Why is Ting so damn cheap? 22Jan15 | 1

Via reddit, courtesy of Hyperion1144:

The reason MVNOs are allowed to exist is to supplement the pricing strategies of the Big 4. MVNOs, by virtue of their lower visibility (less marketing, often no physical stores) attract only the truly “price conscious” consumer, while other types of consumers just walk into the nearest red, orange, pink, or yellow store and pay whatever they are told to pay.

Lots of people think they are price conscious, most are often not. They are brand conscious, and then compare prices among the brands they are willing to look at. Most consumers haven’t yet clued into just how much of a commodity cell service can be.

Cell carriers want to charge the price unconscious as much as they will bear, without diluting their brand by also selling value services to the price conscious consumer. The MVNOs are a filter, an alternative branding system, that allows the Big 4 to do this.

tl;dr: because if you’re a cheapskate, things simply cost less.  if you are too lazy to put any effort into life, things cost more.

Obligatory Ting referral link…

TIL about the origins of Vermont, the corporate yoke on government starting early, and a local business-raised militia… 12Mar14 | 0


  By early 1785 many influential merchants and political leaders were already agreed that a stronger central government was needed.

Quantum tomfoolery… 19Dec13 | Comments Off

Macroscopic examples of quantum behavior

I was thinking today that you could probably get away with one main east-west pipeline to connect the United States’ power grid together with a superconductive mega-transmission line. You’d have to cool it, as we can’t yet have nice things like room temperature superconductors, but assuming we’re using massive permanent mega-renewable generation projects to exploit natural resources in the regions where they occur, I’m sure you could farm a bit of that off in each region for use chilling coolant…and it turns out like most things I wonder about, someone else is on top of it already, it’s called a “SuperGrid”: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electric_power_transmission#Superconducting_cables


Speaking of quantum physics: ELI5 quantum black holes and our universe as a holographic projection

This got me thinking to how those little strings (for the lack of a better term) interact with each other, in an imaginary world where I could generate the necessary graphics to approximately visualize such things in realtime. The bits inside atoms squishing together, with their boundaries establishing how the components interact…akin yet very different from the forces and distances we intuit from our evolutionary tools…

So, the universe does strange things with massive amounts of matter.  It pops them into a new range of interactive forces past a critical mass.  Whether that mass is a black hole or a pair of butterfly wings?  One apparently loosely interacting along complex rules of interaction between these strings due to higher, more distant rules of interaction.  The range of any given force expressed by a specific combination of quarks.   The quarks within our atoms within our bodies do not interact with the quarks in atoms across the living room, in a strong enough fashion for us to consciously detect.  The quarks in the surface of the skin of our fingers and the surface of a keyboard’s keys, on the other hand, combine to create exceptional detectable interactions.  My very profound lack of strength to simply press through the atoms comprising each key.  The interesting and useful way in which electromagnetic waves bounce of each surface…

Above a certain threshold of constituents (quarks, whatever they themselves are comprised of, and atoms/molecules) of universal mass in a specific volume of spacetime (these tiny “one dimensional strings” of quantum theory, a piece of math), a black hole is formed. For our purposes, everything that falls within (over the event horizon) is lost forever: likely the ability to exchange information between either edge of the event horizon is lost as well, regardless of how well you are perched on either side. To think of photons themselves overcome by the forces involved.  Significant, and a very profound change from the state of matter we normally interact with!

Two questions quickly arise when I spend a little time considering such things…

What happens when a black hole reaches a critical mass? That is, are there additional states (ranges / forces) of matter beyond a black hold.  Do they collapse further inward, or do the forces buoying out overwhelm gravity itself (something vaguely analogous to a supernova).? Do strings pull closer yet and interact on an entirely new set of rules beyond those necessary to understand all currently observed universal activity?

If forces / states of matter such as this could be explored using math, could it be possible to map out the past and the future of the universe?  Gathering the required observational evidence could be a bit tricky eh?

