This is my weblog. Yes, it means logs meant to be on the web. Yes, the word blog comes from weblog. Yes, I had no freaking clue that this was the case. And yes, I am writing all these just to fill up the space below which the logs can begin.

Don't criticize what you can't understand

Don't write what you do not — to at least a certain admissible level — understand. This reminds me of the line in Bob Dylan's song "don't criticize what you can't understand".

Ab initio cum recta abstractio

It is important to think from the ground up but you must be at the right ground.

Hence, ab initio cum recta abstractio. From the beginning with the correct abstraction.

Cryptography and Physics

The philosophical exploration of cryptography from a physical perspective delves into fundamental questions about the nature of information, its robustness under physical laws, and the principles governing its secure communication and control (black hole information paradox, non-locality and nature of quantum information).

Need for?

Almost always we find works of science established on grounds of mathematical understanding (language formalisation?) and physical importance (pragmatic realism?). However, philosophy (understanding perspective?) is often left out. This often comes around to bite back. The main reason I believe this happens is because of lack of perspective leading to further lack of ideological basis or motivational push.

‘If’ from Rewards and Fairies

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!

The poem nicely encapsulates my notion of virtue ethics. To be stable when none are, to be trustworthy when none are, to be hated but not giveaway to hating, to not be too proud or be grandoise, to be stoic about results yet be passionate about actions, to build things back up no matter how many times they are broken, to wager away everything on that what you feel righteous and to hold on to all these when despair glooms all.

The only line which feels ill to me is “If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you, If all men count with you, but none too much“. Might it rather be:

If neither foes nor loving friends can make you,
Feel that life’s worth is futile much;
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a great, my son!

‘Gettysberg Address’ by Abraham Lincoln

"Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate — we can not consecrate — we can not hallow — this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth. (Abraham Lincoln)"

My favourite speech given of all times.

Found randomly

"The insects have chosen a different line: they have sought first the material welfare and security of the hive, and presumably they have their reward. Men are different. They propound mathematical theorems in beleaguered cities, conduct metaphysical arguments in condemned cells, make jokes on scaffolds, discuss the last new poem while advancing to the walls of Quebec, and comb their hair at Thermopylae. This is not panache; it is our nature. (C.S. Lewis)"

Diplomacy and Perception

  • Identities matter to us more than actions. By turning actions into identities we can make people much more likely to engage in those desired actions.
  • Speak with a great deal of confidence. Remove fillers.
  • Be prophetic. Don’t ask me wtf that means.

Code

Capture, Organize, Distill, and Express.

A nice mantra to remember when you think of approaching any system design job be it in the manufacturing industry or be it in good old software engineering.

Now, on the subject of actual “code” or “programs or software”, code is used and read more than it is written. Zeeshan sent me a blog post regarding this.

biz > user > ops > maintainer > author

Whims and Selling

Always selling and marketing based on the whims of the public is a fast track to disaster for the public and often for the institution doing it too. However, certain individuals can get wealth and influence, a lot of it, by doing this.

Trust and Values

Without trust society cannot stand. It is neither just truth nor lies that a civilization is built upon. A civilization stands on trust be it fictional, fake or emperical truth.

To imagine an intermingling of trust and fiction is strange. Maybe fiction is essential for our minds to comprehend reality and work with it.

As to values and personal values, I trust in being virtuous. And my virtuosity assumes openness and honesty in all things important.

Rosch and Whorf's Hypothesis: an excerpt

Rosch's early studies were on color. She learned of the Berlin-Kay color research midway through her own research and found that their results meshed with her own work on Dani, a New Guinea language that has only two basic color categories: mili (dark-cool, including black, green, and blue) and mola (light-warm, including white, red, yellow).

Berlin and Kay had shown that focal colors had a special status within color categoraies-that of the best example of the category. Rosch found that Dani speakers, when asked for the best exampies of their two color categories, chose focal colors, for example, white, red, or yellow for mola with different speakers making different choices.

In a remarkable set of experiments, Rosch set out to show that primary color categories were psychologically real for speakers of Dani, even though they were not named. She set out to challenge one of Whorf's hypotheses, namely, that language determines one's conceptual system. If Whorf were right on this matter, the Dani's two words for colors would determine two and only two conceptual categories of colors.

Rosch reasoned that if it was language alone that determined color categorization, then the Dani should have equal difficulty learning new words for colors, no matter whether the color ranges had a primary color at the center or a nonprimary color.

She then went about studying how Dani speakers would learn new, made-up color terms. One group was taught arbitrary names for eight focal colors, and another group, arbitrary names for eight nonfocal colors (Rosch 1973). The names for focal colors were learned more easily. Dani speakers were also found (like English speakers) to be able to remember focal colors better than nonfocal colors (Heider 1972).

In an experiment in which speakers judged color similarity, the Dani were shown to represent colors in memory the same way English speakers do (Heider and Olivier 1972).

Story and its elements

A story is built with the following:

  • Narration → moves the story → active voice, fuck adverbs and adjectives
  • Description → show the perceptions → don’t tell
  • Dialogue → brings characters to life → don’t overstate

Where I differ from Nietzsche?

On Vagabond

The Three-body Problem

"Should philosophy guide experiments or expeiment guide philosophy?" (Cixin Liu, 三体 or Three-body)