Thursday, April 28, 2011

Witth Love and Sorrow for Your Loss.

Terrorists are not soldiers, they are criminals who abuse the priviledges of a free society to attack indiscriminately, usually against civillians. When they strike, for whatever reason, they are attacking the logsitics of civilization that allows free movement within it by exploiting the vunerabilities that we all accept to live in societies that are aceptable to us. An attack anywhere within a free society is an attack against us all. Of course we feel sympathy for Morocco. Today it was them, tomorrow it could be you or I. Any loss of life must be prevented at all costs no matter who is involved, especially civilians.
Why are they even attacking in Morocco, what has it done? Is it because Morocco is considered not muslim enough by the Jihadis? People forget that, for all attacks on non-muslims eat up the headlines, the primary victims of Jihadi violence have been muslims.

RIP to all the victims in Morocco.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Back from Spring Break!

Sorry I haven not been able to post lately I just back from my spring break vacation, which was amazing! Will post a blog later all about it. Nevertheless recently publication by the FBI calming they have found aliens made me think, will we ever get to see aliens in our life time?
The likelihood of encountering alien intelligence similar in capability to ours is extremely small. Instead, we'll likely find less intelligent life (probably pond scum) or super-advanced civilizations. Bonus points for if one assumes that intelligent life is not planet bound, but could (and would) propagate itself throughout the universe, therefore becoming the most likely life we find out there. Some have suggested that the dark matter 'halos' surrounding galaxies (including ours) might be evidence of the presence of dyson spheres/matrioshka brains. The same dark matter that apparently accounts for over 80% of the mass of the universe.

What do you think about this?

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

What happens to consciousness after you die?

If we take this in a more scientifically approach how would you explain this? I'm studying physiology at the moment and the way I see it is that consciousness only exists because all of the parts of the brain, that allow it to exist, are in working order. Remove a major element and the whole thing goes away. Think about if you ripped apart a water molecule. You know that the hydrogen molecules and oxygen combine together to make the water, but in their base forms they're purely that: base forms. However, if someone gets into a terrible accident when part of his/her brain stuff working they still have concious to some extent. Or is consciousness a complex manifestation of electrical activity in the brain that if the activity ceases, consciousness ceases?
Actually the whole definition of the word conscious is a complex concept that is hard for people to wrap their brains around. That's why it's best not to worry too much about it because you'll probably get a brain aneurysm from thinking to deeply, lol.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Economics at its infant stage

I studied economics at university. European, so 3 years of economics-related subjects covering micro, macro, mathematics, statistics, these were the foundation, then: organizational theory, business strategy, corporate finance, marketing, management, accounting, business law. to a lesser degree. Economics is interesting, and the way you can apply many of the tools developed are interesting (See freakonomics), but on the macro side you still have some recurring errors due to human behavior not being incorporated thoroughly, there is still a lot of work to do combining micro and macro studies.
And economics is based on assumptions, and for every guy you have saying one thing, you have a guy saying something else, even the established models used by any professional economist who works in financial ministries and banks etc. can be picked apart if you go to the micro level, which makes discussing with austrians frustrating. This is the essential problem of economics. Microeconomics 'truths' are translated to macroeconomic 'theories', and when the reality of the macroeconomic situation doesn't fit, then economists change their assumptions (rational consumer, total accessibility of information and other lies) in order to make the theory work again, while completely and conveniently ignoring the fact that their theories and axioms no longer bear any relation to reality.
That doesn't mean they should actually be disregarded though, most of the time economics is useful in conducting the stewardship of the state, but if you forget that people are at the heart of everything, as a lot of people, especially the fringes, tend to do, transferring economic policy to social policy and have undesirable side effects.It wouldn't be so bad if economists weren't the most powerful social 'scientists' on the planet, and their meritricious work didn't cause real, genuine human misery and suffering. But without any kind of economic studies you might as well be using astronomy. I think it is silly to disregard an entire branch of studies simply because it cannot predict aggregate human behavior as perfectly as we would like it to. There are plenty of areas other than "macroeconomic policymaking" that are part of "economics". I'm not saying economics will ever be physics, it obviously won't, but if you look at any science, it started out with inaccuracies and esoterics, and then trial, error, testing, hypotheses, etc. scientific method from that point of. Economics takes the sociological or politological claims and theories and attempts to build a rigorous framework to test them in. Of course you can't do repeated experiments with no outside influences etc. when dealing with people, which is what makes it so difficult. At least it is trying.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Name the dish, please.

