Author Topic: Keeping a Scholarly Journal  (Read 430 times)

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Kaspar Hauser

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Keeping a Scholarly Journal
« on: March 04, 2016, 09:11:54 pm »
I've started a new volume of "diary material" and I want this one to be slightly different than my usual book of nonsense and tinkering.

As a kind of experimental technique, I am going to try to describe, on a daily basis, what it is I am focusing on.  Of course I'll have separate composition books and other notebooks for working through problems or taking notes on things like "Integration Techniques" or Eigenvalues and all that crap, but I want to have one series of journals where, unlike writing on the internet or other public forums, I will not feel a need to defend or justify my seemingly meaningless pursuits.

In this series of journals, I want to keep track of what it is I am going over AS IF it were very interesting.  In other words, I want to recoil into my own little world ...

And since I obviously can't write down everything that passes through the conscious mind, there will come a point where I will want to just "space out" while working through exercises, perhaps spending an entire day discovering how to go about doing the same thing in SymPy, Sage, and on a TI-Nspire CAS ... as well as by hand with pencil.

There's no need to rebuild the wheel from scratch, and, at this point, I guess there are those freaks like myself who will eagerly make use of computer software to help us develop a better understanding of advanced mathematics.  All I can do is thank my lucky stars that I find these activities to be stimulating and "fun" ... I consider myself fortunate not to want to play video games, watch sporting events on TV, or attend "12 Step Meetings"  [I hate hearing about "recovery" - it drives people to drink!].

The "purpose" of this message board is to let my friend, Holden, in on this secret little world that exists underneath the farce of society.  I want to show that it is possible to be a mathematical hobbyist and to be a living philosopher in the flesh ... and that the challenge is in standing up to the herd shouting, "This is how I want to live my life!"
« Last Edit: March 05, 2016, 05:45:32 pm by H »
Things They Will Never Tell YouArthur Schopenhauer has been the most radical and defiant of all troublemakers.

Gorticide @ Nothing that is so, is so DOT edu

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Holden

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Re: Keeping a Scholarly Journal
« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2016, 02:05:55 pm »
Thank you Mr.H,I appreciate that very much!
La Tristesse Durera Toujours                                  (The Sadness Lasts Forever ...)
-van Gogh.

Kaspar Hauser

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Re: Keeping a Scholarly Journal
« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2016, 10:47:49 pm »
This will be the third thread I am placing the next quote that I typed directly from Cosmic Pessimism.  It is relevant.  My "diaries" [scholarly journals] are expanding to where I am writing in several notebooks simultaneously. 

From our "Diary Writing" thread:

Quote
From my experience with jotting in notebooks, I would also suggest keeping a few notebooks simultaneously, keeping mathematical interests separate from literary or philosophical.  Of course, from what I have discerned from your interests, like your boy, HP Lovecraft, these areas may overlap with you.  I guess we'll have to wait and see how your notes unfold.

From COSMIC PESSIMISM

Again, I will type these out since the online (early version) edition doesn't have this section.   :-\

The Abyss of a Notebook


Nietzsche once lauded the value of the "incomplete thought" for philosophy.  If we were to take this up, perhaps the best place to look for incomplete thoughts would be in the notebooks of philosophers.  Nietzsche himself was a fastidious user of his notebooks ... <<< SNIP >>>

Schopenhauer, no less fastidious than Nietzsche, preferred to keep several notebooks going at once, notebooks of all sizes and types - octavo, quarto, folio, bound and unbound.  Some notebooks remained fixed on his desk at home, while others could be taken with him on walks, and still other notebooks were reserved for traveling.  And then there is Cioran, that gloomy prowler of the Latin Quarter, who was fond of the bright, multi-colored, spiral notebooks used by students.

It's almost as if the notebook mitigates against the book, if the former is not, in the end, negated by the latter.  As Nietzsche notes, the incomplete thought "displays the most beautiful butterfly wings - and it slips away from us."  I'm assuming that Nietzsche distinguishes between the incomplete thought from the merely lazy thought - though I'm rarely able to do so myself.


I used to sneak small notepads into work.  I was obsessed.

So much is interconnected and overlapping.  It is difficult to separate the mathematics from the programming.  I have two different debuggers going at once as I am inspecting code I reworked for using Gauss elimination for putting matrices in reduced echelon form.  It is surprisingly exciting and stimulating.

I wish I could share the code with someone.  I was able to also compile it in Microsoft Windows from the command line with Developer Prompt for VS2015. 

I am not sure if you use Linux, so I compiled binaries that run in Windows.  And yet --- !

