5/27/2007

but the sky is so empty and quiet and beautiful.

so im accidentally going to california.

"ive never been good with words which is why im in such a delicate conundrum."

but we're fooling ourselves. one last first kiss. whats a synonym for antonym? ive written about this before, but once again i have experienced water so hot that my hand first told me it was cold.

"youll do any terrifying thing youre asked to do but you have to do it running... the only thing that really scares you guys, is stillness.
...
this is my voice darling. this is what i sound like, dont forget okay?
...
evil falls suddenly. whos to say when it falls?"

"It is unclear whether her primary loyalty while working as an asset lay with the United States, the People's Republic of China, or herself."

i was re-reading what i wrote previously, about my disinterest in the supernatural, yet openness to the possibility that we are inadequately equipped to fully understand the universe, and i am now thinking there is another aspect to mysticism that i reject, and it has to do with certainty. the mystic declares some events to be supernatural, which implies a kind of certainty regarding the nature of the event. science on the other hand is supposed to imply a sort tentativeness everything it does... it is well understood that at its very core, science is built on subjective experience, though we work very hard to negate that bias (hopefully). another oddity of this whole situation is that while mysticism and science both declare certain truths about events, the declaration made by mysticism is much more fundamental than that of science: science discusses what are in some sense, very superficial aspects of the natural world, while mysticism is making statements about the fundamental nature of the universe (such as the existence of supernatural forces). okay, now im starting to think that i have abused the word mysticism some.

the ith sign of the apocalypse, where i goes from 0 to the apocalypse.

on friday night, stefan and i hung out on the stoop outside my apartment building for several hours. a man named andy saw us and talked for a few hours, he was cool. i watched a state trooper drive up and down main street, pulling over people who ran the temporary stop sign that has been placed for the construction work. after two hours of this we went over to see if the cooking place was open attached to the bar, but it wasnt, which made sense because it was almost three o clock i think. on the way back the trooper drove by again, this time when i stared at him he looked back. then he disappeared. about five minutes after he disappeared, a (seemingly) drunk guy pulled up to our makeshift bench and came out and sat down and pretty much didnt say anything, or very little. his name was chris. chris drives a nice buick SUV with the liscense plate "-DASH-". chris dresses well, has a clean haircut, and maintains his goatee nicely. chris is probably an undercover cop for the town of keene. in retrospect, i know that what we were doing looked very sketchy; i stared at every car and person that moved up and down main street, but whatever. next time we are going to try and get him to admit he is an undercover cop.

the difference between deterents and right and wrong is very important, and i dont think most people know the difference. use stefans dog example: the dog understands that peeing in the house is punishable, it does not necessarily understand it is wrong.

but the sky is so empty and quiet and beautiful.

5/22/2007

overcast intentions

are you here to read the future?

this is a little bit interesting: i reject the notion of any existence of supernatural phenomena, yet i accept the idea that we may be inadequately equipped to decipher the universe completely (that is, fine the 'ultimate physical theory'). yet if we do not find the ultimate theory, there will remain a certain mystery inherent to the universe that could be described as supernatural, as we will not be able to explain it. but ah, now that i have typed this thought, i see the distinction; supernatural phenomena as they are perceived now, are not congruent to the supernatural phenomena which will remain after human intelligence maximizes its physical understanding. that is, the mysteries which are currently retained by the universe due to our incomplete physical theories are already much less fantastical than the phenomena mystics adhere to.

i guess we feel its safer holding back. is it safer holding back?

why is it that people fear other people so much? why is it so easy to suspect other people find it easy to do things that we find it hard to do? when the vast majority of people on earth, and i really do mean vast majority, are nearly identical in their needs, desires, beliefs, hopes, fears.

mass energy equivalence... what does that lead to? what does that imply about inertia? and gravity? seems like it should have some pretty important implications with those concepts. but ill think about that later.

there are two kinds of people in this world, people who categorize people, and people who dont.
there are two kinds of people in this world, people who think there are two kinds of people in this world, and people who do not think there are two kinds of people in this world.

abandoned in place

so i was reading about metaphysical naturalism, and wow, it fits my understanding of life perfectly. anyway, they mention the golden rule, (or now called the ethic of reciprocity), and the way it was taught to me was, "do unto others as you would have others do unto you". but now im thinking, that sounds a bit restrictive... there might be things that i dont want done for/to me necessarily, but that others would find quite pleasing. for instance, if i had lots of money, and i gave it to people, i certainly wouldnt want people giving me money. so i feel like there should be a better statement to use... looking on the site, i find: "what you do not wish upon yourself, extend not to others." – Confucius, (ca. 551-479 BC)

gotta be careful about bringing my backpack as carry-on, since the pins might be removed and discarded as threats.

also, what sort of constraints does the physical world put on systems? its hard to imagine life thinking much quicker than us, or much slower really.



