Thursday, May 1, 2008

That's All Folks

To Infinity and Beyond

Okay so THIS is the last blog of the class. I went to Kanye West’s concert last night and I just wanted to say that this class has definitely made me a “harder, better, faster, stronger” writer. Based on the title I bet you thought I was going for something more Buzz Lightyear-ish…No, Kanye whoops Buzz’s plastic butt any day.

Looking back on this class I thought I had started out as a pretty decent writer, but this class has humbled me in a lot of ways. I thought I could just spit out a prize-worthy paper by taking an hour or so to write at the last minute, but now…well I still think I can just spit out a prize-worthy writing at the last minute (i.e. this blog), but I KNOW that the quality would be much greater if I really took the time and effort write a better paper. Just look at the last 3 blogs (all by me) just imagine if I had managed to think them out and write them on time and not just spewed out whatever ideas popped into my head at the moment.

At the end of the day, or in this case, the semester, I really enjoyed the literature, the discussion, pretty much every aspect of this class and I know that it has been a value to my life in academia and in the “real” world. I never really understood that phrase. Aren’t we all living in the “real” world? That’s a topic I guess I’ll never get to cover. Well, that’s it for me. I’m off to my “Spaceship” to find a place to live the “Good Life.” We’re done, so throw ya hands up to the skyyyyy….


Pythagoras was a famous and controversial Greek philosopher who lived from 570 to 490 BC. He is responsible for what’s known as the Pythagorean theorem which relates to the geometry of right triangles. The formula is a2 + b2 = c2. Contrary to modern beliefs Pythagoras was famous during his lifetime for his philosophy on the nature of the natural world as opposed to the science and mathematics for which he is known today.

There are many post-Aristotelian ancient sources that portray Pythagoras as a semi-divine entity, leading to much future controversy. He influenced future Greek philosophers Plato and Aristotle who in turn focused their memoirs of Pythagoras on his way of life and emphasize his philosophy rather than any supernatural abilities that he was claimed to possess.

Pythagoras eventually went on to found his own school based on his teachings. The schools dictum was “All is number.” According to philosopher, mathematician, historian Bertrand Russell believed that Pythagoras works in mathematics and philosophy became the model for works of future scholars such as Plato, Descartes, and Kant. He believes that Pythagoras brought together the idea of mathematics and theology to explain the nature of the universe where thought and reason was placed over the senses and intuition as superior to observation. The concept of the explaining the world through intellect rather than through the senses is accredited to Pythagoras. The teachings of Pythagoras’s school were as religious as they were intellectual. Many students of the school went on to found as society known as the Pythagoreans.

Themes of the Class

What have we talked about in class? Well, for starters we talked about math, or better yet mathematicians. We’ve learned that many of them tend to be loony but geniuses at the same time. It seems like every mathematician and some in real life suffer from schizophrenia or they’re reclusive or orphans or just associated with something negative. I think that’s a bit unfair. Why not create a story about a rich playboy mathematician? Hmmm, maybe I’ll write it and it’ll show up in a future Lit & Math class. That brings me to my next point. We’ve definitely talked about literature. We have literary analyzed and blogged about work after work after work. It’s safe to say that if you can’t write a paper based on the characters and themes and plot and etc etc, and if you can’t back up your claims with evidence, then I don’t know what you’ve been doing for the past few months. That was a bit harsh. I apologize.

We’ve talked about patterns. I’m starting to see the most ridiculous patterns all the time now and I curse this class for it. I can walk from the tower to the classroom in about 216 seconds…think about it. We’ve talked about dystopian societies where everyone is the same. We’ve talked about eugenics where everyone is trying to build the genetically perfect man or woman (which I think will end up killing us all if that happens). We’ve researched math related themes. What else can we do? What else can I say?

The Passion of The Mathematician

I’ve noticed something about the mathematicians we’ve studied in class - D-503, John Nash, Max Cohen and others. They are just like us. They have all have the same hope to make their existence on this earth matter. D-503 writes in his journal for future generations. John Nash attended and taught at some of the most prestigious universities in the world, all while coming up with some of the world’s greatest economic theory and battling schizophrenia. Max discovered the secret number of God (at least in his own mind). There are also others such as Einstein and Pythagoras that we didn’t extensively cover in class but they too are credited with some of the most influential works created thus far. Yes, some of these characters are fictional and yes, many of them were absolutely crazy, but the difference between them and us is that they were fortunate enough to find something in life they were passionate about and dive into it with reckless abandon. I find that to be admirable.

