Sunday, February 17, 2008

Quotes from Einstein

"Measured objectively, what a man can wrest from Truth by passionate striving is utterly infinitesimal. But the striving frees us from the bonds of the self and makes us comrades of those who are the best and the greatest."

Those words were said by Einstein, amongst the greatest scientist/thinkers of our time, he spent his life working on some of the most intriguing problems of his/our time. His quotes are a source of inspiration for me; another quote of his is
"What does a fish know about the water it swims in?"
I am reading a book on chaos called "CHAOS The amazing science of the unpredictable" by James Gleick. I picked up last year in Dubai. It's been a pretty good read so far, with some really though provoking arguments and some really interesting questions. Two of the ones that really seem trivial to start with are
Q1. Does wind have a velocity?
Q2. Can you measure the length of a coast line?
I will let you figure out those on your own but I will provide an answer to another question to help you start thinking about the answers.
Q3. How many buckets of water are in the Pacific Ocean?
A3. It depends on the size of the bucket.

Unfortunately very few bookstores in Saudi Arabia carry good books on science/math. I have been trying to get my hand on a book on Fourier transforms for a while but have had no luck. I applied for a credit card so I could buy it but it online but I was turned down. I applied for a card at the bank I work at, and they turned me down! *Insert explicative here* what the !@#$ do I need to do to get a credit card? There is more than one way to skin a cat... So I will be applying for a card at a competing bank and get approved because I have to enough money in my account to qualify for one. Plus, I don’t have bad credit history, heck I don’t have a credit history, not that it matters in Saudi Arabia. I have always been amazed at how much importance a credit history plays in the lives of people in the USA and how it matters little to none in Saudi Arabia.
Well enough of that, time to go back to writing plugins for eclipse. I can't get my plugin to connect to mysql on my target runtime; I have got to keep working on it.

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Blogger Kiat said...

what plugin are you writing for Eclipse?

9:05 AM  
Blogger C Yohman said...

Want me to buy the book and have it shipped to you?

11:26 AM  
Blogger syed said...

Kiat: My bank is working on a new framework to help the Java developers along. The framework is sort of a best of the breed kind of mixture of frameworks. My plugin is supposed to help setup new projects for developers and do some code generation along the way.
Chance: Thanks pal, my brother in law's sister is coming over from California to visit Riyadh for a couple of weeks and she says she can bring the book, if she fails I will take you up on the offer.

6:38 AM  
Blogger C Yohman said...

Ah... best of the breed. Buzzwords!!! Noooooo!

Let me know about the book. I'm sure I'll get put on some terror watch list for sending it to you. :p

8:23 AM  
Blogger syed said...

Actually if I described what I was doing the way some of my colleges do it would be more of buzz statement, like "Automating SOA implementation from the grass roots level using Eclipse as the platform of choice for JAVA developers". I'm not even sure that the sentence makes any sense.
What makes you think that you aren't already on some terror watch list?

1:10 AM  
Blogger C Yohman said...

I'm sure I'm on some watch list. Oh well, behold the death of Privacy.

5:02 AM  
Blogger syed said...

I meant to say colleagues not colleges. Damn the spell checker.

8:32 AM  
Blogger C Yohman said...

Understandable. The 'a' after the 'e' and 'u' before the 'e' are not really pronounced. So, 'colleges' could seem to phonetically sound like 'colleagues'. I've never given that thought until now. It's what I miss about being around foreign people. They give you new insights into your daily life that you never had before.

Anywho, I think you would need a semantic checker to tell the difference between colleagues and colleges in your sentence? Unfortunately they are both nouns, so that makes the task harder.


8:42 AM  
Anonymous Brian said...

Books are hard to read.

8:53 AM  
Blogger C Yohman said...

Could I get you to read one for a cord of mountain ash?

8:56 AM  
Anonymous Brian said...

Possibly. But it would have to be an entertaining book. I don't even know what Eclipse is, at least in this context.

11:02 AM  
Blogger C Yohman said...

11:05 AM  
Blogger syed said...

Eclipse is an integrated development environment, an IDE, very simply put it is used to write programs. The good thing about eclipse is that it is open source and has wide industry support. So when you run into a problem some one is usually willing to help you out.

9:15 PM  
Blogger syed said...

I actually run spell check and have it change everything to the first option, in this case my time saving ploy failed miserably. A good semantic checker would be useful, I think we can make a pretty good one using support vector machines or some other form of machine learning algorithm.

9:18 PM  
Blogger C Yohman said...


4:05 AM  
Blogger syed said...

Brian: How would you describe chaos? ,and no not the kind inflicted on me by the Rocky Horror Picture show, the chaos theory kind.

11:51 PM  
Anonymous Brian said...

Hi Syed,

I define chaos by if you plot it on a graph and define a region (say a box) and superimpose it on the plot the box becomes completely filled as time goes to infinity. Oddly, the universe approaches chaos the more energy you put into a region of it. So earth orbits the sun nice and easily because the sun is a wuss, but if we were orbiting say a black hole we would be orbiting in a crazy doughnut shaped torus, if we were orbiting a super black hole (like at the center of the galaxy) we would be orbiting completely randomly in a box shaped orbit. This, actually, is the reason many spiral galaxies appear to have bars across their center. You would think that a stronger, smaller diameter mass like a blak hole would actually make things more ordered, but it doesn't.

A good Fourier transform book is the one I used for a class last semester: "The Fourier Transform and its Applications" by Ronald N. Bracewell. It's very clear and has tons of really useful pictures.

9:10 AM  
Blogger syed said...

Thanks Brian, reading up on this kind of stuff makes me want to go back to school.

5:45 AM  
Blogger C Yohman said...

Hike, hike, hike.

3:46 PM  
Anonymous Uzair said...


1:50 AM  

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