The illusion of time

The illusion of time

The Order of Time Carlo Rovelli Allen Lane (2018)

According to theoretical physicist Carlo Rovelli, time is an illusion: our naive perception of its flow doesn’t correspond to physical reality. Indeed, as Rovelli argues in The Order of Time, much more is illusory, including Isaac Newton’s picture of a universally ticking clock. Even Albert Einstein’s relativistic space-time — an elastic manifold that contorts so that local times differ depending on one’s relative speed or proximity to a mass — is just an effective simplification.

So what does Rovelli think is really going on? He posits that reality is just a complex network of events onto which we project sequences of past, present and future. The whole Universe obeys the laws of quantum mechanics and thermodynamics, out of which time emerges.

Rovelli is one of the creators and champions of loop quantum gravity theory, one of several ongoing attempts to marry quantum mechanics with general relativity. In contrast to the better-known string theory, loop quantum gravity does not attempt to be a ‘theory of everything’ out of which we can generate all of particle physics and gravitation. Nevertheless, its agenda of joining up these two fundamentally differing laws is incredibly ambitious.

Source: The illusion of time

Python 3.7: Introducing Data Classes | PyCharm Blog

Python 3.7 is set to be released this summer, let’s have a sneak peek at some of the new features! If you’d like to play along at home with PyCharm, make sure you get PyCharm 2018.1 (or later if you’re reading this from the future).

There are many new things in Python 3.7: various character set improvements, postponed evaluation of annotations, and more. One of the most exciting new features is support for the dataclass decorator.

What is a Data Class?

Most Python developers will have written many classes which looks like:

Data classes help you by automatically generating dunder methods for simple cases. For example, a __init__ which accepted those arguments and assigned each to self. The small example before could be rewritten like:

Source: Python 3.7: Introducing Data Classes | PyCharm Blog

The Irreproducibility Crisis of Modern Science: Causes, Consequences, and the Road to Reform

The NAS published the full report The Irreproducibility Crisis of Modern Science: Causes, Consequences, and the Road to Reform on April 17, 2018. We invite readers to consider our findings and share responses in the comments section. We are also accepting reactions in the form of articles via email to

Source: National Association of Scholars

AI software that helps doctors diagnose like specialists is approved by FDA – The Verge

For the first time, the US Food and Drug Administration has approved an artificial intelligence diagnostic device that doesn’t need a specialized doctor to interpret the results. The software program, called IDx-DR, can detect a form of eye disease by looking at photos of the retina.It works like this: A nurse or doctor uploads photos of the patient’s retina taken with a special retinal camera. The IDx-DR software algorithm first indicates whether the image uploaded is high-quality enough to get a result. Then, it analyzes the images to determine whether the patient does or does not have diabetic retinopathy, a form of eye disease where too much blood sugar damages the blood vessels in the back of the eye. Diabetic retinopathy is the most common vision complication for people with diabetes, but is still fairly rare — there are about 200,00 cases per year.In one clinical trial that used more than 900 images, IDx-DR correctly detected retinopathy about 87 percent of the time, and could correctly identify those who didn’t have the disease about 90 percent of the time.The software is unique because it’s autonomous and there’s “not a specialist looking over the shoulder of [this] algorithm,” IDx-DR founder Michael Abràmoff told Science News. “It makes the clinical decision on its own.” This means that the technology can be used by a nurse or doctor who’s not an eye specialist, making diagnosis more accessible. For example, patients wouldn’t need to wait for an eye specialist to be available to get a diagnosis.IDx-DR is part of a growing trend of algorithms learning how to spot and diagnose disease. Earlier this year, scientists trained a different algorithm to learn how to recognize conditions including age-related vision loss and diabetic retinopathy. Google, too, is training its DeepMind AI to spot eye disease. Now that the FDA has cleared IDx-DR, it might lead the way to a new slew of autonomous diagnostic tests and the trade-offs they bring. These diagnoses could be more convenient for patients (and possibly even more accurate than doctors). But of course, not having a specialist “looking over the shoulder,” as Abràmoff puts it, raises the question of who will be responsible when the diagnosis is wrong.Next Up In Science China can’t control the market in rare earth elements because they aren’t all that rare Why the real promise of virtual reality is to change human connection This app maker says his work saved thousands during Hurricane Harvey — and he’s not done yet A trauma surgeon explains the bloody reality of keeping gunshot victims alive Watch SpaceX launch NASA’s new exoplanet-hunting satellite How science made a self-cleaning coating that repels all liquid

Source: AI software that helps doctors diagnose like specialists is approved by FDA – The Verge