PI - Invention or Discovery

For the discussion of math. Duh.

Moderators: gmalivuk, Moderators General, Prelates

User avatar
danlovy
Posts: 16
Joined: Wed Jan 03, 2018 1:14 pm UTC
Location: Ipswich, MA
Contact:

Re: PI - Invention or Discovery

Postby danlovy » Thu Jan 11, 2018 5:28 pm UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:That numberphile video is talking about something different then I am.

All the data on that DVD? That's one big number. It's illegal to share that big number because that would be copying copyrighted data. Yet, on paper, you can't copyright a number because it is discovered, not created.


Remember the patent on using the XOR function to manage the color changes on graphic cursors?
https://plus.google.com/+RayCromwell/posts/dbipY1GJoGv

Patents and math gone awry.

User avatar
Eebster the Great
Posts: 2806
Joined: Mon Nov 10, 2008 12:58 am UTC

Re: PI - Invention or Discovery

Postby Eebster the Great » Thu Jan 11, 2018 9:26 pm UTC

danlovy wrote:
Pfhorrest wrote:That numberphile video is talking about something different then I am.

All the data on that DVD? That's one big number. It's illegal to share that big number because that would be copying copyrighted data. Yet, on paper, you can't copyright a number because it is discovered, not created.


Remember the patent on using the XOR function to manage the color changes on graphic cursors?
https://plus.google.com/+RayCromwell/posts/dbipY1GJoGv

Patents and math gone awry.

MIT CSAIL seems to think the overreach of this patent was exaggerated. (Or at least they thought that in 1992.)

User avatar
danlovy
Posts: 16
Joined: Wed Jan 03, 2018 1:14 pm UTC
Location: Ipswich, MA
Contact:

Re: PI - Invention or Discovery

Postby danlovy » Fri Jan 12, 2018 5:38 pm UTC

Eebster the Great wrote:
danlovy wrote:
Pfhorrest wrote:That numberphile video is talking about something different then I am.

All the data on that DVD? That's one big number. It's illegal to share that big number because that would be copying copyrighted data. Yet, on paper, you can't copyright a number because it is discovered, not created.


Remember the patent on using the XOR function to manage the color changes on graphic cursors?
https://plus.google.com/+RayCromwell/posts/dbipY1GJoGv

Patents and math gone awry.

MIT CSAIL seems to think the overreach of this patent was exaggerated. (Or at least they thought that in 1992.)


The question is, "Can a basic mathematical function (XOR) that is used in a graphic calculation be a patent-able invention"

In my earlier days, when the dinosaurs ruled the earth, I was a software engineer. As programmer (between collecting pterodactyl eggs) you are constantly inventing and creating solutions to the task at hand. The XOR is an interesting Boolean trick to solve a problem. But so is a linked list. Can you patent a data structure?

When I've done work for large companies, and often start-ups, there is usually a phase at the end where the lawyers comb through the project looking for 'patent able inventions'. I've had a few of them make it through the whole process (takes years). I have three but they do not represent any special invention, only what the lawyers felt might create value for the company. Programming and most engineering requires almost daily invention to get things done.

I think it's silliness. Hence the PI - invention or discovery debate

User avatar
ucim
Posts: 5768
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2012 3:23 pm UTC
Location: The One True Thread

Re: PI - Invention or Discovery

Postby ucim » Fri Jan 12, 2018 9:46 pm UTC

According to MIT CSAIL, the XOR wasn't the thing being claimed, rather, it was the frame buffer:
The League says this patent can be infringed in "a few lines of a program." It can be, but not on a computer that was commercially available at the time the invention was made. The invention is largely the invention of the frame buffer. As such, it requires hardware which has since become common, making it possible to infringe the XOR claims with a few lines of code. Many, if not most, computer manufacturers including Apple and IBM have taken out licenses which covers programs running on their computers.
If I take this comment at face value, simply making an XOR cursor in your software should not infringe the patent, any more than the invention of a record player makes playing a record an infringement. If hardware already includes a frame buffer, then presumably the hardware has paid for the patent, and you should be free to XOR at will. And if it doesn't, then there's nothing special about using XOR that the patent holder can claim.

I looked glanced at the patent: U.S. Patent 4,197,590. XOR is not mentioned in the claims at all. It is mentioned 31 times in the description, seemingly in the context of how to use the frame buffer (and why the frame buffer is a useful invention).

But, IANAPL. (I am not an apple either) (...though I am an apple eater.)

To the original question, "invention" to me implies a non-obvious effort to connect the dots in a non-trivial manner. "Discovery" implies finding the dots (and their patterns) in the first place.

Figuring out that π is the ratio of circumference to diameter of a circle is a discovery. Using this fact as a tool to calculate circle parameters is an invention, albeit a trivial (and presumably non-patentable) one.

