Slow Ideas

Comparative Science and Relational Complexity

We would debate for hours.

Over decades.

Only the educated and self-educated are free.

My father died on July 30th, 2013 and I intend to honor him, if I can, by writing a blog about him and the consequences of me integrating his ideas every year.  First year,  Second YearThird Year, Fourth Year, Fifth Year  This is the sixth year.

When I was young, my father would introduce and discuss, around the dinner table, the ideas of philosophers, scientists, and historians: like Adam Smith, Charles Darwin, Herbert Spencer, John Stuart Mill, Georg Hegel, William James, Arthur Schopenhauer, Bertrand Russell, Oswald Spengler, Will Durant, Ayn Rand, Milton Erickson, and Jay Haley, to name a few.

I had a question early on “How and Why does the World Work?” He had a more difficult question: “What are the long-term patterns of an ‘Individual’s Human Action?” He was clinical school psychologist, who was identifying deviant habits of children, parents, and teachers. He was developing techniques aimed at enabling them to abandon such habits. His methods of research and reasoning enabled him to evolve his ideas into a coherent system. His model of Human Temperament has helped many people to better understand themselves and others.

He was good at qualitative reasoning, wholistic thought: the Gestalt (despite [and because] of having lots of training in statistics). I became good at quantitative reasoning: conventional science and mathematics. Between the two of us, as we debated, I realized that there was a middle way, much more powerful than ad hoc wholistic reasoning or ad hoc atomistic reasoning, when they are used separately. The new middle way, The Slow Idea, is using Comparative Science and Relational Complexity in conjunction as fields of scientific endeavor using systematic qualitative and quantitative reasoning together. To some extent: (hard and soft) science, mathematics, and computer science are towers of Babel, not able to understand each other’s argot and considered irrelevant to other.

The idea ofSlow Ideas <=> Fast Ideas

The root of this idea appeared just recently, thanks to Atul Gawande. He and Matt Ridley noted that ideas operate very much in an evolutionary manner.

Fast Ideas and Slow Ideas


eventually, SLOW IDEAS WORK BETTER, and longer

Atul Gawande introduced the idea of slow and fast ideas with an example from the 19th century. The fast idea was anesthesia and the slow idea was antiseptics. To quote him:

“Why do some innovations [ideas] spread so swiftly and others so slowly? Consider the very different trajectories of surgical anesthesia and antiseptics, both of which were discovered in the nineteenth century.”

“The first public demonstration of anesthesia was in 1846…”

“The idea [anesthesia] spread like a contagion, travelling through letters, meetings, and periodicals. By mid-December, surgeons were administering ether to patients in Paris and London. By February, anesthesia had been used in almost all the capitals of Europe, and by June in most regions of the world.”

Antiseptics, on the other hand, was a slow idea. It took decades for antiseptics to accepted by doctors, who had no incentives to change their practices that didn’t help them immediately. Blood stained clothes was a sign of a experienced surgeon; and washing hands, sterilizing instruments, and keeping hospitals clean seemed unnecessary. Germ theory was dismissed by doctors because the “germs” were not readily observed. Miasma Theory still was used as an excuse to not change.

Hey buddy, can you spare a Para-digm?

“Science advances one funeral at a time.” — Max Planck

“The trouble with specialists is that they tend to think in grooves” — Elaine Morgan

Establishment science needs to protect themselves from quacks, but it also resists slow ideas that are not easily incorporated into the current fashionable (often fast) ideas. This is natural, this is the way evolution works. However, Kuhnian revolutions (as in Margulian-Darwinian evolution) are necessary in science to progress and leap across the Quantum Gap.

Lost Horizons

There is no Shangri-La, except in Fiction

But in life, there is hope,

until there doesn’t appear to be.

What do Ludwig Boltzmann, Alan Turing, Yutaka Taniyama, and David Foster Wallace have in common?  All were successful from a outside point of view.  Each were very smart, and many would say they were geniuses.  But, they all committed suicide.

I would posit, in the end of their lives, they had lost view of their horizons.  Lost Horizons.  Horizons of the mind.

