Put another way: When faced with a problem, you might try building some sort of system to address that problem.
Now you have two problems.
Reminded me of:
— Nassim Nicholas Taleb: The future will not be cool — www.salon.com — Readability
Sophie Taeuber-Arp, Rising, Falling, Flying
(made my day)
Positive compilation of Russian dash cams(Video by ArkadiYM93) (by simplyguys)
— Richard Feynman (via inthenoosphere)
Bez tytułu (białe – czarne), 1970
(via Stanisław Dróżdż)
After learning my flight was detained 4 hours,
I heard the announcement:
If anyone in the vicinity of gate 4-A understands any Arabic,
Please come to the gate immediately.
Well—one pauses these days. Gate 4-A was my own gate. I went there.
An older woman in full traditional Palestinian dress,
Just like my grandma wore, was crumpled to the floor, wailing loudly.
Help, said the flight service person. Talk to her. What is her
Problem? we told her the flight was going to be four hours late and she
I put my arm around her and spoke to her haltingly.
Shu dow-a, shu- biduck habibti, stani stani schway, min fadlick,
Sho bit se-wee?
The minute she heard any words she knew—however poorly used—
She stopped crying.
She thought our flight had been canceled entirely.
She needed to be in El Paso for some major medical treatment the
Following day. I said no, no, we’re fine, you’ll get there, just late,
Who is picking you up? Let’s call him and tell him.
We called her son and I spoke with him in English.
I told him I would stay with his mother till we got on the plane and
Would ride next to her—Southwest.
She talked to him. Then we called her other sons just for the fun of it.
Then we called my dad and he and she spoke for a while in Arabic and
Found out of course they had ten shared friends.
Then I thought just for the heck of it why not call some Palestinian
Poets I know and let them chat with her. This all took up about 2 hours.
She was laughing a lot by then. Telling about her life. Answering
She had pulled a sack of homemade mamool cookies—little powdered
Sugar crumbly mounds stuffed with dates and nuts—out of her bag—
And was offering them to all the women at the gate.
To my amazement, not a single woman declined one. It was like a
Sacrament. The traveler from Argentina, the traveler from California,
The lovely woman from Laredo—we were all covered with the same
Powdered sugar. And smiling. There are no better cookies.
And then the airline broke out the free beverages from huge coolers—
Non-alcoholic—and the two little girls for our flight, one African
American, one Mexican American—ran around serving us all apple juice
And lemonade and they were covered with powdered sugar too.
And I noticed my new best friend—by now we were holding hands—
Had a potted plant poking out of her bag, some medicinal thing,
With green furry leaves. Such an old country traveling tradition. Always
Carry a plant. Always stay rooted to somewhere.
And I looked around that gate of late and weary ones and thought,
This is the world I want to live in. The shared world.
Not a single person in this gate—once the crying of confusion stopped
—has seemed apprehensive about any other person.
They took the cookies. I wanted to hug all those other women too.
This can still happen anywhere.
Not everything is lost."
— Naomi Shihab Nye (b. 1952), “Wandering Around an Albuquerque Airport Terminal.” I think this poem may be making the rounds, this week, but that’s as it should be. (via oliviacirce)
They called it a “coding error”. This made it sound like they were sequestered in a bunker surrounded by black screens on which a continuous parade of figures flickered past.
Instead it was just someone using Excel on a laptop who was highlighting cells for a formula and released his index finger from the left-clicky button of his mouse too soon.
The debate has raged - well raged is a strong word, perhaps sulked? - since Monday about the significance of the calculation mistake made by Reinhart and Rogoff in their 2010 paper for the American Economic Review, Growth in a Time of Debt.
Did the conclusions about debt, growth and need for painful correction send the politicians of the world to the special cabinet to dust off the scourges?
That debate is meaningless because the last five years of economic prediction have told us one thing: No one knows anything any more and the people who say they know something know even less.
The main point to take from this debacle is the truly awesome power of Excel. Not its processing ability, just its ubiquity.
As much as oil and water, our lives are governed by Excel."
Organisation can emerge from chaos in complex systems made of relatively simple parts. This mathematics of emergence helps understand networks in the brain, structures in societies, and how groups of fireflies can flash in sync without requiring a leader to keep the beat. These animations show one mathematical model where runners running round a track can synchronise to the same pace with no leader. Each runner runs at their own pace, but adjusts it slightly if they feel they are slower or faster than their perceived average. [This can be succinctly written as a set of simple differential equations]. In the top row, each runner is more strongly coupled to the group than the bottom row. [The two animations on the right are the same as the ones on the left, except the camera is rotating with the group.] [more] [code]
“I can’t understand why people are frightened of new ideas. I’m frightened of the old ones.”—
“No one is going to give you the education you need to overthrow them.”— Assata Shakur
Dating sites know that their product typically reveals to users that they don’t really know what they want in a partner, even when they can try to...”
“Learn from everyone. Follow no one. Watch for patterns. Work like hell.”— Scott McCloud (via larmoyante)
You see, we’ve come to define “social” in unintentional Orwellian double-speak. “Social” has come to mean the exact opposite of what it’s meant for...”