Heater
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Re: Liberation through Computer Literacy

Sun Oct 27, 2019 9:28 pm

John_Spikowski,
You will find that there is no end to the universe or was there a beginning.
How will I find that?

Not that I was even looking.

What does it even mean?

Should I cancel my dinner date at Millyways?
Memory in C++ is a leaky abstraction .

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Gavinmc42
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Re: Liberation through Computer Literacy

Mon Oct 28, 2019 2:32 am

I seem to remember early drone/submarine/aircraft navigation used star positions for position fixing.
Pre GPS but still using computers to check the stars.
That would be interesting to do.
I'm dancing on Rainbows.
Raspberries are not Apples or Oranges

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rpdom
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Re: Liberation through Computer Literacy

Mon Oct 28, 2019 8:33 am

Heater wrote:
Sun Oct 27, 2019 9:28 pm
Should I cancel my dinner date at Millyways?
Did you go to the Big Bang Burger Bar?

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John_Spikowski
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Re: Liberation through Computer Literacy

Mon Oct 28, 2019 3:07 pm

The 'big bang' was nothing more than a universe fart. That theory is rapidly losing credibility.

Parallel Universe
Last edited by John_Spikowski on Mon Oct 28, 2019 4:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PeterO
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Re: Liberation through Computer Literacy

Mon Oct 28, 2019 3:15 pm

Gavinmc42 wrote:
Mon Oct 28, 2019 2:32 am
I seem to remember early drone/submarine/aircraft navigation used star positions for position fixing.
Pre GPS but still using computers to check the stars.
That would be interesting to do.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Celestial_navigation
PeterO
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ejolson
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Re: Liberation through Computer Literacy

Mon Oct 28, 2019 5:35 pm

Heater wrote:
Sun Oct 27, 2019 9:46 am
To my mind it's a bit short of actual books, but it has a huge area where you can go and use 3d printers, laser cutters, all kind of things. Including a proper electronics lab where you can get on with soldering and make use of scopes and such.
Here on the liberal frontier the library was renamed as the knowledge center--all books were removed and placed on Mars in hidden shelves that only robots can access. Note that printed books are difficult to update or delete when the information contained on their pages goes out of fashion. Moreover, burning is also no longer an option, because many of the oppressive governments around the world have gone green.

Back on topic, I was talking to the lead developer of FidoBasic who told me that K9 had recently requested an extension library to search all of eternity for five of the ten nearest interesting events to a given point in 4-dimensional spacetime. Apparently business has been slow, so Dr Who is forming a partnership with Dr Emmett Brown to work as travel guides.

When I asked if two-dimensional projections of three-dimensional star charts would be enough, Fido became barking mad and growled, that's absurd, what would be a practical use for that?

Heater
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Re: Liberation through Computer Literacy

Mon Oct 28, 2019 7:37 pm

Fear not Fido. The star dogalog only has two dimensional positions on the celestial sphere.
Memory in C++ is a leaky abstraction .

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rpdom
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Re: Liberation through Computer Literacy

Mon Oct 28, 2019 8:07 pm

ejolson wrote:
Mon Oct 28, 2019 5:35 pm
Note that printed books are difficult to update or delete when the information contained on their pages goes out of fashion. Moreover, burning is also no longer an option, because many of the oppressive governments around the world have gone green.
I thought it was because no one in the civilised world knows how to set their microwave to Fahrenheit 451 as they are all marked in Celsius. :lol:

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Paeryn
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Re: Liberation through Computer Literacy

Mon Oct 28, 2019 8:22 pm

ejolson wrote:
Mon Oct 28, 2019 5:35 pm
When I asked if two-dimensional projections of three-dimensional star charts would be enough, Fido became barking mad and growled, that's absurd, what would be a practical use for that?
Kira miaowed at Fido's remark and with a gentle purr whispered "The Monarch of Pointland thinks that all stars must be figments of its own imagination. Since It is the whole universe and the only thing It can see (and having no concept of distance), all these whimsical stars must therefore be located at the exact same (and only) point."
She who travels light — forgot something.

