Saturday, March 30, 2013

Now that the God particle (Higgs boson) has apparently been found and made it to the media on Pi Day (!), how about we search for God himself or, at least, his nephew (and that’s a poetic license, but of course, since both I and Peter Higgs are atheists).

After watching the glorious idea of the song for π (which could go by the name 'the pi in piano') it hit me: how about the DNA of (i.e. generated by the sequence of numbers in) π, e and, eventually, other famous transcendental numbers*?

* See some HERE. Some consider e^π to be the most intriguing one.

I know, the DNA plays with 4 letters and 10 is not a multiple of 4. Of course we can be creative and find plenty of ways around that. Quite handy, for instance, would be to use the Base 4. To each digit (out of 0 – 1 – 2 and 3) we assign a letter. There will be 4! = 24 possible combinations.

Now I’m not saying we’ll be able to create some impossible entities such as, say, an honest politician, but could any (even only partially) meaningful DNA sequencing pop up? Of course that a combination of the meaningful DNA sequences of different transcendental numbers is also to be considered (remember, the intriguing e^π is a combination of two transcendental numbers).

P.S. I just saw the “song for π” some 2 hours ago, I did some quick online search and didn’t find anything close to the "DNA of pi" in the sense I've mentioned it. Someone let me know if it already happened, it looks like a fine brain teaser to me.
       2. And since I’m at it, how about April 13 (4/13 --> 413 = 314 backwards) being declared the Anti Pi Day? Hey, we can all use another paid holiday, this one celebrating the mathematically challenged (i.e., most of the) humans.


Added on May 2nd, 2013

(So I won’t have to write long emails to the academics/researchers that show interest in this matter)

This reverse engineering research, if intelligently done, can’t but spectacularly advance our knowledge. There’s an infinite set of numbers, DNA-wise, that make sense, and this is not some hypothesis or theory, but a FACT: just take into account the trillion of trillion of … trillion of life forms/living entities in the history of this planet, AND the ones that come to life every second. And counting …

Common sense also tells us that, at least within our universe, there’s an even larger infinite of numbers that would lead nowhere, life/intelligence-wise.

So where do we start? (A) Choose the lottery numbers for the last 30 years and see what, if anything, comes up? (B) Starting from a dubious (to say the least) premise* like in this story (and, hey, their research got funded!)? Or

(C) Looking for some particularly intriguing AND FUNDAMENTAL numbers? Remember, we’re trying to create life, the more intelligent, the better.  The Fibonacci series, so much associated with life, should also be taken into account.

And speaking about life we can’t but remember the fine-tuning of the universe issue. Plenty of glorious fundamental constants (although not all of them have enough digits for us to play with). But the transcendental numbers have all the digits we need and then some.

OK now, we cannot – as of right now -- process all the π’s digits (or any infinite display of digits, for that matter) to achieve the absolute knowledge, but if we can process enough numbers, for now, to create (A) the best ever guinea pig (I imagine a computer model, not some sort of entity to torture) for medical/lab research and/or (B) some cheap and abundant alternative energy and/or (C) detection and cure for any disease, and/or…. (N) and so on, that’d clearly be fantastic steps forward.

In my opinion if we could create an intelligent machine/entity able to create a smarter machine/entity we’ll be on our (asymptotically) way towards absolute knowledge. So how about we start with π …

… Although if I had the funding, the team and a state of the art lab I would check “n” fundamental numbers in parallel and constantly compare the results. I’d also check – within the resources and common sense -- if any mixing would lead somewhere. Remember: There are infinite combinations of numbers that DO lead somewhere, but we have to intelligently design a research method to improve the probability of hitting this infinite, rather than the larger infinite leading nowhere.

* Bottom line: I’m sure that my proposal is based on a by far more solid premise than the Moore’s Law: The fundamental constants/numbers are here, to rule our universe, for more than one reason (or, should I say, for ALL the reasons that, so far, we’ve been too blind, or inept, to figure out?)

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