A gypsy of a strange and distant time
Travelling in panic all direction blind
Aching for the warmth of a burning sun
Freezing in the emptiness of where he’d come from

Is that all there is?


Infinite Jest


“Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio: a fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy: he hath borne me on his back a thousand times; and now, how abhorred in my imagination it is!”

Ludwig Boltzmann:  Statistical Mechanics
Alan Turing: Entscheidungsproblem (decision problem)
Yutaka TaniyamaTaniyama–Shimura–Weil conjecture
David Foster Wallace: Infinite Jest

Successful people who commit suicide are a mystery why in they don’t see life is worth living.

Ludwig Eduard Boltzmann, Architect Rational, (February 20, 1844 – September 5, 1906) was an Austrian physicist and philosopher whose greatest achievement was in the development of statistical mechanics, which explains and predicts how the properties of atoms (such as mass, charge, and structure) determine the physical properties of matter(such as viscosity, thermal conductivity, and diffusion).

Alan Mathison Turing, Architect Rational, OBE FRS (June 23, 1912 – June 7, 1954) was an English computer scientist, mathematician,  logician, cryptanalyst, philosopher  and theoretical biologist. He was highly influential in the development of theoretical computer science, providing a formalisation of the concepts of algorithm and computation with the Turing machine, which can be considered a model of a general purpose computer. Turing is widely considered to be the father of theoretical computer science and artificial intelligence.

Yutaka Taniyama, Architect Rational, (Japanese: 谷山 豊 Taniyama Yutaka; 12 November 1927, Kisai near Tokyo – 17 November 1958, Tokyo) was a Japanese mathematician known for the Taniyama–Shimura conjecture.

David Foster Wallace, Architect Rational, (February 21, 1962 – September 12, 2008) was an American writer and university instructor of English and creative writing. His novel Infinite Jest (1996) was listed by Time magazine as one of the hundred best English-language novels published between 1923 and 2005. His last novel, The Pale King (2011), was a final selection for the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2012.

“Until yesterday I had no definite intention of killing myself. But more than a few must have noticed that lately I have been tired both physically and mentally. As to the cause of my suicide, I don’t quite understand it myself, but it is not the result of a particular incident, nor of a specific matter. Merely may I say, I am in the frame of mind that I lost confidence in my future. There may be someone to whom my suicide will be troubling or a blow to a certain degree. I sincerely hope that this incident will cast no dark shadow over the future of that person. At any rate, I cannot deny that this is a kind of betrayal, but please excuse it as my last act in my own way, as I have been doing my own way all my life.”  — Yutaka Taniyama

To attain insight, to see what no others see, to be on top of that mountain:

We can only see a short distance ahead, but we can see plenty there that needs to be done.  — Alan Turing


He didn’t get it.

I was surprised, kinda.  But it made sense, why he didn’t think much of my suggestion.  In fact, in his seminar at UCIrvine Information and Computer Science department (as tactic to get MIT to give him a better offer as a tenured faculty member), he dismissed my “idea”, quickly, even though he had asked (obviously rhetorically, in hindsight) for suggestions as a kind of Socratic presentation tactic in his talk.

My mentioning of Kirchoff’s law as a parallel in regards into information flow, he thought irrelevant, and was rather dismissive.  But who was I, just a graduate student from a west coast Podunk U [which eventually was a key university in the development of the World Wide Web].  He was an assistant Professor from MIT, angling for tenure.


This time I understood.  Although I didn’t have a name for it at the time.  I just shut up.

Now, I call it eucaryotic hubrisWe all have it, in the area of our expertise and our vast areas of ignorance.

This time, I had had enough encounters with these kind of guys to not be in awe of them. I didn’t assume I was at fault in not understanding, and not smart enough it “get what they are promoting”.  They were just as ignorant as I was.

And, Stupid, as me.  So when I was watching one of Geoffrey Hinton’s youtube talks…


I had interacted this “professor” before, in that seminar.   And I had listened to some of his other conference talks, he is very very very smart and accomplished.  So smart, these days, he is a distinguished emeritus faculty member, at the institution he got his BS and PhD at.  He has never had to move out of Massachusetts, or MIT.  No, this guy wasn’t Marvin Minsky, but his student.  So when Hinton told his offhand story, about Professor Carl Hewitt, I had to laugh.  Deja vu, all over again.

