Oct. 14th, 2006 08:27 am
chickenfeet: (quantum)
Last night something happened to me that hasn't happened in a very long time. I was dreaming mathematics. I'm not sure I've done that since I was a student when it was a quite common occurrence and accounts for things like my having a clear, but very hard to describe, idea of what a Hilbert space looks like. Anyway, last night I was dreaming quantum mechanics. I wasn't just dreaming about quantum mechanics. It was if I was a superposition of quantum states happily experiencing the U process (time evolution in accordance with Schrödinger's equation) when I was rudely interrupted by the R process (a measurement on the system). It woke me up and I almost screamed (I don't think I actually screamed) but it was exactly like a really bad thing happening in a nightmare. It was genuinely frightening. How spooky is that?
chickenfeet: (quantum)
I'm not kidding! I'm rusty of course but I've studied most of the mathematical prerequisites for QM. As well as the core stuff like vector spaces, Lagrangians and Fourier transforms, I took whole courses in functional analysis and probability theory. And still I find this stuff is so weird that my brain explodes every couple of paragraphs. It's less the mathematical formalism, it's the underlying weirdness (In contrast with General Relativity where the ideas make sense but I don't have enough algebraic topology or differential geometry to fully follow the formal argument). I completely understand why people who work with this stuff every day just fall back on the formalism and refuse to get involved with 'meaning'. Trouble is, I'm an inveterate ontologist. I had the same sort of problems with the 'classical' (Fisherian) approach to probability though that's a lot easier to resolve.
chickenfeet: (enigma)
If one were to create a series of files for episodes one through six of a given radio programme why on earth would one choose to give them filenames Programme Episode One, Programme Episode Two etc. Any reasonable computer or program is going to sort them 5,4,1,6,3,2. What was the person thinking?
chickenfeet: (enigma)
My current work out audio book is a BBC Classic Serial dramatisation of Sholokhov's And Quiet Flows the Don which I read about thirty years ago during a major Russian phase. I can't actually remember a damn thing about it but it turns out to be mostly about wife beating, rape, incest and adultery. The really odd thing about the production though is that all the Cossacks have Welsh accents (but not a sheep in sight).[1] None of the non-Cossack characters have Welsh accents though there are a suspiciously large number of Irishmen for the lower Don Valley. It's all quite disturbing.

fn1: Come to think of it the absence of sheep is probably what accounts for all the rape, incest and adultery.


Dec. 12th, 2005 01:36 pm
chickenfeet: (rugby)
I just downloaded an AVI of last week's Heineken Cup highlights but unfortunately the commentary is in Welsh. What was really weird though was the intro which featured assorted tries being scored accompanied by excited Welsh commentary, a drum and bass dance track and Der Holle Rache from Die Zauberflote all at the same time. Extremely odd.

Linky link

Jul. 16th, 2005 10:52 am
chickenfeet: (penguin)
Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] samanthalake for this story about a man dying after having sex with a horse.

Apparently bestiality is legal in 17 US states.

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