Tuesday, 11 May 2010
???It is a commonplace metaphor that the genome is the operating system of a living organism. We wanted to see if the analogy actually holds up,??? said Mark Gerstein, the Albert L. Williams Professor of Biomedical Informatics; professor of molecular biophysics and biochemistry, and computer science.
Both E coli and the Linux networks are arranged in hierarchies, but with some notable differences in how they achieve operational efficiencies. The molecular networks in the bacteria are arranged in a pyramid... the Linux operating system is organized more like an inverted pyramid because software engineers tend to save money and time.
???But it also means the operating system is more vulnerable to breakdowns because even simple updates to a generic routine can be very disruptive,??? Gerstein said. To compensate, these generic components have to be continually fine-tuned by designers.
???We can do this because we are designing these changes intelligently.???
However. he noted, to an organism like E coli, random mutations would be fatal. That???s why E. coli cannot afford generic components, adding that over billions of years of evolution, such an organization has proven robust, protecting the organism from random damaging mutations.
And there you have it: The Universe cannot be the product of Intelligent Design because, by our own definition of the term, if it was 'intelligent' design, all vital functions of the Universe would crash all the time, and thus would never have got off the ground evolutionarily, and therefore could not exist, and since it does exist, it therefore cannot be the product of Engineering.
Put another way, I'm reminded of the Tao Te Ching: "Do you think you can take over the universe and improve it?"
Monday, 10 May 2010
Remember! I will not go to school with empty stomach.??Remember! I will open up my windows when the weather is good.??Remember! I will be careful of cars when walking by the roadside.??Remember! I will not rely on others.??Remember! I will run around and play barefoot on the ground
Everything I learned, I learned watching Japanese kaiju movies.
Tuesday, 4 May 2010
Ok, all kidding aside, webcomic xkcd did indeed mount a very thoughtfully designed and serious mass survey of the colours people perceive that is nonetheless quite hilarious both for what it tells us that we suspected was true, and for the myth it explodes among what we had thought (or wished) was true.
The final upshot of it all, however, is a new palette of RGB values web designers can use to reliably represent 48 basic and 954 commonly perceived colours correcting the standard X11 rgb.txt listing. You can also learn how to spell 'fuchsia'.