Thursday, April 24, 2008

Reverse Chaos Theory

If chaos theory is about finding order in what seems to be randomness, then I'd be really delighted to find the techniques for revers chaos theory. Why? Well since one of the things that brings me down is seeing too much order and determinism taking over. Things repeating, same thing again and again. Anywhere, I find it quite hard to follow the same road to home and from home to work everyday, it just seems like some parts of life would be better off played fast forward... since if you know all about it then it seems like you can shrink it time and see the end.

All in all randomness and indeterministic phenomena bring joy and excitement. My euphoria is flying and trying hard in pure chaos and watching the results.

Raph Koster talks about the same idea in his great book "A theory of Fun" where he says human beings are fascinated by the act of trying to find patterns and once they find these patterns, then it is not fun for them anymore, in this case he is talking about games and the point when a game becomes not fun anymore.

In either case back to the subject and the reason I'm after reverse chaos theory is to be able to find randomness in what appears to be orderly and deterministic. I'm practicing this, for example when I take the same road everyday to work, I try to find little differences in the path everyday, like the way the cat moves or change in the tree heights ... ;) ... new experiences can be found after all ...

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Be truthful you ****** !

"Founders at work" has interesting interviews with many different founders and Steve Wozniak who has been one of the most influential people in the field of computers is among them.
When he is asked about any advice he might have for the new code hackers out there, this is what he says: "First of all, try to have the highest of ethics and to be open and truthful about things, not hiding."

Oh, the infamous Breakout was his idea!

Sunday, April 20, 2008


Here is the man... Soshiant himself.... getting ready to battle with all the evil that has conquered Siavorshgard... his journey will start soon... although he will have long hair by that time... so after all it might not be really soon... he needs proper training and preparations in order to survive all the blood and magic anyway... his secret these days is learning how to master the sword which is the "forbidden" weapon to be used by any human being, only the Deevs are allowed to use such things ... only if he could find Jamshid, the greatest king of all time, to reveal some combat secrets to him ...

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Synaptic Magic

This has been one of the hottest topics for the "over the lunch" discussions in our little kitchen at Fanafzar. One that leads to lots of discussions and no results.

I am almost certain that the answer to this question can never be found, the question being: "Do we have real randomness in this world or is everything acting in a deterministic fashion?"

The most important corollary to this question is the existence of Free Will. Is there such a thing as free will or is everything predefined and every little movement in this world is deterministic and randomness is only an illusion for us since we don't know much about the causes and reality. Einstein's famous sentence is regarding the same question "God does not play dice!". Quantum mechanics talks about uncertainty and indeterministic behaviors but it doesn't shed light on the fact that whether this randomness seems random because we can not measure and our measurements change everything or is it random in its pure nature?

Rudy Rucker recently had a talk about these topics where he believed everything in the world is computational and hence purely deterministic. This should be what the majority of scientists and philosophers believe.

The answer to this question can have many different consequences, even some in ethics. Would you ever punish someone knowing that everything in this world is predetermined and no one can change anything? Modern science will be heavily jeopardized since all of a sudden we will be faced with a phenomena which has absolutely no reasons why it happened. Not something the scientists are used too.

In our minds, if free will is to be accepted, then that would mean some magic would happen in the synapse of the neuron in the brain. Where in a fully deterministic world, a synapse would fire an electric shock to the next synapse based on some deterministic rules and the input and its state would define its output, in the world with potential uncertainty, the synapse would fire or not fire (maybe randomly) based on the same input and in the same state, this behavior is what I find magic as the best description for it so far. Synaptic Magic!

This discussion can be thought about with a simple mind puzzle, if the world repeats from the same status that it had in the big bang, will everything happen again the way it did or will somethings change?

I am a big believer of free will and I do believe in the synaptic magic although I am almost sure that the real answer can never be solved, at least not by us as we know ourselves today. I am "almost sure" because I believe in uncertainty ;). ... oh and do I believe in magic !? Hell yeah ...

GOW agian ...