“Indeed, in their later years (after finding out that most others are faking an understanding of the laws of nature), INTPs [Architect Rationals] are likely to think of themselves as the master organizers who must pit themselves against nature and society in an unending effort to create organization out of the raw materials of nature.” – Please Understand Me II,  Keirsey, David. Please Understand Me II (Kindle Locations 4099-4107). Prometheus Nemesis Book Company. Kindle Edition.

As scientists, we all are struggling with understanding:

Formatics: Precise Qualitative and Quantitative Comparison. Precise Analogy and Precise Metaphor: how does one do that, and what does one mean by these two phrases? This is an essay, in the form of an ebook, on the nature of reality, measure, modeling, reference, and reasoning in an effort to move towards the development of Comparative Science and Relational Complexity. In some sense, this ebook explores the involution and envolution of ideas, particularly focusing on mathematics and reality as two “opposing” and “fixed points” in that “very” abstract space. As Robert Rosen has implied there has been (and still is going on) a war in Science. Essentially you can view that war as a battle between the “formalists” and the “informalists” — but make no mistake the participants of this war are united against “nature” — both are interested in understanding the world and sometimes predicting what can and will happen, whether that be real or imagined. So… I will ask the questions, for example, of “what could one mean” precisely by the words: “in,” “out,” “large,” and “small.” The problem is both Science and Mathematics are imprecise — but this sentence contains fighting words and is impredicative, to say the least. In my father‘s terms, it is important to distinguish between order and organization, and understand the difference. Lastly, for now, the concepts and their relations, in the circle of ideas of “dimensions of time” and dimensions of energy along with the dimensions of space and dimensions of mass will be explicated, as I evolve (involute and envolute) this ebook. SO WHAT IS HE TALKING ABOUT? Let me try to explain.


Other Architect Rationals include:  James MadisonSrinivasa RamanujanEmmy NoetherPaul DiracRobert RosenDavid KeirseyAlbert EinsteinLonnie AthensDavid Bohm


Partitions: Exact Approximations

… there is something strange going on with Primes
Paul Erdös


Never mind the mock theta, Ramanujan’s gap, Namagiri dreams.


When Srinivasa Ramanujan wrote to G. H. Hardy in the 16th of January 1913, he had some remarkable formulas in that letter.  So remarkable are some of his formulas that mathematicians have been studying Ramanujan’s notebooks of formulas for new mathematical insights to this day, more than a hundred years later.
I beg to introduce myself to you as a clerk in the Accounts Department of the Port Trust Office at Madras… I have no University education but I have undergone the ordinary school course. After leaving school I have been employing the spare time at my disposal to work at Mathematics. I have not trodden through the conventional regular course which is followed in a University course, but I am striking out a new path for myself. I have made a special investigation of divergent series in general and the results I get are termed by the local mathematicians as “startling”. 
Hardy invited him to England because some of the formulas “had to be true, because no one could have the imagination to make them up”.   But there were no proofs.  However, when this poor vegetarian Indian Hindu came to England, eventually Hardy showed Ramanujan (thru Littlewood) that his formula on Primes was not EXACTLY correct. So Ramanujan had to bend to Hardy and work on his proofs of some of his formulas, so when they tackled the function of Partitions P(n), Ramanujan with the help of Hardy got to point where they “cracked” Partitions (and could prove it). They developed a direct formula that computed the number of partitions pretty accurately, and at the limit (infinity) it was “perfect” — and, could by truncating the number for high partition number to an integer could guarantee to be exact: since the number of partitions of integers is an whole number (i.e., the real number series “formula” converges with an deceasing error rate). Together they “cracked” the problem where neither man could do it alone. Ramanujan supplied the “intuition” (the finding of the hidden pattern) and Hardy provided the rigor to explain why the pattern is true.  The method they created, in this instance, was called the “circle method” — and it has been used ever since by numerous mathematicians for various other results.

