The book of Louis
Hi, my name is Louis Cordier.
I am a citizen, not of Athens, or Greece, but of the world.– Socrates (5th Century B.C.)
I see myself as a citizen of the universe.
I have always believed that you are what you read, eat, think and do (consume, process and produce).
WARNING: I am a bit crazy... ;p
The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.– George Bernard Shaw
To whom much is given, much is expected.
Why write a book?
Try to learn something about everything and everything about something.– Thomas H. Huxley
If a little knowledge is dangerous, where is the man who has so much as to be out of danger?– Thomas H. Huxley
Not too deep. — People who comprehend a thing to its very depths rarely stay faithful to it forever. For they have brought its depths into the light of day: and in the depths there is always much that is unpleasant to see.– Friedrich Nietzsche; Human, all too Human
What I have learned from the BibleSeek wisdom to do the right thing and everything else will follow.
1 Kings 3:
- In Gibeon the LORD appeared to Solomon in a dream by night: and God said, Ask what I shall give thee.
- And Solomon said, Thou hast showed unto thy servant David my father great mercy, according as he walked before thee in truth, and in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart with thee; and thou hast kept for him this great kindness, that thou hast given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is this day.
- And now, O LORD my God, thou hast made thy servant king instead of David my father: and I am but a little child: I know not how to go out or come in.
- And thy servant is in the midst of thy people which thou hast chosen, a great people, that cannot be numbered nor counted for multitude.
- Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people?
- And the speech pleased the LORD, that Solomon had asked this thing.
- And God said unto him, Because thou hast asked this thing, and hast not asked for thyself long life; neither hast asked riches for thyself, nor hast asked the life of thine enemies; but hast asked for thyself understanding to discern judgment;
- Behold, I have done according to thy words: lo, I have given thee a wise and an understanding heart; so that there was none like thee before thee, neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee.
- And I have also given thee that which thou hast not asked, both riches, and honor: so that there shall not be any among the kings like unto thee all thy days.
- And if thou wilt walk in my ways, to keep my statutes and my commandments, as thy father David did walk, then I will lengthen thy days.
1 Thessalonians 5:
- Test everything. Hold on to the good.
Everything is based on mind, is led by mind, is fashioned by mind. If you speak and act with a polluted mind, suffering will follow you, as the wheels of the oxcart follow the footsteps of the ox. Everything is based on mind, is led by mind, is fashioned by mind. If you speak and act with a pure mind, happiness will follow you, as a shadow clings to a form.– Buddha
Share your knowledge. It's a way to achieve immortality.– Dalai Lama XIV
How to read a bookFirst we learn to read, then we read to learn.
Read Mortimer J. Adler's How To Read A Book or listen to the audio book (part1, part2)
Find a summary here.
Reading for Scatterbrained People With Neither Patience Nor Respect for Authority.
Time Management & OrganizationTime is the most precious resource we all have. The average person only gets about 2 billion seconds, so use them wisely.
Read Stephen Covey, et al's First Things First: To Live, to Love, to Learn, to Leave a Legacy
and David Allen's Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity.
Strangely, the thing that least intrigued me was how they'd managed to get it all done. I suppose I sort of knew. If I'd learned one thing from traveling, it was that the way to get things done was to go ahead and do them. Don't talk about going to Borneo. Book a ticket, get a visa, pack a bag, and it just happens.– Alex Garland; The Beach
.planHave a plan, keep it short and simple (5 fingers → 5 points).
He who fails to plan, plans to fail.
Prior Planning and Preparation Prevents Piss Poor Performance – British Army
HasteHaste is the root of all evil.
Never mistake a clear view for a short distance.– Paul Saffo
Remember the Tortoise and the Hare.
There is nothing more sad and wasteful than a roomful of intelligent and highly paid people waiting for a chance to attack something the speaker has said. With the Six Hats method the fullest use is made of everyone's intelligence, experience and information. The Six Hats also removes all 'ego' from the discussion process.– Edward de Bono; The Six Thinking Hats
The Six Thinking Hats represent directions of thought. They are used to request thinking in a paticular direction, not as a description or label to classify your thinking afterwards. They are not used to characterize people. A person is not a black hat, but he or she might prefer to think with the black hat on. It is desirable for everyone to become skilled in the use of all the hats.
The best way to learn the Six Hats method is to read the Six Thinking Hats.
