Tag Archive for 'university'

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 ;)


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’

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.