It’s easy to distinguish ourselves from them and say “well, they were all crazy,” but I bet if were to try hard enough we could all find something that we felt so drawn to that it might drive us a little nuts too. Just think about all the crazy things people do for love. This sounds obvious but I believe that mathematicians truly LOVE math and will do almost anything to discover its secrets. What do you love? What are you so passionate enough about that it could drive you crazy? If you don’t know, that’s fine. Neither do I, but summer is coming quickly and it’d be a great time to find out.

Final Blog

It looks like, by nature of my procrastination, that I might have the final word on this course blog. We'll pretend that that's why I waited until 6:30am on the last day of class to post this.

When I signed up for this course, I didn't really know what to expect. I thought we would be reading a lot of books featuring mathematicians, and discussing both the literary and mathematical merits of the novels.

I think the course was interesting overall. We discussed a lot of interesting topics, but I can't help but feel that we didn't talk much at all about math. We spoke in depth about rationality versus emotion, and about whether a logical choice equates to a "right" choice. But I think that with a room full of math, engineering, and computer science majors, we could have covered more technical material.

In the end, I think we all found this class a lot more rewarding than your standard writing component course, and so I hope that interdisciplinary writing classes like this one continue to be offered in the future.

Universe in a Neuron

On the top is a picture cosmologists developed which shows what the universe probably looks like if you could zoom all they way out.

On the bottom is a picture of a human neuron.

I think it is pondering this kind of thing that drives mathematicians nuts and makes them want to drill their brains out.

Georg Cantor, for example, spent most of his life contemplating infinity. He developed the Continuum Hypothesis which classifies the different "levels" of infinitude. He also happened to spend the last 20 years of his life in an insane asylum.

I think that to focus one's thoughts so intently and for such a long time on a subject which is essentially completely removed from reality is to risk becoming detached from reality in general, and appearing insane to the "normal" world.


Staring at the pages of Pi posted earlier in the blog reminded me of this drawing. It is so interesting to consider where these seemingly mystical constants like pi and e derive their values from...

Last Blog..for real this time.

Wow, I'd never thought I'd get to say this but I really do think this is my last blog. Well, first I'd like to thank God and my family. And of course my classmates, because I could not have done this without you all. Thank you so much. *Cue the music.

Nah...but I would like to talk about how I've learned some interesting things on the way, such as eugenics, Einstein's lovers, Miss America, and mathematicians' psychological disorders. This class does provide for a good conversation starter with friends. And also, there are some things here and there that remind me of this class and make me laugh a little bit. For example, my last roommate was an Aerospace Engineering major and wow, that guy was weird. I think he's pretty much the weirdest guy I have ever met in my entire life. Seriously. Anyways, I thought about him when we were watching Pi and A Beautiful Mind because that's what he's like.

So in conclusion, there's a couple of things I feel I've grasped from this class, along with maintaining and hopefully improving my writing skills (at least I think so). From writing 1.1 to 3.2, Gardner to research, the semester in this class has been pretty helpful and interesting for the most part.

On a more serious note...

Isn't it ironic how geniuses are the target of both honor and ridicule?
Think about it. Geniuses get praised for their work right? Whether it be music composition, an art masterpiece, or hypothesis/theory, geniuses have their own concentration in which they are honored.
However...what they excel in one category, they often lack in another. For instance, aren't most "geniuses" socially inactive? Minus the few exceptions, ala Einstein, Warhol, Dali, etc., most geniuses live in a dark attic or cellar in which they conduct their works of art. (Just kidding about that last remark by the way. )
Point being, while they are hailed for their accomplishments, I'm sure people make fun of them behind their backs, and not because they're jealous, but because the honoree is probably a major weirdo.

Humans Are Pattern Recognition Machines

So my girlfriend is writing a thesis paper, and her research style involves writing discrete facts on post-it notes, sticking them to her desk, and referring to them as she writes. But for this paper, she has ~260 post-it notes, and so she had to plaster them all over the walls of her living room, with research papers spread across the floor, and traipse about through the room from fact to fact looking for connections. It reminded me so much of John Nash in his schizophrenic "code breaking" episodes that I had to laugh, but worry a little on the inside at the same time...

The point is, our minds are designed to recognize patterns, so you don't have to be crazy to spread all your work out and analyze it from a high level.