Summary of the book
Information, Facts and Figures
- The white hat is neutral and objective.
- It focusses on facts and figures.
- Questions to ask with the white hat on:
- What information do we have?
- What information do we need?
- What information is missing?
- What questions do we need to ask?
- How are we going to get the information we need?
- The information can range from hard verifiable facts and figures to soft information such as 3rd party opinions and feelings. Your own opinions and feelings are placed under the red hat.
- Whose fact is it?
- Is the information a fact, a likelyhood or a believe?
- How true is the fact? Frame the information appropriatly:
- Always true
- Usually true
- Generally true
- By and large
- More often than not
- About half the time
- Sometimes true
- Occastionally true
- Been known to happen
- Never true
- Cannot be true (contradictory)
- Split the facts into two groups: checked facts and believed facts.
Feelings, Emotions and Intuition
- The red hat is subjective and generally non-rational.
- It exposes and legitimizes emotions and feelings.
- It allows people to express their opinions, hunches, intuitions and impressions. (a function of their experience)
- Resist the temptation to justify your emotions. You don't need to give a reason or a logical basis.
- If emotions and feelings are not permitted as inputs in the thinking process, they will lurk in the background and affect all the thinking in a hidden way.
- The red hat makes feelings visible so that they can become part of the thinking map and also part of the value system that chooses the route on the map.
- The red hat covers two broad types of feelings:
- Ordinary emotions such as fear and dislike to more subtle ones such as suspicion.
- Complex judgements that go into such type of feelings as a hunch, intuition, sense, taste, aesthetic feeling and other not visibly justified types of feeling.
Critical, Cautious and Careful
- The black hat is critical and logical (negative judgements).
- It's perhaps the most important hat, the hat of survival, of caution and of being careful.
- It points out how something does not fit our experience, our resources, our policy, our stragegy, our ethics, our values, etc.
- It protects us from wasting energy and money, it seeks to avoid dangers, problems, obstacles and difficulties.
- There must be a logical basis for the criticism and reasons must be capable of standing on their own.
- It focuses on why something may not work or may not be the right thing to do.
- In order to get the full value from any suggestion or idea, it is important that the black hat be done thoroughly:
- Be as causious and as fiercely critical as possible.
- Point out errors or deficiencies in the thinking process.
- Question the strength of the evidence.
- What are the risks?
- Black hat thinking is not argument and must not be allowed to degenerate into argument.
- Caution: There are people who overuse the black hat and who spend all their time trying to find fault. The fault is not in the black hat but in the abuse, overuse or misuse of the black hat.
Constructive, Benefits and Values
- The yellow hat is optimistic and logical (positive judgements).
- The yellow hat is concerned with:
- The generation of proposals.
- The positive assessment of proposals.
- Developing or 'building up' of proposals.
- Under the yellow hat a thinker deliberatly sets out to find whatever benefit there may be in a suggestion.
- It is a waste of time setting out to be creative if you are not going to recognize a good idea.
- Value and benefit are by no means always obvious.
- Since the yellow hat is logical you should give a reason for the value you put forward.
- The emphasis of yellow hat thinking is on exploration and positive speculation, oppertunity seeking.
- Yellow hat thinking is concerned with the positive attitude of getting the job done, let's make it happen.
Creative, New and Improved
- The green hat is creative, sometimes illogical.
- The green hat is concerned with new ideas and new ways of looking at things, new perceptions.
- Under the green hat we lay out options, alternatives and 'possibilities'.
- It corrects the faults found under the black hat and find noval ways the exploit the opportunities identified under the yellow hat.
- You use the green hat to deliberately go after new ideas instead of waiting for them to come to you.
- Sometimes you may be required to put forward provocations, illogical ideas, in order to provoke new concepts.
- Under the green hat we use ideas as stepping stones, for their movement value, moving us to new ideas.
- Use random words and Po.
Overview and Guidance
- The blue hat is for meta-thinking, thinking about thinking.
- Wearing the blue hat we are no longer thinking about the subject; instead, we are thinking about the thinking needed to explore the subject.
- The blue hat thinker is like the conductor of an orchestra.
- Generally the blue hat is worn by the facilitator, chairperson or leader of the session, it's a permanent role.
- The blue hat is for the organization and management of thinking, it also controls the process of thinking.
- The initial blue hat defines the problem, list constraints and sets the agenda, the sequence of the other hats to be used.
