Tag Archives: cthulhu

As the Universe Cools Down

If a civilization wants to maximize computation it appears rational to aestivate until the far future in order to exploit the low temperature en-vironment: this can produce a 1030 multiplier of achievable computation. We hence suggest the “aestivation hypothesis”: the reason we are not observing manifestations of alien civilizations is that they are currently (mostly) inactive, patiently waiting for future cosmic eras. This paper analyzes the assumptions going into the hypothesis and how physical law and observational evidence constrain the motivations of aliens compatible with the hypothesis…

As the universe cools down, one Joule of energy is worth proportionally more. This can be a substantial (1030) gain. Hence a civilization desiring to maximize the amount of computation will want to use its energy endowment as late as possible: using it now means far less total computation can be done. Hence an early civilization, after expanding to gain access to enough raw materials, will settle down and wait until it becomes rational to use the resources. We are not observing any aliens since the initial expansion phase is brief and intermittent and the aestivating civilization and its infrastructure is also largely passive and compact…

As noted by Gershenfeld, optimal computation needs to make sure all internal states are close to the most probable state of the system, since otherwise there will be extra dissipation. Hence there is a good reason to perform operations slowly. Fortunately, time is an abundant resource in the far future. In addition, a civilization whose subjective time is proportional to the computation rate will not internally experience the slowdown.

Heh heh heh: “In the long run, we are all dead…” 1 2 3

As the Universe Cools Down

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  1. A far more likely scenario is “they” are working on some soft of post-graduate project regarding our “arts and culture.” This is consistent with the spy game Fermi paradox resolution, which has orders of magnitude more reliable sourcing than the next best sourced UFO phenomenon, the O’Hare sighting.
  2. Snerk.
  3. Okay, that is to say that all the above is not any more or less plausible than American Gods. Though, frankly, their paper could use a lot more cow-bell. And that funky clarinet that insinuates itself into each AG episode when you least expect it.

StackOverflow Cthulu

StackOverflow Cthulu

You can’t parse [X]HTML with regex. Because HTML can’t be parsed by regex. Regex is not a tool that can be used to correctly parse HTML. As I have answered in HTML-and-regex questions here so many times before, the use of regex will not allow you to consume HTML. Regular expressions are a tool that is insufficiently sophisticated to understand the constructs employed by HTML. HTML is not a regular language and hence cannot be parsed by regular expressions. Regex queries are not equipped to break down HTML into its meaningful parts. so many times but it is not getting to me. Even enhanced irregular regular expressions as used by Perl are not up to the task of parsing HTML. You will never make me crack. HTML is a language of sufficient complexity that it cannot be parsed by regular expressions. Even Jon Skeet cannot parse HTML using regular expressions. Every time you attempt to parse HTML with regular expressions, the unholy child weeps the blood of virgins, and Russian hackers pwn your webapp. Parsing HTML with regex summons tainted souls into the realm of the living. HTML and regex go together like love, marriage, and ritual infanticide. The center cannot hold it is too late. The force of regex and HTML together in the same conceptual space will destroy your mind like so much watery putty. If you parse HTML with regex you are giving in to Them and their blasphemous ways which doom us all to inhuman toil for the One whose Name cannot be expressed…

StackOverflow Cthulu

Azathoth, Oklahoma

The three-foot-high monument to the fictional deity Azathoth is rough to the touch. It appears as if it has been chipped loose from a base.

After news about the monument spread on KFOR, Rawlinson said she’s been getting calls from people who were excited about the find and from people who warned her about its dangers.

“There are about 20 people who called me and said they want to buy it,” Rawlinson said. “But there are some who say it’s a bad demon and that we shouldn’t even touch it.” 1,


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  1. The ‘Lord’ on the plaque would of course be Azazel.