Monday, May 31, 2010
"The harmless nucleic interjections include encrypted versions of the researchers’ names and three apt if self-conscious quotations: “See things not as they are, but as they might be,” from a biography of the physicist Robert Oppenheimer; “What I cannot build, I cannot understand,” by Richard Feynman; and “To live, to err, to fall, to triumph, and to recreate life out of life,” by James Joyce, which, when taken together with the fact that the physicist Murray Gell-Mann named the fundamental particles of the atomic nucleus “quarks” after a line in Joyce’s “Finnegans Wake,” suggests that scientists are at least as fond of the nougaty Irish novelist as is the average English major."
Oppenheimer, Feynman, Gell-Mann: Here in Memory and Respect, Artificial Life is Coming.
I would've put some lines from Erwin Schrodinger's "What is Life?"
The need to work in groups should be recognized, but I believe students should be encouraged to be original. Originality though, comes after one knows the work of other creators. I just have to find out a happy medium to grade them.
Quiero aprovechar para darle gracias al Maestro Cantoral por impartir este curso.
Tambien darle gracias a mis padres por darme esa oportunidad de estar en la institución en donde me encuentro ahora.
Gracias padres por darme esa oportunidad, yo les prometo echarle muchas ganas por aprender más. "
Taken from Edith's final paper.
The main objective of the class is to read and write a lot, as I wrote in the beginning of this book. I think it is very good that our teacher, Mr. Cantoral invited us to use this program language , for our own good. Because in the future we will need this programming language to publish in different formats.
I want to thank Mr. Cantoral for teaching this class.
I also want to thank my parents for giving me the opportunity to be in the institution where I am now.
Thanks folks, for giving me this opportunity, I promise to work hard to learn more.
End of translation.
It feels well to be appreciated.
Recently I wrote on the effects, symbols are having on culture, now I see that we are looking at ourselves through the Internet, and we don't seem to get enough of it. I feel a new super organism being born.
Given the enormity of problems we face, think Gulf of Mexico oil spill, this tool got here not too soon.
The Center cannot hold.
I am looking into the Chinese company Huawei. They took over from where Lucent left the communications business. Chomsky mentions that some expect China to take the role Europe and the US have now. He sees similarities in China and the US in their treatment of workers.
Here I write some ideas on the structure of society, and possible future scenarios. Like Chomsky I have been following world events since childhood, unlike Chomsky nobody knows my ideas.
My great grandfather told my grandmother, our lives end, but the world keeps going. After the USSR fell, the US gloated triumphantly, we won! What now, will China have the last laugh? Definitely if the US falls, the Earth will keep on spinning.
I was hired in 1998 to join Lucent, I started working on January 1999. By December 2001, I was out of there. Legacy telephony was the milk cow of the company, they didn't seem to be particularly concerned by the tsunami that hit the communications world in 1994, the Internet.
Now that some friends are working for Huawei, and listening to Chomsky I am very touched.
October 1, 1949: Mao Zedong asked the Chinese people to build a country based on Chinese traditions and modern science. First everybody was taken off dope; opium was destroying the country with the satisfaction of the English, which earlier fought the Opium War. Second everybody was taught how to read and write, even simplifying the script to achieve this goal. Finally we have harvest time. This is the only country I know, where one billion people of an age to read and write do so.
Will China take over? I say, yes it is possible; will the US let them? I say no, the US will fight. There are over thirty thousand American soldier fighting in Afghanistan, and I am sorry, I do not think they are fighting the Taliban. America is hitting his chest like the world Alpha Male.
I see two possible scenarios, continuation of business as usual, with a British American financial World structure, or a wholesale investment by China, Brazil, India, and Russia.
Which one will it be? If I knew I could profit.
The first one seems more likely, at least in the short run, in the long run, the rational scientific approach of the Chinese seems more realistic.
Sunday, May 30, 2010
The last time I saw her, we both knew that she might have cancer, but neither of us wanted to live with that weight if it was not confirmed by doctors. As it turned out, it was never really confirmed, the casue of death was cancer. Nevertheless I was not thinking that she had cancer, and was going to die. A few hours before she died, my brother told me that very likely she was not going to make it. I was not there with her when she died.
Going back to the last time I saw her, we looked at each other's eyes half knowing that that could be the last time we saw each other; it was.
That is not what I want to write though; it is the preamble.
I feel the presence of death more now. We were close, and she helped making me the way I am. I take risks, like she did.
She married a man that nobody knew in town, and went to live with him in a city where she hardly knew anybody.
She was courageous, and she made me like that.
Now I am planing to leave Mexico again. This time it seems harder. I have to take this part of my life in a new way, which I don't quite know how to do.
I guess I am not the only Mexican, that cares about math, and the world. Of course he is famous and I am not. Mexico has been attacked several times during the past two hundred years, so it comes naturally to us, to feel sympathy for invaded peoples. Judging by the US media, one gets the impression that nobody invades anybody anymore. Neverhteless since the end of WWII, diaspora Jews started to go back to the Middle East.
Palestinians feel invaded, and tonight a flotilla of friends of Gaza is being attacked by the Israeli state. As a formerly invaded Mexican, that looks to me as an injustice.
Maybe my readers know which country invaded Mexico last. I am not going to tell you, go to Wikipedia.
I love life, some people go, new people come. We are a stream weaving beautiful rivulets in some ethereal substance.
My high school was in Mexico City, his is in Wheaton, but it is the same flow, exactly the same flow.
When I was his age I wondered why was I around; what is the purpose of life?
I did come up with several answers, one was to have him so he could graduate from high school: how lame; he may think. To me though, it made and does make a lot of sense.
Now I see that there is only one planet in the Solar System, where I, and he can be. From over two hundred known star systems with planets, not a single one has intelligent life, as far as we know.
Given this planet, there is only a sliver of space, called the biosphere, where we can be. This huge Earth empty of life.
Finally inside the halls of Wheaton Warrenville South High School, very few instances of intelligent life, and my son is one. Isn't that amazing?