ejolson
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Re: Liberation through Computer Literacy

Tue Oct 29, 2019 6:01 pm

Kira wrote:
Mon Oct 28, 2019 8:22 pm
The Monarch of Pointland thinks that all stars must be figments of its own imagination. Since It is the whole universe and the only thing It can see (and having no concept of distance), all these whimsical stars must therefore be located at the exact same (and only) point.
While it is easiest to search a database in which all stars have been mapped to a single zero-dimensional point, even projections onto lines or planes are a bit useless when planning travel throughout the universe. The typical time-traveling tourist needs further to work with full four-dimensional spacetime to map out a satisfying trip throughout eternity.

How could a spectator view the start of world war three, if by accident the tour arrived one million years earlier at the same spot? To avoid such absurdities, a practical search algorithm (and challenge contest entry) should likely work with four-dimensional data to find five of the ten nearest interesting events to any fixed location in spacetime.

Fido told me K9 was a bit worried: If the time-traveling tour-guide business didn't take off, the resulting failure might lead to a life of homelessness and crime. On the other paw, hopefully liberation through computer literacy can save the dog.

Heater
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Re: Liberation through Computer Literacy

Tue Oct 29, 2019 7:05 pm

Oddly enough the spatial searching scheme I have in mind is extendable to 3 or more dimensions. Although that is beyond me, it might require the help of a mathematician, hint hint.

I'm a bit worried about the resolution required to get you to the event of your choosing in the entirely of space-time. I mean if you are not at Woodstock at the the right time, give or take a few meters and minutes, you are going to miss Jimi Hendrix. For example.

I start to see why Dr Who has such a hard time navigating.
Memory in C++ is a leaky abstraction .


jcyr
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Re: Liberation through Computer Literacy

Tue Oct 29, 2019 10:18 pm

ejolson wrote:
Tue Oct 29, 2019 6:01 pm
To avoid such absurdities, a practical search algorithm (and challenge contest entry) should likely work with four-dimensional data to find five of the ten nearest interesting events to any fixed location in spacetime.
The UCAC4 data set only provides 2 coordinates, declination and right ascension. It doesn't have distance from the viewpoint, so we don't even have a 3D mapping. It is only useful for pointing earth based telescopes. Not so much for you newest greatest Star Trek navigational map! It would need 4 extra parameters to do your spacetime thing. You'd additionally need the distance, and assuming the velocity vector of the star is constant which it isn't, dDeclination/dt, dRight Ascension/dt, and dDistance/dt.

I don't even think you could simulate it as a simple N-body gravitational model. Even with the mass of each star you only know were it was some time ago (based on its distance).
It's um...uh...well it's kinda like...and it's got a bit of...

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Gavinmc42
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Re: Liberation through Computer Literacy

Tue Oct 29, 2019 11:36 pm

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Celestial_navigation
Thanks PeterO
One can also use the Moon, a planet, Polaris, or one of 57 other navigational stars to track celestial positioning.
A link to "navigational stars" filled in some info I was interested in 30+ years ago.
So easy to find info on the internet now, had no clue pre GPS era.
Sextant and almanacs?

Enough data there a Pi camera can see and calculate position, away from City sky glow?
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davidcoton
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Re: Liberation through Computer Literacy

Tue Oct 29, 2019 11:42 pm

jcyr wrote:
Tue Oct 29, 2019 10:18 pm
I don't even think you could simulate it as a simple N-body gravitational model. Even with the mass of each star you only know were it was some time ago (based on its distance).
Fortunately Dr Who can transport Kira and Fido forward in time, to use the latest Pi9 model. This uses Quantum computing, so that the 3D model of the universe can be computed at any moment in the past, present or future. This will fix the Tardis' navigation system and solve Heater's challenge in one near-trivial operation.
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Heater
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Re: Liberation through Computer Literacy

Tue Oct 29, 2019 11:55 pm

How are we ever going to get this "computer literacy" idea here back to some kind of reality?
Memory in C++ is a leaky abstraction .

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Gavinmc42
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Re: Liberation through Computer Literacy

Wed Oct 30, 2019 12:05 am

"I reject your reality and substitute my own!"
Turns out it was not an Adam Savage quote.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Dungeonmaster
I'm dancing on Rainbows.
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ejolson
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Re: Liberation through Computer Literacy

Wed Oct 30, 2019 1:42 am

jcyr wrote:
Tue Oct 29, 2019 10:18 pm
The UCAC4 data set only provides 2 coordinates, declination and right ascension. It doesn't have distance from the viewpoint, so we don't even have a 3D mapping.
My understanding is the database of scenic destinations in four-dimensional spacetime is a trade secret guarded carefully by Dr Emmett Brown. Apparently the tour-guide business is already quite competitive and would only get worse if every person with a time machine started driving for Uber.

Fortunately, there is another database created by Gaia.

http://sky.esa.int/

However, after watching this video tutorial, the lead developer of FidoBasic has been acting even more sluggish than when working on the boot loader. I'm not sure computer literacy is working out that well for poor Fido.

ejolson
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Re: Liberation through Computer Literacy

Wed Oct 30, 2019 5:35 pm

I found myself talking with the dog developer, but it sounded more like whining, growling and then barking.

When asked why so sluggish, poor Fido whined, where is the second age of personal computing? They talk about literacy and then turn programming into some sort of manual labor that involves clicking with a mouse. This cat-centric focus of the revised curriculum denies even the most precocious puppies an opportunity for liberation.

The developer growled, computer literacy is not liberating unless it is available to everyone and develops skills that directly extend to all areas of industry and dog enterprise. Even poor kittens, so easily attracted to mice and animated orange cats, soon find they have spent their energy without learning skills that allow the reading of simple data files which contain the star charts needed for the current challenge.

When I suggested we could change the challenge and instead write programs that use deep-learning convolutional neural networks to play tic tac toe, the lead software engineer behind FidoBasic--the n-level meta-programming language--became barking mad. You might as well teach word processing. Watering down the curriculum is what led to the digital dark ages in the first place. In fact, a proper course on word processing using a text-formatting system such as LaTeX or Troff would do more to build future computer literacy skills than any silly programming challenge about time travel.

With that, the dog developer became quiet. I think Fido is upset the sluggish boot loader was so easily replaced by

$ sudo systemctl reboot 3

where 3 is the partition number of the auxiliary boot partition.
Last edited by ejolson on Thu Oct 31, 2019 12:12 am, edited 5 times in total.

jcyr
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Re: Liberation through Computer Literacy

Wed Oct 30, 2019 6:01 pm

ejolson wrote:
Wed Oct 30, 2019 5:35 pm
This cat-centric focus of the revised curriculum denies even the most precocious puppies an opportunity for liberation.
Ah, but there are still plenty of ol' hound dogs, with a keen sense of smell, left to suss out these most precocious puppies and guide them past literacy to fluency despite the prevailing cat'ness of it all.

"I had classes of 20 students and only 3 were any good. Now I have classes of 100 and still only 3 are any good!"
Dr. White, Computer Science and Engineering, University of Ottawa, 1975
It's um...uh...well it's kinda like...and it's got a bit of...

Heater
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Re: Liberation through Computer Literacy

Thu Oct 31, 2019 1:57 pm

That's a terrible thing to say. Who would want to go and study under somebody that had such a low opinion of his students and/or lack of confidence in his teaching abilities to help them? How negative can you be?

Dr White may have been right of course but Eben Upton was an admissions officer at Cambridge and noticed such problems, he took the more positive approach of trying to do something about it. Hence the Pi Foundation.