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Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore

Walking through that door
Outside we came nowhere at all
Perhaps the answers here
Not there anymore

She brightens up when she sees me.  There is recognition.

But she sits down, she is tired.  It’s at the end of the day.   It was convenient for me to come at this time and I had established a routine of going to dinner just to get her out and something to do.  She is glad to see me, however, she fades in the chair.

“What are we doing?”

I say what we are doing.  Going to dinner.

Recognition flickers.

House of four doors
You’ll be lost now forever
House of four doors
Rest of life’s life forever
“You tired?”
“Want to rest for awhile?”
She sits back and rests, falls asleep.
Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore.

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Thanks, I needed that.

Seasons change with the scenery
Weaving time in a tapestry

I was surprised.

I was just eating lunch by myself in the cafeteria.  I am attentive, not expressive, kind of guy.  Besides this was the first time I was visiting MIT, as a part of Artificial Intelligence (AI) conference.  No, my SATs were not good enough to get into CalTech (or MIT), and I am a west coast guy, anyway.

But, lo and behold.  He sat down next to me.  Obviously, to strike up a conversation.

Marvin Minsky.

Ok, now I wasn’t a kid anymore.  I was industry-based AI researcher (Hughes Research Labs, HRL) working at the time on Autonomous Vehicle research.   Minsky didn’t know me, but, I knew a fair amount about him.

Marvin Minsky, full professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and “one of fathers of Artificial Intelligence”, came to my table clearly because he was curious.  Minsky, a Fieldmarshal Rational, had been very successful in promoting his graduate students to getting academic professorships across the lands. The list of his PhD students is more than impressive. He had government and university funding. MIT is a technological power house.  Money, People, and Companies have been flocking to MIT well before I was born.

I tried to make our conversation as interesting as I could.  Hey, Marvin was a legend in my field: Artificial Intelligence.

After about 5-10 minutes of conversation, me doing most of the talking about the autonomous vehicle project that I had been involved with, Marvin excuse himself, and wandered over to another table with a couple of people and joined in that conversation.

He didn’t get any useful out of me, in his mind, no doubt.
He moved on.

Thanks, I needed that.

I did get something useful out of the encounter.
A slow idea. But not a fast idea.  A hint on a part of an idea on how the world works.
It was a Kuhnian moment for me, I knew some things that Marvin couldn’t imagine.

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On the Question of Learning Words…

… and Tools.

“It is important to understand that the Four Temperaments are not simply arbitrary collections of characteristics, but spring from an interaction of the two basic dimensions of human behavior: our communication and our action, our words and our deeds, or, simply, what we say and what we do.” — David West Keirsey

My father died on July 30th, 2013 and I intend to honor him, if I can, by writing a blog about him and his ideas every year.  First year,  Second Year, Third Year, Fourth Year.david_west_keirsey_young_man

David West Keirsey (August 31, 1921 – July 31, 2013)

For last year’s words belong to last year’s language
and next year’s words await another voice.
— T.S. Eliot

He concentrated on them:  the use of words,

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An Odd Even Ode Log Rhythm

“There is geometry in the humming of the strings,
there is music in the spacing of the spheres.”
— Pythagoras

Find Structured Constant: A Ode to Wolfgang

in-form == 1

ex-form == 0

form == -1

Now Moufang it and Emmy ring it two. Make Lise Bind. Oh, Dedekind bother, it’s a unReal hard cut.

Never mind, Hilbert doesn’t bother. Such a Dehn mine-d vater.

MJ Golay to the re-scue, the Hamiltons and Hamming to rearrange and recode, the 23th Prime Poincaré to re-solder.


Two notes of the chord, that’s our poor scope,
And to reach the chord is our life’s hope.
And to name the chord is important to some,
So they give it a word, and the word is:


To Subquotient, or Not Subquotient,
That is the question!

The divisor status, of the lattice, oh my, Times, Rudvalis.

Crack the Dirac, Landau beseech the damp Leech.