- Blue hat thinking stops arguments, enforces the discipline and keep people focussed on map making.
- The final blue hat is responsible for summaries, overviews and conclusions.
Lateral ThinkingRead Edward De Bono's Thinking Course: Powerful Tools To Transform Your Thinking and How to Have Creative Ideas: 62 Games to Develop the Mind.
What really works well for lateral thinking, lots of comedy. I would recommend George Carlin.
Keep it simple.
EthicsI am an engineer, a solver of problems. I am currently not a member of the IEEE but I do try to follow their code of ethics.
Code of EthicsWe, the members of the IEEE, in recognition of the importance of our technologies in affecting the quality of life throughout the world, and in accepting a personal obligation to our profession, its members and the communities we serve, do hereby commit ourselves to the highest ethical and professional conduct and agree:
- to accept responsibility in making engineering decisions consistent with the safety, health and welfare of the public, and to disclose promptly factors that might endanger the public or the environment;
- to avoid real or perceived conflicts of interest whenever possible, and to disclose them to affected parties when they do exist;
- to be honest and realistic in stating claims or estimates based on available data;
- to reject bribery in all its forms
- to improve the understanding of technology, its appropriate application, and potential consequences;
- to maintain and improve our technical competence and to undertake technological tasks for others only if qualified by training or experience, or after full disclosure of pertinent limitations;
- to seek, accept, and offer honest criticism of technical work, to acknowledge and correct errors, and to credit properly the contributions of others;
- to treat fairly all persons regardless of such factors as race, religion, gender, disability, age, or national origin;
- to avoid injuring others, their property, reputation, or employment by false or malicious action;
- to assist colleagues and co-workers in their professional development and to support them in following this code of ethics.
Be the change you wish to see in the world.– Mohandas Gandhi
The Living Years - Mike & The Mechanics Every generation Blames the one before And all of their frustrations Come beating on your door I know that I'm a prisoner To all my father held so dear I know that I'm a hostage To all his hopes and fears I just wish I could have told him In the living years Crumpled bits of paper Filled with imperfect thought Stilted conversations I'm afraid that's all we've got You say you just don't see it He says it's perfect sense You just can't get agreement In this present tense We all talk a different language Talking in defence Say it loud, say it clear You can listen as well as you hear It's too late when we die To admit we don't see eye to eye So we open up a quarrel Between the present and the past We only sacrifice the future It's the bitterness that lasts So don't yield to the fortunes You sometimes see as fate It may have a new perspective On a different day And if you don't give up, And don't give in You may just be OK Say it loud, say it clear You can listen as well as you hear It's too late when we die To admit we don't see eye to eye I wasn't there that morning When my father passed away I didn't get to tell him All the things I had to say. I think I caught his spirit Later that same year I'm sure I heard his echo In my baby's new born tears I just wish I could have told him In the living years Say it loud, say it clear You can listen as well as you hear It's too late when we die To admit we don't see eye to eye
The Distant Past
Read the story of the Egyptian god Thoth. It was told by Plato in his Phaedrus. It goes like this: Thoth has invented writing and proudly offers it as a gift to the king of Egypt, declaring it "an elixir of memory and wisdom". But the king is horrified, and tells him: "This invention will induce forgetfulness in the souls of those who have learned it, because they will not need to exercise their memories, being able to rely on what is written... rather than, from within, their own unaided powers to call things to mind. So it's not a remedy for memory, but for reminding, that you have discovered. And as for wisdom, you are equipping your pupils with only a semblance of it, not with truth."
Know ThyselfSee Gnothi Sauton.
Belief Systems & Religions
Read Richard Dawkins' The GOD Delusion to find your way in the religion matrix.
|Commandment||Jewish (Talmudic)||Anglican, Reformed, and other Christian||Orthodox||Roman Catholic, Lutheran|
|I am the Lord your God||1||preface||1||1|
|You shall have no other gods before me||2||1|
|You shall not make for yourself an idol||2||2|
|You shall not make wrongful use of the name of your God||3||3||3||2|
|Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy||4||4||4||3|
|Honor your father and mother||5||5||5||4|
|You shall not kill||6||6||6||5|
|You shall not commit adultery||7||7||7||6|
|You shall not steal||8||8||8||7|
|You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor||9||9||9||8|
|You shall not covet your neighbor's wife||10||10||10||9|
|You shall not covet anything that belongs to your neighbor||10|
Do we really need more laws than this? If 9/10ths of the law is about ownersship, I would like to set the records straight. My God created everything, he owns everything, you are just stewards of Earth. Not very good ones at that...
