Last month I put out two editions of Friday Notes, and this month I almost missed posting any (today being my last chance). To some extent, that’s just normal ebb and flow, but it’s also that I’ve been distracted by Real Life™ (such as it is).
I’ve been doing a lot of (in many cases rather interesting) reading lately — words going in rather than out — and I think any writer will tell you that’s the easier direction. Sometimes the much easier direction.
But I do have some notes (and pictures)…
13 Comments | tags: Bentley, Fermi Paradox, Moby Dick, silicon, snow, winter | posted in Friday Notes
I don’t know how it is with hobbies and interests for others, but mine — the ones that persist, anyway— are typically cyclic. I’ll be into something, reading, blogging, programming, trying to learn quantum mechanics, whatever, and then I’ll burn out or get temporarily tired of it and take a break.
Watching TV is definitely an interest that waxes and wanes. Through most of March, it was more or less on the wane. In April, though, it waxed, and one result of that is another TV Tuesday post.
Perhaps not surprisingly (given my tastes), the main entry today is a Japanese anime series, but there are a number of side dishes, including some movies that snuck in because I watched them on TV.
3 Comments | tags: anime, Japanese anime, Netflix | posted in Movies, TV Tuesday
I don’t know why I’m so fascinated that the rational numbers are countable even though they’re a dense subset of the uncountable real numbers. A rational number can be arbitrarily close to any real number, making you think they’d be infinite like the reals, but in fact, nearly all numbers are irrational (and an uncountable subset of the reals).
So, the rational numbers — good old p/q fractions — though still infinite are countably infinite (see this post for details).
More to the point here, a common way of enumerating the rational numbers, when graphed results in some pretty curves and illustrates some fun facts about the rational numbers.
3 Comments | tags: charts, fractions, graphs, rational numbers | posted in Brain Bubble, Math
The previous two posts (this one and this one) each discussed an aspect of Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind (2011), by Yuval Noah Harari. While those aspects grabbed my attention and got me thinking, I took very little from the rest of the book.
In fact, reading the latter two-thirds got to be something of a chore. It had many examples from comparatively modern history (given the full breadth of our existence) but they didn’t seem to amount to a unified whole. The author seems not to connect dots his own text presents.
Final score: two bits I liked and took away (and posted about) but the rest of the book I left behind. I give it a Meh! rating and a thumbs down.
3 Comments | tags: history, homo sapiens, humanity | posted in Books, Society
The previous post focused on a single, to me key, aspect of Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind (2011), by Yuval Noah Harari. This post focuses on the other aspect of the book I found compelling. The last one was about the power fiction gave homo sapiens. This one is about the Agricultural Revolution (the AR).
And other important Revolutions that followed, but the AR wrought a profound change on the human race. It was our first step towards societies and civilization. It ushered in the first cities and led to kingdoms and empires.
It also led to materialism, greed, health issues, theft, and war.
14 Comments | tags: history, homo sapiens, humanity, storytelling | posted in Books, Society
While not usually my cup of tea, Amazon Prime offered Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind (2011), by Yuval Noah Harari, and I thought I’d give it a try. I’d never heard of the author, and don’t usually read anthropology or sociology books, but the blurb made it sound interesting (don’t they always).
I did enjoy the first third. The author discusses two aspects of our ancient past that really grabbed my attention. Unfortunately, he went on to lose it. In a big way. For me, the latter two thirds of the book added little and missed what seemed some key connections.
So, three posts (at least): one each for the two attention grabbers; one more for the book overall. This first one is about our special ability as storytellers.
19 Comments | tags: history, homo sapiens, humanity, storytelling | posted in Books, Society