People often speak of reason as if it is a mathematics, and rightly so; but like the mathematical function, reason often allows more than one solution, and so in these matters that concern us most deeply we can plainly see that reason is not enough. For even as you make reason your master and follow [more ...]
The collections here are of a general interest, requiring no mathematical, scientific, or religious orientation but thought-provoking nonetheless.
How far would you go? Would you sacrifice everything? Would you go all in?
“In Greek the word for ‘the beautiful’ is to kalon. It is related to the word kalein which includes the notion of ‘call’. When we experience beauty, we feel called. The Beautiful stirs passion and urgency in us and calls us forth from aloneness into the warmth and wonder if an eternal embrace. It unites us again with the neglected and forgotten grandeur of life.”
And then it really will be, a good day
http://lareviewofbooks.org/article.php?id=1166&fulltext=1 A QUIET REVOLUTION may have taken place over the last three decades in our understanding of the history of Western philosophy. So quiet, in fact, that few have noticed it. Three recent books give us a sense of the significance and extent of this paradigm shift: Examined Lives: From Socrates to Nietzsche, by James Miller; How [more ...]
I wanted to share a few links this morning to highlight some organizations that seem to be doing a good job of “bridging the gap” so to speak, between cultures. I think John Henry Newman’s mission to bring faith and reason together is something that is well represented in each of these organizations. The first [more ...]
“Normal adults don’t stop to think about such concepts as space and time. These are things children ask about. My secret is I remained a child. I always ask the simplest questions. I ask them still.” — Einstein
From Part 8, the final section, near the end of the book… Chapter VIII From that moment when, at the sight of his beloved brother dying, Levin had looked at the questions of life and death for the first time through those new convictions, as he called them, which imperceptibly, during the period from twenty [more ...]
“What was the point of a bachelor of arts degree? Was it to plumb the depths and origins of Western civilization, which had after all invented the university, and to develop the student spiritually and morally? Or was it to set the kid up for a cushy job?” http://www.weeklystandard.com/articles/book-drove-them-crazy_634905.html?nopager=1 “The crisis of liberal education,” he [more ...]
“Teenagers shouldn’t read “great” literature because it’s good for them, but because it’s like them. ” http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/arts/books/why-teens-should-read-adult-fiction-and-vice-versa/article2371260/ But teenagers – at least the teenagers I knew and know, and the teenager I happened to be – are not so world-weary. They’re still trying to figure out this place, this land, and to assimilate all the sensations [more ...]
Cameras in cellphones do not have a mechanical ‘shutter’ as in conventional cameras, but scan an image line-by-line as is typical in video cameras. When shooting a moving or rotating object, the shutter scan interferes with the subject’s motion and results in some odd images — very much like the “backwards wagon wheels” you see in old movies and TV westerns.
Check out this rubber propeller, caused by the action of the shutter against the motion of the airplane engine
3D printing has long fascinated me. Maybe I am just naive but this kind of stuff never ceases to amaze me. http://www.economist.com/node/18114327 –snip– It works like this. First you call up a blueprint on your computer screen and tinker with its shape and colour where necessary. Then you press print. A machine nearby whirrs into [more ...]
The Antikythera mechanism is an ancient mechanical computer designed to calculate astronomical positions. It was recovered in 1900–1901 from the Antikythera wreck. Its significance and complexity were not understood until decades later. Its time of construction is now estimated between 150 and 100 BC. Technological artifacts of similar complexity and workmanship did not reappear until the 14th century, when mechanical astronomical clocks were built in Europe.
The mechanism is the oldest known complex scientific calculator. It contains many gears, and is sometimes called the first known analog computer, although its flawless manufacturing suggests that it may have had a number of undiscovered predecessors during the Hellenistic Period. It appears to be constructed upon theories of astronomy and mathematics developed by Greek astronomers and it is estimated that it was made around 150-100 BC.
x = 0.999…
10x = 9.99…
10x-x = 9.99… – 0.999…
9x = 9
x = 1
0.999… = 1
If you are like me, you look at this equation and scoff. Common sense and years of math intuition tell you that what is on the left is not the same as what is on the right. If you are like me, you are wrong. But if you are like me, you will look it up on wikipedia or at math wolfram, you will see that there are rigorous proofs… but you will yet still have doubts, unsatisfied. You are not alone. This is one of those bedeviling problems that has worn many a thinker – from Pythagoras forward – bald with head scratching.
Welcome to wonderland.
And yet it just won’t go away:
I feel it and cannot understand it;
cannot hold on to it;
nor yet forget it;
and if I grasp it wholly
I cannot measure it!
After reading the stories by the Great Author, a number of very learned, respected gentlemen declared that there was nothing in them. This was very concerning because on the one hand, these were, after all, learned gentlemen. Yet on the other hand, the stories were written by a Great Author. Something, it would seem, had [more ...]