To all laywers: Learn to re-factor.
If you need a police-state to enforce your laws, there is something seriously wrong with your laws.– Anonymous
The Pale Blue DotLearn Astronomy.
See this picture in high resolution.
ImaginationExpand your imagination, consume copious amounts of science-fiction & fantacy.
Watch: Contact, StarTrek, Stargate, Star Wars, Hyperdrive, Dr Who, Torchwood, Babylon 5, BattleStar Galactica, Earth Final Conflict, The X-Files, The Outer Limits... It is in any country's best intrest to have a free-to-air sci-fi channel. Dumb fucking idiots, who don't.
Imagination is more important than knowledge...– Albert Einstein
If something is not worth living for, it sure isn't worth dying for either.
An eye for an eye will make the whole world blind.– Mohandas Gandhi
Violence is the last resort of the incompetent.– Isaac Asimov
But do read Sun Tzu's The Art of War and Miyamoto Musashi's Book of 5 Rings.
It is better to know it and not need it, than to need it and not know it.
I can imagine a planet where everyone lives in peace and there are no weapons, and then I imagine the looks on their faces as we invade their puny planet.– Anonymous
If at first you don't succeed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.– Samuel Beckett
Read Malcolm Gladwell's The Art of Failure.
FearFace your fears...
Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.– Yoda
People's two biggest fears are:
- Public speaking
Gun ControlPeople with great fear, rely on guns for protection. Smart people learn how to be lethal without weapons. They rely on their brains and can turn anything into a weapon.
Learn a martial art.
AikidoLearn Aikdo: The way of harmonious spirit.
Aikido you cannot learn from a book, you must find a good teacher.
Morihei Ueshiba's goal was to create an art that practitioners could use to defend themselves while also protecting their attacker from injury. It is an art form that requires a lifetime to master, but truely worth the time. Since the kids of today only respect great skill, Aikido is the only perpetual way for the family to honor the 5th commandment. Aikido favors the elderly. It is also a great way to dicipline the young. ;)
The art of Aikido is based on 5 principles:
- Distance (Ma-ai)
- Correctness of Technique
Ukemi, the art of being one with the mat, is very useful to prevent general sports injuries. I recommend that every school replace Physical Training with Aikido.
Read John Stevens' The Essence of Aikido: Spiritual Techings of Morihei Ueshiba.
Read Adele Westbrook and Oscar Ratti's Aikido and the Dynamic Sphere.
MoneyQ: What is money?
A: Paper and metal, matter... Found in abundance in the earth's crust.
Q: What controls the value of money, supply and demand?
A: No, sentiment. Money is worth what people feel it is worth.
Q: What does money buy?
A: Your time. A very scares resource.
If you do want to make lots of money, don't know why you would want to, read Georges Clason's The Richest Man in Babylon (audio).
TaxesSee taxes for what they are, your contribution to the smooth running of a technological society.
It should however not be collected as money, but rather a percentage of your time, what it really is.
The very poor and the very rich, comes off cheaply. They contribute rather little of their time, but still reap the rewards. What is up with that?
Take a job not for what you can earn but rather what you can learn.– Robert Kiyosaki; Rich Dad Poor Dad
Why?As soon as you learn to speak, the first question kids generally ask is "why?". Never stop asking "why?" and if you run into walls, ask "why not?".
There are those who look at things the way they are, and ask why? I dream of things that never were, and ask why not?– George Bernard Shaw
I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.– Mark Twain
Learn how to learn by reading Barbara Oakley's A Mind for Numbers, or take the free online course Learning How to Learn.
The student must find his/her teacher, not the other way round.
The teacher have no obligation to teach.
In ancient Greece there once lived a wise philosopher, he was greatly admired by his peers and extremely smart for his time, indeed he was considered a genius. There was a young man who looked up to this philosopher with great admiration, he wanted to know everything he knew, and become great like he was.
The young man approached the philosopher one day seeking to become an understudy. The philosopher informed the young man that he would not teach him – he was not a teacher but a philosopher. The young man persisted, he asked the philosopher every morning for a lesson, anything would do. This went on for several months. Finally, one day the philosopher agreed and informed the young man that his first lesson would be taught at the beach the following morning, he was to meet him there at dawn sharp.