Not in Mexico, the mayor of Mexico City, Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) was accused sometime ago of illegal land seizure for city works. Guess what? He became more popular, and it became clear that his political enemies were behind the accusations. Now a candidate from the same party, the Democratic Revolution Party (PRD), running for the governor's office in Quintana Roo, where Cancún is located, is accused of illegal relations with drug dealers. Maybe he was doing so well in that election, that his political enemies decided this was a good time to make these accusations public.
All I can tell you is that in Mexico, things are not how they appear to be.
I guess Eliot Spitzer did have a good thing going on with those high paid whores in NY, somehow though; I believe somebody in Wall Street, didn't like him prodding into those "obscure" derivatives shananigans. Just saying.
The new symbols, once understood by the kids, become part of their culture.
What symbols am I talking about? McDonald's, Oxxo, Cybercafe, newspapers and magazines, handicrafts, three hundred year old church.
You can see some of that by one of my students here.
Symbols are culture, and produce new culture.
Saturday, May 29, 2010
Obama has the authority to propose an Americans to Work Bill, like Franklin Delano Roosevelt did in the forties. To really clean the mess, I assume there will be a lot of busy work to do, unskilled workers may be able to do it. Whoever caused the problem, should solve it. BP has billions of dollars, and many Americans don't have any.
Simple proposal: BP just pay Americans to clean up.
In 1938 then Mexican President, General Lázaro Cárdenas told foreign companies, pay more to Mexican workers, the bosses said no; and Cárdenas told them to leave the country; that is how PEMEX, the Mexican Oil Company was created.
Big problems, need big solutions.
TEST COMPARISON FROM TO DETAILS ============================================================================= ** TOTAL **: *8.53x as slow* 781.6ms +/- 3.3% 6667.0ms +/- 6.4% significant ============================================================================= 3d: *5.76x as slow* 125.8ms +/- 7.0% 725.0ms +/- 2.4% significant cube: *6.44x as slow* 40.8ms +/- 9.0% 262.6ms +/- 2.3% significant morph: *5.61x as slow* 43.8ms +/- 18.7% 245.6ms +/- 5.0% significant raytrace: *5.26x as slow* 41.2ms +/- 22.5% 216.8ms +/- 4.1% significant access: *11.2x as slow* 73.0ms +/- 8.3% 815.4ms +/- 3.7% significant binary-trees: *25.1x as slow* 4.0ms +/- 38.1% 100.4ms +/- 5.2% significant fannkuch: *12.1x as slow* 28.0ms +/- 8.3% 339.2ms +/- 4.7% significant nbody: *7.01x as slow* 34.0ms +/- 6.8% 238.2ms +/- 9.5% significant nsieve: *19.7x as slow* 7.0ms +/- 17.8% 137.6ms +/- 19.3% significant bitops: *8.33x as slow* 65.4ms +/- 11.0% 545.0ms +/- 3.8% significant 3bit-bits-in-byte: *27.6x as slow* 4.0ms +/- 38.1% 110.6ms +/- 9.0% significant bits-in-byte: *11.1x as slow* 13.6ms +/- 8.2% 150.6ms +/- 11.3% significant bitwise-and: *4.50x as slow* 25.0ms +/- 41.9% 112.4ms +/- 5.7% significant nsieve-bits: *7.52x as slow* 22.8ms +/- 14.6% 171.4ms +/- 5.7% significant controlflow: *16.9x as slow* 5.0ms +/- 30.5% 84.6ms +/- 5.0% significant recursive: *16.9x as slow* 5.0ms +/- 30.5% 84.6ms +/- 5.0% significant crypto: *7.85x as slow* 49.0ms +/- 5.1% 384.6ms +/- 2.7% significant aes: *5.88x as slow* 20.4ms +/- 5.5% 120.0ms +/- 4.1% significant md5: *8.81x as slow* 15.0ms +/- 15.5% 132.2ms +/- 4.5% significant sha1: *9.74x as slow* 13.6ms +/- 21.0% 132.4ms +/- 4.9% significant date: *5.42x as slow* 126.2ms +/- 6.7% 684.6ms +/- 1.0% significant format-tofte: *7.91x as slow* 48.8ms +/- 9.1% 385.8ms +/- 1.5% significant format-xparb: *3.86x as slow* 77.4ms +/- 8.6% 298.8ms +/- 1.3% significant math: *8.46x as slow* 91.0ms +/- 3.6% 770.2ms +/- 4.1% significant cordic: *12.5x as slow* 26.4ms +/- 7.1% 328.8ms +/- 5.2% significant partial-sums: *5.88x as slow* 49.2ms +/- 7.9% 289.2ms +/- 8.3% significant spectral-norm: *9.88x as slow* 15.4ms +/- 18.6% 152.2ms +/- 5.7% significant regexp: *19.1x as slow* 33.2ms +/- 16.8% 635.4ms +/- 6.7% significant dna: *19.1x as slow* 33.2ms +/- 16.8% 635.4ms +/- 6.7% significant string: *9.49x as slow* 213.0ms +/- 2.9% 2022.2ms +/- 19.3% significant base64: *8.65x as slow* 24.2ms +/- 23.7% 209.4ms +/- 11.1% significant fasta: *10.9x as slow* 31.6ms +/- 2.2% 343.8ms +/- 3.4% significant tagcloud: *6.23x as slow* 55.0ms +/- 7.8% 342.4ms +/- 7.9% significant unpack-code: *13.3x as slow* 66.2ms +/- 4.1% 882.0ms +/- 36.5% significant validate-input: *6.79x as slow* 36.0ms +/- 9.5% 244.6ms +/- 12.1% significant
I just posted a note (below) which could be considered incendiary, I explain here.
In Mexico we never lost sight of the millions of Real Americans that inhabit these lands. Somehow Anglo Saxons want to live under the illusion that the Indian Problem is solved.
I don't think so.
Usually reconquista brings memories of the Spanish English war. As a "witty" California Senator, Hayakawa, once said: We stole Panama Fair and Square. Past wars are past wars, right? Wrong.
There was never a declared war to the original American people, and therefore there is no statue of limitations. The sooner we Mexicans, and Americans recognize that the Indian population is not happy with us, the sooner we will be as powerful as we can be, one people, one land.
Recognize your Olmecs, Zapotecs, Aztecs, ..., brothers and sisters, and we will be better off. Wake up America!