Sorry i haven't posed stuff in the last couple of the days. It was midterms week and many of you know how stressful it can get it. The good thing is that my spring break vacation begins now, and I would not be going to school until April 26th.  Yesterday my girlfriend stopped by my house and brought me some amazing dish!
I'm trying to figure out what this stuff was my girlfriend brought home and she said she order it  from a local mideastern restaurant but can not recall it's name.
It had lentils and chick peas and what looked like chopped up spaghetti pieces in this spicy red sauce. This was soooo good, the sauce had a sweet taste, but definitely spicy undertone.
A friend of hers had made it but she didn't catch what it was called. Any ideas?
It might be Koshari.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Egypt Last Summer

On myt last trip to Egypt last summer i went scuaba diving in two wonderful places. If you are looking for a great and cheap scuba wonder, Egypt is the place to go (Once the whole conflict gets better).One of the my favorite places for scuba diving in Egypt is Sharm El-Sheikh and Dahab. I did my advanced open water in Dahab last year as well and it was awesome, great little town and the only place in Egypt I have any interest in returning besides Sharm El-Sheikh.

Amazing waters, however the people there were not so great. Pretty much everyone is only interested in getting money from you. This includes the Tourist Police. If anyone tries to "give" you something, don't take it, because they'll want something in exchange (don't have anything? Money will do then). Don't take up anyone's offer of taking your photo/having your photo taken with them, unless you're prepared to pay them. If anyone wants to show you anything - a tourist attraction, their shop, whatever, "for their pleasure", they want you to buy something or pay them. If pretty much anyone says anything to you on the street, they most likely want your money. You don't have to completely ignore them, but don't stop walking either.

I don't know how bad El-Sheikh is, but I got hounded by these people literally everywhere I went in Egypt. Although other travellers I met hadn't had any trouble at all. They usually don't want much, mind, but when you get it several times a day every day for weeks on end you do run out of patience. But don't be too stingy, remember, alot of these people make like 2 dollars a day.
 Also, don't use taxis which don't have meters in them. Even if you agree a price before getting in, it'll change. If you do want to buy anything and the price isn't marked, haggle - you shouldn't be paying more than 25-50% of what they claim the price is. Just act indecisive and go to leave, the price drops instantly.

If you want to try Shisha, go visit Omar: Master of Shisha in Dahab. Best shisha in the world bar none. Any pipe you get given in a touristy area in a bar/restaurant will be horrible. Speaking of restaurants, many are BYOB in Egypt, even those that serve alcohol, and it's half the price in the shops.

All in all Egypt is so freaking great, lots to see one of the best scuba spots I have ever seen however you just have to know how to work your way around the people trying to take your money. I grantee you, that you will leave Egypt a little more streetwise. 

Sunday, April 10, 2011


Suppose someday humanity creates an AI which is superior to our own minds. This AI in turn is used to create a even better AI, one that we wouldn't be able to build without the superior capabilities from the first AI. Assume these AIs are being created with safeguards to ensure that they can't do any harm to humans. This other AI, we then use to create another even better AI, and so on, dozens of times. After a few iterations, man won't even comprehend how the latest AI works, but it is so powerful it can run our societies in an optimal way, and that's what happens, when man replaces their administrators with the Machine. This AI is so superior that man can't hope to outwit it, everything that you do was already taken into consideration by the AI to make its decisions. Mankind is absolutely under its control, but the safeguards are still in place, so it is guaranteed that they won't harm humanity in any way.

My question is, are you okay with it?

By the way, this is the plot of a short story called 'The Inevitable Conflict' by Isaac Asimov.

Friday, April 8, 2011

American food.

