I Thought He Came With You is Robert Ellison’s blog about software, marketing, politics, photography and time lapse.

Fleet Week 2019 Air Show

Fleet Week 2019 Air Show

Fleet Week 2019 Air Show

Fleet Week 2019 Air Show

Fleet Week 2019 Air Show

Fleet Week 2019 Air Show

Fleet Week 2019 Air Show

Blue Angels, United 777, a Patriot passing Treasure Island and an F-35 wtih a P-51.

(Recent Photos)

Fleet Week 2019 Parade of Ships

Updated on Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Timelapse of the 2019 Parade of Ships at the San Francisco Fleet Week. Includes the USS Somerset, USS Zumwalt, USS Princeton and USS Charleston.

Timelapse of the 2019 Fleet Week Parade of Ships in San Francisco, California.

Ships include the USS Somerset, USS Zumwalt, USS Princeton and USS Charleston.

Book reviews for September 2019

Blowback (Scot Harvath, #4) by Brad Thor

Blowback (Scot Harvath, #4) by Brad Thor

3/5

 

Takedown (Scot Harvath, #5) by Brad Thor

Takedown (Scot Harvath, #5) by Brad Thor

3/5

 

How to Hide an Empire: A History of the Greater United States by Daniel Immerwahr

How to Hide an Empire: A History of the Greater United States by Daniel Immerwahr

5/5

 

My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite

My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite

3/5

 

Blackbirds (Miriam Black, #1) by Chuck Wendig

Blackbirds (Miriam Black, #1) by Chuck Wendig

4/5

 

The Lager Queen of Minnesota by J. Ryan Stradal

The Lager Queen of Minnesota by J. Ryan Stradal

3/5

 

Autumnal Equinox 2019

Autumnal Equinox 2019 in Catfood Earth

Autumn starts now north of the Equator, Spring to the south. Rendered in Catfood Earth.

(Previously)

Book reviews for August 2019

C# Machine Learning Projects: Nine real-world projects to build robust and high-performing machine learning models with C# by Yoon Hyup Hwang

C# Machine Learning Projects: Nine real-world projects to build robust and high-performing machine learning models with C# by Yoon Hyup Hwang

5/5

 

Digital Marketing in an AI World: Futureproofing Your PPC Agency by Frederick Vallaeys

Digital Marketing in an AI World: Futureproofing Your PPC Agency by Frederick Vallaeys

4/5

 

The Redemption of Time: A Three-Body Problem Novel by Baoshu

The Redemption of Time: A Three-Body Problem Novel by Baoshu

3/5

Not bad, a few moments that are a little too fan fic but overall has the tone and scope of the original.

 

The Expert System's Brother by Adrian Tchaikovsky

The Expert System's Brother by Adrian Tchaikovsky

3/5

 

The Lions of Lucerne (Scot Harvath, #1) by Brad Thor

The Lions of Lucerne (Scot Harvath, #1) by Brad Thor

3/5

 

The Possession (The Anomaly Files #2) by Michael Rutger

The Possession (The Anomaly Files #2) by Michael Rutger

4/5

 

Path of the Assassin (Scot Harvath, #2) by Brad Thor

Path of the Assassin (Scot Harvath, #2) by Brad Thor

3/5

 

ITHCWY Newsletter for August 2019

Generation three thousand of a genetic algorithm learning to draw a hummingbird

SFO has just banned bottled water. Why not Coke?

In need of a simple tool to de-duplicate and sort photos and videos into year and month folders on Windows? Check out PhotoSorter.

Rebuttal of an op-ed in the NYT on the simulation hypothesis.

More on simulation. Have we proved this isn't true? No. Also - what does analyzing the physics of Conway's Game of Life tell us?

New project: generate a timelapse of a kid growing up from a set of any photos (uses machine learning to spot and align faces). Check it out at kidlapse.com.

Previously:

Sugarloaf Stars

Night sky over Sugarloaf Ridge State Park

4K timelapse of the night sky over Sugarloaf Ridge State Park in Sonoma, California (home to the Robert Ferguson Observatory, which is home to the first Laser SETI site).

