Monday, June 29, 2009

Acer and Netbooks

"UNLIKE its more diverse rivals, Acer directs all its attention toward one goal: selling computers. Such focus has helped Acer establish what analysts regard as the lowest cost structure in the industry."

The quote is from the NYT.

Selling computers. That sounds like a focused approach. I expect Taiwan to do well. There is a new important technological country.

Wikipedia Current Events

Michael Joseph Jackson (August 29, 1958 – June 25, 2009) was an American recording artist, entertainer and businessman. The seventh child of the Jackson family, he made his debut on the professional music scene in 1968 as a member of The Jackson 5. He then began a solo career in 1971 while still a member of the group and was referred to as the "King of Pop"[2] in subsequent years. Jackson's 1982 album Thriller remains the world's best-selling album of all time,[3] and four of his other solo studio albums are among the world's best-selling records: Off the Wall (1979), Bad (1987), Dangerous (1991) and HIStory (1995).

Above you can read what I got at 3:46 pm June 29, 2009.

Of course you can go there yourself. My point is that this information will change as days go by and more things are known; nevertheless Wikipedia can be a good reliable source if one knows how to use it. This may be a good example of the famous site.

Emergent Information

When thinking about Information, the issue of human intelligence seems to get in the way. If all intelligent life disappeared from Earth, will there be Information?

Our gut instinct is to say no, if Information exists objectively, and yes, if it depends on being understood.

If temperature is emergnet, I don't see a problem in having Information also emergent.

The importance of Information in the evolution of our Universe is increasing; as we see the dangers caused by human activity in warming the Earth.

It is possible that all arrays have Information, whether or not intelligent beings understand them, but it is a fact that patterns are understood by all sorts of animals, plants, and chemical reactions among comnplex molecules. That information that is not understood, may not be so ,in a deeper sense.

Some Yale scientists put quantum mechancis to work for them in an electronic chip. Cool.

Methane out from Siberia

Scientific American has an article on this imminent danger (see my Twitter links).


The Arctic Thaw Could Make Global Warming Worse

There is a heroine there: Katey Walter; she is a Professor at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks. There are villains also. Businesmen and politicians trying to profit out of the thawning of the North Pole.

The situation is dead serious. Keep on eye on these developments.

The plot thickens. I remember some months ago that the Bush administration had cancelled a satellite project to better monitor the Earth. Now I read in Scientific American that Prof. Walter uses a GERMAN stellite, TerraSAR-X, why does she need help from a foreign country? I'm all for international cooperation, but to me this smells funny, a rat, or methane.

Could it be that American moneyed interests were trying to stop the work, of this courageous woman?

In any case: Keep an eye open on this woman's scentific work.


Class Struggle

Rich people and the leadership of the Army are behind the breakdown of the rule of law in Honduras.

Is this a law of Social Sciences?

Poor people against rich people?

I know people in both camps, I am not very close to the rich ones, otherwise I'll be richer, I guess. What I can tell you is that loyalty is important in both sets of classes. Some times people from the rich classes, like Mao Tze Tung, Fidel Castro, and others, "betray" their class and join the poor people, but these are the exceptions that prove the rule.

What side are you in, Barack Obama?

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Coup In Honduras

Forces of the status quo are doing in Honduras what they cannot do in the US, or the rest of the Americas. The weaker institutions in that country show us what can happen if we don't participate in the democratic process. Here in Mexico there are some well intentioned people calling to boycott the elections. But if not elections, then what? Coups?

No, thank you.

Go vote!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Intelligent Life

It took life on earth close to four billion years to develop intelligence. Can it just disappear with a big rock coming from above?

Yes.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Michael Jackson (1958-2009)

Cosmic Rays

"This research may also help in understanding similar acceleration processes occurring in gamma-ray bursts and radio jets, says Don Ellison (North Carolina State): “Supernova remnants offer the best laboratory to study the mechanism.”
This is the first time that a lead from Twitter leads to relevant science for my research. I am studying Gamma Ray Bursts Eveline Helder from Astronomical Institute Utrecht, Netherlands, provides proof that half the energy produced in a Supernova explosion goes into making Cosmic Rays.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Information

Claude Shannon at Bell Labs clarified mathematically the idea on Information. Earlier Ludwig Boltzmann had connected entropy with probability for Statistical Mechanics. Here I want to add some thoughts on the concept of Information.

Ethimologically we have form and inside,in-form-ation, something like the structure, arrangement, or parts that make up an object; that form the object. Nevertheless I wrote concept, not object, so what is it, a concept, or an object?

