mathematics

How do you know, if you’re right?

A book is to a mind what a whetstone is to a sword – means to keep it sharp. For that reason, reading as a hobby should make up at least a small amount of time in all people’s schedules. I enjoy reading and out of all genres I like to read science fiction novels the most. A good science fiction novel encompasses in itself the most potential for provoking ponderous thoughts. Be it new inventions, philosophies, societal norms, political ideas, or even undiscovered ways of looking at our very own existence.

Time travel is a notoriously difficult subject in fiction as it’s very hard to keep logically consistent. When not contained, the implications of even one minor mistake in logic can ruin the entire book (movie, series, etc.). The ground rules must be solid. But if kept coherent, the maze of complex reasoning can truly inspire awe. And sometimes you read a few lines that just get you on the spot. Isaac Asimov’s „The End of Eternity“ got me with a little gem about his rule for time travel.

The book itself is set in a world where a secret group of people range through past and present Centuries, monitoring and, where necessary, altering time’s countless cause-and-effect relationships. A slight movement of a jar on a shelf can alternate and cumulate in effect until it a noticeable change materializes, like setting a car in an exact spot to take part in an accident, killing one man but delaying the invention of atomic bombs by a few centuries.

pi

Some scholars claim that humans are programmed to find patterns in the world because it’s the only way we can give meaning to the world and ourselves. Hence, the obsessive search to find patterns in π.

The protagonist in the book described the many changes in time he had engineered to have had a calculated effect on the future. With every change, the shift brings forth an alternate course of history and would modify the outlook of things to come. And although each alternate timeline had a unique history, there was one commonality – the rules of math. The history and logical system of math would always be the same.

Math isn’t just numerology. Math has a great influence on philosophy. Math is a way our minds make sense of the universe. We would perceive our surroundings quite differently, if we would not use our mathematical understanding to make sense. From physics and chemistry to music and drawing, we use our arithmetical and geometrical powers. And when it comes to decision making, we usually weigh our options and lean towards the one that adds up to bring in more profit. May the profit be financial, social, in the shape of knowledge or leisure time. That depends on each individual’s philosophies.

The point is that math represents a key monolith that you could hang on to get a grip on the surrounding reality and state of development in the society. Likewise, you should try to find out the key monoliths in your life that you could hang on to. Whether it be your relatives, your best friend, your dog, your birthplace, a lot of ease can come from acknowledging them. A good deal of complications can be avoided if you set perspectives in life and try to develop your personal code of ethics. You should not rely on those rocks to get you through life, but use them to gain a better ground in uncertain situations. In situations where you know that whatever happens, your monolith will be unshaken and you can use its shelter to regain your way.

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What are feelings?

It’s time to enter the season that is spring. Getting rid of the darkness and stepping into the colorful light of blooming flowers. Hibernation has ended. Time to substitute alarm clocks with morning sunlight. Days are long again and the spirit of life resurfaces. As seen from my written posts, winter was a difficult time for me. But I’m back on track with my writing. I have even found inspiration to start a new paintings after about half a year. I guess I’m more of a summer person. . Spring is said to be the season of love and it seems appropriate then to write my thoughts about it.

My friend, who hasn’t been active on the romantic-, or even the social scene, recently found a girl he liked. He decided to act on it and consulted me for advice. I tried to give him my “love doctor” advice, but soon I discovered that the best I could do, was just to encourage him to act as he deems right. That’s because contrary to my advice to be patient, he just dived in and opened himself to her. And it paid off. The girl left her boyfriend and got together with my friend. 2 months later, they are living together. To my knowledge, that good friend of mine hadn’t even had romantic interests before. Quite astonishingly fast series of changes.

Now, my theory is that people know their mates (for lack of a better word) when they see one. And be it something supernatural or just chemistry, they can feel if the attraction is both ways. We all have the “spider-sense” of love. Having courage to act on that intuition is another matter, though. There’s just something about approaching others that people are afraid of. The moment you lose your confidence and start to sulk, you lose 50% of your chances of ever being with someone.

Why do you feel down, when you get turned down? Why do you feel bad, when something does not go according to the plan? I consider it interesting, when I’m turned down. It’s a challenge. And if you struggle through it, you will a) understand yourself better b) understand others better. I would imagine that a great many of us are chasing after the opposite sex, but when the prize is acquired, they don’t know what to do with it. What does that mean to you – having a partner? Is it something that makes you feel better or is it something that makes you feel better about yourself? There’s a difference, you know. One is about the joy of life while the other is about reinforcing an idea you have about how you are supposed to be.

Happens every year.

Happens every year.

So why should anyone be desperate to find someone? (I am of course talking from a perspective of a 23-year-old man and do not understand the urge when a women is nearing 40). Obsessions are bad, that I know. A relationship starts with patience. Patience to wait for the other. Because there may be a connection between you, but perhaps you are in different states of your lives. Let’s say that before you met, one of you had a partner or lost someone and just isn’t compatible yet etc. The connection can materialize, when you reach similar grounds with your minds. Sometimes it works right away, sometimes it takes longer. It just takes time and honesty to make things work. The bond between people gets stronger with each minute spent together and the more you open up to each other, the stronger the bond gets. And it is universal, it can happen with anyone. Best friends are often those, with whom you have spent the most time together.