so, for a while ive thought that time travel and immortality are two good examples of the ability of the human mind to out-imagine reality; they are concepts for which reality does not readily provide evidence, and yet it is easy for us to speculate about the impact and behavior of these concepts (if they were to show up in reality). more recently ive began to think that interstellar space travel has a good chance of falling into this category as well, and i would say that intergalactic space travel is most definitely in this category (though oddly, i imagine there are many people who would agree intergalactic travel is probably impossible, yet would not concede that time travel is most likely impossible, which i believe is due to the attractive qualities of time travel distorting their ability to admit impossibility).
beyond time travel, immortality, interstellar and galactic travel, omnipotence is too an impossible concept; though i believe their should be (at least) two concepts of omnipotence, a strong and a weak.

strong omnipotence is the sort that people use to describe their gods: knows everything, can do anything--literally "all powerful". it could range anywhere from completely uninhibited by physical reality, to completely uninhibited by the laws of logic. (it is debatable whether this 'strong omnipotence' should include the ability to transcend logic or not, i tend to think either way is stupid).

strong omnipotence doesnt really make any sense, even in its weakest form (in which the laws of physics do not apply). if you know everything, if you can do anything, then what is the fucking point? there is no longer such things as mistakes, mystery, accidents, problems, surprise, discovery, learning, change, evolution, maturing... i think without these things love makes little sense, along with fun and excitement. it is precisely the mystery that makes things interesting.

the stronger form of strong omnipotence, in which even the laws of logic or reason are broken, really doesnt make any sense. the existence of someone able to defy logic is (as might be expected) simply illogical. say there existed a being who could create a rock so big 'he' couldnt lift it, and then could lift it... well, it just doesnt make any sense.

weak omnipotence is the ability to do anything physically possible, so while a strongly omnipotent being could say, travel faster than light, a weakly omnipotent being could not. if constructing a dyson sphere is physically possible (which i really doubt), then a weakly omnipotent being would be one capable of doing so.
in this sense, considered as a species and given enough time, humans are probably weakly omnipotent, since it seems that anything that is physically possible can be accomplished by humans.

all of these thoughts lead me to think that we probably created god in our image, rather than the oft-quoted converse statement.


abandoned in place.

5/21/2007

only so stunning

burn you up.
burn you down.

thinking about the keynesian beauty contest, as well as the party game, i find it a bit odd that i see a real-world solution to the first, but not the second. it only sort of makes sense. i suppose, isnt that how it always is? this might help too (though probably not).

at this distance ill never be touched.

so im becoming fairly certain that i am a moral relativist, and that i practice moral skepticism, not to be confused with moral nihilism, which i do not agree with. how nice, that i can categorize and label all my beliefs, eh? pretty soon ill be nothing more than a list of ideas.

also, i dont completely subscribe to moral skepticism: i believe that while our morals are relative, they can be useful guides. i feel like this has always been how i think, though i am only aware of discussing it outright for the last year or two probably. can any older friend of mine recall past conversations concerning the relative nature of right and wrong?

okay, cool. im also a metaphysical naturalist.

i feel like im untying a knot. the knot is all the conflict among humanity, and the string is the individual views. as if all conflict arises from simple differences of view, and inability to communicate and detect the differences. moral realists, it is beginning to appear, are probably identical to my view of moral relativism, only they have started one step in front of me. i have taken the step back to see where the morals first must start, which is no where. once ive established that, the next step results in the morals that they want, and the use of them they want. or i might be kind of tired and making all this up, i dont yet know. ill need to find a moral realist with whom i might discuss these ideas.

but in the meantime... the arguments against moral relativism are really more arguments that it fails to provide a moral framework, which is true. because what moral relativism is really saying is that such a framework cannot really exist. its as if the non-relativists say "this exists, therefore moral relativism is wrong", and the relativists say, "no, that does not exist."

there was plenty of trouble.

this is an article by Larry Sanger, co-founder of wikipedia. i dont really agree with a lot (most) of what he says, but some of it is very interesting. i think im going to write to him.

i should feel sick. but im feeling fine.

so how about this as a model of public education: the first few years are general ed stuff, as they are now, but then instead of switching to the current style of 'well rounded' education based on periodic standardized testing, we switch to a discussion based testing of personal exploration of the interested subjects. holy crap thats a mouth full. im not really paying attention, but i feel like these ideas are important, and must be explored more.

dear Mirah, i have written to Paul Simon to inquire about the additional 38 ways to leave a lover. i know that youre a lesbian, but i was hoping i could sway you, and thus provide one of Paul's 'fifty ways' for you to leave any current girlfriend (assuming you are seeing someone, pardon my obtrusion).

is it possible that a sufficiently intelligent person can (by accident), convince people of incorrect things? could i have convinced my professor that wikipedia is better than he should think?

right now im reading about daniell integrals, and im starting to feel like im way too fucking smart. this despite consuming wine concurrently.

a mighty mustache.

to Larry Sanger:
with regards to epistemic egalitarianism and "wikipedians" in general, my view is that although we (the wikipedians) are all on equal ground when it comes to our online presence, we are not all equal when it comes to our ability to articulate and argue a point, and so the nobel laureate, though visibly indistinguishable (online) from the physics illiterate, they can explain themselves, not just without external references and examples, but also citing (internally) other articles and experiments which explain the reasons that physical theories are the way they are. at which point i believe ive abandoned the concept of epistemic egalitarianism.
also, i really enjoyed your mind/body problem papers that you contributed to wikipedia years ago, i think thats how i found the project, and though i have 'at heart' always been a physicalist, it was very interesting to see these views stated explicitly and clearly.