If a black hole explodes like a quasar, spewing quarks (or matter and energy) in every direction, while other black holes are doing similar things in other areas, some of the outspewn matter would begin to coalesce around existing black holes that weren’t large enough to be pushed over the edge into genesis, such interactions perhaps could seed the current interlocking knots of matter we observe today?  So much speculation…

The net effect on the local matter ejected in a situation like this must appear very odd indeed, riding the explosions outward into the vast expanse of the universe. The kinda is due to everything around you expanding away in every direction as the spewed material pushes in every directly away from everything else, somehow…now apparently in every direction, 14 billion years ago. Very strange things, the universe does with energy and time…

Light wouldn’t help you except to watch the entire thing unfold in extreme slow motion…if you have the patience and time of chaos, the sky, dark, and light itself.  Observed from an encircling, insulating nebula?  Sure, why not…

The strings, these tiny spheres of influence, that bring about the universe as we know it, apparently have a tremendously smaller actual / internal volume than their field of interaction exists outside.  Imagine two magnets, where strong ones will attract or repel at significant distances.   Take range of interaction between the constituents of a proton compared to the constituents of an atom, or of an atom compared to a molecule. In each situation, a larger sphere of influence (as we can measure) is exerted upon a specific volume of spacetime as more constituents join into the interaction. Varying distances between the underlying string spheres of interaction determines which set of rules is primarily going to govern the interaction. We see this as gravity pulling a glass of milk to the floor: those are the distances and the number / arrangement of constituent quarks sets that we experience in day to day life.  The math we intuit, rather than needing to hash out on paper.

Reducing the dimensions simplifies the interaction from a math standpoint, and oddly enough can apparently within some prescribed conditions predict the same net outcome as a more complex interaction including what we consider more distant set of rules, such as gravity. Basically, you can fudge the math and come up with the same result.  In some specific circumstances.  Gravity, being such a loose, unusual rule from a quantum standpoint, yet being the one we exist and normally interact within, gravity gives us a very odd viewpoint on both the nature of reality and makes quantum physics outside of the range of our instinctual common sense.  Gravity and inertia are relatively odd things for quarks to do from a math standpoint, yet we interact with this mathematically holographic universe in a way we can instinctively calculate to incredibly accuracy (imagine hitting against a MLB pitcher).

Reducing also simplifies our understanding of these universal little strings: they oddly enough can appear to be waves and particles at the same time. Because of the way they encode and transmit data on the surface of their area of influence, as far as the math is concerned.  I’d  have to do strange things to my underlying strings, huh?  I’ve never managed to slip through a metal fence like that, but I suppose you could fudge the math and come up with almost anything fantastically improbable.  Possible, but not likely: a profound distinction.  And to think that, in this huge, macro, epic-distance world that our instinctive common sense works best with, we’re only really used to seeing the electrostatic force that prevents our fingers from reaching right through that glass of milk as it slips to the floor.   So mass, and the ability to usefully manipulate this condensed energy we call matter.  Very very strange…

Or, this, to cut my longwindedness short and boil it down to a very concise summary as omgpro has done here.   Note that I’ve added italics…

“It’s not like there’s some magical thing that happens to quantum particles that doesn’t apply to bigger things. It’s just that things at different scales behave differently. At the scale of stars, gravity influences things billions and billions of miles away. If you scaled the distances and sizes down, there would be almost no gravitational effect. If you take a bridge and scale it up 10 times the size it will collapse.”


The future of piracy? 27Feb13 | 1

How deeply does the government bother tracking “illegal” web traffic?  Who bothers paying money to operate an anonymizing webmail service.  If you can track the comings and goings of bitcoin payments by using this data trail to focus resources, you wouldn’t need to literally scour every last inch of traffic.  Unless there is so much processing power available it’s irrelevant.

Corporations wrote a very strange combination of horribly fucking invasive and very softhanded in this new law.  Showing that they’re basically an extortion arm of the government.  In effect.

Pay for all content, “ir”regardless.  If you don’t, the government has the ability to track back through to see if you are using various layers of security in all likelihood.  How long until the NSA and MPAA drop pretenses and join forces?  Like the various armament corporations did with our permanent standing army, and eventual “Endless War”.


The ravings of a mad man… 29Sep12 | 0

Author’s note:  I wrote these items over the course of perhaps two years, ending perhaps a year ago.  They’re a diverse collection of incomplete thoughts, generated at points in my life between the age of 5 and oh, 33?  They’re rather ephemeral and nebulous, I apologize that they are not particularly useful.  Maybe they’re slightly entertaining as art.


I try so often to put things into containers.  To identify and label things.  I’ve read this is not the correct way to go about things, instead I should simply experience first without trying to understand, as my mental filters simply obscure the very thing I’m trying to describe.  So, with that in mind, I’m going to allow this thread to unwind.  Instead of being specific, I’m going to try to describe something in the most vague way possible.  It may be that if I paint a large enough picture, cast the net wide enough, I’ll manage to illuminate enough of the truth to get the point across.  Or, it may end up making no sense at all.

