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Comment: Re:Say what? (Score 1) 199

by mbone (#46667487) Attached to: P vs. NP Problem Linked To the Quantum Nature of the Universe

The basic equations for fluid dynamics are the Navier-Stokes equation.

So, I fully grok your argument, but I am wondering about one thing.

Is the Navier-Stokes equation REALLY the basic equation for fluid dynamics? .

No, of course not, there is a lower level of particle interactions. You can't really usefully compute them either.

Comment: Re:So. Let us imagine. (Score 1) 392

by mbone (#46665871) Attached to: How Many People Does It Take To Colonize Another Star System?

I am a man. I am a volunteer to go on such a mission, as part of the first generation. I will necessarily have to breed, in order to do my part for overall mission success. Does this mean I may have to fuck a woman I find ugly, dumb, boring, vulgar or otherwise unattractive ?

General "Buck" Turgidson: Doctor, you mentioned the ratio of ten women to each man. Now, wouldn't that necessitate the abandonment of the so-called monogamous sexual relationship, I mean, as far as men were concerned?

Dr. Strangelove: Regrettably, yes. But it is, you know, a sacrifice required for the future of the human race. I hasten to add that since each man will be required to do prodigious... service along these lines, the women will have to be selected for their sexual characteristics which will have to be of a highly stimulating nature.

Comment: Re:How many Earthworms? (Score 1) 392

by mbone (#46665619) Attached to: How Many People Does It Take To Colonize Another Star System?

I think terraforming is different, or at least terraforming of something close by. If we terraform Venus (say) and it needs more nematodes, well, Earth is not far away. If you are 30 light years away and your ecosystem crashes, you better have a plan B that doesn't involve getting stuff from Earth.

Comment: How many Earthworms? (Score 5, Interesting) 392

by mbone (#46663307) Attached to: How Many People Does It Take To Colonize Another Star System?

To me, the question is not really how many people, but how many earthworms, and in general plants, bugs, birds, animals, etc.? At present, we really have no idea what is needed, nor in how much variation within each species, but I suspect the real answer will always be "more that we think."

Comment: Re:NP vs. P doesn't exist in the real Universe (Score 2) 199

by mbone (#46662561) Attached to: P vs. NP Problem Linked To the Quantum Nature of the Universe

Well, if the universe can do it then a simulation must exists that can do it, it's just a question of efficiency.

Not true for chaotic systems, which are incredibly common in nature. The coffee and cream in your cup can be simulated, but not computed, and the situation is much, much, worse for (say) a Hurricane, or the Great Red Spot, or a Galaxy.

I do agree with you about the limitations of predictive models...

Comment: Say what? (Score 5, Insightful) 199

by mbone (#46661869) Attached to: P vs. NP Problem Linked To the Quantum Nature of the Universe

I have not had time to read the article, but the summary is either incoherent or wrong.

Here is an analog to illustrate why :

The basic equations for fluid dynamics are the Navier-Stokes equation. But the new idea is that this requires an additional assumption — that an efficient algorithm exists to solve the equation for complex macroscopic systems. But is this true?

In the case of the Navier-Stokes equation, almost certainly not. In fact, it is generally not even clear if solutions even exist, or if they are non-singular.

If this is right, then complex fluid motions cannot exist, which explains why we do not (and cannot) observe them in the real world. Voila!"

So, I guess we can cancel this years hurricane season.

In other words, there are many things in nature that are computationally hard, and yet happen any way. Using computational hardness as a reason why a physical theory cannot be right does not, to put it mildly, agree with past experience.

No hardware designer should be allowed to produce any piece of hardware until three software guys have signed off for it. -- Andy Tanenbaum

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