The issue is even harder with Shannon's Communication Theory, because as he formulated it, it had to do with human communication, at least the telephone company he worked for was not interested in bird communication, those animals don't pay telephone bills, unless they are some wealthy parrots.

Be it as it may, it is clear that we are just one of a group of animals that communicate, we just happen to be the animal "in charge" right now. I believe we are in front of an object. Information exists, in the following sense.

This universe is ordered, there are other possible universes less ordered. The given order is Information. We have the scientific method, to find that order, when we do, we'll know the Information in this Universe. This may be a never ending process, we do not know that, and that is precisely what Information is, that we cannot know beforehand; we have to figure it out as we go along.

The arrangement of the parts of the Universe is an object: the Universe itself.

There is a sense in looking for the Information, because the Information is there, like an object is there.

Neda Agha-Soltan,

She could have been my daughter!

A 27 year old Philosophy student killed in the streets of Tehran, in my book this is a tragedy of global proportions.

My heart aches, so much beauty ending so fast.

Hugo Chávez, shame on you!

These events remind me of the Communist Party in Mexico defending Joseph Stalin when he killed Lev Trotsky in Coyoacán.

Ideology does not trump a human life. Ideology is a tool to make sense of the world, not to justify atrocities.

No matter how small each one of us is, we are the children of stars; we are made out of star ashes.

I will remember you; Neda Agha Soltan.

Civil Rights in Iran

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Why Lula is Acceptable to Obama?

In his press conference today President Obama praised Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva President from Brazil.This is odd.

One community organiser and a union organiser are Presidents. How did this happen?

Maybe the world is getting fairer, or the real powers are not the ones we see.

Take your pick.

Am I Doing Right?

Some family members make me feel like I am out of my mind. Am I?

I have been excentric. I try to use a thumb rule. I try hard things, if they don't work, I try to fix them.

I hope I can fix these ones.

Dana Rohrabacher

I am listening to C-SPAN. I have the pleasure to hear Rep. Dana Rohrabacher from Costa Mesa California. Republicans live in a parallel Universe.

How much I wished Representative Rohrabacher was right.

Then I would not have to listen to James Hansen Ph.D. Go away reason, we have well paid lobbyists to take care of us.

Andrea Ghez Video on Black Hole in the Center of The Galaxy

Monday, June 22, 2009

René Descartes

Today one idea of this man leads me to write this note. I think, therefore I am. I mention also Guillermo González, More names: Andrea Ghez, Carlos Frenk, James Cronin , and I.
Most of all this is inspired by Stephen Wolfram.


I hope I am clear and tie these men and a woman together in a coherent fashion. It all started last night when I was reading a White Paper by some Astronomers, Ms. Ghez among them. It happens that we have a physics laboratory in the center of the Milky Way Galaxy. Since 1992 new telescopes in the infrared part of the electromagnetic spectrum, for the first time in Human History
were directed in that direction and we saw what lurks in there. A huge black hole, called Sagittarius A*, Sgr A* (pronounced "Saj A-star") for short, has over one hundred stars moving around it at relativistic speeds, i.e. close to the speed of light. In fifteen years one of them, S2, has gone around a whole elliptic orbit. Only an intense force can make a star move so fast.


As Guillermo González says, it is like somebody put that lab there so we can learn what a black hole is.

The purpose of the White Paper is to request research funds for that study. We have a General Relativity Laboratory waiting so we direct our telescopes there and learn Einstein's theory in action.
Now let me turn to Carlos Frenk. This Mexican-British scientist published a paper on the Los Alamos National Laboratory electronic repository with a report on the use of Artificial Neural Nets (ANNs)to calculate the properties of many galaxies for an electronic catalog for future research. The ANN speeds up the calculations, that would take one hundred years otherwise.


James Cronin successfully organized an international collaboration to study what may well be the highest energy particle accelerator we will get information from in the foreseeable future. The south part of the detector is operating in Argentina already. This is the Pierre Auger Observatory for cosmic rays. The north section part of the apparatus is planned for construction in Colorado, USA. This collaboration already spent money to look into the results of another experiment set up for us more than fifty million light years away.


Now we come to Rene Descartes and I finish with Wolfram and I.

Descartes follows an old sceptic tradition in Philosophy. How do we know? What is true?

Our senses lie. As we age we don't have the same quality of perception. When young we hear from 20 cycles per second to twenty thousand, when old, both ranges change, the low frequencies and the high frequencies are perceived differently. So which is the true sound of our voice?

It stands to reason that our thoughts also change, we know more, and think less fast. So again: How do we know, and what is true?

Descartes gave a simple answer. I think, therefore I am. Cogito, ergo sum.

