[ExI] tumbling pyramids again

spike spike66 at att.net
Sat Feb 18 16:27:19 UTC 2017

-----Original Message-----
From: extropy-chat [mailto:extropy-chat-bounces at lists.extropy.org] On Behalf
Of BillK
Sent: Saturday, February 18, 2017 5:57 AM
To: ExI chat list <extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org>
Subject: Re: [ExI] tumbling pyramids again

On 17 February 2017 at 00:34, spike  wrote:

>>... answers: h = 1.41, h = 1.58 and h = 1.675 but I disagree with the
reasoning behind that last one... spike

>...Having slept on the problem (and ordered my subconscious to find the
solution) I awoke to a new world! :)

Nah, We changed the code while you were sleeping.  The joke's on you, mate.
We Old Ones are bastards that way.  

>...I still think that any die where the sides were not equal in shape and
area would be very unlikely to have equal probability outcomes in all
circumstances.  i.e. symmetry matters...   

Oh I hope you are right sir.  If you are, then we can use these things as
specialty measurement devices.  Follow my reasoning?  We just need to figure
out what it is we are measuring.

>...So pursuing confirmation bias, I found some mathematicians discussing
this pyramid problem.


Lacking symmetry this question cannot be answered purely mathematically. We
need some physics: When the die is tossed against the table surface, it
bounces and rotates irregularly until it comes to halt in one of finitely
many states of equilibrium. The probability distribution governing this
final state can be viewed as following Boltzmann statistics.

>...(I think this means the answer is really complicated).  :)  ...BillK


BillK, this is really cool stuff, me lad!  Consider this notion:  suppose we
want to measure the electrical charge on a flat horizontal surface at a
distance.  We make a bunch of these pyramids with h = 1.58, or 1.675 if my
buddy with the 3D printer is right, or 1.618 if Mike Dougherty is right, h =
1 if Adrian is right, h = 1.414 if this universe is a cruel sim, and if we
are all wrong, we are just a bunch of AIs with the I part being a bit

If the electron affinity of the surface is exactly the same as the material
we used for our pyramids and we dump a bucket of them, then the electrical
charge of the surface and the pyramids will be equal and gravity alone will
drive.  The light scatter should be about consistent with 20% of our
pyramids in the square down configuration (ja?)  But if the surface has a
lower electron affinity, such as a metal, then some of the charge could
transfer up, then a slight electromagnetic attraction could cause the
pyramids to slightly prefer a larger contact area such as with square base
down.  Or if we had a slightly higher electron affinity perhaps it would
prefer the triangle side down.  

Seems there should be something we could do with that whole notion, ja?  If
electromagnetic forces are zero, then we are seeing who guessed right from
the above choices, but if that force is in play, electromagnetism is way
bigger than gravity once it cops an attitude.

We could rig a gambling game by controlling the electrical charge or
magnetic field on the table.  Hey wait a minute, we can't be the first ones
to think of this.

BillK, think hard sir, Mike, Adrian, the rest of you smart guys THINK now!
If we demonstrate a material dependence or a scale dependence, what have we
shown and what can we do with it?


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