“8. Blockchain isn’t a way to make sacrifices to Cthulhu”

Blockchain isn’t the answer to every question. 10 things blockchain isn’t.

This falls under the heading of “Things I never thought I would see on the Internet.”

8. Blockchain isn’t a way to make sacrifices to Cthulhu

The less said about this the better.

Actually, there are some good bits of information in that link, I’m not sure number 8 is one of them.

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Spacetime

What does the equation E=mc2 really mean. It means that your understand of mass – the understanding that gets you through every day – is probably fundamentally wrong at the atomic and subatomic level. (Here’s a link in case YouTube complains about embedded video.)

Hat tip to Classical Values.

The Sound of Settled Science

So “traditions” lead the way, and not scientific methodology. Surprising Tactic in War Against Antibiotic Resistance.

“There is a tradition of using just one drug, maybe two,” said co-senior author Pamela Yeh, an assistant professor of ecology and evolutionary biology.

But that “tradition” was wrong. And so medicine suffered. (How long does something have to be in place before you can call it a tradition?)

It’s long been believed that using three or more antibiotics would not lead to better patient outcomes because interactions among the drugs would cancel out their benefits.

But working with eight antibiotics, the research team identified nearly 1,700 four-antibiotic combinations and more than 6,400 five-antibiotic combinations that are more effective than expected at stopping E. coli bacteria.

They are not very clear on the idea of “combinations.” I assume they mean that they tried a whole lot of variations based on dosages. And they also have strange rounding habits at US News. I looked up the abstract of the paper they reference, and the numbers are off, by a bit.)

5670 four-drug combinations, and 13608 five-drug combinations

So 5670 is about 1700? And 13,608 is about 6400? Now it could be that I found the wrong paper, published on September 3rd of this year, by Dr. Pamela Yeh and others, on the subject of multiple-drug interactions and their affect on e-coli, since the US News article provided no link. But I somehow doubt it.

What sent me looking? The number of combinations of 8 things taken 5 at a time is 56. Not 6400, and not 13,608. Which is not mentioned. Anywhere. But then Math is hard

Belief in the absence of evidence. Traditions guiding what should be a scientific industry. Hmm. And people wonder why I have a dim view of the medical profession. Like in the 1960s when they removed tonsils, because that is what they did. There are other examples aside from these two.

And then there is the issue where a whole bunch of studies eventually prove to be impossible to reproduce.

The Problems With the FIU Bridge Began Before It Collapsed

Because paying attention to actual engineering wouldn’t be Woke. Shocking photos show there were large cracks in Florida International University bridge five days BEFORE six were crushed to death when it collapsed onto them.

To remind folks, back in March (“Beware the Ides of March”) a pedestrian bridge collapsed crushing several people. Six people died. My take on the issue was that the groups responsible were spending a lot of money to build a monument to diversity. (14 or 15 million dollar grant from the federal .gov was involved.) They just couldn’t be bothered to spend time on the actual engineering. (Math is hard.)

Now it turns out they couldn’t be bothered to pay attention to the fact that their bridge was collapsing before their eyes.

Large cracks appeared in the Florida International University pedestrian bridge just days before it collapsed, killing six.

An update from the National Transport Safety Board says their investigation has revealed significant breaks in the concrete emerged after the bridge was moved to its place above the roadway on March 10.

That is 5 days before the collapse. That is plenty of time to have the road closed. The bridge shored up with timbers. Whatever. But all that is nasty engineering and construction. If you click thru to The Daily Mail, the photos are not of minor cracks from concrete curing too fast. It is hard to gauge size in the photo, because there is no reference, but one crack would appear to be about 1/2 inch or more – right adjacent to where a vertical support meets a deck. (If I saw that kind of crack, I think I would avoid that bridge for awhile.) Maybe I’m mistaken, but the result – five days later – would seem to imply that paranoia would have been appropriate.