Physical pull is something that you cannot control, it is just there. And that can be recognized. When using both – your intuition and your rational thinking, you can pretty easily calculate if you are on the positive or the negative side. You cannot work out, however, if it is going to work between you in the end or if you are even getting together to make something work. That thread has to develop itself. People are too different for figuring relationships out in 100% theoretical mode. And because of that, one has to act on hunches and not overthink it. If you cannot, then my very first post will describe a method of making things easier on the mental part: http://wp.me/p3fAW9-9.

We spend too much time being afraid of what the other one thinks, has thought or will think of us and not enough time getting to grips with our own thoughts of ourselves. The thing I suggest is to go for it no matter what you think. The biggest mistake of them all – letting a chance go past you. It’s comparable to my idea of chance – if you don’t buy a lottery ticket, then you have 0% chance of winning. If you buy 1 ticket, then your chances increase infinite times, because you now suddenly have odds of winning. How many times is 1 out of a million (or 0,1 or 5 or 900 or. .) better than zero? Yes, it’s infinite times – you can multiply 0 with anything you want, you won’t get a different number. Considering that usually sharing your feelings is free, then why not increase your chances of finding a partner by infinite times? The proof of the pudding lies in the eating.

Is love a chemical reaction? Certainly. But there is magic in it that I don’t want to forget. Be happy to share your life and experience.

 

How to get there?

I studied in a music school for 10 years, studying classical percussions and pop jazz drums. Most of my closest friends are musicians.  I feel as I know the type „musician“ well. And the main commonality I see in them is the urge to improve their skills. I know that everyone has it to some extent. But there are few, who spend more days self-improving as most musicians do. There are the role models and idols, whose playing style and technique many want to grasp. And to do that, one must practice. It is known. But there is always something that needs more honing. It is especially true for jazz musicians, with whom I’ve had encounters with the most. The goal is vague, but the road is clear. But how do you know when you are there?

There comes a sense of what is just a checkpoint and what is the finish. Garri Kasparov was the world champion in chess for 15 years, defending it 5 times. He holds the record for highest professional chess rating. He wrote about the match, where he lost the title: „The main reason was complacency and excessive self-assertion. A victory creates an illusion that everything is perfect and as it should be. You are engaged with a temptation to think only of the positive results, leaving aside all of the real miscalculations and mistakes. After a victory, we want to party, not analyze. When something goes wrong then of course we want to fix it, but we should try for better even when everything is in order.“

Garri’s tries to get you to think. When something goes right for you, then why? What are your winning aspects? Winning a few battles does not guarantee winning the whole war.

Chess with guns

Your local book club recommends: Garri Kasparov ” How life imitates chess”

I think that the best example to illustrate the thought is playing poker. When you win an all in pot in showdown that was to your opponents favor before the chips went in, then you are probably lucky and made a bad decision. Now, when you think back to the pot, you can remember that you won and thus made right decisions throughout the hand. But you can also remember that you won, but you made a mistake in assessing your opponents hand and stack size and got a little lucky. In the first case, in the long run, you lose a lot of money by not changing your play. In the second case, you are destined to lose less(or even win), because you saw the error in your game and hopefully adjusted your views. The old saying of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it“ does not apply.

When is the time to rest? Is there a time, where you have done your duty and could sit down and look over your work, a time where you have had enough practice? Well, this is as subjective as everything else. The answer should be, when you feel like it. But you truly have to be satisfied with your accomplishments. As far as you feel the urge to thrive, you need to analyze your game, even if you are winning.

I think that becoming a master relies on the ability to analyze success stories. Everyone can point out shortcomings in failures. It is another matter to see mistakes in triumphs. Examine what brought you success and what may have threatened it. In school I always liked to make mistakes before tests. I think that it reduces the chances of making that mistake again, when it has a larger importance.

I am surprised to this day how mistakes are treated in schools. Mistakes are thought of as universally bad monsters, as signs of failure. I am (was) good in maths, but I made many mistakes in my maths class in high school, and ultimately got in an argument with my teacher about my abilities. He asked what my goal for the national exams was. I said that I wanted the maximum. He refused to encourage me and instead said that 97% will be the ultimate maximum for me. We argued over it, but he firmly believed that I was not clever enough. He based his decision on the mistakes I had made so far. Needless to say, I nailed the exam and got the maximum. But I will always remember the conversation between me and my teacher.

Instead of criticizing bad performance because mistakes are made and encouraging good performances without any consideration of possible weak spots, encourage the process of analyzing. The best of the best believe in themselves and in their plans. They work constantly towards perfecting and realizing those plans. From it rises a positive cycle: work reasserts self-confidence and the desire to reach your goals, those in turn stimulate to work even harder.

 

Until next week and enjoy thinking!