Archivo de la categoría: Filosofía

Filosofía nunca está demasiado lejos de la física. Es en su superposición que espero avances.

When Your Child is as Big as You

My mom used to say that when your child is as big as you, you have to treat them with respect. What she actually said was that you had to address them using a respectful form of “usted,” which doesn’t make any sense in English, but may work in Hindi or French. It worked poetically well in Malayalam. I was reminded of this maternal pearl of wisdom recently when I was watching a movie with my son.

The protagonist in the movie, who felt like a human punching bag, was feeling low and getting drunk in a bar. And then he gets snubbed by a stranger, and walks away muttering something like, “Do I have an Everlast sign pasted on my forehead?”

My son, accurately guessing that I wouldn’t have gotten the reference, explained to me that Everlast was a boxing brand, and that they had punching bags with the name prominently painted on them. He had seen them in his Muay Thai gym. I remembered then that this was exactly the kind of tidbit that I would have loved to share with my dad, while watching a movie or a tennis match or whatever. The wheel had come full circle. Almost.

Digo “almostbecause I also remembered a time when the references would become just too many to share, and the sons would turn quiet. In the next five or so short years, I can imagine that my son will also find it overwhelming to keep explaining every little reference that flies past me. He also will turn more and more silent. While dreading that inevitable age of silence, I enjoy this moment for now, when his repertoire of interesting tidbits has grown beyond mine. And remember some other things that I wrote a while ago, in a moment of melancholy inspiration.

La radio Sony juega en, impermeable a estas reflexiones tristes, con voces alegres jóvenes repartiendo canciones y chistes para el beneficio de una nueva generación de viajeros yuppie llenos de entusiasmo y afán de conquistar un mundo. Little do they know — it was all conquered many times over during the summers of yester years with the same gusto and passion. Las viejas vanguardias un paso al costado de buena gana y hacer espacio para los hijos de los nuevos veranos.

La nueva generación tiene diferentes gustos. Ellos zumban a diferentes iTunes en sus iPods. Este receptor de radio hermosa, con la mayor parte de ella diecisiete bandas de onda corta impares ahora silenciosa, es probablemente el último de su especie. La música y las bromas de la próxima generación han cambiado. Su peinado y estilos han cambiado. Pero los nuevos activistas cobran en los mismos sueños de gloria como los que antes que ellos. De ellos es el mismo entusiasmo. La misma pasión.

Contradictions

Life is full of contradictions.

I am attending a research retreat on mindfulness and contemplative practices at the beautiful Garrison Institute. I am learning a lot of interesting things, and meeting a lot of like-minded and excellent people – the kind of people with whom I could have deep conversation about the unreal nature of reality, unlike most people from other walks of life would politely and tactfully excuse themselves when I get a bit unreal.

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Twilight Years

At some point in our life, we come to accept the fact we are closer to death than life. What lies ahead is definitely less significant than what is left behind. These are the twilight years, and I have come to accept them. With darkness descending over the horizons, and the long shadows of misspent years and evaded human conditions slithering all around me, I peer into the void, into an eternity of silence and dreamlessness. Es almost time.

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Interpretation of Special Relativity

When we looked at Quantum Mechanics, we talked about its various interpretations. The reason we have such interpretations, I said, is that QM deals with a reality that we have no access to, through our sensory and perceptual apparatuses. Por otra parte, Special Relativity is about macro objects in motion, and we have no problem imagining such things. So why would we need to have an interpretation? The answer is a subtle one.
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Mecánica Cuántica

Mecánica Cuántica (QM) is the physics of small things. How do they behave and how do they interact with each other? Conspicuously absent from this framework of QM is why. Why small things do what they do is a question QM leaves alone. Y, if you are to make any headway into this subject, your best bet is to curb your urge to ask why. Nature is what she is. Our job is to understand the rules by which she plays the game of reality, and do our best to make use of those rules to our advantage in experiments and technologies. Ours is not to reason why. Realmente.

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reduccionismo

En todos nuestros esfuerzos científicos, utilizamos técnicas de alto nivel similares a comprender y estudiar las cosas. La técnica más común es reduccionismo. Se basa en la creencia de que el comportamiento, propiedades y la estructura de los objetos grandes y complejos pueden ser entendidos en términos de sus componentes más simples. En otras palabras, tratamos de comprender la totalidad (el universo, por ejemplo) en términos de menor, constituyentes reducidos (tales como partículas).

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