The young man didn't sleep much that night, he was anticipating the great lesson he would learn about the ocean, or maybe the sand, or maybe some deep insight to the mating ritual of crabs; it didn't matter, he was finely going to learn something. He showed up at the beach at dawn sharp as agreed, but the philosopher was no where to be seen. He scanned the beach up and down several times, he gazed as far as he could down the road to town hoping his teacher was simply late, nothing.
A little discouraged he sat down and gazed out into the ocean, and then he saw him, or his head rather, about seven paces out into the water, submerged all the way up to his chin. The young man was surprised but excited, he leaped up and ran out to his new teacher as fast as he could. When he got within arms length of the philosopher, the philosopher grabbed him by the arm and twisted him under the water, the young man struggled, but the philosopher was fast and agile, he had a firm grip. The young man was unprepared to be forced under water so quickly, he only had half a lung full of air. 10 seconds passed, then 20 then 30, but he could not free himself from the old man.
Panic started to set in, he realized that he was about to die, his vision started to tunnel, he desperately needed some air. Just before he was about to give up and take in a lung full of sea water the philosopher let him free. The young man, quite frightened, swam as fast as he could to shore. He yelled out to the philosopher and asked, "What was that for, are you crazy?" to which the old man replied "That was your lesson. When you want knowledge as much as you just wanted air, you'll find it."
Q: What happend here on Robben island?
A: Free education.
Q: Why was this lesson lost?
Play GamesPlay as many different games as you posiblly can. For a good challenge I would recommend Chess, Go and Diplomacy.
In a changing world, some things do not change. It may be fashionable to decry the simple Virtues, but we still like to find them in our friends. Loyalty, honesty, frankness, gratitude, chivalry, magnanimity - these are the hallmarks of the good friend, the good husband and father, the nice guy we all hope our daughters will marry.
In the amoral world of Diplomacy, however, they are the hallmarks of the born loser. If a fallen enemy reaches out a hand for assistance, the wise man lops it off. If a friend does you a good turn when you're down, wait until he's down, then beat him to death. If an ally asks for your help in planning the next season's moves, give it freely and copiously, then do the reverse of what you agreed and let him take the counter-attack. Try to surround yourself with people who trust you, then let them down; find an ally who will gladly die for you and see that he does just that.
In short, Diplomacy is not a nice game; to win, it is necessary to behave like a complete cad. Some people adopt a tone of moral outrage at the philosophy of the game, and refuse to play it at all: though it is already unfashionable, and will soon no doubt be illegal, to acknowledge any difference between the sexes, this attitude is particularly common among women -- a cynic might say that Diplomacy threatens to erode the natural advantage their innate duplicity gives them over men in real life. At any event, this moral posture is quite untenable. We all have these anti-social tendencies somewhere within us, and it may be better to give them free rein in a harmless game, suppressing them where they could do real damage.
Not a nice game, as I said; but a marvellously entertaining one. Of all the countless board-games that have followed in the wake of Monopoly, none has acquired the devoted cult-following of Diplomacy: a game of pure skill for seven pedigree rats with time on their hands.
The Lost of Objectivity
Cause, Effect & Side-effectsThis parable is false according to snopes.com but still valid to illustrate the point of cause, effect and side-effects.
The US standard railroad gauge (width between the two rails) is 4 feet, 8.5 inches. That's an exceedingly odd number. Why was that gauge used?
Because that's the way they built them in England, and the US railroads were built by English expatriates.
Why did the English build them like that? Because the first rail lines were built by the same people who built the pre-railroad tramways, and that's the gauge they used.
Why did "they" use that gauge then? Because the people who built the tramways used the same jigs and tools that they used for building wagons which used that wheel spacing.
Okay! Why did the wagons have that particular odd wheel spacing? Well, if they tried to use any other spacing, the wagon wheels would break on some of the old, long distance roads in England, because that's the spacing of the wheel ruts.
So who built those old rutted roads? The first long distance roads in Europe (and England) were built by Imperial Rome for their legions. The roads have been used ever since. And the ruts in the roads? Roman war chariots first formed the initial ruts, which everyone else had to match for fear of destroying their wagon wheels. Since the chariots were made for (or by) Imperial Rome, they were all alike in the matter of wheel spacing.
