My dad, a fan of Chaos Theory, just sent me this interesting article about it and some of its history. Some of these things I already knew, but for the most part it was greatly revealing.
When I visit my parents home this winter, there will be a greater chance of me finally reading the pile of books he left on my desk a few months ago ;)
MATHEMATICS: CATASTROPHE THEORY, STRANGE ATTRACTORS, CHAOS
The following points are made by Nigel Calder (citation below):
1) Go out of Paris on the road towards Chartres and after 25 kilometers you will come to the Institut des Hautes Etudes Scientifiques at Bures-sur-Yvette. It occupies a quite small building surrounded by trees. Founded in 1958 in candid imitation of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, it enables half a dozen lifetime professors to interact with 30 or more visitors in pondering new concepts in mathematics and theoretical physics. A former president, Marcel Boiteux, called it “a monastery where deep-sown seeds germinate and grow to maturity at their own pace.”
2) A recurring theme for the institute at Bures has been complicated behavior. In the 21st century this extends to describing how biological molecules — nucleic acids and proteins — fold themselves to perform precise functions. The mathematical monks in earlier days directed their attention towards physical and engineering systems that can often perform in complicated and unpredictable ways.
3) Catastrophe theory was invented at Bures-sur-Yvette in 1968. In the branch of mathematics concerned with flexible shapes, called topology, Rene Thom found origami-like ways of picturing abrupt changes in a system, such as the fracture of a girder or the capsizing of a ship. Changes that were technically catastrophic could be benign, for instance in the brain’s rapid switch from sleeping to waking. As the modes of sudden change became more numerous, the greater the number of factors affecting a system.
Continue reading ‘On Chaos Theory’
I think I failed to mention in my previous post that I’m going to play more during my time off. It’s been more than a whole year since I last played any tipe of videogame. I think it was during the summer of 2006/07 that I played Need for Speed: Underground 2, and I think I completed it.
But the game I played the most during high school was undoubtedly Warcraft III… What an awesome game! We would spent lots of nights playing with my best friend Ayrton. We even got to move our computers around (before we had laptops) and make silly 2-PC LAN parties, but we would get tired after a while.
Since I left the city for college and everything, my best friend started playing Counter-Strike. When I was in my first or second year of high school everyone was psyched for that game. We had 40-minute long lunch breaks, and my classmates would cross the street and go to this cybercafe so they could eat while playing all sorts of war games or FPS (first-person shooters) such as (if my memory serves me right) Counter-Strike, Unreal Tournament (2004?), Soldier of Fortune II, and many more, I think.
But I didn’t play. At least not on a regular basis… I would play with them maybe once in two months. There was no space for my criticism about explicit violence or how lame they looked when they played those games.
So last week I went to my best friend’s house and installed Counter-Strike. The first game I ever installed on my laptop (my 8 month-old HP Pavilion DV2425). Luckily, it runs smoothly (it’s a 5 year old game!).
And just today I got my hands on Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory, which I’m going to install tonight on my dad’s new computer. It’s my little experiment: I’m going to try and install every videogame that comes out with insane requirements on that computer.
I really hope this is going to be my once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to meet the requirements of almost every game. It’s a Core 2 Quad with 3 GiB of RAM, 500 GiB of HD and a GeForce 8600 GT under the hood.
So that’s it for now… Oh! Also, I installed Iron Man, the videogame based on the movie and… It sucks.