Kidlapse

I'm working on a project to generate a timelapse of a kid growing up. I wasn't organized enough to shoot my kids in the same pose on the same background so it's quite a tough problem. To fix this I'm using machine learning to recognize faces in photos and then automatically rotate and align them so the face is in the same place in every shot. From there it's just a matter of generating frames that fade between the different photos and stitching them together into a video. If this sounds interesting check it out at kidlapse.com and sign up to get notified when the service launches.

Life, Non-locality and the Simulation Hypothesis

Updated on Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Conway's Game of Life, Recently

Conway's Game of Life is a cellular automaton where simple rules lead to surprisingly complex behavior. You can even build a Turing Machine in it. Life consists of a grid of cells which are either alive or dead. For each generation a cell flips from dead to alive if it has three alive neighbors. If a cell is alive and has two or three neighbors then it survives to the next generation, otherwise if dies. When programming a non-infinite Life game it's common to wrap the logic at the extent of the grid - so the some 'neighbors' of the cells at the very top are the cells at the very bottom and so on.

Imagine that you discover such a system and try to figure out the physics of it.

After observation of a sample of cells you'd figure out the rules that govern the life and death of most cells. You'd also figure out a speed of 'light' for the system - information can only travel one cell per generation. The state of cells further away have no influence. You've got a kind of classical physics of the Game of Life.

Further study would throw up a puzzle though. Cells at the extremes of the system are influenced by cells at the other extreme. In some cases the speed of 'light' is violated - you now have a non-local physics in the mix. At this point you might fix the problem with geometry - maybe the grid is actually wrapped around a torus (even though you're looking at a rectangular grid). This makes the system logically consistent again but it's wrong - the non-local behavior occurs because you're trying to analyze a simulation.

In quantum physics observing the state of a property on one particle in a pair of entangled particles will instantly effect the observation of that property on the other particle, no matter the distance between them. This is Einstein's spooky action at a distance. It seems like it can't possibly be true, but has been demonstrated repeatedly (and quite spectacularly using starlight to select which property to measure).

There are many different interpretations of how to understand quantum physics. But as you might expect from physicists these concern themselves with a physical universe (or multiverse depending on the flavor). It's possible though that non-locality (and the apparant quantized nature of our reality) is trying to tell us something else. Non-local effects are entirely consistent with a reality that is being generated frame by frame, just like a souped up Game of Life.

(Read the full simulation hypothesis series: Part 1: Can I move to a Better Simulation Please?, Part 2: Have we Already Proved that the Simulation Hypothesis is False?, Part 3: Life, Non-locality and the Simulation Hypothesis.)

Have we Already Proved that the Simulation Hypothesis is False?

Updated on Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Despite a spate of press to the contrary there is no proof that the simulation hypothesis is false. It just might be too hard for a classical computer in our universe.

A couple of years ago a spate of articles claimed that there was proof that the simulation hypothesis was false, like Sorry, Elon. Physicists Say We Definitely Aren’t Living in a Computer Simulation in Futurism:

"A recent study by theoretical physicists from Oxford University in the U.K., which was published in the journal Scientific Advances just last week, definitively confirms that life and reality aren’t products of a computer simulation."

Strong statement. This is because they determined that running a simulation of a small quantum system was intractable:

"To store information about a couple hundred electrons, they noted, one needs a computer memory that requires more atoms than what’s available in the universe."

This might have something to say about what we can simulate on a classical computer in our universe, but it has no bearing on if our universe is itself simulated. If it is we have no idea what kind of computer is doing the simulating, nor what the physical laws are of the universe where that computer is running, nor even how many atoms it has at its disposal.

It's okay Elon, you still might be on to something.

(Read the full simulation hypothesis series: Part 1: Can I move to a Better Simulation Please?, Part 2: Have we Already Proved that the Simulation Hypothesis is False?, Part 3: Life, Non-locality and the Simulation Hypothesis.)