29 April 2013

Microsoft's Surface Pro UK Release Schedule

Late 2012: Microsoft announces they are making the Surface with Windows 8 Professional.

February 2013: Microsoft release the Surface Pro in North America

April 2013: Microsoft release the Surface Pro in China

2020: Technology continues to advance at an geometric rate. There is still no word from Microsoft as to Surface Pro pricing for Europe.

2150: Due to resource pressures, Humanity polarises into two geopolitical behemoths; the United Atlantic Alliance, and the People's Democratic Federation.

3000: Humanity develop fast interstellar travel, begin colonising nearby systems. The two warring hyperpower blocs compete for resources. The Moon is destroyed. The larger fragments impact the Earth, causing continent-wide destruction and rendering entire hemispheres uninhabitable.

3100: The last humans leave the now dead Earth,

4000: As Humanity harvest the solar system for resources, devouring entire planets, the gravitational instability causes Sol to go supernova. Humanity harnesses all residual matter to fuel their technological advancement.

4500: The last human becomes post-physical. All humanity exists as pure energy beings in the virtual construct known as The Ark.

6000: The post-Human entity known as The Ark begins consuming matter to fuel its growth. It becomes more massive than any known body. Space/time itself begins to contract.

6100: The in-rushing galaxies begin to impact, generating a cloud of galactic fragments accelerating inwards at high fractions of c.

6101: In the last vestige of space/time before it collapses in on itself, and the very concept of space/time ceases to exist, Microsoft release the Surface Pro in the region of space/time formerly occupied by the geopolitical entity known as the United Kingdom

In summary, I'm not prepared to wait that long.

05 September 2012

Schrodinger's Cat Experiment: Mark I

As cultured and educated people, you are no doubt aware of Schrodinger's Cat. What you are probably not aware of is the distressing truth behind this famous thought experiment and the resulting cover up that has lasted for nearly 80 years.

Knowing the specifics of the experiment, you may reasonably surmise that Erwin was no great lover of cats. On first inspection, it may not be entirely clear why this may be the case. However, I will, in this post, theorise as to the cause of this.

We flashback 80 years to the early 1930s, where we find Erwin Schrodinger jetting between Berlin, Oxford and Princeton, and corresponding with one Albert Einstein about quantum mechanics.

Schrodinger had a theory that needed testing, that at some level, matter can coexist in different states. He had yet to make the leap that it might only apply at the quantum level. Picture the scene; Erwin sits in his office, deep in thought, when his cat Cuddles1 jumps onto his lap. It is there, scratching Cuddles idly between the ears, that he formulates the basis of that famous experiment.

Hang on, you're thinking to yourselves. Schrodinger's Cat is a thought experiment. It was never carried out for real. That may indeed be true, and I'm about to tell you why.

As we have already established your intellect and learning, I can assume that you are also familiar with Godwin's Law, which states that "As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1".

RocketBootKid's Law, which I am hereafter bequeathing to Mankind, can be stated in similar terms, thusly; "Over time, the probability of a cat owner being randomly attacked by their cat for no rational or logical reason approaches 1".

Back to Schrodinger. He and his cat are in the box, while Schrodinger ponders how the Observer Effect may alter the results of his experiment. The cat, being a cat and therefore experiencing the multiverse on a plane of existence completely devoid of logic and reason, suddenly sinks five of its six ends into Schrodinger's tender underparts.

Flashforward a few months, and it is only his dedication to scientific rigor that finds Schrodinger still occupying the box, when the better parts of him, his tender and now swollen underparts in particular, are begging him to develop a less painful experimental paradigm.

At some point, Schrodinger had a final falling out of love with Cuddles. The specifics of this event are wasted to the pages of history, but the ramifications for Cuddles are dire. Schrodinger, in a late-night manic episode, arrives at the specifics of the device with which we are now familiar.

His housekeeper, who services were suddenly dispensed with, would later comment that she hadn't seen Cuddles around for a while. Perhaps fearing a visit from the RPSCA, Schrodinger was careful to categorise the fate of Cuddles as a "thought experiment" when he published his theory in "Die gegenwärtige Situation in der Quantenmechanik" in 1935.

In a museum somewhere, in a display case, is a box inside of which, most definitely, is a dead cat.

1 Schrodinger may or may not have had a cat, which may or may not have been called Cuddles. I think he'd be satisfied if I said all of the above were possible.

29 June 2012

The Ephemeral Nature of Knowledge

Okay, it's a pretentious title, but you're just to going to have to deal with it.

This post is at least partly to defend my (annoying?1) tendency to never state anything in definitive terms. There are two reasons for this.

The first is that I find absolute, unilateral, or dictatorial statements inherently distasteful. I was going to say inhuman, but that's perhaps a bit strong. The reason that the overdeveloped thesaural region in my brain returned that word is that a defining characteristic of humans is our ability to work together, to establish a consensus, to collectively achieve more than the sum of our parts.

A unilateral statement - the product of a single human - is inherently exclusive and therefore destructive to the power of the collective2.

The second is that the very nature of knowledge is fleeting, dynamic, you might even say ephemeral. In fact, someone already did. I remember very clearing taking Physics at school and being told in later years to forget what I had previously been taught. Not because what I had been taught was incorrect, but because it was too high-level, too abstract.

The same is true of all areas of expertise, physics perhaps more than most. There are levels of understanding that are perfectly sufficient for most, but which gloss over the finer, more detailed points that are vital for the development of that subject.

Another factor is that the depths of human knowledge are constantly being explored, only to find that it's actually a lot deeper than previously thought. Unless you're keeping abreast of all recent discoveries throughout the entire sphere of human knowledge, you're going to be at least slightly inaccurate every time you open your mouth.

It is therefore extremely difficult to make any definitive statement about anything, other than that which you know inside and out, without it being based on a incomplete understanding of that subject, and therefore not entirely accurate. Now, most people don't worry about this, and most of the time it really doesn't affect much at all.

To the extreme pedants among us, and to those who value community consensus over dictatorial pronouncements, it's an important distinction, and one that should be accepted.

1 I assume it must be at least slightly annoying, but that's just a guess.
2 I cannot use that word without the Borg or Communism coming to mind.