vs. the apparently-most-possible of the allegedly impossible

Colossal_octopus_by_Pierre_Denys_de_MontfortYesterday, one of my friends (founder) asked why I don’t start easier ventures? The reason relates to the framing (and re-framing) of the challenge: No matter what I think about, it has been my experience that the leap-frogging steps of a disruption are nearly always seen as impossible/hard to comprehend . . . 

. . . (and in this, it appears not so much that the barrier is a belief in the “impossibility”, but that the person cannot intellectually follow or comprehend how I got there and ego seems to get in the way).

So, if whatever I do is seen this way, then (perhaps paradoxically) it makes more sense to me to do the biggest scariest monster.

Because this takes exactly the same effort as the apparently-most-possible of the allegedly impossible.

Not to mention massively satisfying.

Image: Pen and wash drawing by malacologist Pierre Dénys de Montfort, 1801, from the descriptions of French sailors reportedly attacked by such a creature off the coast of Angola. Public Domain, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kraken

GRB’s, Prokaryote Starivores & Bangivores

(A proposition for Clément Vidal‘s starivore competition: http://www.allourideas.org/highenergyastrobiology :Sent to Clément Vidal 4/10/2015 2:14 PM)

CONJECTURE: Are Gamma Ray Bursts part of the life cycle of stellar-spanning prokaryote colony organisms?

This idea combines the observation of microwaved H20 nucleation, gamma ray bursts (GRBs), nuclear fusion fizzles, Clément Vidal’s Starivore hypotheses, Paul Stamets’ mycology work, and the report that radiotrophic fungi appear to convert gamma radiation into chemical energy for food and growth.


Observation of superheated H20 nucleation

01-davidhuer-mug01Shortly after reading an article about Gamma Ray Bursts (GRB) in Science News, circa early-1990s, I noticed an interesting parallel between the GRB description and an event that happened at home a few weeks before. I had heated a mug of water in a microwave oven, and did not immediately retrieve it when the oven alarm went off. But went to get it sometime later. The water had cooled, so I nuked it again. There
was an explosive burst inside the chamber, and I discovered the water had exploded out of the mug. Most had flashed to steam and the remainder was on the oven floor.

My theory was that (a) the water had cooled and the surface had cooled most of all, so that the meniscus formed into impermeable membrane for the life of the 2nd heating event; and (b) When the microwave energy superheated the watercore, the water, expanding as a gas, expanded against the cooler underside of the surface membrane, forcing it to pop at a weak point in the membrane…just like a balloon filled with too much air.

And have wondered ever since whether GRBs might be the artefact of a similar process? I have since discovered that water can superheat “when heated in a microwave oven in a container with a smooth surface. That is, the liquid reaches a temperature slightly above its normal boiling point without bubbles of vapour forming inside the liquid. The boiling process can start explosively when the liquid is disturbed…This can result in spontaneous boiling (nucleation) which may be violent enough to eject the boiling liquid.”[note 1]

Here is the Conjecture

02-davidhuer-mug02The parallel between Microwave Oven Ejecta and Gamma Ray Burst ejecta led me to thinking about the container.

Is there a parallel between Coffee Mug containers and Solar System containers?



Is a solar system going Nova or Supernova going to act like a superheating liquid in a coffee mug?

Could we reverse-think what Gamma Ray Bursts (GRB) signal?

Are GRBs part of a Starivore species’ life cycle?

Reverse-Engineering GRBs

A supernova briefly outshines an entire galaxy, “radiating as much energy as the Sun or any ordinary star is expected to emit over its entire life span, before fading from view over several weeks or months. The extremely luminous burst of radiation expels much or all of a star’s material at a velocity of up to 30,000 km/s (10% of the speed of light), driving a shock wave into the surrounding interstellar medium.  This shock wave sweeps up an expanding shell of gas and dust called a supernova remnant” [note 2]. Thinking about GRBs led me to wonder whether advancing shock fronts are similar to a meniscus membrane?


And, whether the advancing supernova shock front, pressing against the material of the solar system and the interstellar medium, is similar to the superheated H20 gas advancing against an H20 membrane?

Could it be that the event that we see, the GRB, is over-pressuring during an ending stage of the explosive sequence?