It’s a Monster Conway Mesh, Mathieu‘s Stretch, Jacques‘ Mess, Janko‘s Sprains, and Einstein‘s Strain.

Never mind the mock theta, Ramanujan‘s gap, Namagiri dreams.

No Tegmark or Linde, but Verlinde in name. It’s all but Feynman‘s streams,
and weigh.

Such a Prime rank, any such Milnor‘s exotic sank.

No mess, no Stress, but Strain. Tensors Bohm and Bain.

It’s Held together. Dr. Keirsey is here to re-frame.

It Works! Much to lose and A Gain.

It’s Life Itself, More AND Less, a game.

Towards Quantum Formatics


Gravity is a discrete form process in context.

Quan-tum:  qua – “in the capacity of”,  quan -“shortening”, quant-ity – “amount

Form-atics: form – “shape“, atics – ending for making adjectives or nouns, reification

Quantum Formatics:  the study of discrete form processes within context: a wholistic physical in-formation and ex-formation theory.

How and Why the World Works.

General Relativity(GR) and Quantum Mechanics(QM) have been the most successful science enterprises ever.   Discovering phenomena like black holes, the tau particle, gravity waves, and predicting precisely the orbit of Mercury, bending of light, the Teller-Jahn effect, the electron neutrino, and countless other effects.

On the other hand,

“We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” — attributed to Albert Einstein.

Intriguely, Erik Verlinde has proposed emergent gravity.  However, at this moment there seems to be no test that can include, preclude, or exclude his idea.  The concept of Gravity, whether emergent gravity, hoped for quantum gravity, implicit string theory gravity, or Einsteinian statistical gravity [in the form of General Relativity] essentially assumes some form of mathematical continuity, unspecified and under-defined.  Because there are at least six forms of continuity, for example, the following four: Continuously differentiable ⊆ Lipschitz continuousα-Hölder continuousuniformly continuous = continuous ; The real question becomes: which kinds of “continuity” is physically at the “quantum foam” levels?– and what are the relations between concepts (qualities) of various “spins”, “charges”, “spaces”, “energies”, “masses”, “distances”, and “forces”, with different kinds of “times”.

It seems clear that the present quantum mechanics is not in its final form. — Paul Dirac

Moreover, Quantum Mechanics (QM), using the crutch of Born-Schrödinger probabilities in the guise of Fermi-Dirac and Bose-Einstein statistics, is a very very very precise, but incomplete.  Although probabilistic unitary quadratic forms (a “real” scalar product or action of a linear functional on a vector in a complex vector space) can help in calculating measures, there is no “definite qualities”.    At the quantum levels, one does not have separable “qualities” — just postulated mixed measures denoted by “quantum numbers” and “probabilitic measures” in the form of “real” and/or “complex numbers”.

Adding the two statistical conceptions: GR and QM has not and will not work.   A non-statistical methodology is needed to Relate phenomena at the scales of large (GR) and the phenomena at the scales of small (QM).  That methodology needs Relational Forms Frameworks.

Information Momentum and Latent Exformation: On the Involution and Envolution of the Universe.



Re-Imagining, and Booking Thru Life

To be continued…

Other Architect Rationals include:  James MadisonSrinivasa RamanujanEmmy NoetherPaul DiracRobert RosenDavid KeirseyAlbert EinsteinLonnie AthensDavid Bohm

Booking Thru Life

Adventures of a Viking Reading Bystander

The curtain rises on the scene
With someone shouting to be free
The play unfolds before my eyes
There stands the actor who is me

Enryo (遠慮) is one of the most quintessential Japanese concepts.  “Restraining speech/actions towards people” (「人に対して言語・行動を控え目にすること」).

A Stranger in a Strangeland.


world_we_live_in_bindHow could that be?

I was born on top of the world.  The middle class, white suburbs in Southern California, in 1950.  White, Anglo-Saxon, Protestant heritage: (that dreaded 21st century epithet WASP).

Then, Why a stranger in a strangeland?

There were hills that I couldn’t climb when I was young. I was sheltered by my dreams, now stellated mirrors in the sun.

Everybody: just like me?

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