Pirsig, Poincare, Pi

Since we have at least 3 motorcyclists in the class, I think it's appropriate to look at a passage from the venerable Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, in which Robert Pirsig explores Henri Poincare's views on axiomatic systems:

To solve the problem of what is mathematical truth, Poincare said, we should first ask ourselves what is the nature of geometric axioms. Are they synthetic a priori judgements, as Kant said? That is, do they exist as a fixed part of man's consciousness, independently of experience and uncreated by experience? Poincare thought not. They would then impose themselves upon us with such force that we couldn't conceive the contrary proposition, or build upon it a theoretic edifice. There would be no non-Euclidian geometry.

Poincare concluded that the axioms of geometry are conventions, our choice among all possible conventions is guided by experimental facts, but it remains free and is limited only by the necessity of avoiding all contradiction.

Max from Pi seemed to take a similar view. He regularly discarded or changed his accepted axioms according to his situation. But at the same time, he made sure to remain consistent with his axioms, and the result was huge leaps in his understanding.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Literature and Mathematics

I was thinking more about the portrayal of mathematicians in literature as we have discussed it this semester. I was thinking back to our original attempts to define what constituted literature. At first, we tended to include almost anything, like text books or magazines. But if I recall correctly, we finally decided that literature generally had topics of "substance" and had a lot of "depth" to it, and was perhaps concerned with "asking thoughtful questions". So Dostoevsky writes literature but J.K. Rowling does not (I know, harsh). Given this context, it might not be surprising that the mathematicians in literature would tend to be the crazy ones. For instance, We is certainly a book of substance seeking to discuss some deep questions, and is thus literature. D-503 is basically a tool for discussing these questions. But the questions being asked require D-503 to behave in these extreme ways so that the novel can illustrate its points about happiness etc. In other words, it is not just a book about mathematicians, and thus is not very focused on portraying them in a realistic manner, since that would not serve to address the questions the novel is trying to ask. Since most literature has this type of depth it wants to cover, it's not surprising that if the protagonist is a mathematician, he would not be a typical one but rather a very "deep" and extreme example of one.

Pi and Lost

Hey guys I'm back.

I had another random set of thoughts about Pi. I don't know how many people watch Lost, but there's some parallel ideas to some of the stuff in Pi. In Lost, there are these numbers that are kind of around throughout the show and no one knows what they mean. The numbers pop up in basically all aspects of the show and in really random places. It kind of touches on the same idea as max looking for the number 216, and finding it because he expects to find it. In the show, the numbers show up in so many places it would be impossible to really analyze every occurrence of them. In addition, since numbers can just show up at random, like as a character's jersey number or something, you can never really know if it's a legitimate connection to the meaning of the numbers. I thought this was similar to Max's teacher joking that it could take him 216 steps to get to his apartment. You can't tell which instances of the pattern are meaningful.

Ants in my pants!

Ants. Pants. Dance. Trance. France. Lance. Chance.
in my...make me..... to....... in............with.... if i get the.

Moving on.
So turns out Family Guy took off all of it's videos from YouTube. Damn. I think most of you know which clip I would've used for my last post regarding wheelchair sex. "Oh, oh, oh. Yes, right there. Oh. Stop, you're hurting me. Oh." Point being, I hope yall enjoyed the video I posted up instead, I thought it was hilarious.
My regards.

So what am I going to talk about in this blog? Hmmm, how paper!?

Ok. So it had it's ups and downs, pros and cons, goods and bads, kicks and rips (I don't know, I made this one up).
For starters, a 6-8 page paper is a hell of a lot easier to write when you have 3-4 people writing it. I had an 8-10 pager due last semester and just let me say it took a loooong time. Having 3-4 people collaborating on a paper cuts that time in half.
However collaboration is not always a good thing, especially if you're used to working by yourself, like I'm sure most of us are. (Is "are" a preposition? Can I end the sentence in it?)
Anyways, collaboration is weird. Sometimes there's just too many ideas out there and funneling them into a single paper can be hectic. Either everyone wants the paper to be done their way or no one wants the paper a certain way, either way nothing gets done. Despite this, when it comes to crunch time any group will do pretty much whatever it takes just to finish the project and turn in something that resembles a complete paper.