The United States standard railroad gauge of 4 feet, 8.5 inches derives from the original specification for an Imperial Roman war chariot. Specifications and bureaucracies live forever. So the next time you are handed a specification and wonder what horse's ass came up with it, you may be exactly right, because the Imperial Roman war chariots were made just wide enough to accommodate the back ends of two war horses. Thus, we have the answer to the original question.
Now the twist to the story ...
There's an interesting extension to the story about railroad gauges and horses' behinds. When we see a Space Shuttle sitting on its launch pad, there are two big booster rockets attached to the sides of the main fuel tank. These are solid rocket boosters, or SRBs. The SRBs are made by Thiokol at their factory in Utah. The engineers who designed the SRBs might have preferred to make them a bit fatter, but the SRBs had to be shipped by train from the factory to the launch site. The railroad line from the factory had to run through a tunnel in the mountains. The SRBs had to fit through that tunnel. The tunnel is slightly wider than the railroad track, and the railroad track is about as wide as two horses' behinds. So, the major design feature of what is arguably the world's most advanced transportation system was determined over two thousand years ago by the width of a Horse's Ass!
Complexity & SimplicityComplexity is pretty, but it obscures the truth.
Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.– Albert Einstein
If you don't heed this warning, cause & effect will get you in the end.
Read Edward de Bono's Simplicity.
The Great ConflictThere is a battle, lets call it a game, for control of this world. How long exatly is has been going on for I don't really know. There are three main groups, the Mathematicians, Scientists and Engineers. All other groups are mere pawns in their game.
It looks like the mathematicians won the previous round, but hopefully this book will proof that the engineers are currently in the lead. ;p
An engineer, a physicist, and a mathematician are shown a pasture with a herd of sheep, and told to put them inside the smallest possible amount of fence.
The engineer is first. He makes a square fence around the sheep, declaring it to be the simplest to build.
The physicist is next, and he creates a circular fence around the sheep, arguing that it offers the greatest area for the smallest amount of fence.
The mathematician is last. After giving the problem a little thought, he builds a fence around himself and defines himself to be on the outside.
MathematicsIt is very important to also learn the history of mathematics. Interesting things to read about: Pythagoras, the father of numbers, (6th century B.C.) the Pythagoreans and their pentagram symbols.
The Dodecahedron has 12 sides. To the ancient Greeks, the Dodecahedron was a symbol of the universe. The Dodecahedron, was in fact kept a closely guarded secret in the Greek school of Pythagoras; he feared that this pattern could cause tremendous destruction if misused. It also symbolizes one of the 5 elements, ether.
The greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function.– Professor Emeritus Al Bartlett
GeometryLearn Geometry, if you don't the people that do will rule you.
Propability Theory, Chance
Chance favors only the prepared mind.– Louis Pasteur
It is remarkable that a science which began with the consideration of games of chance should have become the most important object of human knowledge.– Pierre-Simon Laplace
Probability theory is nothing but common sense reduced to calculation.– Pierre-Simon Laplace
Visualize Multiple Dimensions
A mathematician and his best friend, an engineer, attend a public lecture on geometry in thirteen-dimensional space. "How did you like it?" the mathematician wants to know after the talk.
"My head's spinning", the engineer confesses. "How can you develop any intuition for thirteen-dimensional space?"
"Well, it's not even difficult. All I do is visualize the situation in arbitrary N-dimensional space and then set N = 13."
Read Brian Clegg's A Brief History of Infinity: The Quest to Think the Unthinkable.
Read Arthur Benjamin and Michael Shermer's Think like a Maths Genius: The Art of Calculating in your Head.
PhysicsLearn Physics from Professor Walter Lewin or Physics Girl.
Play with fire, but do it safely
The Engineer's Lament:
Time, Quality, Cost – Pick two.
We live in a cynical world. A cynical world. And we work in a business of tough competitors and mutually exclusive requirements...
The only thing most engineers really care about, is doing a quality job.
Quality Control vs. Quality AssuranceKnow the diffrence.
Planned ObsolescenceAny engineer who commits planned obsolescence has no ethics. If I find you, I am going to hit you with a spoon...
Human StupidityRead Carlo Maria Cipolla's The Basic Laws of Human Stupidity.
- Always and inevitably everyone underestimates the number of stupid individuals in circulation.
- The probability that a certain person be stupid is independent of any other characteristic of that person.