If I am thinking, I must exist, and I can start my inquires from that standpoint.

To me this statement seemed useless when I was younger. Now I am starting to understand. We live in a specific Universe of many we can think of. In this place Newton's laws, and Einstein modifications are useful. Ghez black holes in her laboratory in the center of the Milky Way Galaxy, can be used to test for the first time the extent to which General Relativity is true. Electromagnetism as expressed by James Clerk Maxwell, and modified by Feynman, Schwinger and Tomonaga is good to describe what elementary particles do at the highest energies we can test them on. Cronin's laboratory will help us sort that out. This is the universe we live in, it is not an arbitrary place, laws seem to be obeyed. Natural Laws, we call them.

It is because there are three stable space and one time dimension that we can ponder these questions at all. It is becasue that S2 star takes exactly fifteen years to go around Sgr A* that we can set up out our telescopes in that direction and check. It is because of all this, that I think therefore I am, is possible. It is not an idle statement that everybody knows and is therefore useless. Descartes was a deep thinker, as his work in Analytic Geometry demonstrates.

Now I come to Wolfram and a conclusion for this note.This scientist invites us to look into concrete mathematics. I mean by this that computer programming teaches us, when run in digital instruments what we would've not known otherwise, or at least not that easily. Mathematics is not just inside our heads, it has gone outside, towards our artificial brains, that can run the Artificial Neural Nets, or any other program we choose to try. We gain objectivity by using the New Kind of Science, as he calls his proposal. This universe of ours seems to run as a computer program, how else if not for that, Frenk's calculations can be used instead of galaxies? How else if not for that, the predictions made with computers can guide Auger cosmic ray observations?

Now I finish with me.

I do not believe that some intelligent being set up these experiments for us. I do not believe that the usefullness of mathematics in Physics is a proof of the existence of God; but I do believe that we live in a peculiar universe where a New Kind of Science, and I think, therefore I am, are very important guides for our efforts to understand the world around us. A code word I use for this is, Information. There is information out there, just waiting for us to wise up and get it. There are records all around us, that we can decipher and live happier in the world.


Sunday, June 21, 2009

Black Hole in the Center of the Milky Way Galaxy

                     " Since the beginning of the observations in 1992 one of the stars, called S2, has now completed one full orbit. Its orbit (Sch ̈del et al. 2002;Ghez et al. 2003) has a period of 15 years. Since 2002 the number of reasonably well-determined orbits has grown from one to 28; in total we currently monitor 109 stars, see Figure 1."

This quote is from a recent report on 15 years of study.

I just realized that my son has been alive during all those years. So S2 went around the center of the galaxy in the time my son has gone from Mexico to Chicago.

He is not back in Mexico though : (
                                           
        

Up; and the Dreams we run Towards.

I just saw Docter's most recent animated feature film for the third time. I feel touched by his work.

Mr. Carl Fredricksen represents the adventure we all feel inside us. Since humans first left Africa many thousand years ago. There were at least two memorable scenes. When he lets all the stuff behind, so his house-ship can sail off; and when he reads the last entries of Ellie's Diary. He understands the meaning of life: it is to always look for adventure.

Cannes and Disney together. Who would've guessed!

I loved this film.

Summer Solstice

36,500 people went to Stonehenge for the Summer Solstice today. This is the first year I know what this means. I have been largely oblivious of Astronomy and even more of New Age types. Does it mean something that now I know about the Solstice?


I don't believe in fate, but right now my situation is unsettled to say the least.


This being the International Year of Astronomy, since four hundred years ago Galileo Galilei looked up at the sky with a telescope, I've been busy inviting kids to look up.


There are some Mexican traditional ideas about the ball game and the four important sun positions in the sky. Let's start with today's. The Sun was going away towards the North, more and more each day, then today it stops and starts going South. At the Vernal Equinox, on September 22, day and night will be equal. Then comes Winter Solstice, when the Sun seems to be going South to not come again. But it does stop on the Solstice. In its way North, we have the Spring Equinox, equal day and night again.


Nearby in Teopantecuantitlán, there is the Ball Game, oriented with the San Andrés Cross, not like Christ's, which is crossed, but more like the X in MeXico. The lines in X are aligned towards the solstices. I've been told, that it was no game, the warriors actually died to stop the Sun from leaving us.


Is there a message here?


I leave that to those more informed on New Age lore. Maybe this year when I know what the solstice is, 23.44o missalignment between the Earth's spin, and the Solar System plane, I can start thinking on 2012. Maybe something will happen, maybe nothing. But now I know that people around here in Guerrero, Mexico, have been looking up for a long time, and if they start talking about sky signals, I'll listen.

