Arrg kxrrt!

Blog : Posts tagged with 'pen portrait'

*

We want information

In which FP gets described


Incidentally, K recently pointed out that the About Page on this site was severely out of date. And, indeed, it was. It was written when the site first appeared, and had barely been updated since then. In the time that this site’s been going a lot’s changed. I’ve met K, for one thing, moved across the country, been abroad a couple of times, learned a lot, and become slightly more optimistic about life in general. The old About Page really would have confused anyone who’d come across the site at random, read it, and tried to match the description there to the description of my life now.

So: the other day, it got rewritten. I’m still not entirely happy with it, but self-descriptions are one of the hardest things in the language to write. Next time I do one, I’ll just get other people to describe me instead, I think; it will probably be far more accurate.

No comments yet. »

Keyword noise: , , , , , , , , , , ,

*

Greetings from sunny Tipton

In which we think about science and scientists


Lounging around on a sunny Sunday morning, I was planning, plotting, and thinking of things to write here. Planning on writing about the cake K was promising to bake, or W’s upcoming birthday, or yesterday’s trip to Oxford with C and P and various other people. And I started thinking: why do I refer to people by letter like that?

I quickly realised where I might have got it from: the scientist and writer Jeremy Bernstein. I have, somewhere on my shelves, a copy of his book Experiencing Science, a compilation of articles he wrote for the New Yorker. It is mostly a series of pocket biographies of prominent scientists, from Kepler through to Oppenheimer via Lysenko, Franklin, and others; but at the end of the book is a slightly strange, partly fictional essay on the work of Turing and Gödel. In which all the main characters – the fictional ones, at any rate – are referred to by their initial letters. K, W, and so on.

I can’t say I fully understand Gödel’s theorems. My maths isn’t that good. I do love its implications, though. It underwrites and undermines the whole of computer theory; and, as someone who works in IT, I know from experience that computer theory hardly ever matters in real life. Someone once asked me, politely, to shut up, on a train, because I was trying to explain Gödel’s theory rather loudly to Δ. I hadn’t realised we were in the Quiet Coach. I try to reread Bernstein’s book every year or two, and not just for the Gödel chapter; clearly, though, it’s been a bigger influence on my own writing than I’d realised before.

One comment. »

Keyword noise: , , , , , , , , , ,

*

Search this site

*

Contact

E: feedback [at] symbolicforest [dot] com

IM: Ask me if you'd like to know

*

Post Categories

Artistic (118)
Dear Diary (349)
Feeling Meh (48)
Geekery (109)
In With The Old (34)
Linkery (37)
Media Addict (164)
Meta (79)
Photobloggery (94)
Political (113)
Polling (7)
Sub category (19)
The Family (31)
The Office (70)
Unbelievable (53)