systems and computational problems. Other interests include human behavior, sex, quantum computing, phase transitions, bifurcation theory, QM, Turboencabulator performance, GR, schlieren, visual effects, zitterbewegung, speed modeling, photogrammetry, genetic programming.

Resources for quantum computing[edit]

centre for quantum computation, a course at MIT, another course at MIT, notes at Caltech, qwiki, quantiki, loads of links, who what and where, courses, more who what where, John Preskill's page, institute for quantum computing.

Particularly insightful and/or agreeable articles & videos[edit]

Philosophical[edit]

What We Can Know About the World Without Looking at It by Sean Carroll
Do Animals Have Beliefs? by Daniel Dennett
Is Neuroscience the Death of Free Will? by Eddy Nahmias

Math & Science[edit]

What is Science? by Richard Feynman
There's Plenty of Room at the Bottom by Richard Feynman
When Does Science Become Technology And Why Does It Matter? by Ursula Goodenough
The Relativity of Wrong by Isaac Asimov
Seriously, the laws underlying the physics of everyday life really are completely understood by Sean Carroll; (it's a good followup to Asimov's aforementioned Relativity of Wrong)
Are There Mysterious Forces Lurking in Our Atoms and Galaxies? by Sean Carroll; another good explanation of how science has really explained everything most people could think of
Dysteleological Physicalism by Sean Carroll; another strong defense of the philosophy with which I strongly identify
Third Base by Brian Hayes

Biology[edit]

The Origin of Life - Abiogenesis - Dr. Jack Szostak by cdk007
Bang Goes the Theory: Evolution Made Simple by Dr. Yan (5:28 effective demonstration of evolution)
Douglas Adams: Parrots the Universe and Everything, a talk he gave at UCSB, with a very interesting story about parrots.
Randolph Nesse interviewed by Richard Dawkins; Nesse is an evolutionary physician, and provides many fascinating insights into the evolutionary causes of our quirky biological makeup.
What malaria looks like, the truly amazing thing about this video is the illustration of the precise mechanics of mitosis.
Spit and adenosine triphosphate, an animated gif of the molecular mechanism that produces ATP (which your body produces it's entire weight of, every single day!).
Beau Lotto: Optical illusions show us how we see, (TED talk).
What malaria looks like, a short writeup by Ned Gulley on Drew Berry's incredible visualizations of molecular machinery. See also Spit and adenosine triphosphate, Molecular models, and Molecular biology animations, and this Visual Science page illustrating the structure of the influenza virus.
In The Human Brain Size Really Isn't Everything by Carl Zimmer
The Girl Who Turned to Bone by Carl Zimmer

Computer Science[edit]

The Algorithm: Idiom of Modern Science by Bernard Chazelle
Who Can Name the Bigger Number? by Scott Aaronson
Scooping the Loop Snooper Geoffrey K. Pullum
The Easiest Hard Problem by Brian Hayes
On the Threshold by Brian Hayes

Physics[edit]

Teaching Quantum Physics Without Paradoxes by Art Hobson

Atheism & Religion[edit]

One More Reason Religion Is So Messed Up: Respected Theologian Defends Genocide and Infanticide by Greta Christina
The Reagan Doctrine by Isaac Asimov
Am I an Atheist or Agnostic? by Bertrand Russell
Ann Druyan Talks About Science, Religion, Wonder, Awe . . . and Carl Sagan by Ann Druyan
A Designer Universe? by Steven Weinberg
Food for the Eagle by Adam Savage
Are we Better Off Without Religion? by Sue Blackmore
Religion Looks Manmade: The “Yo’ Ancestor” jokes of Genesis by Chris Hallquist
Confrontation All the Way by PZ Myers
The Strange Case of Francis Collins by Sam Harris
God and Evidence - A Strident Proposal by Steve Zara
Can an Atheist be a Fundamentalist? by AC Grayling
Louis Theroux: The Ultra Zionists, a documentary about the ultra-nationalist Jewish settlers on the West Bank.
50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God and Another 50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God—compare with 20 Christian Academics Speaking About God
Letter to philosopher Erik Gutkind by A. Einstein
Whither Eagleman? Sam Harris challenging David Eagleman's "Possibilianism" philosophy of religious matters.
Why I refuse to debate with William Lane Craig by Richard Dawkins
Baggini discovers that the faithful really believe that stuff on Jerry Coyne's blog, Why Evolution is True; about how religion is in fact primarily about belief, and not socializing or community
A Common Atheist Delusion by PZ Myers; PZ's take on Baggini's newfound understanding that "believers believe".
When People Ask Why I have a Problem with Religion
Sacking the City of God by PZ Myers

Videos[edit]