Are GRBs evidence of a weakened section of the advancing contact front?

How do non-uniform characteristics of the solar system and interstellar medium, being mixed by the shock wave and contact front, affect the GRB event?

Is the Advancing Shock Front the pre-GRB membrane?

06-davidhuer-shockfrontStellar explosions are not perfectly expansive. There will be protuberances and deflections of the outgassing shock front envelope; and concurrent density variances and electromagnetic eddies in interstitial space behind the advancing shock front and secondary turbulence behind the shock front.

What occurs in Interstitial Space behind the shock front? And, what happens if the reaction is a fizzle (ie. a Nova) [note 3]? Do fizzles produce two shock fronts, with polar  charged membranes?



For testing:

Are there polar charge spreads in the GRB ejecta and between ejecta funnel pairs?

If there is differing charge intensity, could this be an indicator of an archaea-habitable “goldilocks” field?



And, could Interstitial Space harbour Archaea colony organism nurseries?

Could colonies exist, feeding on an ocean of radiation; similar to radiotrophic fungi that do the same on Earth [note 4]?

09-davidhuer-interstitialCould the pressure of their growth produce an expansion that is overwhelming to the containing membrane? Does overwhelming expansion produce the GRB event?

And, imagining the truly large, could expansion of the observable / known universe be the result of a Creation (with a capital “C”)-sized GRB event?


Is our universe merely one truly big organism—the Big-Bangivore (“Bangivore” for short [note 5]) —among a shoaling school of Bangivores spawning progeny through an expanse we cannot neatly comprehend?

Could GRBs (and the Big Bang cosmological model) point to a spawning phase in the life cycle of prokaryote Starivores and Bangivores?


(1) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microwave_oven

(2 ) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shock_waves_in_astrophysics

(3) The “fizzles” component came from learning about the fusion sequence whilst doing a nuclear fusion paper. I’d gone to adult high school to brush up on math/sci/machine shop before going to industrial design college. We wrote papers on a physics subject, mine was on the fusion equations sequence, and the instructor (PhD physics) informed me he had to lock it in the school safe (!).  At human scale, fizzles occur when the intended yield of a nuclear device fails to meet the designed (expected) explosive yield. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fizzle_%28nuclear_test%29

(4) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archaea and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radiotrophic_fungus

(5) There will be differently-scaled Bangivori, and thence a taxonomy of Lesser Bangivores, Big Bangivores, and Greater Bangivores. If they all spawn from the same yield event then of course at least one type will produce greater bang for the buck.


9 Minds for the Future

5-minds-for-the-future2Howard Gardner misses 4 mindful intelligences when he talks about the 5 Minds for the Future that he believes are “the specific cognitive abilities that will be sought and cultivated by leaders in the years ahead”.

Mr. Gardner’s list:

The Disciplinary Mind (DM): the mastery of major schools of thought, including science, mathematics, and history, and of at least one professional craft.

The Synthesizing Mind (SM): the ability to integrate ideas from different disciplines or spheres into a coherent whole and to communicate that integration to others.

The Creating Mind (CM): the capacity to uncover and clarify new problems, questions, and phenomena.

The Respectful Mind (RM): awareness of and appreciation for differences among human beings and human groups.

The Ethical Mind (EM): fulfillment of one’s responsibilities as a worker and as a citizen.


Photo by DAVID ILIFF. License: CC-BY-SA 3.0

But this is a scientific model of the world: an idealized model of a civilized world of thinkers atop the hierarchy of civilization. It is not the world we live in. Not the world our children face:

A warming world, with melting ice caps, ice-free polar seas, and an interrupted tropic-arctic ocean heat conveyor belt. A world of sea-level rise, and drowned cities, and desperate populations. A world of rising starvation and denuded oceans. And refugees and internment camps. This is the world that every one of our grandchildren face. A world needing additional forms of Mindfulness if we are to succeed in restoring the biosphere.  Here are four to add to the mix:

KanjisenkiThe Warrior Mind (WM): combining strategic, tactical and artistic sensibilities. Miyamoto Musashi is the archetype. And my personal example is a US Marine. A man whose best friend died on the battlefield. A man who honoured that friend by not forgetting, and instead helping to set up a foundation for wounded warriors in his memory. This is a mind that frames its actions with honour. We need this mind.