Til next time...(which is in about 5 minutes( I still need like 1-3 more blogs))

Einstein is my homeboy

So while working on our group paper, I was assigned to do some research on the Stein man. It turns out this guy was a player! No joke. He had a bunch of girlfriends and eventually he got married, but that didn't stop him from having sanchas. I'm shocked. Really. Last time I checked, the connotation of Einstein was nerd, geek, etc., not gangsta, playa. I think the word "Einstein" needs a realty check. It should be associated with "Ballin'" and "Krunk". Some good examples could be "Damn, that is Einstein!" or "Yeah, I'm pimpin' it like Einstein." Anyways, back to Einstein himself. Did you know he even got it on with movie stars? Shyeah, true story. ALL the ladies were all over him, and their boyfriends were all player haters. Moral of the story: brains can equal brawn, you just gotta have more than everyone else.

Except Stephen Hawking! That guy is in a wheelchair and uses a computer to talk. I don't think many women find that attractive. Unless they're in a wheelchair using computers to talk as well. Hmmm.

Monday, April 28, 2008


Does anyone watch Numb3rs? I really enjoy it, and yes, I am so cool that I watch it on Friday nights when it originally airs. I think my favorite part of the show, aside from guest appearances from Bill Nye the Science Guy, is the fact that the mathematicians and scientists in the show are mentally stable! They are slightly nerdy and a little socially awkward, but definitely not crazy. As we have seen in class, this is a rarity, and it’s a nice change to see relatively normal mathematicians in pop culture. The characters also solve crimes and do neat experiments which add to their “cool” factor. Not all of the math done on the show is entirely accurate, but I appreciate the effort and am willing to overlook the flaws. I hope everyone has a great summer, and maybe you will watch Numb3rs because it’s awesome!

Pi and A Beautiful Mind

I had never seen either Pi or A Beautiful Mind before this class, and I thought they were very appropriately paired together. There are many similarities in the lives and work of Max and the fictionalized John Nash. Most obviously, they were both crazy mathematicians. There have been many blog posts, and collaborative papers about crazy mathematicians in literature and pop culture, but personally, I don’t believe it was the math that drove either one of these men crazy. My mom always told me (and my mom is always right) that all things are okay in moderation, and that an excess of any given thing will often cause problems. Both John and Max were obsessed with their mathematical work and neglected other aspects of their lives. I believe that this sort of obsessive behavior in any field is sure to cause mental sickness. I also found it interesting that both John Nash and Max were working on mathematical problems concerning the economy. Math is relevant everywhere, but it is interesting that these two men chose to use their knowledge of math in the economy. Lastly, both men were perceived by society as geniuses for their work. Max was approached by Wall Street executives to help decipher a pattern in the stock market while John Nash received the Nobel Prize. I enjoyed watching both movies (minus the part where Max drilled a hole in his brain) and it’s always fun to see movies about a subject that you are personally interested in.

A brilliant madness

Mathematicians, across all types of fiction and non-fiction literature, tend to posses this elitist quality, which causes them to have trouble conforming in society. This quality may not actually be common to all mathematicians, but it is a popularly recurring trait among mathematical characters throughout literature. John Nash, in the documentary A Brilliant Madness, is no exception to this. "[John Nash] thought of himself as superior, intellectually, [and] mathematically superior" to his colleagues, and other mathematicians (Mel Hausner, A Brilliant Madness). He thought of himself as the best and "was only interested in people who could operate more or less on the same mental level that he was at" (Felix Browder, A Brilliant Madness). He definitely thought of himself as at the top, but he was not getting the recognition for it. Nash's elitist quality is really exaggerated when he becomes mentally ill with paranoid schizophrenia, "a severe mental illness, characterized by hallucinations, delusions or peculiar forms of thinking" (Louis Sass, A Brilliant Madness). Based on his delusions, it is clear how important he thought he was to the world. "John talked about the people from outer space who were destroying his career, [...] the international organizations that were attacking him," and he thought he was "the messenger of Allah" (Harold Kuhn, John Nash, A Brilliant Madness). In his delusion he is put in a situation where his work is very important to the world. Even in his delusions he was an elitist.