- A stupid person is a person who causes losses to another person or to a group of persons while himself deriving no gain and even possibly incurring losses.
- Non-stupid people always underestimate the damaging power of stupid individuals. In particular non-stupid people constantly forget that at all times and places and under any circumstances to deal and/or associate with stupid people always turns out to be a costly mistake.
- A stupid person is the most dangerous type of person. – A stupid person is more dangerous than a bandit.
Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.– Hanlon's razor
Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former.– Albert Einstein
One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors.– Plato
Demoracy – A popularity contest.
Meritocracy – A system of government wherein appointments are made and responsibilities assigned to individuals based upon demonstrated talent and ability (merit).
Wants & Needs
My definition of needs differ from that of Maslow. Only the physiological stuff, except sex, are needs. The rest are all wants. The hormonal urge to have sex might be strong, thus a very strong want but not a need. If it was truely a need, I could use it as an argument for a rape defense.
I would replace sex with love as a need. Some loved dogs, man's best friend, mourn themselves to death without their owner's love.
Value & Worth
Love & Limerence
After a time, you may find that having is not so pleasing a thing, after all, as wanting. It is not logical, but it is often true.– Spock; Amok Time
A physicist, a mathematician and an engineer discuss what is better: a wife or a girlfriend.
The physicist: "A girlfriend. You still have freedom to experiment."
The mathematician: "A wife. You have security."
The engineer: "Both. When I'm not with my wife, she thinks I'm with my girlfriend. With my girlfriend it's vice versa. And I can be with my computer without anyone disturbing me..."
Read Sir Richard Burton et al.'s The Illustrated Kama Sutra * Ananga-Ranga * Perfumed Garden.
Read Ian Kerner's She Comes First.
- Energy is the ability to do Work.
- Energy is the prime commodity.
- All energy comes from stars, solar fusion reactors, for free.
One kilojoule is about the amount of solar radiation received by one square metre of the Earth in one second.
The first free energy device patent awarded to Nikola Tesla. Remember remember, the 5th of November... ;)
ProblemsI am an engineer, a solver of problems.
People don't want their lives fixed. Nobody wants their problems solved. Their dramas. Their distractions. Their stories resolved. Their messes cleaned up. Because what would they have left? Just the big scary unknown.– Chuck Palahniuk
AIDS & STDsTo solve the AIDS problem is simple, only 5 words: Stop Fucking Promiscuously Without Protection.
ObesityYou are what you read, eat, think and do.
Read Tom Venuto's Burn The Fat Feed The Muscle.
FastingConsult a doctor before embarking on a fasting routine...
Upton Sinclair's The Fasting Cure is old but the examples are still valid.
Starving and fasting is two differend things...
Meet Angus Barbieri, he fasted for more than a year (382 days) just living of vitamins & minerals, coffee, tea, water and soda-water.
Before and after.
Just listen to Alan Carr's Easy Way to Stop Smoking.
How to fall asleep in 2 minutes
- Relax the muscles in your face, including tongue, jaw and the muscles around the eyes.
- Drop your shoulders as far down as they’ll go, followed by your upper and lower arm, one side at a time.
- Breathe out, relaxing your chest followed by your legs, starting from the thighs and working down.
- You should then spend 10 seconds trying to clear your mind before thinking about one of the three following images:
- You’re lying in a canoe on a calm lake with nothing but a clear blue sky above you.
- You’re lying in a black velvet hammock in a pitch-black room.
- You say “don’t think, don’t think, don’t think” to yourself over and over for about 10 seconds.
Light Pollution2009 was the year of Astronomy, I couldn't even see the Milky Way.
Are all of you still afraid of the dark? Switch off the fucking lights and lets appreciate God's work of art.
I propose we install manual or passive infrared switches in all street lights, that way people don't need to die to see the night sky.
Publically shame anyone who don't follow the guidelines.
Cleaning ProductsAll these stuff end up in the rivers and the oceans. Rather considder using ultra-violet light, steam and ozone.
Top 5 regrets of the dying:
- I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
- I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.
- I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.
- I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
- I wish that I had let myself be happier.
Operating SystemsLearn an UNIX/Linux, I reccommend Ubuntu.
UNIX is simple. It just takes a genius to understand its simplicity.– Dennis Ritchie
Those who don't understand UNIX are condemned to reinvent it, poorly.– Henry Spencer
AlgorithmsLearn Bubble-sort, it is the best way to evaluate multiple companies' products.