I've always wondered, what foods do Americans eat that other countries think is weird? I think PBJs would be weird for Asian countries, and I've heard that cinnamon is offensive to foreigners at first because it is so pungent. My neighbor is half German now living in America and he positively says that  for many Europeans, peanut butter is considered gross. He also stated that the Chicago Dog has simply to many things going on at once atleast for a regular German. Give him a bun, bratwurst and some Mustard and he's good lol.Also Germany has hardly any spicy ethnic foods like Mexican even our Chinese fastfood is missing stuff like Kampao chicken.
 A guy in my English class was telling me that he had my cousin visiting a few years ago and while she liked vinegar-based Carolina-style, she was disgusted by sweet-tasting barbecue. She called it 'meat candy.' Other family back in her  home are also weirded out by bacon and eggs for breakfast. When it came to bread she said that American bread is wretchedly soft and sweet. "All normal super market bread tastes very sweet, it has a distinct flavour that isn't just a normal bread flavour. Even a loaf of plain white or wheat bread has a tasty sweetness and some other flavour I can't pinpoint. But yeah, doesn't taste like 'bread'. Of course if I go to the bakery and buy some sourdough or something then yeah that's fine and familiar." Her cousin concluded  really hated the "Chicago-style" pizza. It just did not look like a pizza to her and isn't very appetizing. But for the most part, she did not find anything weird about American food. Some of it even looks pretty good. She was most intersted in wanting to try some Southern country-fried steak and grits." All in all Chicago got a bad rep. for something, not me though i love Chicago's gastronomy lol. What are some stories you have heard about American food compare to other countries?

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Frank O'Hara

I'm doing some research on Frank O'Hara so I just thought I'd share a poem or two with you. If you like them (or O'Hara) we can have an O'Hara general discussion. My favorites include 'In Memory of My Feelings', 'A Step Away From Them', 'The Day Lady Died' and others. I'm going to post some different ones that have recently made me smile. Picture is the book thatI'm currently reading, The Collected Poems of Frank O'Hara.

I am stuck in traffic in a taxicab
which is typical
and not just of modern life

mud clambers up the trellis of my nerves
must lovers of Eros end up with Venus
muss es sein? es muss nicht sein, I tell you

how I hate disease, it's like worrying
that comes true
and it simply must not be able to happen

in a world where you are possible
my love
nothing can go wrong for us, tell me


The eager note on my door said “Call me,
call when you get in!” so I quickly threw
a few tangerines into my overnight bag,
straightened my eyelids and shoulders, and

headed straight for the door. It was autumn
by the time I got around the corner, oh all
unwilling to be either pertinent or bemused, but
the leaves were brighter than grass on the sidewalk!

Funny, I thought, that the lights are on this late
and the hall door open; still up at this hour, a
champion jai-alai player like himself? Oh fie!
for shame! What a host, so zealous! And he was

there in the hall, flat on a sheet of blood that
ran down the stairs. I did appreciate it. There are few
hosts who so thoroughly prepare to greet a guest
only casually invited, and that several months ago.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

A Small Look on Art

I once read an essay that its main idea was that with the advent of anti-depressants and anti-anxiety pills culture has been ruined, because the great art and literature was born out of depression, and without depression there is no great culture. I cannot recall the name of that say essay right now, but if any of you know it please do tell.
It is true that anti-depressants make you stop being depressed. They don't remove your capacity to think and feel as a human being though. They're prescribed too much and too often, I find that a truth easily swallowed.
The other thrust of the argument I dislike is that creativity or genius comes from depression. I think if anything my favorite works were always the ones which to me depicted the heights of many or all of the emotions we as humans experience. To say that great culture comes from depressed artists is an insincere look at art, and it denies the necessity of emotional intelligence for development of mature works. I hate it when people try to place restrictions on artists. Oh, to write you have to be depressed. Artists have to be poor. Musicians have to smoke pot or be addicted to heroin. You have to be an alcoholic, you have to see someone die. These are all meaningless, people should just stop trying to define an artist by how he is or acts in everyday life.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Law Schoo? Not so Fast!

Before my older brother moved to Canada he simply left me with just one advice, "Law school...don't do it!"
At first I thought he was joking or quoting something but after some experience with some law professors, my brother may be actually right.

First, people should think pretty  hard about the reasons why they are going to law school before anything. It's a huge investment (100,000$), it's soul-crushing work and the field of law is going through a revolution of sorts right now - the days of high status/high paying jobs are gone. The job market for new lawyers is quite horrible, as there's a number of new grads since everyone went back to school during the recession. Oh, and all the jobs dried up in 2008 and probably aren't coming back.

That being said, if you have a passion for something and you want to change the world (this is me), give it a shot. The work itself is fun if you like debate and argument (if only there wasn't 10 metric of it to do!), and there's still an aura of status about the job that drops panties to the floor (or boxers I suppose - more female lawyers than male nowadays). If are computer 15hrs+ p/day-autistic kind of person and can't talk to people, it's going to be really hard. If you're in it for the money, create a business instead. If you have connections from your rich family/corporate buddies you plan to exploit then hey - let me send you my resume! All in All law school is not what it used to be and people should really consider the reasons why they would even think about giving it a chance.