Sanger says: "Experts know particular topics particularly well.  By paying closer attention to experts, we improve our chances of getting the truth; by ignoring them, we throw our chances to the wind.  Thus, if we reduce experts to the level of the rest of us, even when they speak about their areas of knowledge, we reduce society's collective grasp of the truth."

my response is: im not really interested in ignoring the experts, nor reducing them to my level of credibility, but i do think it is important that the experts be able to explain themselves and their understanding, that they be as open to questioning as anyone else, which is the main difference between wikipedia and the reason we all hate authority so much. i dont hate authority because they are given more credibility than me, or because they can do their job better than i can do it, i hate them because they tend not to explain themselves.

"It is not just what we know that's important, it is what we don't. We not only need an encyclopedia of knowledge, we need an encyclopedia of ignorance, too. If our ignorance is not mislabeled, cataloging it in one place can be a useful tool."
-George Dyson
...this gives me an idea: we need an anti-encyclopedia. though wikipedia already stores open questions, itd be nice to have a database of open questions that anyone could contribute to, that was completely open. though maybe not. it seems itd be nice to have one in which it was very easy to find such questions. as if itd promote research.



all i want is to fall madly in love. what do you want?

burn me up.
burn me down.

5/16/2007

in my will: to the imagination, i leave nothing.

is it the same thing to feel bad about something, versus believing very strongly that you should feel bad? i cannot tell any longer.

"my dear wife, please beat me."..."my wife saw 'my love' on my thigh. she asked me who it referred to. and i began to lie."

i will eat and digest you all with my system of mighty organs!
funny isnt it? the human was impervious to our most powerful magnetic fields, yet in the end he succumbed to a harmless sharpened stick.
good news everyone, im a horses butt. i am? thats not good news at all you little...

calm down im gonna hold your hand.

more of the same nonsense.

Still, in the absence of naked singularities, the universe is deterministic — it's possible to predict the entire evolution of the universe (possibly excluding some finite regions of space hidden inside event horizons of singularities), knowing only its condition at a certain moment of time (more precisely, everywhere on a spacelike 3-dimensional hypersurface, called the Cauchy surface).
---wait wait wait... the term "...its condition at a certain moment of time..." is meaningless. THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS SIMULTANEITY. there is no such thing as a universal 'moment of time'. this is such a basic result of special relativity, that once acquainted with the theory, we ought to no longer make this mistake (even i am guilty of forgetting this fact now and then, its quite easy).

i think ive thought this before, but, is there a system of logic in the truth and false values can take continuos values all the way from false to true? more akin to probability theory than traditional logic... i think itd be more 'real world' than traditional logic, potentially...

ive (inadvertently) discovered how to keep bubbles: you seal them up in a container in which moisture cannot exit (nor, most likely, enter); nevertheless, as with most things in life, bubbles werent meant to be 'kept' all wrapped up in plastic... bubbles wish to be free. they wish to roam, to spend their brief existence exploring this world.




its mostly just a process of succumbing to the definitions and notation.

5/14/2007

brilliant!

what is the biblical stance on digital media? what was the stance of the founding fathers on digital media when they wrote the constitution? we cannot stop these clowns.

Jiang replied "I think never killed."

we resemble but are legally distinct from the lollipop guild, the lollipop guild...
all civilization was just an effort to impress the opposite sex. and sometimes the same sex.
i always write the date in the corner. its incase i find something important.
be proud of your perversion.
"i am trying to break your heart"

is it possible for one to limit one's indulgences in such a way as to make all things exciting at all times? as a mundane example: drinking juice only so often enough as to make it more enjoyable as an exotic alternative to say water? can one be aware of such intentional self deception, and still be physically deceived?

what is this?

wait a second: "and the length of the sum of two vectors is no larger than the sum of lengths of the vectors". shouldnt that be, the length of the sum of two vectors is equal to the sum of the lengths?

aspect blindness. most certainly something i am susceptible to, and must experience. but how to find out what? how does one learn what what does not know?

"Greg, I completely agree that people follow chains of inference further when they have a personal stake in the outcome. Indeed, one could even argue that the key insight needed to get science off the ground was that the same reasoning processes used to drive wildebeests off a cliff, detect a cheating mate, etc., can also be used to study the nature of the celestial bodies and the origin of the universe. You just have to act like it matters to you!" -Scott Aaronson
---and thats how i became a scientist. and how most of us get there i think... it matters to us, these things that are often seen as mundane or simple or well understood... why does a bike not fall over when you ride above a certain speed? oh right, cause the wheels are spinning faster. what? but why does a bike not fall over??? oh right, i know now... do you?

sanity is not something that can be accessed, really, by anyone. it is a concept that extends beyond reality really. its like time travel and inter-galatic travel, and probably inter-stellar travel even; we cannot know. reminds me of a quote by Hilbert: "we must know. we will know."