Learn various computer languages. If you can not instruct a computer to solve your math problems, then you are not computer literate. ;p
I suggest Python, get it here.
A language that doesn't affect the way you think about programming is not worth knowing.– Alan Perlis
>>> import this The Zen of Python, by Tim Peters Beautiful is better than ugly. Explicit is better than implicit. Simple is better than complex. Complex is better than complicated. Flat is better than nested. Sparse is better than dense. Readability counts. Special cases aren't special enough to break the rules. Although practicality beats purity. Errors should never pass silently. Unless explicitly silenced. In the face of ambiguity, refuse the temptation to guess. There should be one-- and preferably only one --obvious way to do it. Although that way may not be obvious at first unless you're Dutch. Now is better than never. Although never is often better than *right* now. If the implementation is hard to explain, it's a bad idea. If the implementation is easy to explain, it may be a good idea. Namespaces are one honking great idea -- let's do more of those!
Touch TypingLearn to Touch Type, typing at the speed of though. Here is why?
keybr.com and GNU Typist.
Are your young childern still innocent? What do they see? Dolphins.
Vision vs. Sight
I'll believe it when I see it...
You don't see with your eyes, you see with your brain and it can be fooled.
There are no gray/black dots, its all in your mind.
If you don't believe me, use a color-picker in your favorite (Fnord, GNU) image manipulation program.
These two images are exactly the same, the right one leans at the same angle as the left one.
Test you eye sight.
Counter the effects of presbyopia.
Doctor, Doctor!! Doctor Who?
Population ControlIf you can't have kids, adopt. If adoption is good enough for Angelina Jolie and Madonna it is good enough for you.
General WisdomThe Four Agreements, an ancient Toltec wisdom.
- Be Impeccable With Your Word. Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.
- Don't Take Anything Personally. Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won't be the victim of needless suffering.
- Don't Make Assumptions. Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life. (Assumptions is the mother of all fuckups.)
- Always Do Your Best. Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse and regret.
Ladies and gentleman of the class of '97. Wear sunscreen. If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience. I will dispense this advice now. Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth. Oh, never mind. You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they've faded. But trust me, in 20 years, you'll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can't grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked. You are not as fat as you imagine. Don't worry about the future. Or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind, the kind that blindside you at 4 p.m. on some idle Tuesday. Do one thing every day that scares you. Sing. Don't be reckless with other people's hearts. Don't put up with people who are reckless with yours. Floss. Don't waste your time on jealousy. Sometimes you're ahead, sometimes you're behind. The race is long and, in the end, it's only with yourself. Remember compliments you receive. Forget the insults. If you succeed in doing this, tell me how. Keep your old love letters. Throw away your old bank statements. Stretch. Don't feel guilty if you don't know what you want to do with your life. The most interesting people I know didn't know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives. Some of the most interesting 40-year-olds I know still don't. Get plenty of calcium. Be kind to your knees. You'll miss them when they're gone. Maybe you'll marry, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll have children, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll divorce at 40, maybe you'll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary. Whatever you do, don't congratulate yourself too much, or berate yourself either. Your choices are half chance. So are everybody else's. Enjoy your body. Use it every way you can. Don't be afraid of it or of what other people think of it. It's the greatest instrument you'll ever own. Dance, even if you have nowhere to do it but your living room. Read the directions, even if you don't follow them. Do not read beauty magazines. They will only make you feel ugly. Get to know your parents. You never know when they'll be gone for good. Be nice to your siblings. They're your best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future. Understand that friends come and go, but with a precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle, because the older you get, the more you need the people who knew you when you were young. Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard. Live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft. Travel. Accept certain inalienable truths: Prices will rise. Politicians will philander. You, too, will get old. And when you do, you'll fantasize that when you were young, prices were reasonable, politicians were noble and children respected their elders. Respect your elders. Don't expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund. Maybe you'll have a wealthy spouse. But you never know when either one might run out. Don't mess too much with your hair or by the time you're 40 it will look 85. Be careful whose advice you buy, but be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it's worth. But trust me on the sunscreen.
Despite all claims to the contrary, noone can predict the future and I have always resisted all attempts to label me a prophet: I prefer EXTRAPOLATOR.– Arthur C. Clarke