Father's Day

My son sent me a father's day Tweet!

That made my day. The eggrolls in the morning and then this, that was good.

What really comes to mind is that my children need me. I have to do better for them.

It is some kind of cosmic ladder. I'm just a rung. Come up kids. I won't break!

Monday, June 15, 2009

AOL Pictures Gone!


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You must register for a PhotoWorks account on or before June 30, 2009 to access any of your pictures from the AOL Pictures service. After June 30, 2009, if you have not transferred your photos from AOL Pictures to PhotoWorks, you will no longer be able to access them. Please register for American Greetings PhotoWorks today and save your pictures.

Thanks again for having used AOL Pictures.

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Saturday, June 13, 2009

Ontology and Semiotics

Professor Juan Godino from Granada University proposes to put mathematical problems at the center of attention for Mathematics Education Research.

I am not familiar with the details of his proposals, but here I write ideas on these two words.

Ontology is part of Philosophy, Semiotics is part of Linguistics. The former is older than the latter. The study of language as a discipline requires more mathematics than old fashion Philosophy. The questions are sharper, and so should the answers. My concern here is with numbers.

Counting numbers were given by God, according to some mathematician, Kronecker. There were debates already about counting and new made up numbers. I do believe that all numbers are made up, but I certainly can see the difference between one, two, three, and zero, infinity and square root of two.

I have been thinking lately about continued fractions, and the representation of irrational numbers as periodic structures, The issue springs out of quadratic versus cubic equations, as Lagrange and Jacobi understood many years ago. I won't go into details here, but do feel compelled to settle in my mind the difference between computer numbers and real numbers.

Writing mathematics for a digital computer, one cannot use infinite processes because no one has an infinite time to wait. The physicality of these instruments forces us to clearly state our meaning, (semantic) ,with clear conventions (semiotics) and separate it from the object (ontology). I hope this states a clear cut practical matter, and not a fuzzy logic problem.

Good symbols, good conventions, will take us a long way in thinking clearly. A computer needs standards to specify a number. Humans get together give a standard, and then the thing is put in hardware. This is definitely more, than trying to tell your mother what square root of two is, unless she happens to be a mathematician.

I believe that there is nothing but the text. Whatever those conventions are, that is what numbers are. The rest is metaphysics.

Armageddon and Obama Haters

Frank Rich in the NYT Sunday Edition, warns us about the lone wolves sent by the likes of Limbaugh to kill President Obama.

If this is happening, the Mexican soldiers in the street of Chilpancingo, Guerrero, Mexico, are a dim reflection of the hell coming our way.

Please everybody don't let irrationality destroy the Human Saga.

Is this how it ends? With foam at the mouth lone wolves killing our President?

Wireless power!

Useful Vote

If you read Spanish please read Gustavo Gordillo's latest piece. He has a Blogger space you can find in my blog list. Dan las Convicciones a su Libertad Alas. He was a student activist in the 1968 popular movement of Mexico. Later on he became a professional politician, and now he is an astute observer of the Mexican political saga.

I feel a current of deep disilusionment in Mexico about the democratic way. I am not a rightist in support of the Partido de Acción Nacional (PAN), but was happy when they sent the rascals out. Seventy years of Partido Revolucionario Institucional (PRI) management of Mexican politics was enough. That party is responsible of the death of several hundred peaceful supporters of the student movement the second of October of 1968.

After nine years of PAN governments at all levels of government I am pissed off at them. Out with the rascals, I say. There is a current scandal in Mexico with a child care installation where several innocent small human beings died, and PAN seems to be involved. Systems for profit are not always the solution to social needs. PAN is not committed to a nation building effort that they fail completely to understand. These rightists are working to end the teaching of Philosophy at the high school level. Unconscioable!

Panistas strike me as simple minded grocery store owners, or small ranches in Guanajuato, hillbillies with Harvard degrees. I do not expect them to understand deep Mexico, nor start fixing the problems nor allowing our country to evolve socially. I still remember that clown, ex Coca Cola employee, famously declaring that he will solve the Indian uprising problem in southern Mexico in fifteen minutes! What nonsense. And Mexicans went for it. To this day whole swats of the south of Mexico are under Indian control like a time bomb waiting to explode like the Shining Path Inca movement in Peru.

These panistas are the most ignorant bunch ever to govern Mexico.

Now what?

I am eager to read Gordillo's next article on useful vote.

