September 22, 2011

An Explanation of Cowardliness

A cow does not care, on which grassland it chews grass or who milks it.

Yes, this whole blog post consists of a title, emoticon, 2 sentences and as of September 2011 I believe that I am open to new ideas and to changing my previous ideas, but I really do think that the previous sentence is pretty awesome and deserves this blog post.

Update from April 2013:

....or by whom or where or when the cows will be sent to a slaughterhouse. 
(The Nazy concentration camps were understaffed and could not have been able to operate, if the prisoners had revolted. According to some estimates the concentration camps were so understaffed that even the mere refusal to work by the Jews that disposed the bodies could have stopped the mass murder.)

In the light of this blog post, the classical Eurythmics song, "Sweet Dreams", obtains quite a new, thorough, meaning. If You think that You have seen that video so many times that there is nothing new for You to see there, then I claim that now that You have read this blog post, You might want to take another look at it. :-D

They're smart, the Eurythmics people. Ingenious. In front of everyone's eyes and hardly anyone gets it. For decades !!! :-D

May 31, 2011

I had a Dream, on 31th May 2011

I had a dream, on 31'th May 2011

Actually, in my day-dreams I have dreamed quite long that there would be some technology that would make it economical from fuel cost point of view to operate helicopter ambulances as freely as it can be done with car-ambulances. Specially in more remote areas like Saaremaa, where the local hospital may reside tens of kilometers from the potential patients.

In my day-dreams I thought that it boils down to having some concentrated energy source, may be some new kind of atomic energy unit or something like that, which would reside on the vehicle and power the engines.

In my night-dream, which ended about 10min before I reached writing this sentence here, I had a revelation: the technology actually already exists.

You see, Saaremaa and Hiiumaa are very windy places. In fact the Hiiumaa is so windy that they even plan huge sea wind parks there that are capable of powering the whole Estonia. Electrolysis is an old technology for decomposing water to hydrogen and oxygen and people actually do it at home, for fun, using plain, small, batteries. Hydrogen gas engines already exist and using huge, pressurized, gas tanks on an helicopter is not a problem, because if one is going to fall with the hely, one is probably going to get pretty hurt, if not die, anyway and unlike commercial planes, the helicopters fly quite low, which means that one can probably design gas tanks that withstand the fall from the height that the helicopters typically fly to a sharp edge of a cliff. (Here is a video, where people shoot a gas tank with firearms.)

And there it is: an helicopter ambulance system with low-enough maintenance cost that probably even a small hospital can afford running it. Buying the helicopters and windmills is a different story, but it does not matter so much, because it's a single-time investment, at least in the form of the wind mills and hydrogen production infrastructure.

What regards to the dream, then actually, I wasn't fully asleep. I fell asleep about 5.00AM, after a huge effort to get a software release candidate ready by the morning, which I did not, and woke about 6.30AM (feeling truly fresh and surprised that I have slept just abut one and a halve hours) and then thought about the scene that I saw in my dream, where I had that revelation. It turned out that in my dream I was trying to get to sleep while lying in bed in a flat that had a same structure, floor plan, than in reality the flat in Saaremaa had, where me and my parents lived when I was just a few years old. The location of the bed in my dream matched with that of the real location and the size of the rooms in my dream were about the same as I saw the real flat, when I was a little boy.

So, yes, I sure had a dream, this time. A bit like the Mendeleev supposedly had. :-D

Actually, there was more in that dream, but it's a bit private, so I won't write it down here. Quite weird though.

May 19, 2011

A Response to a vlog: Europe Versus America

A response to a vlog: Europe versus America

This is actually a response to the following vlog post:

I'm responding here, because this whole text has more characters than is allowed in the comments, but I placed a a link to my response to the comments.


I understand that I'm responding to a vblog entry 2 years after it has been posted (2009 versus 2011), but I recognized one of my own, pretty old, line of thought in the contemplation that You posted.

To make a long story short: the saying, that every scientist stands on the shoulders of giants, means that one derives new solutions from prior knowledge and it really does not matter, where the knowledge comes from, as long as it helps. Be it other cultures, lessons learned locally, aliens or academia, Hollywood, lessons learned by playing computer games.