I started this blog in 2006, then I was teaching high school in Illinois. My purpose is to invite young people to the world of science by showing the relevance to their lives. I am not satisfied. There are other blogs, like Bad Astronomy, and Cosmic Variance, just to mention two, that do a much better job at inviting young people to science. They are maintained by very able scientists.
Now I work at a university in the south of Mexico, this is a poor state and a poor country, my students do not have the opportunities that kids in Illinois have, but I am very proud of them. I feel that they trust me more than the kids in Illinois did. Maybe I have more influence in them.
Now all the students, the seventeen of them, have a blog, wrote a book, and made a powerpoint presentation.
I could inspire them because I knew how to keep a blog, and wrote on it. Sometimes it is enough to tell students that they can do something and then they go on do it.
I also inviterd them to join buzz.com; that didn't work so well. I guess I am not a good social network user, maybe because I am not very sociable.
I can teach the use of tools, which is a more modest goal, I cannot teach them how to write; I can try, but given that this is not a college level writing program, like the one at the University of Iowa. I didn't even try. I invited them of course to read my posts. You can read them in Spanish at: "Habilidades para la Comunicación de las Ideas."
My goal was to make them write and read as much as they had time for these class credits. On the other hand, we spent class time going over lower level tool learning online. Everybody got a blog in blogspot.com, wrote a book with , and made a presentation, most of them in PowerPoint, but there were other presentation tools used also.
I prefer to teach tool use, than develop talents. I feel the most modest goal is easier to fulfill, and I hope that the ones with talent; take off and become good communicators of mathematical ideas.
Now I have to grade their papers, the deadline was last Thursday night.
Friday, May 28, 2010
On the other hand, this whole thing reminds me of the Babel story in the Bible. Man's hubris led him to get tangled up in DNA language. The issue is not: by trying to build a tower, so tall, that we can go to heaven, we were cursed with different languages; unable to talk to each other . Now the metaphor is: by trying to play God and starting Intelligent Design, we ended up building all kinds of life forms, that put us out of commission. A Brave New World!
Fear of the unknown is only natural.
But you know what?: here we go, whether we like it or not. This is like a black hole sucking us in, we already passed the Event Horizon. Enjoy the ride!
Maybe it is the times, and not the Times.
What is going on?
Raping in the name of God the Merciful? Viral political campaigns that are very close to politically pornographic? Finally that great African-American journalist tells it how it is to President Obama.
I find this Saturday Opinion page close to apocalyptic.
We have to find a way out. The boat is sinking. Maybe a better metaphor is Earth is evicting us for bad, really bad stewardship.
Think of some angry kids chanting in Lady Gaga's Bad Romance fashion: This is a bad, bad tenant.
The dark colors of the waters reminded me of a conversation I had a year ago with Luis Cariño in Huitzuco, my mother's town. He told me that cheap greasy oil, was getting into water streams all over the place. He lives a hermitain life in the mountains of Huitzuco, near "La Tequisca", he gave up on all this nonsense. You can see him singing "El corrido de Huitzuco", here.
There is another Mexican character, this one fictional: Pito Pérez.
Both characters could say whatever they please because they weren't in anybody's payroll. I am on somebody's payroll, but they don't monitor my writing, and definitely I am not sending cheap oil in the Huacapa river, because I do not own an auto shop.
This is a mess!
A person whose face I barely recognized asked me to have a fruit drink, please. I accepted, and while the students were dancing on campus, unlike UCSB, in my time, this person had had alcohol. He reminded me that I taught a class he took in a town several hundred miles away, Puebla. Then I remember, yes it was "Mathematics for the Biological Sciences," I was introduced to the new head of the Chemistry and Biology Department. The students were having a great time dancing in synchrony, like three hundred of them. There was joy.
The school had a painful political fight, they lost the Rector's office post, but they won the Department post. The students were happy to have won, and my friends also, thus the alcohol. Nobody else was drunk as far as I could tell.
I guess this is the way it happens, humanity coming forward, against all odds; and then having an exhausting celebration.
Now it is raining, after a long waiting period, thsi rain was supposed to be here around May 15. Now it is getting cooler.
Taken from The Press Association.
Powers of Nature, somehow this makes me aware of how little we are compared to the Earth we are guests in. I hope this will not become common.
Whoever put this document online, fortunately, chose to put it in the format of the Adobe Corporation.
My gut feeling is that with the onslaught on the part of Google, MicrosSoft will have to shape up, or ship out.
To me this sounds a bit like the illegal PEOPLE argument going on in Arizona. What is the big deal, may say a WASP in that state, just go get your visa, and don't bug me.
Yes I should not have used "illegal" copies of MicroSoft software. You know how I feel? Viva Linux!, and all the gifts that humanitarian computer scientists like Donald Knuth have given us. Long Live [;\LaTeX;].
Thursday, May 27, 2010
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
The BP man has better lawyers, and knows he can lie. Unions long ago lost their clout.
I go for the worker's version.
"''It was only by the GRACE OF GOD that we didn't burn to death,'' LaCroix told investigators."
You need to type the www, otherwise you get the old Google site.
I get an eerie feeling when staring at the old Google look, but it is clear that something new is behind the page.
You can read from Wikipedia.
In one evening I got all the plots I needed from WolframAlpha, and wrote all the equations with [;\TeX;] the World. , I presented the issue of iterated equations, and put it in very simple terms.
The purpose of this note is to give a little description of my philosophy.
I believe that concrete operations help any student, not only children. In some sense when presented with a new subject, even though we may be fluent in the prerequisites requires a little getting used to.
I still remember what happened in 1973, when I landed in the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), I was already 23, but for the better part of one year, I talked like a moron. My ego got a beating. I've always prided myself for my speaking abilities, and that was the first time I spoke in English all the time.
Why shouldn't other people, feel awkward also when confronted with simple stuff in a new way?
I do believe that all of us while in the novice stage of ANY subject, somehow regress in our development. I even believe that the pain is so insufferable in some cases, that we just refuse to learn new things.
Anyways, today when I saw that my graduate students got stumped by high school algebra, without flinching an eye, I just went ahead with an explanations as simple as I could muster.
I want to believe that I succeeded, and that by doing so, I helped these young people to move ahead in their understanding of math.