i think i found a new friend

although i am, in general, resiliently optimistic, this challenges me:
"These statistics contrast starkly with those from many other nations. According to the International Social Survey Program, a comparative study of beliefs and practices in 31 nations, while a mere 3.2 percent of Americans will agree flatly that they "don't believe in God," 17.2 percent of the Dutch concur with that statement, as do 19.1 of those in France, 16.8 percent of Swedes, 20.3 percent of people in the Czech Republic, 19.7 percent of Russians, 10.6 percent of Japanese and 9.2 percent of Canadians.
...
"So, I'll out myself. I'm an Atheist. I don't believe in God, Gods, Godlets or any sort of higher power beyond the universe itself, which seems quite high and powerful enough to me. I don't believe in life after death, channeled chat rooms with the dead, reincarnation, telekinesis or any miracles but the miracle of life and consciousness, which again strike me as miracles in nearly obscene abundance. I believe that the universe abides by the laws of physics, some of which are known, others of which will surely be discovered, but even if they aren't, that will simply be a result, as my colleague George Johnson put it, of our brains having evolved for life on this one little planet and thus being inevitably limited. I'm convinced that the world as we see it was shaped by the again genuinely miraculous, let's even say transcendent, hand of evolution through natural selection." -Natalie Angier
---although i am alone, it is statements like these that curb my loneliness, (although they do leave something wanting), it is very comforting to read someone express so clearly what you think.

quoting one more paragraph:
"Religion may be innate, but so, too, is skepticism. Consider that we are the most socially sophisticated of all creatures, reliant on reciprocal altruism for so much of our success. We are profoundly dependent on the good will and good behavior of others, and we are perpetually seeking evidence that those around us are trustworthy, are true to their word, are not about to desert us, rob us blind, murder us as we sleep. It is not enough for a newcomer to tell us: "Open your door. Trust me. I'm a swell citizen -- really." We want proof. The human race resides in one great Show Me state."
this last paragraph makes me feel inhuman, as i tend to trust people by default. my immediate thoughts are that people generally have to prove their inability to be trusted for me to not trust them. i tend to assume good will of others, good behavior (although i also have fairly lax standards when it comes to 'good behavior', as well as not much of a sense of 'good' and 'bad').

interesting new approach to arguments about god: computational complexity theory...
can god solve NP-complete problems in polynomial time?
well, can god transcend logic? seems unlikely, since, if god can transcend logic, what remains? what meaning can right and wrong have if there is no such thing as a 'valid conclusion'? if there is no real connection between cause and effect, what remains to be said of the universe? especially in the absolutes that people seem so fond of these days. they dont understand how little we know.

existential crisis

is it possible that the war between the believers of a personal god, and the non-believers, is a recent argument? at first i thought, how old are the beliefs of fundamentalist christians? and then i realized, though they are old, why do they seem more prominent now than ever throughout history? and i think i know the answer: we know how the time to think about them. it goes back to Russell's statement about filling leisure time; in the last 50 years, in america, leisure time has greatly increased (even if work hours havent, work has shifted to less physically exhausting and more mentally exhausting; schooling has also lengthened, as many more attend college now, leading to more leisure time, reflection, etc). america easily has the largest total amount of increased leisure, as it has not only advanced much, it is also quite large. how have americans learned to fill this leisure time? well, some chose video games, and before that, TV. some chose study, sciences, arts, nature, philosophy. some chose religion, and they now have the time to promote it.

"It doesn’t follow that, because the meaning of a command is obscure, we’re not obliged to obey it." -Michael Brazier
whoa, really? so if we just had one law that said, 'dont do wrong', and then we went around and arrested anyone we deemed to be 'wrong', itd be their fault for not obeying? isnt the clarity of the command integral to our ability to follow it?

"If Feynman is outside of the implicit historical window of Wilber’s book, he also skips Dirac, who once said: 'I cannot understand why we idle discussing religion. If we are honest - and as scientists honesty is our precise duty - we cannot help but admit that any religion is a pack of false statements, deprived of any real foundation. The very idea of God is a product of human imagination' "

wow, go Dirac.

to continue catagorizing myself, breaking down and explaining everything, i think i might be a moral relativist. or perhaps merely a moral realist? further study is required.




it is a recent experience for me to realize that i do not think like others, that ideas and concepts which are obvious and simple to me are confusing and confounding by others; and that likewise, there exists an entire world with which most people are well acclimated, and i am a complete stranger.

to resolve these issues, i want to ask people questions, but i cannot quite think of the questions i want to ask; 'am i human', 'do i seem to understand the world as well as the average person', 'do i ever seem to just not get something simple' all come to mind, yet they dont seem to quite suit this. additionally, the general unwillingness to clearly express impressions of failure is set to counter any efforts i make to study this problem.

i suppose that the problem is really one of communication, and the the solution would be to greatly increase the amount of communication in which i take part. why then do i seem to be communicating less than ever?