I plan to vote for Partido de la Revolución Democrática (PRD), but I am not really that eager to see the left miserably fail in governing Mexico, as so many leftist around the world. Starting with Joseph Stalin that killed Lev Bronstein in Mexico, better known as Trotsky.

I guess the way to take politics as everything else in life is with gusto.

World, here goes Mexico trying to invent Mexican Democracy!

P.S. Please no help from the Obama administration. I do not want an Afghanistan kind of nation building!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Edolphus Towns

Send Kennet Lewis to Edolphus Towns and Dennis Kucinich!

I am watching C-Span and this poor man looks like he is in trouble. His face reddens and is defensive in his answers. I know about Kucinich and I know he is not going to let this man go scot free.

The financial collapse of the US looks to me like the Roman Empire going down. I think we haven't seen the worst of this.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Are we There Yet?

This old children refrain when the tots get restless, may apply to grownups like me now.

Unfortunately the destination is not much fun.

Since the Club of Rome scared me when I was only eighteen years old, I haven't felt this worried. People that listen to me politely do not keep the conversation going. You can see my Tweeter post from Scientific American. I guess time is up, or at least we'll see some fireworks.

As you may know in my part of the woods you can regularly see armed soldiers looking for drug dealers. Somehow their presence does not comfort me. The other day the Army fought it off in Acapulco near an apartment I used to stay in.

Not good.

Science at the Outskirts

I have thought about my condition before. Mexico is backward as far as modern physics research is concerned. I have a higher degree in physics than most Mexicans. What should I do then?

An obvious answer is to teach others, but I feel that I am not that good of a teacher. I am more interested in what is happening in my field, than how much students learn. My dilemma now arises from my Mathematics Education appointment. I cannot say anymore that teaching is not my primary interest.

After a year of teaching in my mother's home state of Guerrero in Mexico; I am not satisfied. I am grading a classical mechanics course work today. The students did what I asked them more or less, but not quite. Nobody even touched this problem:

Problem 2. It is known from the newspapers that the cosmonaut Leonov, going for a walk in space, threw the lens cap of his movie camera toward the earth. Where did it go?

Should I give them a low grade for not even trying? Or wasn't I clear enough about what was important, and what was not as important?

When in doubt, I tend to grade them high, rather than low. I'll do it one more time. But I know that I have to do better next time.

Q'orianka Kilcher in Perú

Perú

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Another Relative to be Be Proud Of

Today Amanda Montejano Cantoral joins the set of scientists and mathematicians in my family. She defended her thesis in Barcelona Spain.

Way to go niece!

Update: Today, September 15, 2011, her brother defends his thesis at the same town of Barcelona.

Way to go nephew!

Monday, June 08, 2009

Life Crisis at 60

This year I'll turn 60. I do not feel old; actually I am very much eager to get involved in the next stage in my life. Here I do a little soul searching as preparation for the time until the next crisis.

I will like to live forever as Ray Kurzweil proposes in the Singularity is Near. I really don't believe him, but I like that life outlook. Instead of facing retirement I am getting ready for a new life stage. If I don't make it to the next crisis, I'll have to take it like a man: What else can I do?

I've met other scientists that accomplished good goals through their lives. I do not envy them, but on the other hand it makes me wonder, about my results, or lack of them. I have been ambitious, believing that by now, I'd have more to show for my work, than I can. I guess this is the crisis part of these reflections.

What options do I have now?

I have been offered to work in an international collaboration, with several universities in this and the European continent. There are at least two goals I see:


  1. Open Source work in Mathematics Education
  2. Collaboration with knowledgeable colleagues in a scientific group
As always, since I was around twenty years old, I'll keep thinking about Information in Theoretical Physics. Along the lines of Jacob Bekenstein and other General Relativity experts, like Lee Smolin. Here in Mexico we have Alejandro Corichi to add to the brew.

Nevertheless it seems possible to collaborate with the Large Aperture Gamma Ray Bursts Observatory, LAGO, for short. I expect these friends to help me in my Sugar on a Stick Mathematics Education Project.

There. That seems to be a plan. Now I have to ask for money to do it.

Humberto Salazar, Ricardo Cantoral, and Fernando Cajas

These men are younger than me, to different degrees they know my work; and they all can help with my career going forward.

I consider them my family, we identify about what has to be done. It is only because I am such a loner that I haven't collaborated with them more.

I will correct that.

Also I'll try to involve other people, like Alex Filippenko that had this to say about an inquire:

"ps. We do sometimes look at the optical afterglows of GRBs during the SN search, but I don't think that was your question. "

Shining Path Movement Comes Back

Presidente Gonzalo was tricked by Alberto Fujimori many years ago and is still in jail. Now Inca Indians are confronting President Alan García.