21, Counting Cards

I just recently saw the movie 21, and noticed some of the same themes we have been talking about throughout the semester. If you don't know what 21 is, it is based on a true story about M.I.T. students who counted cards as a team and took weekly trips to Las Vegas to take advantage of blackjack. In the movie, they proceed to make simpler mathematical theories appear much harder than they really are. There were many references to mathematical terms throughout, but what I thought was most interesting was how much harder the movie showed counting cards to be. The idea behind counting cards is to keep track of what cards are left in the deck and make larger bets based on the "count." There are many different strategies to use to count cards, and the one used in the movie is the simplest. You assign either a +1, -1 or a 0 to each card that is delt, with +1's given to 2, 3, 4, 5 and -1's given to 10, J, Q, K, A and 0's given to all other cards. Counting cards is as simple as adding and subtracting one based on the cards delt and keeping a running total. When the "count" gets high enough, above +12 or so, the odds in the game which are normally in favor of the house by half a percent or so is now in favor of the gambler. It is at this point that you should make bigger bets to take advantage of a hot table. The movie shows this simple adding and subtracting one from a running total to be something only the smartest mathematical students from M.I.T. can pull off. I just found this to be interesting.

Sunday, April 27, 2008


As I've been thinking of the stereotype that we have been talking about in class -- that mathematicians are kind of crazy -- i have developed a few insights that i think might be interesting to contemplate. It is not just mathematicians seen as crazy, it is geniuses in general. Though I'm sure not all geniuses have been seen as crazy, a good portion of them are. Geniuses are almost always paired w/ eccentricities or mental defects of some sort that accompany their extremely high level thinking.
Mathematics is seen as a complicated subject of study, especially the higher levels, and so for this reason many mathematicians are seen as geniuses and thus the stereotype of eccentric and abnormal mental behavior is associated with them.
And it is strange how many geniuses of all kinds live up to this stereotype. Music geniuses, art geniuses, math geniuses, science geniuses -- all of these different groups of geniuses have their share of "crazies". Sure, their are many geniuses that do not live up to the stereotype, and there are many crazy people that do not live up to the genius status so it is strange that all geniuses are seen as crazy but not all crazy people are seen as geniuses. And it is almost as if the great contributions that come from the crazy geniuses almost come from their craziness. I wonder why"?

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Research and A Beautiful Mind

Hey again...

On another note about A Beautiful Mind, we did some research about the actual Nash for our paper as I suspect a lot of people did, and it is indeed interesting how they took his story and fit it into the narrative arcs that we discussed in class. In our paper we wrote some about the idea of the 'tragic hero' as part of the reason literature tends to portray mathematicians the way it does, perhaps to make them more accessible. That way everyone can identify with the character when they wouldn't otherwise probably be able to.

I thought the whole group research project was an interesting idea. I think how one divides up the work is an important part of it. I think we divided ours up along the lines of topics in our argument, and perhaps we should have done so along the lines of tasks, like research and writing or something. The problem with dividing up sections is that it's so easy to lose track of what you're trying to say. On the other hand since you have so many people writing you get a lot of material to work with and edit down, so you're left with a lot of good stuff hopefully.

Anyway I believe this is my last post. Bye everyone. Yay writing component! No but seriously it was a good class.

The ending of Pi

Yeah I know, rapid fire...

I do have another thing to talk about though. I was talking to my roommate about Pi and he had some interesting thoughts about the ending. At the end when Max is on the bench, he's looking up at the sun again. It's like he wants to get his insights back and he's still thinking about his quest for understanding. That might suggest that it wasn't just the math that was leading him to his insanity, but something more 'fundamental' inside him. I'm not exactly sure what else to say about this. Perhaps it kind of illustrates the fact that this quest for understanding is fundamental to people and independent of whatever form it takes, be it mathematical or religious in the case of the Jews in the film.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Math and Music

When we were watching A Beautiful Mind I was thinking some about the connection between music and mathematics. I've heard a bunch of times that people who are good at one are often good at the other, or at least more disposed to it. I'm definitely a math person and I've also played piano since I was seven, and I definitely can understand the connection. Music is in many ways very mathematical, as far as rhythms and pitches are concerned and what not (especially classical). I can see the similarity between the creativity in a lot of high level math as far as proofs and general problem solving and the creativity of coming up with a musical composition which is also very structured according to certain rules. I think a lot of times if people aren't familiar with this side of mathematics, they consider this connection hard to understand. At least that's how all my relatives were when I was younger and they'd tell me about this (because they knew I was somewhat mathematical).