--- What market plunge? Chile, -3.6%; Colombia, -6.1%; Canada, -6.2%; Malaysia, -7.2%.
--- A “correction,” but barely: Mexico, -10.3%; Germany, -10.4%; U.S. (Dow industrials), -10.4%; India, -10.8%; South Korea, -10.9%; Pakistan, -11.7%; U.S. (S&P 500), -11.8%.
--- Feeling real pain, but still not in a bear market: U.S. (Nasdaq), -12.6%; U.S. (Russell 2,000), -13.7%; Argentina, -14.6%; Australia, -14.7%; Britain, -15.2%; Taiwan, -15.2%; Japan (Nikkei), -16.6%; Saudi Arabia, -16.9%; Hong Kong, -17.3%; Brazil, -17.6%; France, -18.1%.
--- In the bear’s lair: Portugal, -21.7%; Russia, -21.8%; China (Shanghai), -24.4%; Italy, -24.7%; Spain, -26.3%; Greece, -46.8%.
-- Tom Petruno"
Good work Tom!
Maybe a little context will help. The present government of Mexico is from a different political party than the one that nationalized the oil industry in 1938. As far as I can see, they want to privatize PEMEX, and I guess the members of this party could buy PEMEX, and then it will have "best practices."
I do not know if you will be surprised to find out that I do not believe them. I support the other party.
Coming back to the question of this blog, are these the "best practices" we aspire to in Mexico? Just blow the damn thing and hope for the best; yahoo!
Accidents do not just happen. Real people are responsible; sometimes.
We can forget about this again, and say like some people: accidents happen.
I am afraid, this time there is no wiggle room.
I consider this as a signal that we are running out of time. No more wiggle room.
Real actions, and real consequences: We are at the crossroads.
Instead of Pancho Villa, now the name is Chapo Guzmán. I predict a similar outcome as a hundred years ago. I recently read that this man, which by the way is in the Forbe's list of richest men on Earth, owns land in Arizona. He controls billions of dollars, I do not know if readers have a sense of what billions of dollars mean.
Anyway, here we go again. I've seen this movie, I only see more animosity between our countries. We have to work for bridges, not for walls.
Mr. Obama, turn down that wall!
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
The case received inordinate attention in Mexico, and even a Presidential candidate got involved, the State of Mexico's Governor - Mexico is a big state inside the Mexican Republic - the governor's poll numbers went down, so the Attorney General had to go.
You can read here.
Monday, May 24, 2010
Maybe strong economic forces are behind this anti scientific campaign: BP is European, isn't it?
Problem is: physics, chemistry, and biological laws still apply.
Read between the lines, why will somebody deny the mess we are in?
Scientists do not make a lot of money by saying that we are in trouble. James Lovelock is very old, he doesn't make money out of scaring people.
Waves here in Acapulco are anomalously big,
I am not happy to report that the descendants of those benefactors of humanity live in very precarious conditions nowadays.
Shame on us!
You can read from Prof. Carroll's NYT article:
"The most impressive aspect of the maize story is what it tells us about the capabilities of agriculturalists 9,000 years ago. These people were living in small groups and shifting their settlements seasonally. Yet they were able to transform a grass with many inconvenient, unwanted features into a high-yielding, easily harvested food crop. The domestication process must have occurred in many stages over a considerable length of time as many different, independent characteristics of the plant were modified.
The most crucial step was freeing the teosinte kernels from their stony cases. Another step was developing plants where the kernels remained intact on the cobs, unlike the teosinte ears, which shatter into individual kernels. Early cultivators had to notice among their stands of plants variants in which the nutritious kernels were at least partially exposed, or whose ears held together better, or that had more rows of kernels, and they had to selectively breed them. It is estimated that the initial domestication process that produced the basic maize form required at least several hundred to perhaps a few thousand years.
Every August, I thank these pioneer geneticists for their skill and patience."
I recently went to Oxtotitlán where the paintings in the first link above are located; all I can write now is that place is out of this world. Far surpassing any imagery you migh have had watching the whole TV series, LOST.
We seem to be lost on our own Earth, that is to our peril. Somehow I feel that if we do not talk to the Native Americans, our days on this Earth are counted.
"“This is the place that you all made together so that you could find one another. The most important part of your life was the time that you spent with these people.”"
That is what I wrote in a past note. Of course I made a mistake, I said EVERYBODY ever to have been in the island returned to live there everafter. It was only a chosen few that had the privilege.
I hope Obama knows what he is doing; somehow though I feel the role of the Government should be on a higher level, than day to day management of the catastrophe; unless the Government calls for a State of Emergency.
Maybe that declaration is coming, I hope not.
From the NYT:
"While the Corexit products, made by Nalco of Naperville, Ill., are the time-tested old faithfuls of oil spill treatment, developed in the 1980s and 1990s, critics say that less toxic and more effective products are now available."
Naperville is close to my heart.
From my corner of the woods, I want to tell this story.
I was fortunate to work for Bell Labs, at their Naperville campus in Indian Hill. Now I own one of the extant copies of Francisco J. Varela: "Principles of Biological Autonomy," and I can report that it was taken from the library at Indian Hill, seven times, starting in 1987, and ending in 1996. The book was bought by Bell Labs in 1981, two years after it was published by Elsevier North Holland Inc..
Also I can report that in an internal publication it was printed that Dennis Ritchie and Ken Thompson, were almost alone in a skunkworks kind of operation keeping the flame of Unix alive, when the company had all but given up on the effort. When I found out, I couldn't believe it. The operating system that made the Internet possible almost died, and only the determination of its creators kept the project going.
That is the Real World. You cannot judge on the importance of some work by society's support to the visionaries' dreams.
I feel in my gut, that Francisco J. Varela is going to follow, as I already wrote in this blog, the same fate as that other great Chilean man, Roberto Bolaño. Two Latinamericans that couldn't stand CIA supported fascism in Chile. At least Varela found some safe haven in the US and Europe, otherwise he might have languished in some dungeon in Chile.
