Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Study Suggests Math Teachers Scrap Balls and Slices

One train leaves Station A at 6 p.m. traveling at 40 miles per hour toward Station B. A second train leaves Station B at 7 p.m. traveling on parallel tracks at 50 m.p.h. toward Station A. The stations are 400 miles apart. When do the trains pass each other?

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Teach/Learn Mathematics

First off: What is Mathematics?
Is it discovered or created?
I believe that what we do and teach is created. What we express, usually incompletely, is discovered.
There seems to be parts in Nature. Some kind of fundamental discrete processes with parts. Objects and actions, we as humans have no part in. A wave comes to shore and brakes rocks and transforms them to sand. This process started before there were humans, and will likely continue once we are gone. On the other hand we can invent a discrete recurrent model to guide us in the many possibilities this process can take. We can produce in a computer soft sand and coarse sand.
Therefore we partly create mathematics and partly discover them.
When talking with young people about these mathematics, very likely they perceive it as something we discovered and godlike delivered it to them as revealed truth. This is wrong, the teacher should tell the students that they have to create mathematics in their head to know what are we talking about.
I do not know what fraction is discovery and what fraction is creation, what I know is that the student must create something in their heads, otherwise mathematics will not get socialized.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Pariah Diplomacy By JIMMY CARTER

AtlantaA COUNTERPRODUCTIVE Washington policy in recent years has been to boycott and punish political factions or governments that refuse to accept United States mandates. This policy makes difficult the possibility that such leaders might moderate their policies.

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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

New Stage

A few moments ago I learned the good news: I have a Research Position in the Universidad Autónoma de Guerrero in Mexico.
I am getting ready to go the the land where my mother grew up. I will be teaching Mathematics to students there. Also I will look into ways to use new tools to teach and learn Mathematics.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Roberto Bolaño and Barcelona

This great Chilean writer died in Barcelona, now Barcelona is dying (read note below).

Murcia and Valencia threaten to challenge the Ebro-Barce..

Valencia and Murcia are demanding that their regions also be fed with water from the Ebro river in CataluñaMurcia and Valencia have threatened to place an appeal before the Constitutional Court against the Government’s plans to run a new 60km long pipeline from Tarragona to Barcelona to supply the city of Barcelona with drinking water.

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Thursday, April 17, 2008

The Savage Detectives and Easy Rider

I just finished reading The Savage Detectives, by Roberto Bolaño. I see similarities with the cult movie Easy Rider by Dennis Hopper.
As a matter of fact there is a reference in the Detectives on Easy Rider.
The crucial line, for me, is when the poet Juan Garcia Madero tells his lover Lupe, that Arturo Belano said that they got Cesarea Tinajero killed, we messed up (la cagamos) said Belano. She represents Poetry. The equivalent scene in Easy Rider is when Wyatt (Fonda) tells Billy (Hopper) that they messed up.
I think Roberto Bolaño was in love with Poetry and died for it at the tender age of fifty (1953-2003).
He was a great man.

Back in Mexico

Back home I already have three invitations to teach and do research in mathematics, physics, and electronics. It feels like it is going to work.
I cannot stop my links to the US, I guess I will be a citizen of two countries.

Race and American Memory

By ROGER COHENPublished: April 17, 2008ATLANTA I was wandering through the King Center here when I stumbled on a movie clip of an indignant African-American woman saying: “If we can’t live in our country and be accepted as free citizens and human beings, then something’s the matter with something — and it isn’t me.”

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Wednesday, April 09, 2008

AMLO

Today in Mexico I was 39 years late for a date but on time for another. Only one person will understand why I was late, if that person happens to read this.
Today I went to Chapultepec Park and nobody was waiting for me there. Thirty nine years ago we met for our first date. It was sad to be there alone this time.
Later in the day I went to the "Monumento de la Revolucion", Revolution Monument, where I pledged allegiance to the struggle to get the oil resources for the people of Mexico, and not for wealthy investors abroad.
A day in my life in Mexico.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Change

"Heraclitus is known for his doctrine of change being central to the universe, and that the Logos is the fundamental order of all."

I have lived 58 years, I remember a few big changes in my life. Six long years to finish grammar school. Students killed forty years ago in Mexico. Six years in California working towards a Ph.D. in Physics. Eighteen years as a Professor in Mexico. Fourteen years as an immigrant to the US, with some interruptions. Now I start a new stage.

The experience from all those years, is all I have to face an ever different world. I feel confident that with the communities around me, we can face the hard times I see coming.

Friday, April 04, 2008

40 years later questions about James Earl Ray linger

By JIM AUCHMUTEYThe Atlanta Journal-ConstitutionPublished on: 04/04/08He called himself Galt — Eric Starvo Galt.

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I Am a Man

Forty years ago today Martin Luther King Jr., was assassinated. I believe that James Earl Ray, was not alone, he was helped to commit this crime.
Today I stand together with all African Americans to declare, I Am a Man.

Jobs Slashed, Pointing to Recession

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Employers buffeted by talk of recession slashed 80,000 jobs in March, the most in five years and the third straight month of losses.

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Thursday, April 03, 2008

Voodoo Health Economics By PAUL KRUGMAN

Elizabeth Edwards has cancer. John McCain has had cancer in the past. Last weekend, Mrs. Edwards bluntly pointed out that neither of them would be able to get insurance under Mr. McCain’s health care plan.

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81% in Poll Say Nation Is Headed on the Wrong Track

Americans are more dissatisfied with the country’s direction than at any time since the New York Times/CBS News poll began asking about the subject in the early 1990s, according to the latest poll.

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Proof: Bush, Rumsfeld violated international laws on torture

A new Vanity Fair article says that the origins of the torture at Guantánamo and Abu Ghraib came from the very highest levels of the Bush administration.

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Mexico

I am leaving on Sunday to Mexico City. A new stage of my life is going to start.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Bernanke Offers Bleaker View on U.S. Economy

It is official today. What we suspected all along is recognized today by the chairman of the Federal Reserve.
People like me find out about these terrible developments when it is too late. This time I was more fortunate. The high school I was working for, decided more than half a year ago not to hire me last September. First I was disconcerted and did not do much to get a new job in the US. Finally some fortunate events allowed me to consider work in Mexico again. I asked some scientists there and was surprised to find out that there were jobs there. If I can navigate some bureaucratic obstacles I should be landing in Mexico City on Sunday.
The sad news Dr. Bernake had to deliver today are not going to affect me as much as they would have done if I stayed in the US.
Yesterday I found out that Brazilians in Boston, and Irish in this country are again looking to go back to their homelands, where things seem to be improving.
There seems to be light at the end of the tunnel for me. I hope it stays that way.

nytimes.com: Bernanke Offers Bleaker View on U.S. Economy

Ben S. Bernanke, the chairman of the Federal Reserve, presented his bleakest assessment yet of the economy on Wednesday morning, warning a Congressional committee that economic growth was likely to stagnate — and perhaps even contract — over the first half of the year.

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