Supergravity | E8

Another interesting discovery is that 11-dimensional supergravity is related to the exceptional Lie group E8: …

— John Baez

2010.06.06 Sunday ACHK

The non-side-effect-ness of side-effects

種子論

有人批評,《維基百科》(Wikipedia)的資料不一定準確。

其實,《維基百科》並不是創辦人心目中原本的 project(項目)。原本的 project,是一個較嚴謹百科全書,名叫《Nupedia》。它的文章是由創辦人花了大量的金錢,聘請專家寫成的。而《維基百科》只是一個 side-project(旁枝項目/次要項目),文章由網絡大眾寫成,質素要求沒有《Nupedia》那麼嚴謹。原意是透過《維基百科》的協助,加速《Nupedia》的成長。

結果,「主要項目」《Nupedia》在結束之前,只生產了 24 篇文章。「次要項目」《維基百科》卻留存至今,共有超過三百萬篇文章。「次要項目」取代了原初的「主要項目」。「次要項目」化成新的「主要項目」。

很多「創業故事」,也有這個歷史結構:旁枝成了主幹。

— Me@2010.06.05

Also in January 2001, Nupedia started Wikipedia as a side-project to allow collaboration on articles prior to entering the peer review process.

— Wikipedia on Nupedia

2010.06.06 Sunday (c) All rights reserved by ACHK

Fixed stars

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* Writers may be classified as meteors, planets, and fixed stars. A meteor makes a striking effect for a moment. You look up and cry “There!” and it is gone forever. Planets and wandering stars last a much longer time. They often outshine the fixed stars and are confounded by them by the inexperienced; but this only because they are near. It is not long before they must yield their place; nay, the light they give is reflected only, and the sphere of their influence is confined to their orbit — their contemporaries. Their path is one of change and movement, and with the circuit of a few years their tale is told. Fixed stars are the only ones that are constant; their position in the firmament is secure; they shine with a light of their own; their effect today is the same as it was yesterday, because, having no parallax, their appearance does not alter with a difference in our standpoint. They belong not to one system, one nation only, but to the universe. And just because they are so very far away, it is usually many years before their light is visible to the inhabitants of this earth.

o Vol. 2 “The Art of Literature” as translated in Essays and Aphorisms (1970), as translated by R. J. Hollingdale

— Arthur Schopenhauer

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2010.06.06 Sunday ACHK