I don't think Yahoo mail server allows me to send executable files through email.  In fact, I know it doesn't.  All I could do is save the source code as text files and upload here.  Then just change the .txt to .cpp     --- but then you would have to compile the code.  I could explain how to do that, but ... you might not want to get that engrossed.   All I can say is that it is intellectually stimulating, to say the least.  It is a great secret ... that writing mathematical computer programs is STIMULATING.  There must be a conspiracy to make people feel like subhuman circus geeks if they get into it ... we can't have people writing their own programs, can we?   

HINT
Windows (with Developer Command Prompt): 

cl /EHsc /Zi rref.cpp

or, if you grab VS Community edition (free), create a console application.   Sorry Windows is such a pain.  Linux is far less "IDE driven" and a great deal can be done with GCC ... but, rather than complaining, I try to learn a bit of both -- and VS debugger is very pretty.  (Debug | Windows | Locals, Disassembly, Watch Points, Call Stack, Registers, etc).

Doing the same in Linux with gdb is kind of cryptic (but it is, again, STIMULATING).  My brain must fire off some strange chemicals when I inspect the contents of the elements of a vector, especially when those elements are other vectors!   :o

HINT2
Linux: g++ -g rref.cpp -o rref

Obviously I am not gearing up to go toe to toe with riot police.  Self-absorbed?  I don't know.

I guess I have to enjoy this process alone.   I am taking many notes and trying to resist "haste" and "despair".

You see, using Gauss elimination to solve systems of equations is fairly straight forward with pencil and paper, but it can get fairly intense translating the math into code.

What I am aiming for is to be able to explain the code in words and some math symbols ... so that I might be able to start seeing the code as naturally as I see the calculations when I am doing the work by hand.

If I were to give into haste, I would be glad I got my program to produce results that make sense, and use it to do the tedious calculations --- and move onto something else.  There is always something on the horizon that I want to get into.

I resist this urge, and I am writing in a few different notebooks about different aspects of the same phenomenon.   What is uncanny is that, just as I am interested in vectors and three-dimensional geometry with pencil and paper, there are also the data structure in C++ STL <vector> --- when I am writing code to perform operations on matrices, the down and dirty details of storing matrices, which are 2-dimensional arrays, into computer memory is crucial, especially when I make the code so it handles them dynamically - in other words, when the size of the data structure is not known until run-time.  It just gets, well, kind of intense.

There are several different approaches, and I like to see the differences between the variations.

Anyway, I wish there were more I could discuss with you ... For now, I'll just say that mental transformations are taking place, and I suspect the unconscious mind is at the helm.

arrays of pointers ... pointers pointing to pointers ... vectors of vectors ...

It is all I can do just to keep notes to communicate with myself what I am up to.

SLOW THINKING is definitely some kind of key, for one can go deeper and deeper into just one small concept.

An aside.  It's uncanny that a couple algorithms I used to write a couple short programs that approximate solutions were both introduced by two contemporaries of Schopenhauer, I think:

Jacobi and Seidel ... I think they may have even been in the same area of the world as Schopenhauer when he was living. 

Mathematics can be like music sometimes.

The Zucchini I planted is growing like crazy.  I'll be eating it for lunch throughout the summer.

Stay safe and avoid altercations with police and psychiatrists ...  ;)

Another side note:  I noticed that I don't misspell Gauss when it is the name of a computer program I am typing at the command line.  I used to spell it Guass.   When it is code I wrote, gauss just flows naturally.   guass would cause the computer to spit out "unrecognized command".

Do you think someone will create a program called schopenhauer?

One could ask it a question and it would search it's database (consisting of his works) for an answer.   It would never just say, "Kill yourself" or "quit your job" ... Like an Oracle it would simply point out the horror of living on a planet where creatures devour other creatures to sustain their own strength ... until they themselves are eaten.
« Last Edit: July 11, 2016, 01:02:54 am by Nobody »
Things They Will Never Tell YouArthur Schopenhauer has been the most radical and defiant of all troublemakers.

Gorticide @ Nothing that is so, is so DOT edu

~ Tabak und Kaffee Süchtigen ~

Kaspar Hauser

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Re: Keeping a Scholarly Journal
« Reply #3 on: March 30, 2021, 09:35:09 pm »
Note that a method I am going to try,  in order to entice myself back into some kind of Inner Realm, is to at least take some notes from literature, even if it is just a definition of a particular word and what draws me to it.

Think of Ignatius Reilly's copybooks, or even the notebooks kept by Schopenhauer and Nietzsche for their "incomplete thoughts" ---  There must be significant value in the act of turning inward, or simply reaching some kind of detached observational and scholarly attitude to the Natural World and the humanoid societies we have been born (THROWN) into.
Things They Will Never Tell YouArthur Schopenhauer has been the most radical and defiant of all troublemakers.

Gorticide @ Nothing that is so, is so DOT edu

~ Tabak und Kaffee Süchtigen ~