10 January 2012

Happy New Year 2012 (the end of the world is nigh!)

I wanted to collect some of the stupidities around regarding the common perception amongst many that 21 December 2012 will be the (new) end of the world. But I can't. It is too ambitious of a project. There is no end to stupidity. According to some count, there are 600 thousand web pages devoted to the 2012 phenomenon. If you have nothing else to do (and why should you, if you believe that the world will end soon), you can start reading.

Recall, however, that the end of the world has been set and reset many times. It was 2000. Then it was 2001. Then it was 2011. Now it is 2012. For a larger list of the end of the world dates, see here. For example, according to the Talmud, the world will end in 2240.

There are all kinds of versions of 2012-phenomenon idiots. Many are the  conspiracy theorists: the government doesn't want you to know that the world will end. Others are geometrically-oriented: we are entering the 4th dimension. Then there are the alarmists: they don't tell you that things are going to take place for sure, but they want to make you feel fear. The amount of excrement is endless.

As for books, there are plenty. Enough to fill a bookstore. Sample titles: The Everything Guide to 2012; The Mystery of 2012; How to Survive 2012; The Mayan Prophesies for 2012; Fractal Time [sic]; 2013: Envisioning the World after the Events of 2012; ... There is even the Complete Idiot's Guide to 2012. (As if the "Complete Idiot" adjective was needed...)

Nah, I give up. I can't waste time on s**it.

Happy New Year!

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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