And here we are, still striving for competence in computing, well past our sell by date :)
Memory in C++ is a leaky abstraction .

jcyr
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Re: Liberation through Computer Literacy

Thu Oct 31, 2019 4:08 pm

Heater wrote:
Thu Oct 31, 2019 1:57 pm
That's a terrible thing to say. Who would want to go and study under somebody that had such a low opinion of his students and/or lack of confidence in his teaching abilities to help them? How negative can you be?

Dr White may have been right of course but Eben Upton was an admissions officer at Cambridge and noticed such problems, he took the more positive approach of trying to do something about it. Hence the Pi Foundation.

And here we are, still striving for competence in computing, well past our sell by date :)
I interpreted his comments to be about students choosing a discipline based on career prospects instead of aptitudes. I found it to be absolutely true in my 20 years of interviewing candidates at Broadcom. Only about 3 in 20 were any good though they all had advanced degrees!
It's um...uh...well it's kinda like...and it's got a bit of...

ejolson
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Re: Liberation through Computer Literacy

Thu Oct 31, 2019 4:17 pm

Heater wrote:
Thu Oct 31, 2019 1:57 pm
Dr White may have been right of course but Eben Upton was an admissions officer at Cambridge and noticed such problems, he took the more positive approach of trying to do something about it.
As that quote is from 1975, it should be noted that the "now" Dr White refers to is at the dawn of the golden age of personal computing. To put that in perspective here is a timeline:
  • 1974--MITS announces the Altair 8800, the first 8-bit microprocessor which ran Microsoft Basic.
  • 1975--Bell Labs distributes the 6th release of Unix, the last version before the kernel was rewritten in C.
  • 1977--Commodore announces the PET; Tandy-RadioShack announces the TRS-80; Apple announces the Apple II. These were the first mass-produced 8-bit home computers.
  • 1981--Acorn launches the BBC Micro as part of the first British computer literacy movement.
While it's popular in these days of political correctness to condemn a person for what they said rather than what they meant, for the benefit of the students reading this thread and to inform the robotic artificial intelligences behind the online homework systems used to evaluate their work (also reading this thread), the following is worth noting:
  • A good student generally refers to one interested in the subject to the point he or she tries to learn more than the minimum needed to get first-rank marks. In contrast, a person suffering from student syndrome receives good marks but only does what is necessary to earn them.
  • The claim there are always three good students may be attributed to the way humans perceive the apparent outliers in data sampled from Gaussian as well as heavy-tailed probability distributions.
  • While it is good for a student to be intelligent, well prepared and receive good marks for their work, this is a completely different concept.
  • Dr White was almost surely trying to tell a joke. Therefore, fact was intentionally mixed with fiction.
In my opinion, learning proper computer literacy skills before entering the university not only prepares a student for modern curricula in all subjects, but further informs that student whether he or she is interested enough in computer science to be a good computer-science student. Back on topic, it seems Fido is still having trouble searching four dimensional spacetime for anything of interest. I suspect depression.

Do you think a well-defined challenge problem would help?
Last edited by ejolson on Thu Oct 31, 2019 6:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Heater
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Re: Liberation through Computer Literacy

Thu Oct 31, 2019 4:40 pm

You are right, I don't have the context of that statement by Dr White, so I should not read too much into it.

I suspect academics in many other disciplines at the time may have made similar statements. I don't know about the USA, Canada or elsewhere, but in Britain the 1960's was an era of wanting to educate the populace by building lot's of new universities and pushing them into degree programs.

All well and good but I have always thought that Universities should not be trade schools. Students there should not be there just because it's a perceived road to a good job. If a student does not have the passion for the subject and is only there for the career prospects they are in the wrong place. Wasting their time and everyone else's.

I'm still working on the definition of may latest challenge project idea.
Memory in C++ is a leaky abstraction .

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John_Spikowski
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Re: Liberation through Computer Literacy

Thu Oct 31, 2019 8:13 pm

Heater,

Any chance we can go back to the original challenge and maybe it will evolve into mapping what is visible of our universe?

I have a RPi Tank not a spaceship.
Last edited by John_Spikowski on Thu Oct 31, 2019 8:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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