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Comment: Re:Why VR sucks, except for games (Score 1) 232

This seems like a bit lacking in imagination. VR means complete control over what you see, you are not forced to work with 3d models directly all the time. You can create a large number of virtual monitors, or one big monitor that wraps around you, or whatever you want, and then you can work on those virtual monitors just like you would normally, nobody prevents you from using a mouse and keyboard in VR. People (notably John Carmack) are already experimenting with pass-through video to let you see your hands and keyboard while wearing the headset, so that will surely be possible in the near future. In addition when it comes to CAD-work, I think that while working on it using the normal 2d views etc. might be preferred, actually seeing the result in true 3d, getting a good sense of scale etc. might improve the experience quite a bit. The counter argument against virtual monitors is of course that the resolution in current versions are too low for this, which is true right now, but that will probably change rather quickly.

Comment: Re:Don't Be So Cock-Sure You Know The Answer (Score 2) 269

by hopffiber (#46511959) Attached to: Big Bang's Smoking Gun Found
It's a question of how many different facts and observations each thing you assume can explain. If you, with a small number of assumptions, can explain a huge amount of data with good precision, that is a good and impressive. If that same number of assumptions, the same theory also can make predictions that survive comparison with new data, the theory is even better. By both these standards, Lambda CDM is a very good theory. As always it builds on some assumptions, but the amount of things it explains and the fact that new data (like the things announced today) fits well with it without any new additions or tweaks makes it a very good theory. You are welcome to try and do better, but I suspect you will have a lot of trouble making it work, and if you have to add special clauses to explain every bit of data, well, that just isn't impressive and your theory will be clearly worse than Lambda CDM. Also, making up stuff without messing up other parts of the theory isn't so very easy. If you add dark matter to fix some observations, you still have to make sure that it doesn't screw up some other prediction. When dealing with a mathematical theory, its actually quite rigid, as long as you don't do extremely unnatural things. Which the current model of inflation really doesn't do. Dark matter is just some stable electrically neutral particle, there isn't anything too mystical about that (we already know of some such particles actually, neutrinos). And dark energy was natural enough for Einstein to invent it back in 1915. I feel like the name "dark" bears a bit of negative/mystical connotations, leading people to question it way more than if it instead was called "neutral matter" or something less "scary".

Comment: Nothing very new, and nothing about our universe (Score 5, Insightful) 433

by hopffiber (#45663969) Attached to: Simulations Back Up Theory That Universe Is a Hologram
So, the headline is quite wrong. Nothing in this work has directly to do with our universe, nor does it show that we live in a hologram. What it does do is provide some further evidence for a string theory conjecture called AdS/CFT. This conjecture says that "string theory in d dimensions" is precisely the same as "conformal field theory in d-1 dimensions". This is cute, since it lets us calculate some things, for example, one might be interested in calculating something in some field theory, but it is very difficult to do. AdS/CFT lets us translate that thing into a string theory thing, which usually is easier to compute. So people working in condensed matter physics, particle physics and QCD are actually using this string theory conjecture as a computational tool. However, AdS/CFT tells us nothing about our universe, since we know that the type of string theories it talks about can't describe our universe. So it is "only" a useful toy model and computational tool. The article is about that some guys have run computer simulations to calculate something on both sides, so both on the string side, and in the field theory side, and what they get match, as it should if the conjecture is true. This is nice and lends further evidence to the conjecture, but there is plenty of other evidence already known, both numerical and theoretical. So I fail to see how this is important or newsworthy, it feels mostly like useless hype.

Comment: Re:Horseshit (Score 2) 433

by hopffiber (#45663827) Attached to: Simulations Back Up Theory That Universe Is a Hologram
Nobody is saying that the universe is precisely a hologram stored on a flat plane, so before you call it horseshit, you could try to read what they are actually saying. Also, the particular theory they are talking about here has actually been tested, at least somewhat: people used it to compute some stuff about gluon plasma, which they then tested against LHC data, and it matched quite well. So the theories do work, and they can be used to compute real predictions.

IF I HAD A MINE SHAFT, I don't think I would just abandon it. There's got to be a better way. -- Jack Handley, The New Mexican, 1988.