Sunday, February 28, 2010

More Quotes from Complex Adaptive Systems

Just a couple more of the quotes that I loved from the book.

Water which is too pure has no fish.

-- Ts'ai Ken T'an.

A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines.

-- Ralph Waldo Emerson, Self-Reliance.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Off-by-one Error

Affairs of people are insignificant.
Affairs of other people are insignificant.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

complex adaptive systems

Reading this:

Nice book so far, good source for finding good programming exercises. They have used a lot of words to describe the fractal nature of the edge of chaos, without using the word itself.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

From Flatland

Be patient, for the world is broad and wide.
-- Edwin A. Abbott, Flatland.

Friday, October 23, 2009


Taught strings make the best music.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Confucius say

People don't maximize, they suffice.

It was actually Herbert Simon who said that. The consequences of accepting Bounded Rationality as a way of decision making in everyday life are interesting. It is easy to see such a person being the rich and enriching man seen in Russell's "Conquest of Happiness". It would entail seeing one's own actions as "rational" within one's sphere of knowledge, and extending the same courtesy to others. But then, does it force us to drag in things that affect people's knowledge into the realm of ethics?

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Motorcycle Diaries

It wasn't as intense as I imagined it would be. It was better than a feel good movie though. Maybe it is a good "feel-good movie". The visuals, particularly towards the beginning of the movie were pretty nice. Felt like "Learning to Fly". I was kicking myself for not having seen this in the theatre when I had my chance. :(. I loved the music, and I am turning into a fan of Gustavo Santaolalla. Had a glimpse of Mia Maestro in the movie. She's lovely. My trust in Bernal's presence as a sufficient condition for a good movie has gone up even more. Both Bernal and Rodrigo de la Serna did a good job. The roles heavily favoured Bernal and he made good use of it.

The "discussions" at imdb on this movie are particularly shitty.

I had a good time watching this one: 7/10.

Staccato Steve

Short. Broken. Disconnected sentences. Communication must be painful!

Movies, movies

Long time no blog, and so I failed to mention a lot of the movies I watched in between. I had gone through Antonioni's movies, L'Avventura, La Notte, L'Eclisse and Profession: Reporter. It has been some time since I watched them, but I remember liking La Notte very much. The neo-realist movies tend to heighten my anxieties, and there is always a certain unpleasantness associated with that. What makes them valuable to me however, are those couple of moments which expose the raw humanity involved in the characters and the situation. I believe that it is risky for artists to make such films, and tricky for viewers watching them, because if you miss those particular moments in the movie, the whole thing feels worthless. And probably pompous too. These movies bring to my mind such paintings with large blocks of flat colours, and small regions of explosive intensity. You miss these details, and the whole picture looks vacuous and consequently, boring.

Aaand, these thoughts bring to my mind, Moodysson's Lilja 4-ever. If I remember correctly, it was a well made movie, with many touching moments but ultimately proving worthless to me. We see the children going through one ordeal after another, to the very end. The movie might be "useful" in making someone think about unfortunate, disadvantaged children, but for anyone capable of sympathizing, or worse empathizing, the movie itself is an ordeal. Imagine my making a video effectively communicating the anxiety of animals lead to slaughter, and I top it up with the slaughter itself. This video would be a good tool as a documentary to make people aware of the issue. But would it make a good movie?

Trying to prescribe purposes for art is a bit silly. However, one can use it to appraise the work's value to oneself. Since this value is bound to change, I guess it wouldn't hurt if I make some notes on the margins of pages ;-)