5/09/2007

please be well.

uncomfortable in this skin.

yesterday (last wednesday?) i felt like shit. not just physically, but i felt very... lethargic? which was weird, because i had two exams in the morning, the first i did very well on i believe, which i was concerned i might not do so well on it, so that was good. then on the second, i think i did okay, not as good as i would have liked to, but probably better than i expected to do. so those both should have been uppers. then i went to a bar with my math professors and most of the graduating math majors (woo-hoo! im not actually a math major, so that makes me feel kind of special, though ive probably taken more math than most math majors take, so hey...). i drank some, talked to emily a lot, shreve, theyre both pretty cool. then i road my bike home, and just felt... like shit. i was a little drunk (yeah, i probably shouldnt have rode my bike... but i couldnt fall asleep. later in the night my head started to hurt, my nose started to run, and i just felt an overall feeling of physical crappiness, in addition to the weird mental crappiness.

beneath the skin, were all the same. weve all got problems. for the most part, none of them are all that much more or less serious than anyone elses problems.

why dont we sit down. theres a bench.

oh shit... im sitting here, looking at buddhagram rotations, thinking about how i agree with the author that we will never really be able to visualize 4-spatial dimension objects in the way that we visualize 3d... and i began thinking, well, its easy to imagine looking at a table of numbers, and imagining that each number corresponds to some attribute of an object in however many dimensions you want, and then arrange the cells of the table in a way that allows you to split out which attribute belongs to which dimension. now, this is far from 'visualizing' in the way we think of it, but what about a human brain that has no experience with 3 dimensions? would it be easier to train that sort of brain? thats where the oh shit came in, because of all the silly jokes i have about what i would do to a kid if i were ever to have one, this is far more intriguing than the others... while the others are entertaining ideas, this has true potential. not that i would ever dare to try something like this, or even know how to go about doing it, but holy shit, the consequences if it worked... itd be difficult too, because youd have to somehow suppress experience in 3d, which we really have as soon as we are born. visual, physical... it might even be mentally hardwired in, in which case its probably impossible to succeed in my suggestion, but otherwise.

pitotheeoretothepi?

i just began wondering, "do people do these all for their own pleasure? in their spare time?" and then i thought of Russell's statement that the last product of civilization will be to figure out how to spend leisure time intelligently, and how these people have i think.

the secrets hidden in this place you called reality... they have the finest details.

the epitome of debauchery.

a minute? yeah, i suppose so.
an hour? probably, yeah.
a day? i can even remember which one.
an entire life? well, im not that old yet. but sure, i can see that happening.

a veiled approach at preserving obscurity.

the committee concluded that “we are safe from a strangelet initiated catastrophe.”

you could have just said, "i dont want this. i dont like that."

when we finally ___ ________, how will it feel?

i think im gonna focus on MIT as my choice of schools, although i should really use the summer to decide.

to everett: first question, is there something you could put inside a glass jar to make it more difficult to break when dropped? and the obvious follow up, is there something you could place inside it to make it nearly impossible to break when dropped?

all quitters are romantic.

okay, second question (and i already asked him this one), if i had a big pan of water, and i added a single drop to it, and i added the drop very slowly, so that when the drop 'combined' with the bigger pool, it had very little momentum, at what speed does the wave propagate across the surface of the water? i think the same concept is incapsulated in an older question i never posted here; if have a big flat pan of water that is perfectly still, how great an angle can i tilt it before water 'flows' from one side to the other? obviously i expect this angle to be inperceptibly small. if youve ever made careful observations of the flow of even still water, you will agree.

sea snakes are probably the most frightening animal to me.

have you ever bled so much that instead of dripping out of you, it flows, in a continuous stream? ive only done that twice. the first time i was alone in my apartment, and i considered calling 911, because i began to fear that if the bleeding didnt stop soon, i would pass out, and that no one would find me for at least weeks, if not months, at which point i would be dead. tonight it happened again, and for some reason i wasnt as concerned. im not sure why not.

dont underestimate the hippo.



some substance follows

it seems the more i attempt to define and interpret 'self' or 'my self', the less the idea seems to mean. who i am begins to seem more and more mechanical; the result of complex interactions between complex patterns. the patterns can be subdivided into local ones, within the region defined by my physical body, and external patterns, those of my environment. to say that the pattern which is defined within the regions occupied by my body have accomplished something seems,... stupid? the interactions, the complex evolution of us, of these patterns, seems entirely independent of 'us'; say, for instance, that someone reads the sentences above, and that those sentences remind the reader of a previous experience leading to a new insight which ultimately leads to altered behavior... did the reader accomplish anything? or did everything follow deterministically? dont give me credit, the same argument applies to every sentence here.

why do people feel the need to celebrate things? or to accomplish things? why are these ideas so foreign to me?

also, when facotring numbers, what if we used a number system that included certain rationals, in addition to the integers?
no, nevermind, that doesnt help.

also, does it bother anyone that there is no next element of the reals? is ther a term for that? i.e., given 2, what is the next real number? i guess its similar to, what is the least element >2, which does not exist.



please be well.
keep dancing.

5/03/2007

intelligence remains overrated

or should i be more than the scientist? more than the mere observer?
ought i attempt to lead something or someone somewhere somehow?

'im from the internet!'

i want to ride my bike around late at night in keene in the summer. anyone want to join me?

as if it were by chance.

