Alexander Grothendieck

In other words, the philosophy was this: If a phenomenon seems hard to explain, it’s because you haven’t fully understood how general it is. Once you figure out how general it is, the explanation will stare you in the face.

It is, I believe, just plain impossible, without trying to teach you a lot of mathematics, to convey the extremes to which Grothendieck carried this philosophy, or the magnificence of its success. Of course it might still have had its limits.

— The Generalist

— Steve Landsburg

— November 17, 2014

2014.11.25 Tuesday ACHK

大學選科

這段改編自 2010 年 8 月 11 日的對話。

(TK: 那樣,band A (第一組別)的科目,應該都是,自己最喜歡的科目,…)

不完全是。

香港 JUPAS(大學聯合招生)的 band A 有三科。頭兩科就應該是,自己最喜歡的。至於第三科,就應該是「水浮」(救生圈)科目,亦即是一些自己不是最喜歡,但仍算頗為喜歡,可以接受;而收生要求不太高,導致以你的成績,有九成九機會,會獲得取錄的。

(TK: 那樣,band A 之後的哪些科目,又應該怎樣選呢?)

其實,如果你不被你 band A 或 band B 的科目取錄,你就很可能會,跌落選科表格中,排到很後的學科。所以,你選科表格中的任何一科,都有可能變成你的真正主修。

大原則是,凡是你填落該表格的科目,可以沒有愛,但不可以有恨。

— Me@2014.11.11

2014.11.24 Monday (c) All rights reserved by ACHK

Alfred Tarski

Alfred Tarski diagnosed the paradox as arising only in languages that are “semantically closed”, by which he meant a language in which it is possible for one sentence to predicate truth (or falsehood) of another sentence in the same language (or even of itself). To avoid self-contradiction, it is necessary when discussing truth values to envision levels of languages, each of which can predicate truth (or falsehood) only of languages at a lower level. So, when one sentence refers to the truth-value of another, it is semantically higher. The sentence referred to is part of the “object language”, while the referring sentence is considered to be a part of a “meta-language” with respect to the object language. It is legitimate for sentences in “languages” higher on the semantic hierarchy to refer to sentences lower in the “language” hierarchy, but not the other way around. This prevents a system from becoming self-referential.

— Wikipedia on Liar paradox

2014.11.21 Friday ACHK

Action | Uncertainty

Action can decrease your uncertainty. That’s why the policy of “go as far as you can see, and when you get there, you’ll see farther” works, as long as the overall direction is correct.

— Me@2011.07.25

Go as far as you can see, and when you get there, you’ll see farther. — Thomas Carlyle — Me@2003

見步行步, 行步見步 — 卓韻芝

2014.11.15 Saturday (c) All rights reserved by ACHK

軟硬智力 12

天人天書 1.2.3

這段改編自 2010 年 4 月 10 日的對話。

比喻說,我因為打網球,導致運動量增加,令我身體更加健康,從而頭腦更加清晰,工作更加順利。你並不需要問:「究竟你打網球中的哪個動作技巧,令到你的工作更加順利?」

第一層次,「神作」帶來嶄新的意念。

第二層次,「神作」帶來天人的靈感。

以上兩者皆是 software(軟件)。

第三層次,「神作」中的 software,有時會上乘到,引發我有 hardware 上,即腦部結構的改變。換句話說,「硬件智力」得以提升。

腦部的 hardware(硬件),即是腦部本身,並不完全是「硬」而不可改變的。用腦用得多,或者受到「神作」的衝擊,腦中眾多神經元細胞之間的連繫,會變得密集很多。

— Me@2014.11.14

2014.11.15 Saturday (c) All rights reserved by ACHK

Interstellar

Interstellar is a 2014 space adventure film directed by Christopher Nolan.

This image is of a poster, and the copyright for it is most likely owned by either the publisher or the creator of the work depicted. It is believed that the use of scaled-down, low-resolution images of posters

1. to provide critical commentary on the film, event, etc. in question or of the poster itself, not solely for illustration

2. on the English-language Wikipedia, hosted on servers in the United States by the non-profit Wikimedia Foundation,

qualifies as fair use under United States copyright law. Any other uses of this image, on Wikipedia or elsewhere, may be copyright infringement.

Director Christopher Nolan said influences on Interstellar included the “key touchstones” of science fiction cinema; Metropolis (1927), 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), and Blade Runner (1982). Nolan said about 2001, “The movies you grow up with, the culture you absorb through the decades, become part of your expectations while watching a film. So you can’t make any film in a vacuum. We’re making a science-fiction film… You can’t pretend 2001 doesn’t exist when you’re making Interstellar.” He also said Star Wars (1977) and Alien (1979) influenced Interstellar ‘​s production design: “Those always stuck in my head as being how you need to approach science-fiction. It has to feel used — as used and as real as the world we live in.” Andrei Tarkovsky’s The Mirror influenced “elemental things in the story to do with wind and dust and water”.