My approach is that I just try to pick the most functional solutions and combine them.

As of 2011 I think that in the case of cultures the best solution is a mixture of the following:

  • Japanese dedication and aim for perfection, but without the hierarchy and lack of creativity.

  •  American creativity, non-hierarchical approach and attitude of being active, but without the American style of doing first and thinking later.

  •  German custom to prefer quality over quantity and a custom to take time for thinking before doing, but without drowning to a sea of rules ultimately having double standards.

  • The Finnish custom of keeping every promise, totally strictly, but without the lack of communication.

  • Russian way of approaching life, even very difficult situations, with humor and joy, but without the hierarchy and sloppiness and laziness, i.e. one should really work hard and one should never cut corners.

  • British directness and openness, but without the snobbishness, laziness and with sensitivity to other people's feelings.

By the way, I'm from Estonia, North-Eastern Europe.


April 28, 2011

A few Weird Thoughts About Americans

To make a long story short, all of the problems in America, be it the environmental mess with the oil rigs, wars that don't get them anything but trouble, the issue that the US has to take credit from one of its greatest enemies, the People's Republic of China, and so on and so forth, come from a cultural particularity that the American culture does not have a custom to TAKE TIME TO THINK BEFORE DOING.

I think that just thinking, not to mention talking, and not doing anything or doing very little, is also pretty ineffective in terms of goal-oriented things getting done in a way that the goals are met, but the general pattern in the U.S. seems to be that they just do not take "too much" time to think, even though they are perfectly capable of thinking. (As the classical joke goes: In general one can be sure that the America does the right thing, after trying everything else.)

One of the controversial illustrations of the dont-take-too-much-time-to-think approach is the banking fiasco.

According to some sources, the U.S. is very polarized in terms of wealth distribution. If that's so, then most of the money in the banks belongs to the richer part of the U.S. community. Given that it's the richer citizens that determine national politics and determine, what life is like in a country, then it's really controversial that the richer part of the US population, the part that really determines the internal politics of that super-state, does not take the effort to hold the bankers accountable for MISHANDLING THEIR PERSONAL ASSETS. This looks even weirder, if one looks at it from a perspective of American extra-tough individualism. (I, of course, argue, that as all of us have its strengths and weaknesses, making sure that people around us also have a chance to live, is also perfectly and 100% individualistic, because on a trip of life one probably needs to have good divers, climbers, runners and swimmers, in ones team, but I won't go into it in this posting.)

The banking crises hit the hardest the people that determine the whole game in the U.S., the richer part of the U.S. community, and they just let it go, don't take the effort to fix, how their own monetary assets are handled. If this isn't due to the lack thinking then what is? I mean, people, who are smart enough to build themselves a fortune, ARE NOT DUMB and it IS the money that they truly care about in life, isn't it?

April 16, 2011

A few Funny Words About Rationality and Reality

In math two sets(think of them as baskets of apples and oranges) are considered to "contain equal amount of elements", if one can pair the elements so that each of the pairs has one side of it from one set and the other side from the other set and after assembling as many pairs as one can, there's no elements left unpaired in either of the sets.

That is to say: one should take a third, empty, basket, and start taping apples and oranges together by placing the pairs to the third, initially empty, basket and one can conclude that there was equal amount of apples and oranges if after running out of apples there are no oranges left.

(Please do take a look at the formal definition, because the examples above were oversimplified. The formal idea is that one defines a function from one set to another and that the function is required to have certain properties.)

What regards the "rationality" part in this post, then that's just for warm-up. The idea is that unlike in the aforementioned example, there's an infinite number of rational numbers, but one can still say that there's exactly as many rational numbers as there are natural numbers. The proof is actually suitable to teenage school children and can be read from here. Just please be sure to understand the proof before reading this posting onwards.


OK, so, now comes the "reality" part. Please notice the scene from the following video, where a whole motorcycle emerges from some small object that fits into a pocket?