"The probable cause is a congenital malfunction in nerve signals in the trigeminal nerve nucleus. The fifth cranial nerve, called the trigeminal nerve, is apparently responsible for sneezes. Research suggests that some people have an association between this nerve and the nerve that transmits visual impulses to the brain. Overstimulation of the optic nerve triggers the trigeminal nerve, and this causes the photic sneeze reflex. Another theory suggests that tears leaking into the nose through the nasolacrimal duct are a cause of the photic sneeze reflex. The speed of the reflex seems to favour the first theory, as it happens much too quickly for tears to be generated and drain into the nose. In addition this sneeze reflex can be brought on by a sudden inhaling of cold air or a strong flavour such as a strong mint gum. This implies an overstimulation of any nerve close to the trigeminal nerve can cause the sneeze reflex."

you know, one of the arguments against drugs, (including alcohol, or really, mostly alcohol) is killing brain cells, or various other 'youll be dumb' reasons. did they ever consider that maybe i want to kill a lot of brain cells? that im hoping to become 'dumber' by their standards? did they ever consider that would be an attractive feature to anyone who has concluded that they think to much? no. they didnt. most human activity is unreasoned. and intelligence remains overrated.

the whole purpose of the doomsday device is to tell everyone about it. why didnt you tell anybody about it!!!

dear Jack Hanna, you have failed me for the last time!

"a production that never should have been made" production
by "we cant believe you paid to see this" studios.

"sara was short, boyish, and had eyebrows thicker than brad thought necessary"

it was that it was ridiculous to be at war with your own desires.
we want what we want, and theres not much we can do about it.
he wasnt afraid to try anything; trying new things made him feel... more alive.
he couldnt change the past. but the future, could be a different story. and it had to start somewhere.

how does one differentiate from the pursuit of desires worthy of fulfillment, versus the desires which ought to be abandoned?

we are finally learning how we think, who we are. what we are. not me or you or him or her or them or us, but humans, as a whole, are learning how we, as humans, think. finally.

menace

youd sacrifice a beautiful woman to save a moderately attractive monkey? you must have smoked some bad granola.




nope, nothing insightful. headache. tic. ill figure this out yet.

5/02/2007

somethings sweet

todays thoughts follow:

the reason i dont play games is the same reason i dont want to go to graduation, the same reason i didnt want to go to high school graduation, the same reason i hate patriotism and nationalism and sexism and racism and being called smart. same reason i find it so hard to believe that girls really like me a lot, despite repeated proof that they do. same reason i sit in the back of a classroom and rarely speak, unless i feel strongly that the benefits of my idea to the discussion for others outweighs the pain it causes me for people to think i am somehow special. how can i ever fall in love with someone when i abhor the idea that they think i am special?

i am the yrast.

i love my parents, i think theyre great, and that i personally benefitted greatly from having them as parents in my development (that is, growing up). but i dont feel attached to them. i never really have as far as i can remember. im sure i did when i was very little, but that time precedes my memory. ive never really felt all that attached to anyone other than girls that i am very close to, for a moment. then the moment fades, and i acclimate solitude. im not sure if that wording makes sense, but the idea should be clear. im not lonely, im alone. theres a difference. but sometimes that is a lie. sometimes i am lonely.

you either love all people equally, or you shut the fuck up. -Bill Hicks

i know everyone always talks about the dangers of yucca mountain's extremely long necessary life span, and how our containers are only 10,000 year certified, and lucky to reach that even. but why not just spend the money to watch it? i know we cant predict that we can watch it for the next 10,000 years, but face it, any event that is sufficient to dislodge the current government of the US will be either 1) so radically violent that radioactive waste will be low on humankind's priority list, or 2), so intelligently thought out that they will knowingly inherit the problem, rather than blindly. so either its consciously taken care of for all of time, or it becomes a lower threat on the threat list, which is a little hard to imagine, because right now its pretty high.

there is some sort of parallel between "the first day of the rest of your life" and the smallest member of an infinite set.

i hate it when people say, "nothings impossible!", because it is not true. there are plenty of impossible things. the difference is, its we should not state it that 'this here is impossible', instead we must state it, 'this here seems impossible, and barring any new, paradigm shifting evidence, this most likely is impossible.' but this has less to do with what is and is not possible, and more to do with the precise language demanded of reasonable statements concerning all of time.

it is too late to call this off? we could slip away, wouldnt that be better?

recycled bits: i think the central struggle in life is the ability to understand, accept (embrace?), and love change... constant change, in everything. and honestly, this is a philosophy i adhere to, but you can see it reflected in my thoughts about physics, as i often wonder how to abandon the ideas of constant things, such as distance, and replace them with their changing quantities, such as velocity. i figure we need to accept that there is no such thing as distance, there is only velocities, and velocities give rise to the concept distance, that we have invented to understand the world.
and: it is the 'misterium tremendum', in which people feel utterly insignificant, but, not personally alienated. the theologians call it the numinous, and i experience it whenever i feel insignificant. its why i enjoy feeling insignificant. does that make sense?

its not up to me. it never was.