Concluding; a new form of Cybernetics is necessary, one that considers autonomous systems. Life forms cannot be controlled like robots. I can understand why the military, and the industry that goes with it, have not supported "The Principles of Biological Autonomy," but ironically, a Vietnam veteran, Craig Venter, opened the doors for this more advanced science. The Science of Life, as opposed to what has become, the science of death.
There is justice, the issue is that politicians feel they can get away with things when they are immune. Immunity breads corruption. Right now a politician running for office in the city of Puebla, where I worked for several years, is being attacked by people I know. These acquaintances did not have power when I was there, but now they do. They have embarrased this rascal. He was trying to play in the Casino, called the US stock market when the going was good. Now that the whole pyramid scheme collapsed, many municipalities were caught with their pants down, as they say.
A little justice is not bad.
Sunday, May 23, 2010
When is it possible for people to rise up and change an insufferable situation?
All we can come up with is, lame responses like Tea Party rallies, or equivalent ones in the left.
I guess we are going to get at each other's throats when we fight for the last piece of meat in an isolated island, like tonight in the last episode of LOST.
Hey, that's another ending. Everybody dead and alive comes back for some kind of high school reunion, and have an extreme case of Survivor. Maybe CBS will oppose this ending. At least I'm trying to guess what is going to happen tonight.
Whoever thought about this referendum at a LOST finale night, deserves to be totally ignored.
In any case, my question has to do with the Real World. If the main Mexican oil well, Cantarell, already peaked, why is Mexico still selling its oil around seventy dollars a barrel?
My answer: The World is not driven by scarcity only. In this particular case I do not know why they are not selling this endangered resource at least at one hundred dollars a barrel. My guess is that somebody in the Mexican Government, or Pemex, the Mexican oil industry, which is the same thing; must be getting a big pay off. This way, the rest of us do not get more money.
I'm writing to share UC news on several fronts — and to ask for your help.
First, the state budget debate in Sacramento is now beginning in earnest. Last Friday, the governor issued a “May Revise” that is very favorable for the University — restoring $305 million in previous cuts to the UC budget, providing $51 million to support access for 5,100 students, and offering funding for critical capital facilities construction. It also fully funds the Cal Grant program. But the budget proposal also contains serious cuts in other areas of state spending, and the Legislature is going to face some extremely difficult choices this summer as a result.
The budget for UC in the May Revise and the funding of Cal Grants are both critical to the University and its students. The funding level proposed by the governor is needed to maintain student access and course availability, protect financial aid, cover inflationary cost increases, and reduce our need to resort to even more program cuts and employee layoffs in 2010-11.
Even if the governor's May Revise for UC is adopted, UC still faces a sizeable gap between its needs and its resources. So, second, this week I am calling on our top staff to embark on a new and expanded phase of efficiencies at the University, building on the remarkable progress already being made across the system.
As I've said since the beginning of the state fiscal crisis, we at UC need to do our part to find solutions. Already our efficiency efforts are achieving nearly $250 million in cost savings across a variety of fund sources, allowing us to improve service in some areas, redirect dollars from administrative costs to our academic and research missions, and help fill the budget gap that remains even if the governor's May Revise is adopted by the Legislature.
We're now going to push these efficiency efforts into new areas (see box). This won't solve our state budget problem -- but it will help preserve UC's quality in a period of severe fiscal stress. You'll be hearing more details about these efforts in the coming months.
Finally, we are releasing this week our second annual report giving the public a window into the performance of the UC system. The UC Annual Accountability Report pulls together, in one place on the web, data showing how well we're doing in areas such as affordability, student success, research innovation, and diversity, among many others. It's a critical part of the transparency we owe the people of California as their public research university.
As the state budget debate heats up this summer, I hope you'll stay engaged and express your support for public higher education to the decision makers in Sacramento. California and the world are going to experience an epoch of major transformation in the coming decades, and I truly believe that the University of California represents the state's best shot at coming through those decades as a dynamic, innovative, and competitive society. Thank you.
Mark G. Yudof
University of California
Okay, easy since that is what I am running. I installed java this way:
This is all I did to be able to run Java. If you are trying to write your own applets then you need a development platform such as eclipse. In that case you can try:
To actually do applets, look at a tutorial such as:
By Cris Fugate
I read the entry on Gardner yesterday in Wikipedia, the guy never got a Ph.D., but inspired many to get one, just like the Wizard of Oz, inspired Dorothy, and friends, to be all they could be, even if the powers that be, never gave them that recognition. America is a self-made country, autopoietic I will call it, using the precise term of Maturana and Varela, in a very loose sense.
Somebody dear to my heart, has been trying to understand this America, which periodically goes through awakenings. The sixties, I am told, was one of those peak times, when Americans asked themselves collectively, what is it that they are. It seems to me that the populist movement going on now, which first put a black man as a President, and then inspired the Pauls to run for office, signals another one of those crucial moments of the American saga.
Here in Mexico, there is also soul searching of our own kind. The tension here is between the Real Americans, that got here thirteen thousand years ago, and the newcomers, like myself, with only five hundred years residency.
Both our countries though, can become a powerful unit, never seen before on the face of the Earth. That is the theme of another note, however.
The City upon a Hill, is been observed by the whole world. Let us not disappoint humanity, something new is been born here, and as Bob Dylan, the American Prophet says: "That he not busy being born is busy dying"
Keep on trucking America!
Saturday, May 22, 2010
- provides for uniform enforcement of all existing laws
- secures the nation’s borders
- includes a national strategy for coordination among federal, state, local and tribal authorities
- establishes a sensible and orderly guest worker program for legal immigrants
- imposes no unfunded mandates on state and local governments
- includes no mandates on counties to enforce immigration laws, and
- provides a sustainable funding stream to counties for immigrant health care funded by fees levied on legalized immigrants.You can get the document here.
Somehow the idea that Larry Ellison , knows anything about building computers jars me the wrong way.
I am installing Java products in my PC with Ubuntu, and then I had to face this important industry change.
I am skeptical about the success of this fianancial transaction, but then again nobody asked me. Ellison reminds me too much of those kids in Wall Street, that almost broke the boat, he looks kind of greedy. Again nobody asked me my opinion.
I am hoping for the best. I just want to run simple Java applets, I guess I am OK.
"So leadership today is all about taking innovative actions that generate new capabilities and resources — and being smart and disciplined about every dime we spend and invest."