Jose
Order of the Sillies, Honoris Causam - bestowed by charlie_grumbles on NP 859 * OTTscar winner: Wordsmith - bestowed by yappobiscuts and the OTT on NP 1832 * Ecclesiastical Calendar of the Order of the Holy Contradiction * Please help addams if you can. She needs all of us.

DavidSh
Posts: 79
Joined: Thu Feb 25, 2016 6:09 pm UTC

Re: PI - Invention or Discovery

Postby DavidSh » Fri Jan 12, 2018 10:22 pm UTC

At least two of the claims in that patent refer to "exclusively ORing":

10. In a graphic display system of the type in which a display is generated corresponding to the contents of a memory storing an image as a first set of data each representing an element of that stored image, the improvement for selectively supporting another image on the display without destruction of the initially stored image, said other image being represented by a second set of data each representing an element of that other image, comprising:

means for accessing from said memory the data for each element of said stored image for which a corresponding element of the other image is to be superimposed; and

logic means for logically exclusively ORing together the accessed data for each element of the stored image and the data for the corresponding element of the image to be superimposed, and for reentering the resultant logical data into the same memory locations, said display then being generated from the resultant contents of said memory.

11. The improvement according to claim 10 wherein to delete said superimposed other image from the display said accessing means accesses from said memory the data for each image element for which there exists a corresponding element of said other image to be deleted, and wherein said logic means logically exclusively ORs together the accessed data and the data for the corresponding element of said other image to be deleted, and reenters the resultant data into the same memory locations, whereby the resultant contents of said memory will be the initially stored image in unchanged form.

User avatar
ucim
Posts: 5768
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2012 3:23 pm UTC
Location: The One True Thread

Re: PI - Invention or Discovery

Postby ucim » Sat Jan 13, 2018 4:54 am UTC

quoting the patent, DavidSh wrote:logic means for logically exclusively ORing together the accessed data for each element
I stand corrected. They could have just as well said "logic means for adding two numbers together...". But, one of the rules of patents is that they have to be written as one sentence, in such a manner that it can be trimmed. (note: IANAL). That way a part of a patent can be found invalid without killing the whole thing. So, you claim:
Big thing; and another big thing; and some smaller thing; and every other last thing you can cram in.

If it comes to court, the patent can be trimmed to Big Thing; and another big thing.

But it has to come to court first. Meanwhile, it stands as a scarecrow that's filled (maybe) with dynamite.

Jose
Order of the Sillies, Honoris Causam - bestowed by charlie_grumbles on NP 859 * OTTscar winner: Wordsmith - bestowed by yappobiscuts and the OTT on NP 1832 * Ecclesiastical Calendar of the Order of the Holy Contradiction * Please help addams if you can. She needs all of us.

jewish_scientist
Posts: 722
Joined: Fri Feb 07, 2014 3:15 pm UTC

Re: PI - Invention or Discovery

Postby jewish_scientist » Sun Jan 14, 2018 5:47 am UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:That numberphile video is talking about something different then I am.

All the data on that DVD? That's one big number. It's illegal to share that big number because that would be copying copyrighted data. Yet, on paper, you can't copyright a number because it is discovered, not created.

It is illegal to tell people that what specific number can be processed by what specific program in order to view copyrighted material. If I write the number on a piece of paper and throw it at random people, there would be no legal problem. Well, no copyright legal problem. Considering I would be throwing baby sized books at people, I could get arrested for breaking some unrelated laws, like littering or something like that.

User avatar
Eebster the Great
Posts: 2806
Joined: Mon Nov 10, 2008 12:58 am UTC

Re: PI - Invention or Discovery

Postby Eebster the Great » Sun Jan 14, 2018 5:02 pm UTC

Theoretically, in my state you can be sentenced to 60 days in prison, a $500 fine, and community service in removing litter from public land. So don't start throwing big numbers around unless you plan on picking them up!

User avatar
danlovy
Posts: 16
Joined: Wed Jan 03, 2018 1:14 pm UTC
Location: Ipswich, MA
Contact:

Re: PI - Invention or Discovery

Postby danlovy » Sun Jan 14, 2018 10:36 pm UTC

So I have been running an experiment using genetic algorithms to evolve simulated nervous systems. I've been putting these in artificial creatures:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0D6B1sU_Fiw

Many of these creatures parish during the experiment. Is there cruelty to abstract animals?

User avatar
Eebster the Great
Posts: 2806
Joined: Mon Nov 10, 2008 12:58 am UTC

Re: PI - Invention or Discovery

Postby Eebster the Great » Sun Jan 14, 2018 11:43 pm UTC

danlovy wrote:Many of these creatures parish during the experiment. Is there cruelty to abstract animals?

If they are already creating their own parishes, you have reason to be concerned.