okay, what most baffles me about our military prowess, when does it stop? okay, so these new binoculars, assuming they get made, put as at yet one more huge advantage of the enemy. at what point do you feel bad for your opponent? at what point do you begin to feel like you are taking candy from a baby? i suppose military personal dont think that way, and thats the whole idea, right? if youre going to be doing something like war, which involves things like people dying and things being destroyed, you dont want chaos, right? so to preserve order, you need everyone to follow directions, you dont want people thinking for themselves, thatd be bad. and once they are in that mindset, its not hard to tell them that what they are doing is for bigger reasons, that its not candy and your enemy is not a baby. but doesnt superior intelligence usually recognize when the game is no longer fun? grand chess masters do not view amateurs as much of a threat, why does the US run around screaming its head off, as the boy who cried terrorist or madman or weapons of mass destruction. this rant has devolved into incoherency and so now i will end it. gotta not get so fed up with this bullshit.


dear miss Jessica Moss,
i write this letter to confess my love to you. though i have only known of you for about twenty minutes, i have experienced a deep and profound sense of belonging when i have listened to music for which you have been involved. while i have only seen two small photos of you, your beauty is manifest; both physically and through your expressions as a musician. i have recently stolen your Black Ox Orkestar albums from my roommate, and proceeded to be consumed by them. yeah, okay, so this is over the top; its still fun to write like this to a perfect stranger with hopes that you might read it as fun and silly rather than creepy and bizarre... sorry if you experienced the second response.

yours truly,
cody cameron reisdorf


so i was trying to convince myself that it is possible that i might write something sweet in the letter, and i began to think, wouldnt there be talented people, writers, poets, artists, say, that are not aware of their talent? to whom talent was intrinsic? natural? wouldnt these be the greatest artists, as they would have the least ulterior motives driving them? (whereas a 'professional' artist may be looking to impress or woo). of course, im still convinced that i am no such talent.

why is it so much easier to think when i am in the bathroom doing something that i cannot write? like brushing my teeth, showering, or peeing. why do those ideas flee so quickly from my consciousness?

something i figured out last semester, is that i mostly teach myself, and as a result, i dont notice often when a teacher is not a good teacher; if they arent jerks to me (which is rare, because to begin with i am very quiet, invisible even, and after awhile i am usually seen to be a nice person, and the behavior is reciprocated), that was a long aside. if they arent jerks to me, then i dont have any problem with them. a while back, im not sure if i wrote about this, but sitting in number theory, i began to realize that i 'love' all of my math professors. and then i wondered, why do i feel that way? (it is, after all a feeling, not a logical conclusion that i constructed, it may have been discovered through logical reflection upon my own feelings, but that is different). i wondered, i know next to nothing about these people, other than they understand a lot of math, they have jobs to teach it, and they are willing to help me learn it. i know nothing of their personal interests or lives, why is it that i feel strong affection for them? now i am starting to understand, i am starting to see that my life is so centered around the subjects i take interest in, and so far removed from the social structure of the majority of the world, that i have largely lost the concept of personality, and personal interests.

i wrote not long ago that i believed myself to be exempt from Russell's insight that 'your friends know you better than you know yourself', and i reread what i wrote recently. and i need to add that, because i dont have a lot of human type qualities, and because in some sense, i reveal very little about myself (probably cause there isnt much to reveal?, i dont know, sometimes i reveal a lot too), that with revealing little, its difficult for my friends to know much about me, that i know about myself. in fact, it also relates to how little time i spend with friends, and how little i say and do when i am with them. on the other hand, Russell's statement probably still applies to more subconscious behavior, for which i am by definition less aware of, and my friends can more readily observe. of course, that assumes such behavior exists (although i DO assume i have much of this sort, i can imagine also having figured out how to repress and control such behavior, as that seems to be a pretty large part of my life).

topple the temple.

holy fuck.
so heres a question, if we spend more money on our military than all of our adversaries combined, why dont we buy our adversaries? we could save money, spend the rest to solve world hunger:
While the United States now spends more on defense than the rest of the world combined[citation needed], The U.S. Department of Defense argues that it's necessary to promote democracy around the world. Other groups, such as the Borgen Project have pointed out that much of that spending is wasted by contractors. The organization also points out that the U.S. gives more to its largest military contractor (Lockheed $22 billion a year) than is needed to end world hunger (World Bank estimates $19 billion a year).
also, those groups, like the EU, and NATO, and the SCO... those are groups of countries that have decided to bind together and protect their common interests and goals. now WHEN THE FUCK WILL THE WORLD REALIZE THAT MOST OF THE +6.5 BILLION EARTHLINGS ALL HAVE THE SAME FUCKING COMMON GOALS AND INTERESTS!!! and that they are essentially paying lots of money to themselves to protect themselves from themselves.

