January 17th, 2013


Wednesday Reading?

The stacks of print books are more wishful thinking than anything else: i can't really be said to be reading them.

I'll claim the copy of the Association of Computing Machinery's latest Communications in the bathroom -- which has an article (subscription needed) claiming that "what differential calculus did for the physical science, algorithms are doing for the social and biological sciences." I wrinkle my forehead, wondering what the difference is between iterating over nonlinear differential equations and these "algorithms." I have a suspicion that the author is missing something in their grandiose introduction, that is basically how nonlinear differential equations could become soluble when iterative computer models could be developed. These "algorithms" referenced, i suspect, go back to nonlinear differential equations. This is the ground of chaos theory.

There's also a line about "Biology = physics + history; but history is the great, unforgiving symmetry breaker." Since i did research on symmetry breaking, i know that currently physics sees CPT as symmetric -- charge, polarity, time -- and it's not just time that breaks symmetry. Of course, i understand that on macroscopic scales, time is the variable that introduces the thermodamnonsense into the picture and entropy is not something that can be easily reversed.

I'm not sure the author is wrong, per se, but the grandiose tone taken in the intro really pushes some of my buttons.

As my commute home entertainment, I'm continuing to enjoy listening to the "Bloody Jack" series, currently, "In the Belly of the Bloodhound: Being an Account of a Particularly Peculiar Adventure in the Life of Jacky Faber." As my pretense of being an adult, i'm actually enjoying listening to "Field Guide to Overcoming the Five Dysfunctions of a Team." (Bother, i seem to have accidentally deleted that note.)

This list of books in English translation has some that attract me, but i suspect the closest i will come to reading them is reading about the authors and Oulipo in wikipedia: