Blog

All posts are my own opinons and do not repersent any organization I am affiliated with.

Fun: Ok Go

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MejbOFk7H6c

I love how the car hits pianos each tuned to a different note/chord. The making of video is also great:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?annotation_id=annotation_26801&feature=iv&list=PL07D399D8CE9C0B48&src_vid=MejbOFk7H6c&v=75aqU54CaYE

There's More to Life Than Happiness

"It is the very pursuit of happiness that thwarts happiness."

"To the European," Frankl wrote, "it is a characteristic of the American culture that, again and again, one is commanded and ordered to 'be happy.' But happiness cannot be pursued; it must ensue. One must have a reason to 'be happy.'"

"Happiness without meaning characterizes a relatively shallow, self-absorbed or even selfish life, in which things go well, needs and desire are easily satisfied, and difficult or taxing entanglements are avoided,"

"Nearly a quarter of Americans do not have a strong sense of what makes their lives meaningful."

http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2013/01/theres-more-to-life-than-being-happy/266805/

These are quotes from Viktor E. Frankl a holocaust survivor who wrote Man's Search for Meaning. I'm now more interested in reading his book and have moved it up on my to-read list.

I'm also now wondering if I should change my daily question from "How happy were you today?" to "How meaningful was your day?"

Spurious Correlations

Fun reminder that correlation does not imply causation.

http://tylervigen.com/spurious-correlations

Logical Persuasion

Just as you can not persuade logical thinkers with irrational rhetoric,
you can not persuade illogical thinkers with rational rhetoric.

It is sometimes easy to forget:

you can not persuade illogical thinkers with rational rhetoric.

Book Review: Forward the Foundation

Yesterday I finished the book Forward the Foundation by Isaac Asimov. Asimov is one of my favorite authors, he wrote over 500 books in his life. About widely varying topics including fundamental physics, limericks, and religion. I've been reading books in his science fiction series Foundation for the past couple years. The Foundation Series is actually made up of a couple smaller series of books that all take place in the same universe.

Here is the complete reading order:

Robot Series

  1. The Complete Robot (1982) and/or I, Robot (1950)
  2. Caves of Steel (1954)
  3. The Naked Sun (1957)
  4. The Robots of Dawn (1983)
  5. Robots and Empire (1985)

Empire Trilogy

  1. The Currents of Space (1952)
  2. The Stars, Like Dust (1951)
  3. Pebble in the Sky (1950)

Preludes to Foundation

  1. Prelude to Foundation (1988)
  2. Forward the Foundation (1993)

Foundation Trilogy

  1. Foundation (1951)
  2. Foundation and Empire (1952)
  3. Second Foundation (1953)

Sequels to Foundation

  1. Foundation's Edge (1982)
  2. Foundation and Earth (1986)

Interestingly, although Forward the Foundation is chronology the 10th in the series it was the last book to be written. In fact, it was the last book Asimov ever wrote before he died. Some consider the book to be autobiographical in nature. Many aspects of the main character, Hari Seldon, closely resemble Asimov. In the book, Heri works on what is called "psychohistory" which is a combination of mathematics and history. Two subjects that Asimov himself extensively studied.

Throughout the book, Heri is obsessed with growing older and not being able to finish his work before he dies. This gives an interesting window in the way Asimov was thinking about his own mortality.

Asimov died right around the time I was conceived, so I consider him my spirit animal. I highly recommend this book and the whole rest of the series!