Or, the following armory:

Well, actually, mathematically there's nothing wrong with it.

As of April 2011 I don't remember the name of the theorem, nor have I known or even looked up, leave along understand, the proof of it, but I guess if one understands how to fit an infinite number of real numbers between any 2 real numbers, for example, like


then it should be pretty intuitive that there are as "many" numbers between 0 and a million as there are between 0 and 1. After all, there is at least one bijection from set_A=[0,1] to set_B=[0,1000000] and it looks like:

The inverse of it:

The crazy thing restated: for every number between 0 and 1000000 there exists one number between 0 and 1 in a way that none of the numbers from the set [0,1000000] share a pair-mate from the set [0,1] and all of the numbers in the set [0,1] are "used up".  Of course, one might use just [0,0.0042] in stead of the [0,1] and one could still pair all of the real numbers from the set [0,1000000], but, the idea is the same and no, I'm not high, may be just a bit mental, but that's for the others to decide. (I've seen worse: check out, what they do in quantum physics.)

In a modern, TRON, way of saying it: pick a pebble from a pocket, let  it rearrange itself a little bit and ride a huge bike. Batteries are included.

There's no controversy whatsoever. :-D

Things like "length" and "volume" are quite artificial "parameters". A bit like  points in a computer game, or something along those lines. One might as well just define one's own versions of them, which I omit here, because this post is pretty verbal already and people that are much smarter in math than I am or probably ever will be have already defined plenty of smart alternatives and studied their implications already decades ago, if not centuries ago. (Please don't get me wrong: this post wasn't meant to be very serious or extra educational. That's why it's in the soap opera blog. :-)

I really liked the movies, the Ultraviolet and the Aeon Flux, so here are some clips just for fun:

January 4, 2011

About Communication According to my Personal Experiences

I want to leave the embarrassing details, how I came to the text that is written here, to myself, but it's all
an interpretation of personal experience and situations that have happened to me. The observations are in
chronological order, i.e. they conform to the chronological order of events as they happened to me.

The first observation is that in the case of topics or opinions that the management does not like, it is possible to get
caught if the topics are discussed at the premises of the company. It's possible that one of the co-workers secretly
tells the boss or it is possible to get caught by the boss itself. The antimeasrues: never-ever talk anything negative
about the company on that company's premises.

The second observation is that in the case of communication that consists of only n% (n<100) of the message, the
rest (100%-n%) is made up arbitrarily. Namely, if the words accumulate only 7% of the whole message, body language 55%,
voice tone 38%, then in the case of e-mails the 55%+38% is made up arbitrarily and the less the e-mail recipient
knows the e-mail writer, the more arbitrary the "filling" is. The antimeasures: when communicating with people, who
are not long-time friends, avoid sending e-mails to them whenever possible. Try to communicate with them by seeing
them face-to-face and talking. (One can avoid a hell of a mess that way.)

The third observation is that anything that is written down, can be forwarded, specially in the case of e-mails,
and if it is forwarded to total strangers, for example, at the client's organization, then the second observation
applies in the case of the strangers. Again, result is a hell of a mess. The antimeasures: AVOID sending e-mails
and keep them as "free of information" as possible. If You really need to send some letter, keep it some sort
of information-free formal nonsense that does not distinguish from the rest of the nonsense e-mails that
the people are used to having. If You need to transfer information to someone, do it by phone or better yet, see them face-to-face, because that leaves the other side less room for arbitrary imagining and allows You to quickly correct, complement, Your message right after the other side has received it and shows some signs that he/she has understood it differently than You wanted to communicate. (The avoidance of misunderstandings avoids a human relations mess.) Also, keep in mind that anything written can be forwarded
and can end up being in places, where one really does not want them to be. (Think of WikiLeaks, the press,
if You were a diplomat.) As the e-mails contain only 7% of the whole message (the missing parts are body
language and voice tone), its harder for the recipient to distinguish a formal letter
from a more personal one and, well, that's one way letters can go to circulation while being totally out of context.

This post will probably be edited in the future. This version is edited on 4'th of January 2011.