I feel that no justice no peace as Peter Tosh and Jimmy Cliff used to sing is the way out.

Sadly this feeling is not shared by the Political Class of Peru. More death is all I can expect under present circumstances.

You can follow this war through today's transmission in:

Democracy Now.

The Man Who Slept in the House Where Only a Dog Lives

Luis Cariño was invited to sing "Las Mañanitas to Francisco's mother.She had her birthday and a good guitar player with a so so voice was good to have. Luis accepted happily. From "La Tequisca" he drove his motorcycle towards Huitzuco as if there was not anything better to do that day. And there wasn't.

Luis got food and tequila. He had a lot of the second and couldn't drive back to his abode high in the mountain. Francisco let him sleep in the house downtown where only a dog lives. There he slept all night, and early next morning Francisco went to wake him up. Luis had to go for his peasant chores early at dawn.

Mr. Cariño Marbán is a relative of grandpa Manuel Uriza Marbán. He also was a peasant, but as far as I know he didn't drink that much after a serenade. Grandpa Ismael, further south in Guatemala, was known for his heavy drinking and playing the marimba. Ismael Cajas was his name.

The things one finds out when one is back in ancestors territory.

Somehow I feel I belong here, as if I had tenure when in reality I am just a guest scientist.

Go figure.

Thanks, Manuel, Ismael, Ramiro Humberto, and all the others that came to this continental lands all the way from Europe, and married with the beautiful people that had come before them through the Bering Strait.

By the way Luis Cariño Marbán still owns escuincle dogs whose ancestors came through the straits more than twenty thousand years ago, also; as he was telling me the other day.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

What to Do?

"In short, high oil prices are here to stay, but that is not the end of globalization. However, it could offer a strategic advantage to Mexico and Venezuela if both countries are able to capture the opportunity. Will they?"


I posted this in Digg, and Twitter.


I guess I should start organizing my people to sell what we have at a good price.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Juan Candeche

I will use this name as standing for not acting in accordance with the norm.

I wrote about this character below.

All of us once in a while don't do what people around us do. To use this name for those cases is extreme, because Candeche was known to masturbate in public using donkeys. He was, I guess correctly, considered insane. The point here is to give a name to excentric behavior. In Spanish we have a saying: "De músico, poeta y loco, todos tenemos un poco". We are all a bit musicians, poets, and crazy.

Complexity in society, one can read in a recent Science magazine article, comes with demographic growth. Some 45,000 years ago humanity entered a new era, heralded by the appearence of big enough population centers. Numbers alone don't explain, how we figured out Pythagoras Theorem, but I believe that it helps to have different kinds of people around you.

I have been in several academic communities, and we had our share of nut cases. Fortunately for us, none like Scott Roeder, that just killed a Medical Doctor the other day.

The subtle aspects of Candeche are the dangerous ones. People around us put up with us, as long as we produce something they feel they need.

Human genius nonetheless comes from daring spirits unafraid of what other people will say.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Netbooks on LAGO

"The data are then collected via a serial line by an acquisition PC, and stored for data analysis. Replacing the acquisition PC by a single board PC or a low cost laptop with SSD drive is foreseen to minimise the impact of the harsh high altitude environment."

The Large Aperture Gamma Ray Burst Observatory (LAGO) collaboration is planning to use Netbooks for their Data Acquisition System.

These are physicists from:France, Mexico, Argentina, Venezuela, USA, Peru, Spain, Italy, and Bolivia.

Consumer electronics helps scientific research.

Pito Pérez and Juan Candeche

I recently was reminded of a character in my mother's hometown. I used to go there frequently before I turned 20. There was this man doing menial work, and not all there in his mind. Maybe he wasn't that crazy after all, maybe he was like that character, Pito Pérez in a José Rubén Romero novel. This man was smart but at odds with the the town's people.

How much a crazy man is just an outcast, not willing to put up with what the rest of the town is perfectly happy with.

This is not a new idea, we have Ken Kesey, One flew over the cuckoo's nest, and the French Movie King of Hearts.

I myself feel detached from my peers once in a while.

I was too young to know any better, I thought Juan Candeche was crazy.

James Bjorken

"In this paper, we have described five scenarios for fi xed-target experiments that probe kinetically mixed U(1)'s with MeV-GeV masses. Kinetic mixing of size ε ~ 10- 2 -- 10 -8 between a light gauge boson and the photon can be generated by loops of particles at any mass scale, with the magnitude determined by the structure of high-scale physics. An MeV-GeV mass for the A0 can in turn be generated from the weak scale, especially in a supersymmetric context. An A0 in this mass range is also of interest as a possible explanation of several current dark matter anomalies."