MAKE CLEAR WHAT YOU ARE ASSUMING AND HOW YOUR ARGUMENT IS PROCEEDING.

tonight i watched some guy tip over his third and fourth trash can. i thought about asking him what was wrong with him, (why does it feel good to destroy things? im not saying i dont like it, im not sure why i dont do it really, i suppose id feel bad about who had to clean it up). which brings me to my next point, later, i saw a man come along and pick up the trash, tip the trashcans back up, put it back together. restore order. its was somewhat inspiring, as i dont think he was an employee of the city or anything similar. he could have been me i think. he seemed somewhat disgusted with picking up trash in what looked like his normal clothes, and he seemed somewhat exhausted while tipping up what are apparently very heavy trash cans, saddened while looking around and putting the lid and trash back in its place. i considered talking to this man as well, asking him who he was, telling him thanks, expressing regret over not stopping or asking the previous man why. thinking about it, i suppose the second man probably gained some sense of satisfaction over having cleaned up the mess. i dont mean to imply he has any sort of holier-than-thou attitude, i genuinely believe he was a good person. but there is a certain satisfaction that comes with doing something to improve the world, whether it was intentionally done by someone else, inadvertently done by someone else, or just naturally some detrimental way previous. also, i do not wish to justify indulgence in the urge to destroy things simply because it lead to some satisfaction in some other area; although, perhaps these ideas are fermenting in my head, urging me to accept the idea that indulging in the urge to destroy is a more beneficial process to the first man than it is a detrimental process to the second. such things are too difficult to measure really, and i am really only procrastinating from studying for my number theory and intro to abstract exams tomorrow. thus, i am the scientist; a mere observer.






ha ha ha, "you need a garage to park the car."

5/01/2007

brain storm.

today i wrote a poem:

criminals we make.
our glaring contradictions.
dazzle me, dazzle you.
the shadows of clouds roll over my hills, roll over your positional probability distribution, roll through my head; storm through my head.
ive been recording the monumental bridges in every melody, hoarding supplies for a rainy day.
im looking out im looking up im looking over; im over looking.
do you see that your questions make just as much sense when i ask them?

this is definitive proof that i am not a poet.
although, was it Feynman who said, "for the poets do not write to be understood"? either way, someone understands me probably, and so i fail both in beauty and in obscurity. i also clearly dont have any concept of breaks or timing or meaning or whatever else it is that poets know about.

your heart, is not able.

elmer's glue builds character.

the war here, in america, is really about holding traditions sacred, or abandoning them. religion versus science, originalism versus reinterpretation of law, the war on drugs, all of these things are extensions of the idea that the old is important versus the old is not important.

glaring contradictions.

everyone always wants to go home... i dont really relate to that feeling. some people tell me they have no home, that the feel no place is home. i call my parents house home, but i dont think it makes a difference. if my parents ceased to exist, i would simply start calling my apartment home. i think the concept of 'home' eludes me. i guess it might seem that if you were to place me someplace ive never been, say, anchorage alaska, or los alamos new mexico, or oklahoma city oklahoma, that i wouldnt know anyone, and might feel out of place, but i doubt it. i dont know many people here. i dont go out or do much here. if i were suddenly there, i would still communicate with friends over the internet about the same amount, which means things wouldnt be that different. id still spend most of my time reading about math and science topics, philosophizing about life, being entertained by the world around me. the geography itself might become entertaining, seeing as how ive lived my whole life in this forest called new hampshire; other geography would be interesting to see. id probably spend the same amount of time and energy complaining about the weather, and other mundane things, even though such things would most likely occur in different quantities, itd still be easy to complain. its easy to be dissatisfied. im not all that dissatisfied, but when i want to be, its not hard.

if everyone in the whole world constituted a single brain, you and i, we would be the epileptic neurons. religious zealots would be cancer (it is after all). who would be the parts the beat the heart? who would be the pieces that keep us on our balance? who would be the fight or flight deciders? and who would ensure that we ate and drank what we needed? clearly, nobody is yet the concious part of a brain. it is my optimistic belief that someday, we will have such a part.

the computer's oblique strategy to my dilemma was, "what mistakes did you make last time?"
this advice is laughable: ive learned this many times, and continue to make the same mistakes.

clean up, dress up, and inquire about part time job at print shop.
call allison again: -ah ha, i did have another question! very rapidly: half full or half empty? urgently.

-Strangelove. What kind of a name is that? That ain't no kraut name, is it?
-He changed it when he became a citizen. It used to be Merkw├╝rdigliebe.
-Hmm. A kraut, by any other name, huh?

---we must not have a mine shaft gap!
---mein furher! i can walk!
fluoridation jokes.


i want you to know that you dont gotta stay. if we're not gonna make it, its gotta be you that gets out. cause im not capable... ill deal with something being wrong for the rest of my life.

how do wormholes not cause theoretical problems with respect to potential energy?

everyone knows im a really nice person; i tend to meet people and assume they are wonderful, and it takes a lot of work for me to really not think much of them. i must admit, i have a biased towards people i find attractive. this applies both to girls, whom i am very often attracted to quite strongly (initially physically), as well as boys who i guess are just cool. ive never been attracted to any boys the way i am girls, but there are boys who i think are 'cooler' than others. i think most of this relates to people who think too. that ive met girls who i might find initially very physically attractive, but very quickly become not attracted to because of their inability to think, whereas ive also met girls whom i am not initially attracted to, but find to be very attractive as their intellect reveals itself.

why is it---how is it, that i have become so unconcerned with the world? im not worried about finals, im not concerned about getting accepted to grad school. im suddenly even thinking that a reasonably boring part time job will more than meet my financial needs. why is it that i am so confident that i am an intelligent mathematician? or an intelligent physicst? where does this confidence come from? is it deserved? is it adaquate? why do i seem to have more influence over people than i have ever sought? why dont i start abusing it already?