Monday, October 29, 2007

i am a computer

I used to be really worried about reductionism. You know, the whole pyramid of science thing, with atoms (or quarks and stuff) at the bottom. I didn't like being just a big pile of dumb old molecules bumping into each other.

At the time, I tried to analyze what was bothersome about this. I think the answer I came up with was that it was the dumbness of the molecules. Ok, they're pretty cool, but just not cool enough to equal me. So one way out of the resulting depression is to try to convince oneself that atoms really are that cool.

In the end, I think this line of thinking has at its heart: "I am a machine. Oh no!!"

Lately I've been thinking: "I am a computer. Oh no!!"

It gets especially dangerous when I drive around with GPS, and spend lots of time interacting with screens like the one in front of me now.

It then hit me that being a machine didn't bother me as much any more.
But, so why should being a computer bother me? I guess its because its the dominant language, and suggests certain limitations.

I'm tempted to say that this is about the mind body problem, or subjective versus objective, but I think its more about making things in our own image and then forgetting that we were their source and sort of becoming their slaves. Weird cycle.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

extra something

So there are all these pieces, and on there own they rattle together.
Again, I have the image of having climbed out of a ravine.
In the middle of it all, one thinks that out of templates, convergent/divergent integrals, context free grammar, parameter 1 through n, file formats with and without futures and even secret and not so secret motivations, one can build something. Yes, but as long as one remembers that those are just raw materials.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

putting it together?

*)"Practical C++ programming"
*)"Mastering Matlab 7"
*)"The Fokker Planck Equation"
*)article by Bruck on Touschek lifetime
*)an undocumented C++ library for particle tracking and global parameter extraction
*)a partially designed synchrotron light source
*)a bunch of smart people who don't work together particularly well