Intelligence Squared Debate: Islam is a Religion of Peace, with Zeba Khan and Maajid Nawaz in favor, and Douglas Murray and Ayaan Hirsi Ali opposing.
Richard Dawkins interviewing Wendy Wright. This interview was supposed to be about evolution, but it serves as an example of how religious belief has poisoned this woman's mind in such a way that she can't even pay attention to simple arguments.
Daniel Dennett - The Genius of Charles Darwin: The Uncut Interviews
Peter Singer - The Genius of Darwin: The Uncut Interviews - Richard Dawkins
Steven Pinker - The Genius of Charles Darwin: The Uncut Interviews
Dan Dennett: A secular, scientific rebuttal to Rick Warren
"Are Christians Delusional?" Richard Carrier Skepticon 3
Madalyn Murray O'Hair speaking up for atheism and secularism on the Long John Radio Phone In Show in 1968
Why Are You Atheists So Angry? Greta Christina's Skepticon IV talk defending atheist anger against religion. She also wrote about it here: Atheists and Anger.

On Education[edit]

From Degrading to De-Grading by Alfie Kohn
A Mathematician’s Lament by Paul Lockhart
Extreme Thinking By Michael A. Nielsen
Dear Emma B. by PZ Myers
Context Matters by Jen McCreight
The Perimeter of Ignorance by Neil deGrasse Tyson
Rethinking How We Teach The 'Net Generation' on NPR's Talk of the Nation
Changing Education Paradigms (video) by Sir Ken Robinson
The best way to win an argument by tomstafford. (On changing minds, and the relationship between understanding something and being able to explain it to someone else.)
The Learning Myth: Why I'll Never Tell My Son He's Smart by Salman Khan
How do Unschoolers Turn Out? by Luba Vangelova
The Trouble With Harvard by Steven Pinker

On Science, Technology, Society & Culture[edit]

When ideas have sex, Matt Ridley (TED conference video)
Faith and Foolishness: When Religious Beliefs Become Dangerous by Lawrence Krauss
The High Frontier, Redux by Charlie Stross. (He lays out clear arguments for why we are probably trapped on Earth.)
Open Architecture Democracy by Michael Nielsen
Power Density by John Baez (& the impending energy crisis we face)
Why the French Like Nuclear Energy by Frontline producer Jon Palfreman
Republicans Against Science by Paul Krugman
FDR's Second Bill of Rights
The Storytelling of Science, with Bill Nye, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Richard Dawkins, Brian greene, Ira Flatow, Neal Stephenson, Tracy Day, and Lawrence Krauss.

Economics[edit]

Robert Reich explaining his movie Inequality for All to Bill Moyers, laying out the arguments for why economic inequality is a serious problem in need of correction
Balancing the Budget by Jane Midgley
The Big Blip by Brian Hayes
Everything is Under Control by Brian Hayes
Official Report on Flash Crash: Nothing to See Here by masaccio
The Theory of Interstellar Trade by Paul Krugman
Degrees and Dollars by Paul Krugman
Knowing Sooner advocating better problem solving of complex systems through complex solutions
Junk mortgages under the microscope by Allan Sloan, explaining how the housing bubble infected the financial industry.
More on Defense by Paul Krugman, describing how even cutting military down to a modest size won't solve budgetary problems plaguing healthcare.
Hey, Small Spender Op-ed by Paul Krugman attempting to dispel the myth that government grew tremendously lately. And a critic, Brian Riedl's response. (I find the critic to have an obtuse view of Krugman's article—that or conscious deceit!)
Stop Coddling the Super-Rich by Warren E. Buffett
Tax Fraud (Debunking the claim that higher income-tax rates reduce GDP) by Eliot Spitzer
The Woman Who Knew Too Much by Suzanna Andrews (Vanity Fair piece on Elizabeth Warren)
Paleomonetarism by Paul Krugman
Killing the Euro by Paul Krugman
Judicial Watch Forces Release of Bank Bailout Documents (Judicial Watch press release, links to the documents from October 13th 2008 meeting in which the 9 largest US banks were partially nationalized—a day I think we should celebrate as the death of the free market.)

Inflation[edit]

Core Logic by Paul Krugman
Good Inflation, Bad Inflation by Paul Krugman
The link between Money Supply and Inflation by Tejvan Pettinger
How Did Economists Get It So Wrong? by Paul Krugman (on the history of economics between 1950 and 2000)
New Frontiers in Economic Barbarism by Paul Krugman (see also the followup Exchange Rates and Wages, on the stickiness of wages and benefits of allowing a currency's value to float in the foreign exchange)

Government Debt[edit]

Nobody Understands Debt, US Net Investment Income, Debt is (Mostly) Money We Owe to Ourselves, More on the Burden of Debt, and The Burden of Debt Again Again by Paul Krugman

Ethical[edit]

