Unrelated to all that, 12/13

This man has given his fish some wheels

It has begun

A driver allegedly involved in two hit-and-run incidents was tracked down after her car alerted the police…


57-year-old woman Cathy Bernstein allegedly hit a truck before ploughing into a van on Prima Vista Boulevard, fleeing the scene after each collision. While Bernstein allegedly ran for the hills, her car had already recorded the crash and automatically contacted 911 after recording the time and date of the collision.

Watch this monkey watch a magic trick


This is why people don’t take Bayesianism seriously

I will make a quasi-Bayesian estimate of the likelihood that there is a multiverse. To establish a prior, I note that a multiverse is easy to make: it requires quantum mechanics and general relativity, and it requires that the building blocks of spacetime can exist in many metastable states. We do not know if this last assumption is true. It is true for the building blocks of ordinary matter, and it seems to be a natural corollary to getting physics from geometry. So I will start with a prior of 50%. I will first update this with the fact that the observed cosmological constant is not enormous. Now, if I consider only known theories, this pushes the odds of a multiverse close to 100%. But I have to allow for the possibility that the correct theory is still undiscovered, so I will be conservative and reduce the no-multiverse probability by a factor of two, to 25%. The second update is that the vacuum energy is not exactly zero. By the same (conservative) logic, I reduce the no-multiverse probability to 12%. The final update is the fact that our outstanding candidate for a theory of quantum gravity, string theory, most likely predicts a multiverse. But again I will be conservative and take only a factor of two. So this is my estimate for the likelihood that the multiverse exists: 94%.

Watch the planet breathe

Elephants are terrified of bees. Farms in East Africa are making bee fences to protect their farms from elephants


The bowerbird’s grand performance

Did you know that Richard Dawkins invented the term ‘neuroeconomics’?

A classic of the discipline I am naming ‘neuroeconomics’, is Attneave’s (1954) and (independently) Barlow’s (1961a, b) analysis of principles underlying sensory systems. Most images contain redundancy, that is they could be recoded more economically without loss of information.

Of course, here he is using it to refer to the economy of information transfer.

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