We seem to be going through one of those bottlenecks humanity has found itself in, once in a while.
We need all we got to get out of this one.
That law in Arizona, SB 1070 is a sham. Everybody involved knows it. They just want to test the Obama administration, to see how much profit the rich people of Arizona can get away with. Illegal means cheap, mind you.
Walking through the streets of Chilpancingo here in Guerrero, once in a while I see these pretty "señoritas" driving Mercedes Benz cars. I wonder who bought those cars, just saying.
I guess the job demands, force them to concentrate, that is annoying, but also is an opportunity for scientific progress, if we manage to collaborate.
I'm sure mathematicians, and computer scientists, can say the same about physicists. We do not know mathematics, nor computer science. Nevertheless being the ones that usually get the grants, physicists can act bossy.
Here I go.
Biology had a tremendous triumph this week which is almost finished. Craig Venter's company achieved a history changing success. I am not very impressed with entrepreneurs in general, but my hat is down for Mr. Venter. I am at awe.
I believe that the late biologist, Francisco J. Varela, was ahead of his time, and that now with this important scientific achievement by Venter, more and more people are going to find out about him. I would've preferred though, that just like in the case of his countryman, Roberto Bolaño; recognition were given to them when they were still alive. Oh, well.
Biologist can complain about all of us: physicists, mathematicians, and computer scientists. I can claim some indulgence though; because in spite of the fact that my son was lucky enough in high school to get the Physics First curriculum, that Prof. Leon Lederman has been advocating in the Chicago area; I asked him, and he, grudgingly obeyed, to take Biology.
He did not like it either, when I asked him to take a programming class, which he ended up acing.
He wants to be an Artist. I guess he is going to be one of the better educated artists of the US.
I do not mean to say that Venter used Varela's ideas, only that they can be used to guide the artificial life work.
In conclusion, with the first example of a working bacterium with a brand new Venter Inc. inside CPU; I salute the great humanist Francisco J. Varela.
You can read about Spencer-Brown, in Wikipedia.
In the same article we can read:
"And he defended efforts to revise counterterrorism policies that have generated sharp criticism that he is weakening America’s defenses. “We should not discard our freedoms because extremists try to exploit them,” he said. “We cannot succumb to division because others try to drive us apart.”"
From the NYT.
I think this is an important change of US foreign policy. Bush's idea of preemptive war is as wrong as his Haliburton company's idea of best practices in the Gulf of Mexico.
People make mistakes; even more so, hardheaded men of action, like Mr. Bush and Haliburton's main man Dick Cheney.
Obama is better.
Autonomy of the US and Afghanistan is crucial. The only way to deal with a sovereign country like Afghanistan, is respecting the country. Of course it works both ways, Afghanistan cannot serve as a base to send another set of "God Warriors" , expecting some war booty in heaven in the form of a number of virgins. Mutual respect among autonomous countries. Secure borders, ways to keep the country going, and the production of more children for the future.
Modern technologies give both sides the illusion that now they can destroy the other. That idea is wrong. Autonomous countries can only cooperate, not destroy the other.
When I was in college, 1967 to 1971; we had two important national student movements in Mexico: One ended on October 2, 1968, the other on June 10, 1971. From that perspective I comment on the current, student, and more broadly youth movement now.
Today is student day here in Guerrero. At least since 1950 there has been a dance from 10 o'clock at night to around 4 in the morning. This time our school did not organize one, I guess because there are political, and academic activities in the University, where students participate, like end of year student presentations.
The seniors did organize a celebration for teachers a week ago. They presented shows, and fed us. Expressing their thanks for our efforts to help them learn mathematics, and whatever else that goes with it. They come here expecting guidance, in more ways than academic.
In 1968, most of our teachers failed us. Police entered some school campuses and beat teachers and students, and only a few teachers joined the protests. At some point even the President's authority in the country was questioned. The particular events that started the movement, in hindsight, do not seem that important. What I believe the whole movement represents, is the state of national rejection to the political authority in Mexico after the Revolution of 1910.
In my personal experience that year of 1968, when I was 18, was a life changing experience. I decided to dedicate my life to the pursuit of knowledge, and away from practical applications of science; eventually I decided to become a Scientist.
Our movement was influenced by other student movements going on in France, Czechoslovakia, and the US. We were not copying, we had our own dynamics, and it seems that those dynamics in other countries were similar. Few of us spoke French, Czech, or English, but nevertheless the Mexican media fed us news from those far away places. Maybe something in the air, all through the western world. After all, since WWII, many experiences got tied up in one way or another. For instance, my father went to work to the US, because American men of his generation were sent to fight to Europe and Asia.
Coming to today. If you follow this blog at all, you might have noticed my partiality to the brave fight by my own children. I mean the illegal Mexican kids that now are in the custody of the authorities ready to be deported. This week in Democaracy Now! you can see one young man from Iran, and two Mexican young women. They are leaders of this movement, and were arrested in the office of that poser, John McCain. In Mexico we say: "más pronto cae un hablador que un cojo," sooner does a person with a lose mouth falls than a person with one leg. John McCain: you are a liar!
McCain led me to believe that he was going to help the DREAM act, and those kids also thought so. Now they are waiting to be deported. Shame on you!
I hope Americans come to their senses and resolve this issue fairly.
I don't have illusions though, I am 60 now, and I know that some prejudices never die. All I can tell to those Americans that want to send back to their countries millions of "other" people, is that very likely some of them are going to be taken care of, in nursing homes, and hospitals, by these very children they want to throw out now.
What I do believe in, is in political organization, Cesar Chavez, and Martin Luther King Jr., showed us the way. I see some courageous political leaders like Bill Richardson, Luis Gutierrez, Antonio Villaraigosa, and others. I hope they don't turn out like John McCain. Principles, politicians need principles.
Hope dies last (la esperanza es lo último que muere), I'm still waiting for McCain to start acting like a man, and confront the extreme right in his party. Mr. McCain, that road leads to fascism.
To conclude, the youth and student movement of today is a cosmopolitan movement, they are building the future society, one in which your place of birth is as irrelevant as the color of your skin, or your religious beliefs. I can't wait the coming of the age of Aquarium.