Taken from "New Fixed Target Experiments to Search for Dark Gauge Forces"

Instead of speculating what Dark Energy and Matter are, James Bjorken chooses to concretely propose ways to check parameter space regions not explored yet, and suggested by Astronomical observations.

Speculators are good, but doers are better.

Unfortunately I feel that Prof. Bjorken is not listen to as much as he deserves it.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

The Paper of Record

Mr. Obama must go further and press Congress to lift the embargo. And the O.A.S. must press Havana to join the democratic mainstream — and its errant members to adhere to the organization’s own democratic charter.

NYT dixit.

Finally I see light at the end of this tunnel. 1962-2009
Welcome Back, Cuban Brothers and Sisters!

History of Mathematics II

The 17th century saw an unprecedented explosion of mathematical and scientific ideas across Europe. Galileo, an Italian, observed the moons of Jupiter in orbit about that planet, using a telescope based on a toy imported from Holland. Tycho Brahe, a Dane, had gathered an enormous quantity of mathematical data describing the positions of the planets in the sky. His student, Johannes Kepler, a German, began to work with this data. In part because he wanted to help Kepler in his calculations, John Napier, in Scotland, was the first to investigate natural logarithms. Kepler succeeded in formulating mathematical laws of planetary motion. The analytic geometry developed by René Descartes (1596–1650), a French mathematician and philosopher, allowed those orbits to be plotted on a graph, in Cartesian coordinates.

History of Mathematics I

From this point on, mathematical developments came swiftly, contributing to and benefiting from contemporary advances in the physical sciences. This progress was greatly aided by advances in printing. The earliest mathematical books printed were Peurbach's Theoricae nova planetarum(1472}, followed by a book on commercial arithmetic, the Treviso Arithmetic (1478), and then the first extant book on mathematics, Euclid's Elements, printed and published by Ratdolt in 1482.

Driven by the demands of navigation and the growing need for accurate maps of large areas,trigonometry grew to be a major branch of mathematics. Bartholomaeus Pitiscus was the first to use the word, publishing his Trigonometria in 1595. Regiomontanus's table of sines and cosines was published in 1533.[44]

By century's end, thanks to Regiomontanus (1436–76) and François Vieta (1540–1603), among others, mathematics was written using Hindu-Arabic numerals and in a form not too different from the notation used today.

Save $15, Bill Gates Does not Need the Money!


Acer to make first-ever Android netbooks

Acer at Computex today said it would be the first to produce netbooks using Google's Android platform. Company IT product president Jim Wong expects the systems to appear in the summer and that the Linux-based systems will still use Intel Atom processors. He didn't provide prices, though the Android netbooks should be less expensive than Windows versions as Google doesn't charge for licenses where Microsoft asks for $15 for each copy of Windows XP.

Grandparents With Their Married Children Home

I know of one case where a young couple lives with one of the parents. These are hard times. It is disheartening to see well educated young people without a home they can call their own. The older ones enjoy the grandchildren, but something is not right.

I guess some kind of change is in the way. Obama's administration is already lobbying insurance companies representatives in Congress, that in itself is obscene, I thought only people had representatives, to request every person in the US to have medical insurance.

I hope change comes in time. We should be worrying on how to compete in the world, not on where my next pay check is coming from.

Death and Hope

The father of a beautiful person has died. He had a massive region of his body with cancer.He was a little over forty years old. She is the oldest of the family and may have to stop studying.

The hope comes from the invitation of Latin American countries to Cuba to join the OAS.

Mexico never broke diplomatic relations with Cuba. Now the whole continent has the same opinion as my country.

Do We Need to Work?

Given the exponential amount of robots entering our workplaces I wonder :Is work necessary?

Obviously as long as rich kids own all the toys, they are not going to pay us for doing nothing.

Then: What do I mean?

First, find yourself a Maecenas , i.e. find a rich person willing to pay for what you know. Then think things through. Maybe we are in a New World.

Is Obama Elegant or What?

After listening the ravings and ranting of ex Vicepresident Cheney, how refreshing is it to read the news about the no sweat actions of President Obama. He is scoring points as Lebron James, apparently with no effort.

It is a pleasure to watch this.

Obama is charming the Muslim World.

Mr. Obama replied, “Shoukran,” using the Arabic for “Thank you.”


Way to go, Barack!