Ok so this is going to be the second post about God of War but I guess it really deserves million posts. So the story begins with our great animator Peyman bringing in a PS2 to the office and me finding out that the big port replicator which came with my vaio notebook a while back and was used as a physical object to provide a better angle to the notebook while typing up to now, can actually be used as a TV input system and the PS2 can be plugged right into the notebook without any TVs needed. This little miracle happened and we were mesmerized by God of War (the original and not the sequel) for a few nights ... returning back home in the midnight all hallucinated and dazed and confused ... I have to confess one more time that this thing is something original and true... with all the wonderful visual arts and music and animation and mythological cinematic background .... I hadn't felt fascinated for something for a long time ... I think the last time was actually when I got an NBA magazine for the first time in 1989 and before that when I played Dragon Quest 3 in 1987. Hail to the developers.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Art ??

Art and the meaning of quality for it have always been big wonders. The case used to be really simple in the old days and it was even known that good art is art that resembles nature most in Aristotle's times. However, things have quite changed specially in the modern age and by the birth of modern art, not to mention post modern art too.

"Art school confidential" which has been produced by John Malkovich has a really interesting touch regarding this issue and reveals a lot of things going on around the art world in present times. I really liked it.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Strange loops

Sometimes I do not write any posts because I am in a neutral state and there isn't much flying around in the mind that could be expressed in words, and sometimes the reason for not writing is that there are too many things wandering around and there is a very high desire for writing ... and as a result ... no writing will take place. This idea itself would be fun to write about, a kind of strange loop, you can find these all over the places (love-hate anyone?), but I might be better off finishing up the Godel, Escher, Bach book first....

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Follow the light

Akumana and Vahumana fight a lot in my daily life experiences. In Persian mythology, Akumana is a Deev which represents bad and evil thoughts and Vahumana (Bahman) is an Ahura representing good and positive thoughts.

I tend to believe that Vahumana is usually the winner but Akumana tries hard. My thoughts about the classes that I teach isn’t void of the battle between these two, especially whenever I feel that the majority in the class is with ignorant and un-motivated students. I either want to be teaching in a class with all my heart or rather not bet there, its hard for me to just put up a show. The whispers of Akumana have been mostly in the theme of despair, “this class is going nowhere… no one is learning anything… you can’t be changing anyone… its all a waste of time… nothing can be done in this system and the foundation of the education system is all corrupt…” and then there is Vahumana on the other side saying “ be patient…every little step counts… even if you can have a positive influence on one student, that is still great… this whole thing really has meanings and it will get better as time comes… be patient”.

There was a huge battle very recently between the two and Akumana was dominating for a whole week, while Azidahak was watching from the distance, before I decided about the new course and right when I was about to cancel all the classes for the upcoming semester, while I was sitting in our office alone on a beautiful sunny spring day, there came Vahumana, the strongest Vahumana I’d seen for years, gave me his sword followed by a few words in my ear and there I was, slashing the dark Akumana with the sword and prepared for the new experience, with a blue necklace of hope and a white robe of patience and the shining sword of optimism.

We go Vahumana, we go one more time, I’m no your side …

The concept drawing on the top represents Akumana and the one on the bottom is an illustration of Vahumana as they appear in the game of Soshiant.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Basketball is life or Life is basketball

The game of Basketball is much like life. Every instant in the game can be an analogy for something you do in real life. However among all similarities, there is one which I often think about during day to day activities. The fast break. I wanted to define the term here but as always this one is a bit better :).

You might be on a 1 on 1, 1 on 2, 2 on 1 or a few other combinations while you are in a fast break and the most important thing is to be able to decide, decide really quick, should I pass, should I go for the lay up, should I hold, what is the next step I should take?? And all of these must happen in milliseconds. Time will never slow down for you, although I think it really did for guys like Michael Jordan, and you have to make the best decision while everything is moving as fast as it can. How just like life, you are faced with decisions in situations when everything is moving and you can never tell the world to stop while you make the best choice. It is just like you are in a fast break handling the ball. You might end up with a dunk or a block.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Like a good wine

Oh these guys are so inspiring.... so many years and still fresh.... Mick Jagger is 63 and Keith Richards is 65 ... wow.

What is the secret of these rolling stones?

Waiting to see the new Scorsese movie by the way.

"Start me up !"


I thought about and was reminded about anyone I had ever known today, well unless they had name overlaps and their name was down in the name stack in my memory for each name. The stack actually sorts based on impact.

How did this happen? Well try going from A to Z of a Book of Names and you'll get what I mean. We are trying to select a name for the upcoming baby.