Let us all love each other, Jesus Christ said this two thousand years ago, it is time we listen to him.
Friday, May 21, 2010
I'll check for the time The Man, comes and takes it away. I was criticizing the poor Russian professor that had to change his Marxist's ideas for a salary calculating for capitalists, the best way to exploit workers.
I guess sixties idealists went the same way, btw Bobby was never deceitful, he refused to be typecasted as a topical singer.
Pete Seeger couldn't get his Cuban friend, Silvio Rodríguez, visit and sing for him, last year. Now Mr. Rodríguez got a visa! Another plus for Mr. Obama in my book.
This is how it is going to end.
Everybody stays in the Island, which is a much better place than anywhere these poor souls have ever been.
I made a little story for my kids when they were younger: "The Enchanted Forest." Nobody could figure out why those that ventured in never came out of there; when finally the person telling the story had the courage to go in there, he finds out, that everybody was having such a great time, that nobody wanted to go out.
Remember, you read it here first.
This is a proposal to measure heart rate of workers to make a cost/benefit analysis for installing air conditioners.
Now I ask myself, what do ergonomic ideas devised to get the most juice from human beings have to do with math education?
I guess I am being very harsh here. But deep down I feel that every scientific field should devote more time for Relevant Science.
Maybe my colleague's methods work, I really don't know. I'm just in a weird mood. I guess is better than the training of our Governor as an accountant in a Mexican private university.
Oh, our Governor represents a leftist Mexican party, the Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD). I do not feel a member, of any political movement, or for that matter, any Academy of like minded scholars.
I should try to be more understanding. Prof. Bedny very likely was not making that much money under the Soviet system to satisfy his needs. What was he supposed to do, to convince American intellectuals that the only true Theory of Reality is Marxism? Maybe he tried, but he ended up at Newark, of all places, calculating the savings of installing air conditioners for American workers or not.
Workers of the World Unite!
You can read a note in:
Google is Leapfrogging Apple
You can read there:
"Well, now we know. With Android Froyo, apps are synced wirelessly between your desktop web browser and your phone, music is streamed from your home PC to your handset over 3G, and instructions—map directions, search terms, web pages and potential all kinds of other stuff—can be zapped to your handset from a desktop browser. Sync as Apple defines it suddenly looks tired and clumsy. The new sync is instant, it's less redundant, it makes sense. And the new sync belongs to Google."
It ends thus:
"Google, too, has a hunger for domination, but they've finally got vision of their own to accompany it: A vision of cellphones and desktops connected seamlessly—revolutionarily, magically—over the internet; a vision of media that streams when you need it, and disappears when you don't; a vision that sees TV as an extension of the internet, not simply a dumb screen.
Google's got a ton of work to do. Android is fragmented, and huge share of the handsets people own today will never take advantage of Froyo's new features. Any new TV product takes years to filter into the average living room. Media streaming is an inevitability, but the infrastructure isn't there to fully realize it, and what Google showed off today doesn't address everything. (The is no video component to their new Simplify Media-based music streaming software, for now.) But listening to Google's newly emboldened Vic Gundotra after a particularly uninspired series of Jobsnotes, peering into each company's future, I see Google stepping out ahead—and with one impressive lead."
Fluff, and non-sense. These are not thinkers, they are good Trojan Horses for "smart" operators like those whose initials are here: B.M., F.F., and A.H.
Please Americans do not fall for these non-thinking demagogues. Read a little History and you will see where this leads.
From this Sunday column of Frank Rich:
"The Tea Party is a right-wing populist movement with a specific ideology. It resides in the aging white base of the Republican Party and wants to purge that party of leaders who veer from its dogma. But divisive as the Tea Party may be within the G.O.P., it’s hardly good news for President Obama and the Democrats either."
Thursday, May 20, 2010
Please American friends listen to him. Mexicans are not leaving North America, we have to come together and be the great continent we can be.
Many Americans already enjoy Mexico, and viceversa, let us keep working for making a half billion people strong area of this Earth. There are not that many places on the surface of the Earth to live.
As friends let us build a Great North American region.
He is more worried the US is going the way of Japan, than the way of Greece. A self sustaining economy needs money into the system, not savings produced by scared conservatives, and greedy bankers. Inflation robs money from banks it seems. Money out of banks can lead to prosperity for all; but bankers worry.
The way I understand Krugman's thinking is that thinking people are more willing to move money around. Non-thinking people prefer to move little, if at all.
Nobody knows the future, so there is no way for me to know which one will win; but my gut feeling tells me to move.
I should start moving myself. No matter how bleak things look in Mexico and the US.
"The researchers calculate that about half of the mass thrown out was calcium, which means that a couple of such supernova every 100 years would be enough to produce the high abundance of calcium observed in galaxies like our own Milky Way, and the calcium present in all life on Earth"
These are strange stars discovered by Filippenko's team at Berkeley.
To me the implication is that if these strange stars that steal a lot of helium from nearby stars, and then produce calcium, were not there; then we wouldn't be here.
From that note in physorg.com we can read also:
"The paper's authors note that, if these eight calcium-rich superonovae are the first examples of a common, new type of supernova, they could explain two puzzling observations: the abundance of calcium in galaxies and in life on Earth, and the concentration of positrons - the anti-matter counterpart of the electron - in the center of galaxies. The latter could be the result of the decay of radioactive titanium-44, produced abundantly in this type of supernova, to scandium-44 and a positron, prior to scandium's decay to calcium-44. The most popular explanation for this positron presence is the decay of putative dark matter at the core of galaxies.
"Dark matter may or may not exist," says Gal-Yam, "but these positrons are perhaps just as easily accounted for by the third type of supernova."
Filippenko and Li hope that KAIT and other robotic telescopes scanning distant galaxies every night in search of new supernovae will turn up more examples of calcium-rich or even stranger supernovae.
"The research field of supernovae is exploding right now, if you'll pardon the pun," joked Filippenko. "Many supernovae with peculiar new properties have been found, pointing to a greater richness in the physical mechanisms by which nature chooses to explode stars."
Provided by University of California - Berkeley (news : web)"
I have difficulty in understanding this. The Rector's office is not on campus. There is another location for authorities.
When I left around midnight, I did see some people standing by. Since there are elections for department heads, I thought they were partisans for one or other candidate.
I am at campus right now, and nobody seems to be worried, not even aware of these news.
Also in the same radio station I heard that an important member of the drug cartels is in the hands of the Calderón government. Together with that information, an important member of the President's party has not been seen since last Saturday morning.
What a mysterious country. I'll report later when I know more.
In any case, I believe that everywhere in the world news are been made, but only once in a while they make it to the NYT, and then, they are news.
Today, May 21, I can confirm that an Army unit went to the Philosophy School. I rather they take classes there, instead of trying to intimidate intellectuals.
I want to add the following. The students that went to the radio, also mentioned some unknown professor, from Earth Sciences. I am near their building, I haven't seen anybody from that department that stays as late as I do. Maybe it was me they were referring to. Who knows?
From today's La Jornada Guerrero you can read:
"El director y un grupo de académicos de la Uafyl, vía Internet, enviaron también una postura consensuada: “lo inconcebible del pretexto para invadir el espacio universitario (particularmente el de la unidad académica de filosofía y letras) de elementos del Ejército, no puede hacernos pensar en la ignorancia o en lo ingenuo de la acción castrense, sino que nos lleva a creer que ha iniciado un proceso sistemático de violación a la autonomía universitaria que tanto las administraciones centrales de la UAG, como el propio Consejo Universitario no han sabido denunciar, detener y defender”.
Justino García Téllez, catedrático de la facultad, expuso que lo ocurrido es una situación sistemática y no descartó que también tenga alguna relación con el proceso electoral a directores y consejeros universitarios que se lleva a cabo en las unidades académicas."
The Director and some faculty members of the Philosophy Department, posted their shared position on the Internet:"the nonsensical pretext to invade the university campus (particularly the department of philosophy and Spanish) of the Army personnel, cannot make us think that their action was based on ignorance or naiveté, rather it leads us to think that the Army has started a systematic process of university autonomy violation that both the central administration of the UAG (Autonomous University of Guerrero), and the University Council proper have not been able to denounce, stop and defend".
Justino García Téllez, faculty member, expressed that what happened is a systematic situation, and did not discard that also may be related with the electoral process for directors and representatives to the University Council which are happening right now in the university departments.
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Ayala's concerns with ethics come, I suppose, from his prior life as a Catholic Priest. Now he is married, and has children, and follows the tradition of European thinkers with a religious background, like Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, and Goerges Lemaître.
Other giant with a similar upbringing was Ivan Illich.
Maybe you will like to hear Chava Flores (below) singing about Gate Crachers, better known as Gorrones here down South.
"The Mexican leader was being showered with attention to bolster him at a time when Mexico is mired in a bloody drug war. Violence has become more frequent in Mexico even as Mr. Calderón has stepped up arrests and seizures by the police. Among the recent victims are a close friend of Mr. Calderón, who was kidnapped, and a candidate from his party, who was shot dead.
Mr. Obama vowed to “stand together against the drug cartels” and praised Mr. Calderón’s efforts. “As your partner, we’ll give you the support you need to prevail,” Mr. Obama said."
This quote was taken from the NYT.
The close friend's name is Diego Fernández de Cevallos. Some Mexicans, myself included, feel unprotected by a Government that cannot protect its own. I feel that the President's Party, National Action Party or PAN, is having a hard time learning the ropes of government. They have had the presidency, for ten years now, and they have not been able, even to get respect for Mexicans, by the US Government, and even less by the average US citizen who gets awakened by the Pauls (read below), instead of accepting their neighbors to the South.
White Mexicans also disrespect Mexican Indians. If you are a white Anglo Saxon protestant, please do not take my thoughts as an insult. I do have friends and acquaintances with these ethnic and religious characteristics. This note is in good faith. I am not fighting any particular group.
A few days ago I posed two questions in this blog; now I answer them. Why Arizonans do not like Mexicans? Why "Dominicanos" (natives of Santo Domingo) do not like Haitians?
The questions were prompted when I found out that black Haitians will think it twice before crossing the border to Santo Domingo. They used to behead illegal immigrants at that border. Maybe now they don't, but I assume that people remember the past in that border.
The Sonora Arizona border also has a long time memory. Disrespect is the present state of deep hatreds born out of a real war for land, and the efforts to enslave ones neighbors. The Gaza Israel border also comes to mind. The Israeli Governement recently did not allow Noam Chomsky to feel comfortable around there.
Deep, deep hate.
I focus on the American-Mexican foreign relations here.
Remember The Alamo , is a real American battle cry. Our border has not been peaceful. At some level both countries remember the Mexican- American War.
Americans disrespect Mexicans, I pose in this note; because they are not proud of what a state of War made them do. Imagine the nightmares of so many American soldiers, if they were to wake up one day with neighbors from Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Korea, Iraq and Afghanistan. Not to mention Japan, Italy, and Germany. Wars make animals out of people, senses of decency, morality, and just plain human respect for other human beings, fly out the window.
Greaser, wetback, illegals: All compounded on civilized disrespect.
That is why I think Americans disrespect Mexicans, and "Dominicanos" Haitians.
That is my answer.
Before we can become brothers and sisters as we are supposed to be, we first have to bring out these devils that are poisoning our souls.
Brothers, I will be waiting for you. Once we come together, there won't be any natural disaster that will stop human ascension to higher states of consciuosness.
If none of this makes any sense to you, I guess you won't come back for more.
Good bye, and good luck.
I have no idea what Obama will do. I see that the Tea Party already has one candidate, Rand Paul, running for his Republican Party seat to the Senate for Kentucky.
Then there is this new book by Matt Ridley, "Rational Optimist." He tells us not to worry, humanity has always found a way. I hope he is right, but I do not know.
I guess some readers already stopped reading this, this guy does not know anything, why should I keep reading him?
Actually I do know a lot of things. The only thing I do not know is the future. Furthermore, whenever I hear false prophets like Ron Paul, and his son Rand, I get worried, very worried. I've seen this movie before, very sure rightists: Want some names. Benito Mussolini, Francisco Franco, and yes, Adolf Hitler.
There is more to the future than certainty. I am glad our Universe is like that.