[ExI] nanogeezers again

Mike Dougherty msd001 at gmail.com
Wed Mar 22 13:28:34 UTC 2017

On Tue, Mar 21, 2017 at 10:51 PM, spike <spike66 at att.net> wrote:

> Ja, the idea was to create a compartmented clear plastic container with
> one nanogeezer in each compartment, then create a mechanism which would
> shake vigorously, stop, take a photo from the underside of the container,
> write software to decide if it is seeing a square or a triangle, let it run
> for a few days, get perhaps a few tens of thousands of trials.
> I thought of an alternative which does not require me to master image
> recognition software but it is so low tech it embarrasses me.  I run the
> device with an ordinary digital video camera, post the video to any public
> site, ask volunteers to take a segment of video, record start time and end
> time, do the identification of each compartment as square or triangle the
> old-fashioned way with those two bio-cameras in the head of the carbon-unit
> volunteer.  So low-tech is this.  But it has its advantages, such as…
> …such as we can be the very first lifeforms in the history of life on this
> planet to know the answer to the burning question: what is the aspect ratio
> necessary to make a nanogeezer land on its square base 20% of the time?
> Philosophers have puzzled over this for millennia.  The fate of the free
> world hangs in the balance.
oh, now with the refreshed context the problem makes some more sense

That battery for size comparison makes me think a box about the size of a
baseball might be ideal.  I know sports memorabilia stores have clear
keeper boxes for baseball (and softball size?)  However, now you're
introducing a new parameter to this puzzle:  the ratio of volume of
nanogeezer to container.  That wasn't a concern in the original unbounded
"space" problem.

Imagine a crude surrogate for the nanogeezer: an ordinary cubic die.  The
probability of a fair toss landing with any particular surface face up is
1/6.  Once you put the die inside an acrylic cube of sufficiently small
proportion that the cube has no axis of freedom to turn, you've grossly
affected that probability.  There is an ideal volume at which it is exactly
possible for the vertices of the die to touch the midplane of each face of
the container.  There is a technical opportunity for that freedom to
manifest an actual change in orientation, but the constraint is such that
there is only the smallest likelihood that random shaking of the container
would ever orient the cubes in the magic moment.

So now we're talking about the ideal ratio of cubic (or otherwise?)
container to nanogeezer of any particular dimension... and material... and

I think i've lost scope of what it was we were looking for in the first
place.  I'm having a good time free thinking on it, but I'm not sure where
the goal is anymore.
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