Let’s not forget that this pedestrian bridge weighed in at 950 tons. Because beauty. Or something. And those cracks started showing up even before the bridge was lifted into place on the roadway supports.

Here are some previous posts on the bridge collapse.

Hat tip to Irons in the Fire.

Even More on the War on Math

Anji Bridge, ChinaAn old post on the aftermath of the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami (That’s what the Japanese were calling it for awhile) and the resulting problems at Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear power station showed up in my site stats. So someone was looking at it. That post (and the references to the New York Times and Forbes) makes it clear that fear of math killed more people than radiation.

In order to really understand radiation (and the physics behind it) you need a little bit of calculus. I know – horror of horrors. (Assuming you actually took calculus either in high school or college, 99.99% of you hated it. I majored in Mathematics.)

No one has died from radiation associated with Fukushima Daiichi. Say that again. NO ONE has died.

1600 people died as a result of the panic about radiation, and the actions taken by panicked politicians.

When you evacuate a hospital intensive care unit, you cannot take patients to a high school and expect them to survive.

But I don’t need to revisit that post in detail. In a nutshell, the government and the people didn’t understand the math. So they wanted to do something. (They did many wrong things, but they did do something.) 1600 people died as a result of those “do something!” decisions.

Now, physics and engineering are more than math. But you won’t get very far in either without the math. And without them, you kill 1600 people for no reason because of panic, or you’ll build a bridge that falls down, even before it’s complete, killing people because it is more important to you to have a diverse team, and a beautiful bridge, than for that bridge to last. Even a little.

The photo above is of the Anji Bridge in China, also know as the Zhaozhou Bridge. (Click on the image for a larger view, or there are many photos on the internet.) It spans 37.4 meters as it crosses the Xiao River. Construction took 10 years, and was complete in the year 605. It is a beautiful bridge. (Stone with Iron dovetails.) but that wasn’t the objective. The objective was to build a bridge that would last. Since it has lasted better than 1400 years, I think they got that right as well. The multiple arches make is strong. The open spaces let water flow through if the river floods (apparently it has over the past 1400 years) and it is beautiful. And it is full of math, and engineering, materials science, with maybe a bit of fluid dynamics and probably a dash of geography.

As SiGraybeard says: No, Math Isn’t Racist.

In fact it’s hard to get less racist than math. No matter who works the numbers, regardless of race, age, sex, native language; regardless of anything, anyone starting with the same problem and doing the same work gets the same answer.

You either get the right answer, or you get bridges that fall down.

More on the War on Math

SiGraybeard does an in depth analysis of the War on Math. No, Math Isn’t Racist.

Besides, if people can’t do the simplest arithmetic, they can’t understand the numbers that show their socialist or communist schemes can’t possibly work.

This is in reaction to my previous post on the same topic, in which he noted in the comments:

You know the old adage that, “once is accident, twice is coincidence, three times is enemy action”.

Finally The Left Admits They Want to Outlaw Math

Math Is HardBecause math is hard, and that’s not fair. Or something. Maths textbooks should be banned because they intimidate pupils, headteacher says.

Maths textbooks should be banned because they intimidate pupils, a leading girls’ school headmistress has said.

This woman should retire to her Victorian feinting couch, and not trouble her tiny mind about those hard math problems.

This is the kind of insanity that leads to bridges falling down. “Oh no, math is hard!!”

Because we don’t need math. Or something. Add in We don’t need engineers, or scientists or statisticians or economists, or actuaries, or … Oh, and we won’t need computer security in the future, so math can just be eliminated. When someone talks about elliptic-curve encryption they aren’t talking about drivers’ ED, or if a Mersenne Prime is mentioned they aren’t talking about European literature. The Sieve of Eratosthenes isn’t used in cooking.

Look, I get it. Not everyone is good at math. Not everyone can play the cello like Yo-Yo Ma. I don’t really care if that is fair or not. It doesn’t mean we should eliminate math or the cello. (Oh, and see “You’re not bad at Math, You’re just lazy.”)