Shades of gray by PZ Myers
What Should a Billionaire Give - and What Should You? by Peter Singer
But Women Don't Rape by Jill. It helped raise my consciousness to the deeper complexities of equal rights between genders. Though it seems to me that we still have a very long road ahead of us.
The Halliburton Loophole — NY Times editorial
Guest Blogger Starling: Schrödinger’s Rapist: or a guy’s guide to approaching strange women without being maced by Phaedra Starling.
Peter Singer - Global Atheist Convention 2010, (video). Singer discusses empirical evidence relating to morality, science and religion.
Peter Singer - The Genius of Darwin: The Uncut Interviews - Richard Dawkins (video). Singer discusses the reasoning behind his morality.
A New Years Resolution for the Rich, How Rich is Too Rich? and How to Lose Readers (Without Even Trying) by Sam Harris, and Tax the Rich, (PZ Myer's take).
A New Year's Resolution for the Rich by Sam Harris
Hofling hospital experiment
A History of Violence by Steven Pinker
Shuffling feet: a black man's view on Schördinger's Rapist by Crommunist
Richard Wilkinson: How Economic inequality harms societies, another great TED talk
The School for Public Health at Harvard's collection of research literature on firearms and homicide and suicide
In Suicide Prevention, It's Method, Not Madness The Bryant Park Project, reported at NPR
CDC data on the leading causes of death and injury
Call Me Lucky by Barry Crimmins (presenting a rather enlightened view concerning retaliatory brutality)
This episode of RadioLab on Blame, in particular the segment “Dear Hector” about an almost incomprehensible degree of forgiveness
The Brain on Trial by David Eagleman

Circumcision (Genital Mutilation)[edit]

Boys and girls alike An un-consenting child, an unnecessary, invasive surgery: is there any moral difference between male and female circumcision? by Brian D. Earp at the University of Oxford, (a shortened version of the following well-documented article: Female genital mutilation (FGM) and male circumcision: Should there be a separate ethical discourse?)
Should you circumcise your child? by PZ Myers
Does science support infant circumcision? A skeptical reply to Brian Morris by Brian D. Earp and Robert Darby
I Refuse to Circumcise My Son Because it Keeps Growing Back by Clickhole (The Onion)

Comedy[edit]

Christian Right Lobbies to Overturn Second Law of Thermodynamics by The Onion
Caltech Physicists Successfully Split the Bill by The Onion
What? Abstinence-only-education can't overcome our most basic instinct? by The Onion
The Paradox of The Question by Ned Markosian

On Sex[edit]

Al Vernacchio: Sex needs a new metaphor. Here's one... (A TED talk).

Progressive Ideas About Rights, Work, & Basic Guaranteed Income[edit]

The Second Bill of Rights proposed by Franklin D. Roosevelt
Manna by Marshall Brain
In Praise of Idleness by Bertrand Russell
Why a medieval peasant got more vacation time than you by Lynn Parramore
It's the 21st century — why are we working so much? by Owen Hatherley
Should the government pay you to be alive? - Ideas - The Boston Globe, by Leon Neyfakh
The Case for a Higher Minimum Wage by the editorial board
How Scarcity Trap Affects Our Thinking, Behavior by Shankar Vedantam
Utah to End Homelessness by 2015 by Jenny Shank (about how Utah has learned that it is cheaper to give homeless people apartments and social workers than to pay for the healthcare and policing costs of homelessness)
Americans are overworked but aren't taking time off. What gives? by Sara Horowitz

Other[edit]

The Metaphysician's Nightmare by Bertrand Russell
Vagueness by Bertrand Russell
Theoy of Knowledge by Bertrand Russell
The Internet Debacle:An Alternative View by Janis Ian
The Hydrogen Hoax by Robert Zubrin
Inside the Autistic Mind by Claudia Wallis
Memory by Joshua Foer, along with Understanding the Brain of a Man with No Conscious Memory by John Timmer at Ars Technica
Letter to Ben Stein's Victims by Richard Dawkins
Emmy Noether's Obituary by Albert Einstein
What's Wrong with Western Music? Part I. Part II. Part III. by Bernard Chazelle
Rat Park on wikipedia
Learned helplessness on wikipedia
Bruce Schneier on Security
Who Writes Wikipedia? by Aaron Swartz
The Truth about Violence: 3 Principles of Self-Defense by Sam Harris (Eye-opening, clear, indisputable, and vital—but a grave topic.)
How Companies Learn Your Secrets by Charles Duhigg
Project GREAT a brilliantly accessible demonstration of gravitational time dilation
The Lyndon Johnson tapes: Richard Nixon's 'treason' by David Taylor, crazy insights into Nixon's apparent disruption (for political gain) of Johnson's plans to end the Vietnam war.
Recovering From Hate by Christina Couch, about the forces that lead people into — an out of — hate groups.
Project Implicit, research into implicit bias.

Useful resources:[edit]

LaTeX to pdf conversion (web-based)
postscript to pdf conversion (web-based)
physics news updates
quantum physics (at arxiv)
qwiki, quantum physics wiki
quantiki, quantum information science wiki

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