Spinning out into the void, raging silent and futile.   My tears mixing with the rain.  My pain and I simply am.  I simply see, feel the thunder.  Feel the night.  For a moment, I am ancient and eternal.  So young and foolish, so impatient.  The universe smiles and waits.  Or perhaps I just imagine it smiling.  It certainly waits.

I don’t put it this way at the time, but I’m fractured, broken…shattered into a thousand pieces.

Staring up into the sky, again feeling the pieces fit together like a child’s puzzle.  I can feel how close we are, and see exactly how wrong things continue to be.  I understand that they’d just have to stand and wait, that some lessons must be taught by the painful mistress of experience.  I’m so impatient. And after that brief moment of lucidity, I fall back into the same madness that saturates our shared delusion, a moment ago I swore I’d stay pure.  I laugh in my madness and try to smooth myself, integrate what I know to be true with what everyone play acts as our modern world.  Above, and in every direction, the rest of the universe patiently waits…maybe if I keep chipping away…

I mock the world, our world.  I directly face and taunt it.  I lay out on the table that I see right through.  I’ve been here before.  I remember.  I feel apprehensive.  What if the world isn’t ready to be taunted?  I rage against my fear, and rail at how slow change comes about, turmoil…

I feel threads I’ve explored before resurface.  Familiar concepts.  I’ve been here.  The truth.  What to do with it.  How do I grab hold of it and run?  Is that even possible?

I wish for a moment that I made more sense, as I write this.  But that actually came later…

Feeling uneasy in my skin.  Cold.  Waiting.  Breath out.  I feel better.

What do you do if you can see something mapped out before you?  What can anyone possibly say?  I helplessly acknowledge the cards I’m dealt and marionette along the proscribed path, as the puppet I am.

I try in vain to remember.  If I try to pin it down, it swoops away like the tiny mote, the dust bunny of a memory that it is.  Slowly I approach, carefully stalking my prey.  I become still and allow myself to return.

I remember that we live in Eden.  It has always been here, always will be.  This is still Eden.  Original sin, what an amusing concept.  Animals waking up, blinking dumbly in the bright light of the morning.  Attempting to piece together the fragments of dream into something that makes sense…

How far back does it go?  I’m going about this incorrectly.  For as long as I can remember.  Raindrops from a clear summer sky…I look up…

I circle time warily.  A tempo, a beat to reality.  I am so terribly self-centered, I amaze myself.  I am immediately surprised that it is possible to notice such a thing.  I cast the stone out, trying to pass the hot potato, I tire of the responsibility.

I’ve dropped into that vast single point of time, dipped my toe.  I’ve danced around it, am dancing around it.  Could I sink so fully into it that I look up and out from that vantage point?  Attention.  Something about measuring the state of an object defining the object.  Strange.  I must try this, sinking so fully into that moment that I disappear.  Or rather, I suddenly land Awakened in my own skin?

I try to slice time.  Try to dance around that central beat.  This time, instead of circling it, with intent I use that inaudible drum to provide counterpoint to my selfishness.  Such vast distances between one moment and the next.  How much time we waste when we do not pay attention…

I sucked them up like you would a milkshake.  Like a vapor.  I hurled it out the window, dangled it out the window in what I took as a grotesque fashion.  How can imagination be so vivid?  How can it be so shared?

Around the same time roughly, I disappeared into the couch.  I had no where else to go, I couldn’t just keep bouncing around the room…  I dropped straight down through the cushions, hurtling thousands of feet down.  At the bottom of this well there was a stone cylinder, unsupported from the bottom.   I guess the top was back where I started from.    It was inscribed or engraved, and tapered to a point, like a plumb bob, but a mile long…

I assumed that it was me, where else could I disappear to?

I look across the table.   I swear I did not say that out loud.  It turns out it doesn’t matter if I’m two feet away or fifty feet away.  How can silence be so loud, so material, so connective?

Why, am I deaf?  My lesson is to listen,  I am so good at listening…is it that no one else is talking?  I’m missing something…to wish impossible things…crazy, or just particularly loud?

This music is so damn good.  How can this be random?

What if I created the most perfect song that I could, and no one ever got it?  They nodded their heads, enjoyed the single.  Played it on the radio.  And completely failed to listen, to hear.  I can’t understand…I wish I made more sense.  This is the later I was referring to…