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Tutoring

I have tutored students mainly in the US. When I was in Mexico before that, and now that I am back, I haven't. I do teach classes but somehow students don't come often to work extra. Now I have a new opportunity I just met Dr. Raúl Tovar Tavera. Mayor of Iguala, Guerrero, Mexico. He invited me to tutor his twelve year old son, who ran a good Enduro course in Huitzuco last Sunday.


I think of Aristotle., Alexander, and Philip II.


I'm sure I'm making too much of this.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Dark Matter and Dark Energy by Hung Cheng

Over a year ago Professor Cheng from MIT proposed a hypothesis. If the Universe is Scale Invariant, then there is Dark energy and matter. You can read his proposal here.

I know Professor Cheng, he is a deep thinker, with an impressive track record, he is tenured at MIT. Besides, he has his own thoughts, the product of an original mind.

Is it true?

Only experimental tests can answer this, he is a scientist.

I just found out about his proposal today, because I was trying to make sense of Craig Hogan's idea for the Holographic Universe.

Hogan's ideas, ring a slight bell sound in my head, similar with the almost forty year old Expanding Proton discovery, of Professors Hung Cheng and Tai Tsun Wu, in the US, together with Frolov, Gribov, and Lipatov in the USSR.

I just started thinking about this today. More to come later.

Water Shortages

Los Angeles

Mexico City

...

No Class Struggle Until 2015?

The UAW and GM management steered by the Government have stopped the laws of Social Relations.

Is this so?

To start off, Marx's laws are not Physics Laws. I believe in the second but not the former.

My reason is simple, Physics Laws are about simple, repetitive events, Marx's Laws are about complex non-repetitive events. This is the same reason I don't believe in Theological debates, I find them a waste of time. How many angels do fit in the head of a pin?

Good luck to GM workers though. I really don't believe they will beat Chinese workers; Chinese workers are better educated than the US ones, and they spend less money for upkeep. That to me looks more like a Law of Social Relations, that the Law of the Class Struggle.

I should state, that I am envious of those UAW workers, I have a Ph.D., and I am unemployed, they know squat, and each one of them, still has more capital than I will ever own.

Go on Chinese kids, show these American comrades from the UAW how to make cars.

Mauricio Funes

This Salvadoran journalist is the new President of El Salvador. He represents the Frente Faribundo Martí de Liberación Nacional, better known as the FMNL.

My late uncle Ignacio Uriza Castro gave the best description of the tectonic political changes going on in Latin America that I have ever heard.

Describing the state of affairs in Huitzuco, the land where my mother grew up in the twenties, thirties, and early forties, witnessing all those poor peons leaving Huitzuco searching for fair pay for their work in the US said:

Now the poor are rich, and the rich are poor.

He was poor now, and the returning peons were rich.

His grandson Ignacio Cárdenas Uriza, organized last week the first ever celebration of the Olympic triumphs of the late General Rubén Uriza Castro, his grand uncle, and my uncle.

I saw two events I cannot let pass. First a nice truck with Texas license plates, taking off after the celebration, with a bunch of kids and their parents. Second my nephew's sister in law cracking up jokes as to how they could practice escaping "La Migra", in these beautiful hills of Huitzuco, where the last event: Enduro , took place.

I just wished more Americans were there with me witnessing a New Nation being born. Not Mexican, not American, but Mexican-American. If you have never been to Mexico, you are missing a great Nation being born. Just like the Paricutín Volcano came out in no time, a new Nation is coming up from the deepest roots that this Continent of Ours can sustain.

You can read about Luis Cariño Marbán below, to learn about these roots. I feel fortunate for the invitation to this celebration by my nephew.

Welcome President Funes, and long live the FMLN !

Life's Catastrophes

I just talked to a freshman here in Chilpancingo. Her situation is very bad. I won't go on to describe it here, more than to say the she may have to stop her studies.

I am sad, and I don't know how to help, besides teaching her what I know.


Luis Cariño Marbán

I met a happy man in Huitzuco, Guerrero, Mexico, yesterday.

He won a bicycle race against men half his age. This man is a little older than me, his father was an American indian that escaped the US to go and be free in Mexico, his mother was a Mexican woman from Huitzuco.

My mother's father was Manuel Uriza Marbán, there are many Marbans in Huitzuco. This man has light color eyes like my grandpa.

This man is proud and knowledgeable of his Indian ancestry, he has owned escuincle dogs cross bred with other types of dogs.  The escuincles came with the first men and women crossing the Bering strait many thousands years ago. I saw two beautiful specimens he owns.

He lives up in the mountains near La Tequisca, a place I used to go to when I was a kid, but was scared to visit now for fear of seeing it dead like so many beautiful places in Mexico. He assured me it is still pristine in some locations. I'll be back there sometime.

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