User avatar
danlovy
Posts: 16
Joined: Wed Jan 03, 2018 1:14 pm UTC
Location: Ipswich, MA
Contact:

Re: PI - Invention or Discovery

Postby danlovy » Mon Jan 15, 2018 12:21 am UTC

Hee Hee
oops - perish

however, it would be interesting to see if an abstract, machine based religion emerges.

User avatar
Soupspoon
You have done something you shouldn't. Or are about to.
Posts: 2645
Joined: Thu Jan 28, 2016 7:00 pm UTC
Location: 53-1

Re: PI - Invention or Discovery

Postby Soupspoon » Mon Jan 15, 2018 1:30 pm UTC

danlovy wrote:however, it would be interesting to see if an abstract, machine based religion emerges.

The question is could you observe that religion? And understand it for what it is. And what are the chances that they're calling you their omniscient/omnipotent deity, rather than some other random imagined deity that is just the product of their artificial imaginations.

(At the very least, you'd likely have different subsets of your artificial creatures with differing ideas about "what it's all about", and most, if not all, of those ideas are going to be mostly wrong. Not that the individual believers would appreciate their potential wrongness in this matter. They'll all have 'proof' enough to sustain their own faith, whatever they think about other obviously-wrong believers.)

User avatar
doogly
Dr. The Juggernaut of Touching Himself
Posts: 5286
Joined: Mon Oct 23, 2006 2:31 am UTC
Location: Somerville, MA
Contact:

Re: PI - Invention or Discovery

Postby doogly » Mon Jan 15, 2018 2:42 pm UTC

I don't think we'd be the omniscient / omnipotent deity. Maybe just like the gnostic demiurge. Yaldaboath, Saklas, Samael.
LE4dGOLEM: What's a Doug?
Noc: A larval Doogly. They grow the tail and stinger upon reaching adulthood.

Keep waggling your butt brows Brothers.
Or; Is that your eye butthairs?

User avatar
Eebster the Great
Posts: 2806
Joined: Mon Nov 10, 2008 12:58 am UTC

Re: PI - Invention or Discovery

Postby Eebster the Great » Mon Jan 15, 2018 5:15 pm UTC

They could easily be given complete information about their own creation, though.

User avatar
doogly
Dr. The Juggernaut of Touching Himself
Posts: 5286
Joined: Mon Oct 23, 2006 2:31 am UTC
Location: Somerville, MA
Contact:

Re: PI - Invention or Discovery

Postby doogly » Mon Jan 15, 2018 5:25 pm UTC

Right, I just think we'd come across as evil.
LE4dGOLEM: What's a Doug?
Noc: A larval Doogly. They grow the tail and stinger upon reaching adulthood.

Keep waggling your butt brows Brothers.
Or; Is that your eye butthairs?

DavidSh
Posts: 79
Joined: Thu Feb 25, 2016 6:09 pm UTC

Re: PI - Invention or Discovery

Postby DavidSh » Tue Jan 16, 2018 1:49 pm UTC

I seem to remember an Isaac Asimov robot story, that included a robot that refused to believe that it was created by humans, because it felt itself obviously superior to them.

speising
Posts: 2107
Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2012 4:54 pm UTC
Location: wien

Re: PI - Invention or Discovery

Postby speising » Tue Jan 16, 2018 1:52 pm UTC

DavidSh wrote:I seem to remember an Isaac Asimov robot story, that included a robot that refused to believe that it was created by humans, because it felt itself obviously superior to them.

fortunately, part of the religion it developed was to do exactly what it was designed for.

User avatar
danlovy
Posts: 16
Joined: Wed Jan 03, 2018 1:14 pm UTC
Location: Ipswich, MA
Contact:

Re: PI - Invention or Discovery

Postby danlovy » Tue Jan 16, 2018 4:29 pm UTC

speising wrote:
DavidSh wrote:I seem to remember an Isaac Asimov robot story, that included a robot that refused to believe that it was created by humans, because it felt itself obviously superior to them.

fortunately, part of the religion it developed was to do exactly what it was designed for.


Isn't that one of the tenants of many human religions?

User avatar
Pfhorrest
Posts: 4094
Joined: Fri Oct 30, 2009 6:11 am UTC
Contact:

Re: PI - Invention or Discovery

Postby Pfhorrest » Tue Jan 16, 2018 5:32 pm UTC

So is the "couldn't have been created by something less advanced than us" part, now that you mention it. Several old (bad) arguments for the existence of God proceed from the tacit assumption that it's impossible for a creation to exceed its creator (so, therefore, there must be some creator of everything that's better in every way than everything else, since creations can only be less than their creators).
Forrest Cameranesi, Geek of All Trades
"I am Sam. Sam I am. I do not like trolls, flames, or spam."
The Codex Quaerendae (my philosophy) - The Chronicles of Quelouva (my fiction)


Return to “Mathematics”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 9 guests