Sunday, May 10, 2009

Liberals and God

The problem with some liberals is that they try hard to get rid of God, only to replace it with themselves or the government!

Shisha no sho

or "the book of the dead", an interesting Japanese puppet-animation (stop motion) film.
There is something strange about this film. I watched it over a period of 4-5 days while I was grading and such, and I was amazed by the mystery and level of art hidden in it. Very slow paced, but at the same time different (to me) from the European style of avant garde films.


Tuesday, May 05, 2009

From us to our selves

Sometimes we make bad judgments (for example, we give long difficult final exams when we know that we have to grade 100 of them in 2-3 days) and then we expect everyone, including our selves, to suffer (e.g., we cut daily exercise, don't go to meetings & parties, complain to everyone including blog readers, and get depressed)!

If I could find a way to avoid bad judgment calls and "dynamic inconsistencies" ........

I just found an answer to the above question while grading: Rules and traditions are tools to avoid dynamic inconsistencies (in decision making) in the face of limited resources, Wow! I think I should make this into a research paper :)

2014-12-02: I think I have found an even better answer to this question. The ``Mahun method'' of non-abusive decision-making, adopted to long-term decisions and commitments :)

Saturday, May 02, 2009

News from around the Globe :)

  • Sima is in Tehran, her trip went as planned. She says everything was fine, but the long trip was exhausting.
  • Today, after the tennis clinic finished, I was telling the coach (we are friendly) about something related to my game, when I suddenly realized that coach did not really give a fuck! After some reflection, I saw what friendship is about, listening. A friend is simply someone who listens and gives a fuck! A bit disappointing to understand this simple point after 40 years, but it is never late to learn, I guess :)
  • Last night I was grading finals til 3 am, and also watched "Barbarian Invasions" (a good French-Canadian movie) intermittently. Worked for 15-20 minutes and then watched the movie for 15-20 minutes. It was an interesting experience.
  • If you do not mind looking at nude women, here are two pictures that are beyond beautiful astonishing to me:
  • Watched "XXY", an interesting Argentinian film about adolesence, sex, etc.
  • Watched "The Last Winter", good horror movie, if you are remotely interested in this genre!

Friday, May 01, 2009

panic and vision

I was telling Sima today, when we had lunch in the airport before her departure, that I remember a couple of distinct memories of clear vision, meaning that situations that I could feel the outcome of a possible path.

First case was when I convinced my father that I should take the math-physics national exam (KONKOOR), because I saw that there was no way I could became a doctor (get into a descent medical program) as my dad wished. That time I could convince him, fortunately.
Another incident was 5 years ago, when I first went on job market as a PhD candidate and failed (got a job the second time around :) It was the first week of Fall semester (a beautiful August day) and I was walking between two campus buildings (DKH to Wohlers) that I suddenly saw I could not get a job that year. This time I was not bold enough to convince my advisor and Sima to give me another year.

The cases that I can remember, the vision was actually a negative thing: The second incident, I panicked and was really frustrated. There is nothing romantic in seeing things, it is almost ugly and depressing, if one does not have the power to deal with it properly!

Recently, after I started my new experiments a few months ago, I have milder feelings about decisions, not as sharp as those visions, but kind of easier to manage. Still, when the decision is really consequential and there are outside forces, the process becomes really depressing (like a case that I had to choose whether to do a visitng in the coming year, and I had a bad feeling and finally refused).


Sima left today, she is half way to Amsterdam, and will be in Tehran in 16-17 hours. So far everything has gone smoothly. I will join her in less than two weeks. Today, some times I was more excited and nervous than she was, probably she tried hard not to show it :)

IT'S NOT ...

.. ``It's not your spread, and it's not how strong you are, and it's not how fast you are, because you have all those thing...