Tag Archive for 'dad'

On Chaos Theory

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’

Better thank your lucky stars!

I’m going to start by saying I’m not a big fan of astrology, or in Sheldon Cooper’s words: “the mass cultural delusion that the sun’s apparent position relevant to arbitrarily defined constellations at the time of your birth somehow affects your personality.”

I don’t really think my dad believes in astrology, but there he is every week sending me whatever the astrologist from the Village Voice says about my sign. He justifies this weekly ritual by saying that even though he doesn’t really believe in it, the way this guy predicts your future through astrology is somewhat ‘cool’… And I have to agree.

So enough introduction, this is the astrological prediction for my future according to my sign:

GEMINI [May 21–June 20] According to John Gardner, there are two kinds of stories in literature: 1) You go on a journey; and 2) A stranger arrives in your world. According to my analysis of your destiny in 2009, you will reap rich rewards by including both plotlines in your life story. So let the brainstorming begin: What’s the best journey you could choose for yourself—a journey that will educate, challenge, and delight you? And what can you do to attract the best kinds of strangers into your world—strangers who will educate, challenge, and delight you?

Now I know that this year I will have to go and finally meet with all the people I met through the years via Internet… A long journey awaits for me. And for the strangers part… I guess I’ll have to finally get off my ass and join the circus, I bet I’m going to find so many strangers there or maybe… Maybe just strange people.

Oh! It’s Christmas Eve so I wish you all a Merry Christmas and ‘one of those hangovers‘, like my friend Lindsay Lohan would say.

Now that last sentence gave me an idea…

Continue reading ‘Better thank your lucky stars!’

Videogames

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.

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Fun as in ‘breathing’

I just took a tough decision. I’m at the bus stop, I have to go downtown. I’m having a meeting for a website I’ve been working on for the past year and a half. It’s a website for an organization that deals with AIDS, focusing on its prevention by making workshops and informing people on the subject.

Now I’m on the bus. The decision I took was to stay here in my home town for the rest of the year. Now why would I take such a silly decision when I had a 3 Mb broadband connection in Buenos Aires and a malfunctioning 640 kb here? Good question, I know, but not everything depends on internet connections! Come on!

I had already started thinking about staying here during the last weeks I spent in the city but more as a way to deal with my ever present depression. Well, amazing as it sounds, I’m not really taking this decision as a way to deal with that.
In fact, I know I’m not completely (nor partially) over that yet, but it’s OK for now, as long as I don’t start hurting myself or thinking about being a ghost (damn Armor for Sleep!).

What’s leading me to take this decision is my long awaited vision of the future, as in finally seeing myself somewhere in the future, doing what I like.
You need to have a plan if you’re staying…” my father said today after lunch. Well… Dan said we need to ‘plan to be surprised‘ (you should be ashamed if you still haven’t seen Dan in Real Life… Go watch it now!)

So that’s what I’m planning after all! I’m putting my formal studies on hold until next year (formal as in the sense of university studies), but instead I’m going to: (here we go)

  • · Read more. Some people I truly respect have suggested me tens of books along the years so I think it’s finally time to read them. I need to finish reading (for the second time) “A Brief History of Time” by the awesome Stephen Hawking,  get my hands on all the Ray Bradbury books I’ve been collecting since I was 10, and probably read as many books as I can to make my brain bigger.
  • · Write more. Yes, and no. I’m not talking about (only) blogging, I also have some (some as in tens of millions) of ideas I’d like to take from my brain and put down on paper. And yes, I may start writing more here, but only time will tell.
  • · Study more. I’m taking my interests to the next level. Programming, physics, guitar, singing, maths, anything. But as I learned in the past, I can only study by myself: it’s the only way it works for me.
  • · Smile more. I know that smiling isn’t cool right now, I mean, what’s “in” right now is to feel bad all the time and just avoid being happy. But let me tell you something: I was into depression way before it went mainstream and started being so trendy. I’m a pioneer on feeling bad, people. So now I’m gonna try swimming against the current, I’m gonna be the happiest guy alive.
    OK, point taken: it’ll probably won’t work that way, but you get the point. Wish me luck on this one.
  • · Watch more movies. For the past two years I’ve collected over 80 films (including documentaries and silly TV specials) that I wanted to see. I think I’ve barely seen 10 of them so I’m going to put some of my time on watching them. Movies are one of the things I enjoy the most, and now it’s time for me to do things I like. At first I thought of naming this one “Watch more movies while eating ice cream”, but then I realized that I would quickly get overweight.
  • · Work more. I’m not getting a job at a shoe factory, but still… This is a tricky one. Work can stand for both paid work and work on my personal projects or endeavors. I want to finish most (if not all) of the things I started to work on the past few years. I want to do whatever it’s needed on my baby websites (AlwaysFallingDown.com, TheresNoSolution.com, Proyecto Burbuja, valenzine.com, my web design company MonstersInvisible.com, etc), finish any current work I have and make my ToDo list a bit thinner… I want a clean start for next year.
    Also, I’ve started to work with my dad on some of his own work, and that is keeping me thrilled with learning better ways to work.
  • · Drink more. I’m not really sure about this one but I think it could be one of the suggestions my friends would make when finding out about these news.
  • · Enjoy more. So it’s time to stop thinking about dying and rather start thinking about living (as logical as it may sound, it takes a lot to get to this conclusion).
    People that wanted to show me a brighter side of my life had a really good point when they addressed the fact that there are a lot of things I can whine about my life, but even more facts about it that I shouldn’t ignore: the things I shouldn’t complain about, such as still being able to breathe, having a family and friends that care for me and so many other things. Pretty self explanatory this one is.

And that’s about all I could write using my cell phone on my way downtown and then my way back.

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Happy Birthday, Dad

I almost forgot it was today. Thanks to that stupid email from the hosting company I remembered it was today.

It always hurts to think that now that I enjoy the pleasure of your company I won’t be able to see you.

No hard feelings towards the past, nevertheless.

I understand the way we’ve been for far too long. Or at least I think I do.

I hope you enjoy yourself like you always do. Have a nice trip.

While I’m trying to be as much of a man as I can, I still think I will need you for quite a while.

Happy birthday, Dad.

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