The Profiting Mind (PM): looking for ways to earn profit in all its forms (financial, triple bottom line, personal). We need minds like this, too. To re-frame capitalism so it works for every species that inhabits the Earth.

The Earth Mind (EaM):  awareness of and appreciation for differences among different species of the earth, human and non-human, and the interrelatedness of all species in the biosphere we call home. We need this mind, too. Because this mind recognizes that all of us are one connected system that is failing because we have brought the ecosystem out of balance.

And the Horizon Mind (HM): The capacity to not just imagine the future, but to re-frame that future to make it better, and figure out the way from here to there. We need this mind to see where we could go, and to cut away every old way of thinking that got us into the hole we are now.

At times, I wonder if a Horizon Mind–and Horizon Intelligence–synthesizes all of the others? And whether Horizon Intelligence is both singularly personal and the collective intelligence of our species?

And whether Horizon Intelligence develops like this . . .?

When our children are born, they look out upon a strange and scary place.

All thinking is internal . . .

david huer-reframing space-update-001crop

The questing mind moves out from that internal space

Learning to involve sensory feedback: a mother’s breast milk, being singed, standing and falling, toy-making and using and breaking. Shitting and stinking, and eating boogers, and saying “No!”.

A sensory (feeling-seeing-scenting-tasting-thinking) feedback loop . . .

david huer-reframing space-update-002crop

But then, the questing human mind extends that feedback loop.

And here are the interesting questions . . .

Does the questing mind extend that feedback beyond others (mum, dad, sibling, grandma, the family dog) to wider horizons? Seeking to frame the horizon as a future that can be re-framed, changed, to whatever we want it to be;

This “horizon re-framing mind” — this Horizon Intelligence–perhaps it is the vista-seeking mind that makes our species gain the bigger perspective?


david huer-reframing space-update-003crop

And perhaps, it is Horizon Intelligence that synthesizes all of the other intelligences into one? Making the sum of the parts that which makes us aware? That makes us planners and doers of our own destiny?


david huer-reframing space-update-004crop

And if so, is it this intrinsic quality of thinking-being-contemplating-doingness that Information Technology kills? The “thrumming guitar pluck”, the quiet humming golden thread–that IT muffles and snuffs out?  The missing quality that we cannot replicate?

david huer-reframing space-update-005crop

Are we losing our Horizon Intelligence?

And if we are, are we becoming the Artificial Intelligence we should be afraid of?

— David Huer


5 Minds for the Future: Book Cover via Amazon Books:
Calligraphy by Miyamoto Musashi. Public Domain: Mr. Granger
Los_Angeles_Pollution: Photo by DAVID ILIFF. License: CC-BY-SA 3.0
All other images and artwork: © 2015 David Huer. Photo is of Sombrio Beach on the west coast of Vancouver Island.

Cutting DeepMind’s data error/loss rate

skascience_darkenergy_300dpi (2)I have been reading about Google’s DeepMind “Neural Turing Machine” at [link] MIT Tech Review and have a suggestion regarding the loss rate:

(Quote:) The DeepMind work involves first constructing the device and then putting it through its paces. Their experiments consist of a number of tests to see whether, having trained a Neural Turing Machine to perform a certain task, it could then extend this ability to bigger or more complex tasks. “For example, we were curious to see if a network that had been trained to copy sequences of length up to 20 could copy a sequence of length 100 with no further training,” say Graves and co.

It turns out that the neural Turing machine learns to copy sequences of lengths up to 20 more or less perfectly. And it then copies sequences of lengths 30 and 50 with very few mistakes. For a sequence of length 120, errors begin to creep in, including one error in which a single term is duplicated and so pushes all of the following terms one step back. “Despite being subjectively close to a correct copy, this leads to a high loss,” say the team

Could we assign a positive value to each error and a negative value to each absolutely correct copy, and then develop a reducing error rate from the positive value rate?

Also, would Synomal Superpositional Clouds (SSCs) help assign high value to errors? There is writing about SSC’s here.

The learning brain experiences the wicked problem of survival every moment — and for this process perhaps error-minimizing may be more important than exact copying?  

by David Huer

Image by space-science-society