15 December 2011

New Zealand church "challenge"

I just read that St Matthew-in-the-City Church in Auckland erected a billboard with the following image:
People found it offensive and defaced it. The church explained that they want to challenge people and think what  Christmas is all about, about the virgin birth or about love. A spokesman for the Catholic Church replied:
"Our Christian tradition of 2,000 years is that Mary remains a virgin and that Jesus is the son of God, not Joseph. Such a poster is inappropriate and disrespectful."
Here we go again. Tradition, no matter how obscure it may be, is put above reason. Whereas I applaud the first church's act to challenge an irrational tradition, I think that, if taken to its eventual logical conclusion, the first church would have to eventually challenge every aspect of its religious dogmas. But then why have a church at all? This is what the critics fear.

A politically motivated conservative organization called Family First, replied:
"To confront children and families with the concept as a street billboard is completely irresponsible and unnecessary,"
This is nonsense. As a child, I loved to be confronted with a reasonable explanation of the traditionally irrational. It made me feel happier and better able to confront the world. Why should children be treated as stupid? Who said that imposing upon them the beliefs and superstitions of a 2000 year old tradition is good for them? The eventual harm done to children by indoctrinating them with irrational absurdities is much higher than a moment's truth.

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What measure theory is about

It's about counting, but when things get too large.
Put otherwise, it's about addition of positive numbers, but when these numbers are far too many.

The principle of dynamic programming

max_{x,y} [f(x) + g(x,y)] = max_x [f(x) + max_y g(x,y)]

The bottom line

Nuestras horas son minutos cuando esperamos saber y siglos cuando sabemos lo que se puede aprender.
(Our hours are minutes when we wait to learn and centuries when we know what is to be learnt.) --António Machado

Αγεωμέτρητος μηδείς εισίτω.
(Those who do not know geometry may not enter.) --Plato

Sapere Aude! Habe Muth, dich deines eigenen Verstandes zu bedienen!
(Dare to know! Have courage to use your own reason!) --Kant