Monthly Archives: September 2006

The stability of a society depends on how it responds to the extremes of human behavior

  As most historians can tell us, there are no absolutely stable societies. The most prosperous ones are doomed to sink into oblivion. However, what we are interested in most of the time is the transient stability that societies display. … Continue reading

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institutional inefficiency

  In economics we learned something called X-inefficiency. I have always marvelled at this phrase. Does X refer to the rating of a movie? Or maybe it’s a variable in a famous stochastic differential equation. Although I do not remember the exact pedantic … Continue reading

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On writing a textbook on algebra

  Throughout my career, I have always sneered upon people who specialize in writing textbooks. After all they are but plagiarizer and are brazen enough to feel smug about results that are not their own. Once I started sitting in a real … Continue reading

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Concerning recent remark of Pope Benedict XVI

  Anyone with the slightest common sense and knowledge of recent religious cold war can see that the Pope did not throw in those quotes inadvertently. He probably meant what he read. As he himself recognized, part of his intention … Continue reading

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My way vs. the popular way

  Sometimes I get this blind impression that my ways are not socially acceptable. Maybe I was intimidated at an early stage by people around me who tried to be cool. Or simply that I have too much imagination. But why … Continue reading

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Resignation

  Nothing is more painful than the loss of control. This can mean a broad range of things. Often I cannot trust my faculties any more, they are no longer sending out the signal to me that more should be … Continue reading

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Daily summary

  For sake of completeness, I record what I have accomplished today. It is not to be carried out regularly: 1. found a sample latex file that sets up the right template for AMS journal articles, and teaches you how … Continue reading

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Being busy vs. being smart

I remember being told once that smart people also happen to be the busy ones. I probably didn’t give a damn at the time. After all being busy doesn’t sound very cool at all. Too many people look like they … Continue reading

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general relativity lecture 1 from a physicist

  Have been so entrenched in the mathematical foundation of science, it is sometimes nice to hear the pragmatic side of the story. Well this first lecture (second of the semester since I missed the first one last week) was … Continue reading

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Mazurka in F# minor op. 59 no. 3

  I have always thought Chopin was the consistently Polish composer who sticks to his piano for the entire 40 years of his life. But this little lovely piece surprised me by its apparent lack of originality. Well it may … Continue reading

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