I thought of this at the point when Nash has started taking his medication and his friend comes to visit him on his porch. He's listening to Mozart, and you can tell it's supposed to kind of suggest his state of mind as a little insane.

groups writing papers

Before starting assignment 3, i thought writing a group paper -- in which 4 people write one paper -- would be extremely difficult and would end up horrible. And though I am not particularly pleased with our final product, i was surprised to find that writing a group paper was in some aspects easier than writing a paper by yourself. I knew that some aspects of writing a group paper would be easier and better in some ways (research, amount of ideas, etc), but I thought that the actual writing of the paper would end up a mess, mainly because everyone has different writing styles. However, what I found was that once one person begins a part of the paper and the other group members have had the chance to read it, the tone becomes apparent to all and the members can pretty accurately achieve relatively the same tone and style. Still, it is sometimes hard to communicate ideas to the other group members . You know sometimes where you have an idea in the back of your mind but you don't know how to put it into words.. but then as you continue to write your paper you suddenly find a way to fit it in? When writing as a group, it is hard to develop your thoughts enough about the paper as a whole since you are so focused on the one section that you are supposed to write. Writing as a group is good in that you can see other people's ideas on paper, which is a much clearer way to communicate ideas than through verbal speaking, but the paper as a whole suffers because everyone is too intently focused on their own part. I think the ideal method would be for everyone to write the same paper with the same thesis and then one person rewrites the entire thing. This way, the writer has a chance to develop all of his thoughts and no "great" ideas are lost.

what makes mathematicians crazy

Though fiction works do exaggerate the eccentricities and overall craziness of mathematicians in order to add to the drama of their works, i do think that mathematicians do have the tendency to be somewhat off the wall --whether it's that math contributes to their eccentricities or that eccentric people are attracted to math is the question. I think it's a little of both. The ways that people's minds work make people better at certain things. Certain people have more mathematical views of the world than more and perhaps eccentricity is simply a by product of that view.
I do see how constantly performing high level mathematics all of the time could
cause abnormalities in behavior as well, though. Mathematicians are constantly looking for patterns. Perhaps after so much time spent looking for patterns cause
some mathematicians to start seeing patterns that aren't really there which could lead to forms of schizophrenia and obsessive compulsive behaviors. Also, mathematicians are required to hold a substantial amount of information in their head at one time. This, I'm sure puts a ton of stress on the mathematician which could cause mental deterioration.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

cuckoo for blogs..

Because I have nothing to say and need 123904235 more blog posts, I will free write until I have something to say...
say pay pay day day day may may ray ray hay hay or is it hey?
lay lay lay way way kay kay kay ky ky ky ky lye lye lye lie lie lie eye eye eye cry cry
die die die fry fry fry burger? or chicken? salad?
math math bath bath wrath wrath path path path
fath..lisp lisp
would this get published in The Return of the Vas?
vas vas..nas!

einstein. copernicus. bacon
godel. newton. blaire
descartes. nash. doppler
pascal. darwin. dougall
arichmedes. da vinci. ezra
euclid. watson. ferguson
aristotle. schmidt. fibonacci
pythagoras. pell. galton
bernoulli. franklin. hubble
burgess. watt. gauss

...and my sincerest regards for those of you I forgot.
by the way which of these men were eugenicists?
All of them!

Just kidding, I have no idea, google it.
chicka chicka yeah, google.

Ok well I hope you learned a little something about freelance writing when you're stuck between a rock and a hard place. Please, if ANYONE needs another example, feel free to leave me a comment.

Kurt Godel

Since we have been talking a lot about the mental instability of mathematicians, I thought it would be interesting and rather relevant to blog about a particularly unstable mathematician that I have come across while researching for assignment 3. Kurt Godel is most famous for his two incompleteness theories, which had a profound impact on 20th century mathematics and philosophy. "The more famous incompleteness theorem states that for any self-consistent recursive axiomatic system powerful enough to describe the arithmetic of the natural numbers (Peano arithmetic), there are true propositions about the naturals that cannot be proved from the axioms. To prove this theorem, Gödel developed a technique now known as Gödel numbering, which codes formal expressions as natural numbers.He also showed that the continuum hypothesis cannot be disproved from the accepted axioms of set theory, if those axioms are consistent. He made important contributions to proof theory by clarifying the connections between classical logic, intuitionistic logic, and modal logic." (wikipedia)...... But enough with the boring stuff... as Godel got older, he became obsessed with the spread of germs and became notorious for wearing ski masks with eye holes everywhere he went in order to protect him from them. Also, he developed an obsessive fear of being poisoned. He would not eat anything without his wife eating it first (to make sure it wasn't poisoned).. what a gentleman! He died because his wife was hospitalized and could not test his food for him and so he refused to eat. His death certificate says he died due to "malnutrition and inanition caused by personality disturbance". Seriously, what's the deal with brilliant people and mental disorders.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

flashing lights

so next week, Kanye West is bringing his 'Glow in the Dark' tour to Austin and since I am his number one fan and his future wife, I am incredibly excited about this. I was telling crista yesterday and she had no idea who I was talking about, so, if anyone else out there hasn't had the pleasure of discovering the amazingness of Mr. West, this is for you:

