Friday 25th of May 2018

the interface of uncertainty...


“The sciences do not try to explain, they hardly even try to interpret, they mainly make models. By a model is meant a mathematical construct which, with the addition of certain verbal interpretations, describes observed phenomena. The justification of such a mathematical construct is solely and precisely that it is expected to work - that is correctly to describe phenomena from a reasonably wide area. Furthermore, it must satisfy certain esthetic criteria - that is, in relation to how much it describes, it must be rather simple.”

― John von Neumann


Science is the opposite of a dogma. A dogma is a collectively decided strict illusion that has completely false interpretations of observed phenomena.
— Gus Leonisky

The science of global warming is quite simple compared to quantum mechanics or the theory of relativity. Yet many of us have no clue about the science of quantum mechanics and also accept holus-bolus Einstein's theory of relativity — mostly because we have been told Einstein was a genius. Unfortunately, many of us also accept a religious dogma which is in complete conflict with these sciences without which most of our technological know-how would never have seen the light. The science of quantum mechanic works in uncertainty, Dogma only tries to comfort our angst of imagined uncertainty.
— Gus Leonisky

The universe cannot see us. We can see the universe, relatively.
— Gus Leonisky

Picture at top: Gus Leonisky


fighting ignorance and limited information...

Fanatics and extremists only have limited information supply and this information becomes the only motivator of behaviour, as it is often reinforced by rituals and brainwashing. In most cases of fanaticism and extremism, the limited information is either wrong or incomplete.

Strangely, with more information at hand, it seems that we, individuals, get less and less committed. Our instincts and senses get drowned in information overload in which we become unable to make an enlightened decision or a proper choice. In most cases, to minimise confusion and satisfy our low ability to comprehend complexity, we will prefer the easy path of dumb illusions and tickling entertainment over the complexity of sciences — and that's the way our rulers like it.   

They want us to be distracted or occupied with tasks, so we do not pose the hard questions. 

This is why the debate about global warming is wrongly pitched. The science of global warming does not "prove" that global warming is happening. The science provides several models that fits observed phenomena, present and past. These models provide reasonable description of phenomena with prognosis for the future development of the observed phenomena. In order to be as scientific as possible, the models are generally "conservative" in the estimate of change. 

Strangely, with more information from observed phenomena, the theory and models of global warming get reinforced. And scientists can become clearer about the prognosis, while most are trying not to be fanatical about the prognosis, they are precise about the observations. 

Most of the denialists, including some of the new PUP senators, make their judgement about global warming, not because they have studied the scientific models and the data, but because the concept of global warming conflicts with their erroneous dogmatic views or they have been told to dismiss the science without having studied it. It is a sad case of ignorance that is reinforcing itself in defiance of knowledge. 

What a sad lot they are.

Gus Leonisky
Your local learned bunyip


expertise in flux interface boundaries...



When considered from a broad perspective, many events that appear to occur at random, such as weather systems, are in fact part of recurring patterns and as such are subject to mathematical principles. Dr. Libchaber applies a type of mathematics called nonlinear dynamics to biological systems in order to understand how an object and its surrounding environment act on one another to provide a specific result.

Dr. Libchaber studies mathematical patterns in biology at the organismal, cellular and molecular levels. At the organismal level, his work examines the interactions and dynamics between organism and environment, including the effects of moving boundary conditions on fluid flow. A moving fish, for example, involves a complicated interaction of a dynamic object with the surrounding fluid, with forces by both elements acting on one another. In the lab, Dr. Libchaber, in collaboration with researchers at New York University’s Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, studied a system of flexible filaments in a flowing soap film, which mimics a fish moving in water. Working with Escherichia coli bacteria, Dr. Libchaber has recently shown how temperature and oxygen gradients as well as bacterial concentrations finely tune and control the bacteria’s motility and genetics. The research firmly established that an organism’s environment affects its genes and behavior.

Dr. Libchaber’s lab has also undertaken a series of experiments at the single-molecule level to define the minimal conditions needed to produce an artificial cell. Within a phospholipid vesicle, which mimics a cell membrane, Dr. Libchaber places DNA containing the necessary genes and their regulatory sequences. This cell, which is in contact with a feeding solution through its semipermeable membrane, is then the environment for testing different gene networks and elementary logic circuits for their ability to reproduce essential events in a cell’s life, such as producing proteins and transporting them to the cell’s surface. The research may hold clues to the origin of life, and the ultimate aim is to produce an artificial cell that selfreproduces following a genetic program.

Another important concept concerning the origin of life is the development of a genetic code that relates the 20-amino acid world to the four-nucleotide one. Dr. Libchaber has recently shown that an RNA molecule of a stem-loop structure, acting as a ribozyme, can load an amino acid to its 3' end. This amino acid corresponds to the anticodon in the loop, and this whole process can be done without enzymes.

Past research in Dr. Libchaber’s lab has elucidated the effects of temperature on DNA. In a detailed study on the effects of thermophoresis on DNA in solution, they found that when far infrared lights are focused on the center of a chamber, DNA within the chamber moves from a hot region to a cold one. As the heat is increased, however, convection sets in and causes the opposite: The DNA collects and accumulates in the bottom center of the chamber. Because this phenomenon could be used to sustain very high concentrations of DNA or proteins, it sheds light on how critical concentrations of DNA may have been reached amid early primordial-soup chain reactions and therefore played an important role in early life forms. Then the laboratory showed that polymerase chain reaction, DNA amplification, is essentially a thermal convection process.


Libchaber studied the "beginning of turbulence", especially that at the lowest temperature possible. Gus calls this "turbulence" the "flux interface boundary" in which the simultaneous interference of unrelated or related "switches" can change the boundary position and SHAPE.