Early in the process, Thorne laid down a couple of guidelines; that nothing would violate established physical laws, and that all the wild speculations would spring from science and not from the fertile mind of a screenwriter. Nolan accepted these terms as long as they did not get in the way of the making of the movie. At one point Thorne, spent two weeks trying to talk Nolan out of an idea about a character travelling faster than light before Nolan finally gave up. According to Thorne, the element which has the highest degree of artistic freedom is the clouds of ice on one of the planets they visit, which are structures that probably go beyond the material strength that ice would be able to support.

— Wikipedia on Interstellar (film)

2014.11.13 Thursday ACHK

Fasting creates new brain cells

So, what’s going on?

Well, when they examined the brains of the fasting mice.

They found something extraordinary. 

These green objects are newborn brain cells.   

These three here are brand new?

Sporadic bouts of hunger actually trigger new neurons to grow.

Why should a brain start to generate new nerve cells when you stop feeding it?

If you think about this in evolutionary terms, it makes sense.

If you’re hungry, you’d better increase your cognitive ability.   

That will give you a survival advantage, if you can remember where the location of the food is and so on.

It seems that fasting stresses your grey matter the way that exercise stresses your muscles.

So hunger really does make you sharper?

Yes. We think so.   

Mark’s research is starting to point towards a simple conclusion.

Alternate day fasting has better effects on the brain than does a lower-amount-of-daily-calorie restriction.

It’s true of mice, but he needs to do proper human trials to prove it’s true in us.   

I’ve come to the end of my search to find out how to eat, fast and live longer.

The official advice is, eat at least 2,000 calories a day, and if you really want to fast, even on an intermittent basis, see your doctor first, because there are people it could harm such as pregnant women or those who are already underweight.

— Eat, Fast and Live Longer

— BBC Horizon

— Me@2013-10-05 1:06 AM

2014.11.13 Thursday ACHK

數字人事 1.1

荒島測試 4.1

這段改編自 2010 年 8 月 11 日的對話。

(TK: 其實,我也不太知道,上大學應該選哪一科作為主修,因為,我暫時沒有,一些心儀的科目。)

至起碼,你要先縮窄範圍,例如,你可以考慮:

你喜歡「對數字」、「對文字」,還是「對人」的工作?

(TK: 可不可以,三樣也不喜歡?)

那樣,對你來說,哪一樣的「不喜歡程度」最低?

記住,要「眾害取其輕」。

(TK: 可以暫時假設是「對人」。)

那樣,你就可以立刻想像到,一大堆科目。例如,「工商管理」和「社會工作學」,都是「對人」的科目。

現在,你就有了一個大概的方向。然後,你才開始詳細考慮,你最喜歡的是哪些主修科目。

— Me@2014.11.11

2014.11.12 Wednesday (c) All rights reserved by ACHK

Cartesian Dualism 2

Transcend duality and non-duality

Duality is correct, in the sense that mind (software) and matter (hardware) are independent.

They are independent in the sense that a piece of software inside a computer (hardware) can be transferred or copied onto another computer. It can continue to exist even after that particular computer ceases to. 

Non-duality is correct, in the sense that mind (software) is pattern of matter (hardware).

They are not two “things”. They are two aspects of the same “thing”.

— Me@2014-10-04 11:57:06 AM

2014.11.07 Friday (c) All rights reserved by ACHK

意念可樂 2.3

Don’t rely on creativity for a living.

By the nature of creativity, you cannot have constant supply of creativity, unless you have accumulated a lot. However, you need to have a constant supply (actually an exponential supply) of money.

Make a living by doing boring jobs is a good choice, because there is a constant supply of boring jobs. Make a living by doing interesting jobs is also a good choice, because an interesting job ignites creativity.

Sometimes, a two-job approach may be the best.

— Me@2011.07.25

— Me@2014.11.02

Everyone needs two jobs — one for money, one for love.

— 

2014.11.05 Wednesday (c) All rights reserved by ACHK

活出電影

這段改編自 2010 年 4 月 10 日的對話。

除了書籍以外,我也會很有意識地,去收集電影作品中的「神作」。「收集」的意思,不限於觀賞。我以前當日校老師的那三年中,每逢看電影時,我也會很自然地,留意各部電影的「講故事技巧」。它們為我的教學,帶來不少的靈感。

(安:那比較難想像。

如果那是一部喜劇,我可以想像,你可以把電影中的部分笑話,改篇成教學版本。但是,如果那是一部(例如)警匪片,那就比較難想像,當中的「故事技巧」,怎樣可以應用在教學之中。)

不一定是直接。

比喻說,我因為打網球,導致運動量增加,令我身體更加健康,從而頭腦更加清晰,工作更加順利。你並不需要問:「究竟你打網球中的哪個動作技巧,令到你的工作更加順利?」

— Me@2014.10.31

2014.11.05 Wednesday (c) All rights reserved by ACHK