Kanye West is an American rap artist and hip hop producer. He released his debut album The College Dropout in 2004, his second album Late Registration in 2005, and his third album Graduation in 2007. His first three albums have received numerous awards (including nine Grammys), critical acclaim, and commercial success. West also runs his own record label GOOD Music. West's mascot and trademark is "Dropout Bear", a teddy bear, which has appeared on the covers of his three albums as well as the singles cover for his songs Stronger and Homecoming.

I got that info off wikipedia, and you can find out all about KanYe on there, just type in his name and his whole life story comes up. It even talks about the recent passing of his mother, who was a HUGE inspiration to him, especially in his music. He also has a website KanyeUniverseCity(dot)com where he posts blogs daily and fans get to comment back and forth with him and each other. Unfortunately, there is a $25 yearly charge to be in his fan club, and I am not about to pay $25 to post a comment on his blog.
He says he lives for fashion and loves going to all the fashion shows in Europe as well as here in the states. He loves furniture, he's always posting blogs with pictures of some random expensive architecturally innovative pieces of furniture.

anyway, here's one of his latest music videos for Flashing Lights, enjoy!

Probably the last post to go on this one

Once again i forgot to do a post, in fact this is number two that slipped my mind. so i better make this one good and very informative because i know that every person in the entire class is just itching to see what i have to say ;-). Man, i do sound arrogant sometimes.

Now, what to talk about to entertain all of John, being that you will probably be the only person to read this. Ah... i've got it. This post will be all about lions and tigers and bears... NAH.

How 'bout i just talk about something more relavant like how my group worked on our paper. Well i must say that is a fantastic idea and i thank you for suggesting it John.

My group, being Cheney, Haseeb, and I, worked together quite well if i can say so myself. There was no exact leader, although Cheney did lead the conversations. The work was split up evenly and finished to the same caliber, or i would think that it is. Our paper is basically a close reading on A Beautiful Mind and compares it to what we found about John Nash's real life. it basically goes a bit like this, there are three parts we are focusing on Nash's: student and work life, his relationships with family and friends, and his hallucinations. We then took each one of these and split it up to something like this: what actually happened, what the movie portrays, why they are different, and analysis. although looking at our work the why and analysis are pretty much squished together because we have so much info to work with. Now that you know what our basic paper will look like i hope you enjoy it on Thursday, because reading stuff that you don't enjoy just isn't fun

how did i do this???

How indeed? Somehow through all the stuff that has been going on i seem to have forgotten to do two of the blog posts, and that should just not happen. first of all i would like to apoligize for being so tardy with the work. it never should have been done this late, and i was so on top of it all earlier in the semester.

Now that is all done, what to talk about??? I know John Nash... screw that how about Ron Howard and the A Beautiful Mind movie. Since that is the basic topic of my groups paper, we are the sine waves if you didn't know. For the first time ever, for me at least, i watched the director commentary on a movie. And you know it wasn't all that bad. Ron Howards voice is definitely funny to listen to as you watch the character's mouths move. i kept trying to match up what he was saying to what they were mouthing, but it never worked. I did learn a lot of stuff though, even while being amused and distracted. For example, Ron Howard pointed out that all of the imaginary characters show up in the same way, a very formulaic way in fact, that i never noticed. It goes a bit like this: a sound is heard of screen, then the character is introduced from John's POV, then the movie can do normal movie stuff. I have seen this movie multiple times and never noticed that pattern, although it was a bit hidden behing Ron's other uses of POV which come in handy for his other situations. He also pointed out something of a dead give away that had also never occured to me, that being the seen where Marcey runs through a flock of pigeons and not one of them moves or flies away.

I think that i am going to start watching more commentaries to see why directors do certain things. i found it informative and interesting, plus it is just a way to watch the same movie over again and not be as board, because new stuff is actually happening.