2.14.2006

Long Time No Blog!!!

I finally got around to cashing in on my Live365 membership that my dad sent me for Christmas and I LOVE IT(Thanks pops)!! For those of you unfamiliar, it's kind of like blogging but it's a music service. Thousands of people set up their own radio stations and broadcast whatever the hell they feel like. Its a great way to find new tunes, I found a couple stations by bands that are just getting started and haven't cut any albums yet. It's a great to get away from some of the crap-ola they play on FM.
On another musical note ;) I went to see Fiasco on Friday night with Rach and they were really great. For those of you in the Seattle area, they play the Owl N' Thistle every now and then but are at the Paragon every Tuesday night. Go check 'em out. Those of you not in the Seattle area, visit their site and buy their music, I guarantee you won't be let down. Their myspace page even has a couple downloadable songs if you wanna try it first. It's hard for me to define their music, a lot of soul, the vocals are awesome, it's all acoustic with a little funk influence. Keith on the guitar is amazing, he's got all kinds of peddle-y doodads hooked up to that thing and the way he plays makes you duck for cover every now and then for fear his guitar will explode!

I haven't blogged in a while because I have been very busy with school, last week was pretty crazy. Also, I GOT A JOB!!! I applied for a job working with Northrop Grumman at the Department of Homeland Security and got it. I'm pretty excited, it is an ideal job for a college student, flexible hours around my classes, full bennies, GREAT pay and the people are all a lot of fun. I have to go through a month or two of background checks and stuff but should be working sometime this spring.

Another thing that's been occupying my mind a lot is this, its a long read, but I've come up against the concept of infinity a lot in my math class and I am having a hard time pinning down a way for me to put it into context. My brain keeps rejecting the idea. Check this out if you have time:

The Paradox of Tristram Shandy

This paradox, formulated by Bertrand Russell, is based on the 18th century novel The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman, by Laurence Sterne. Here is Russell's statement of the paradox:

"Tristram Shandy, as we know, took two years writing the history of the first two days of his life, and lamented that, at this rate, material would accumulate faster than he could deal with it, so that he could never come to an end. Now I maintain that, if he had lived for ever, and not wearied of his task, then, even if his life had continued as eventfully as it began, no part of his biography would have remained unwritten."

Suppose Tristram Shandy continued at the painfully slow rate at which he started, so that he took a full year to write about each day of his life. In spite of this, there is a one-to-one correspondence between each year that he writes in and each day he writes about. Therefore, no matter what day of his life you care to consider, there will eventually come a year in which he will be able to write about it. There is no part of his life that can never be written down. Nevertheless, he gets further and further behind!

It's interesting to reverse this paradox and consider what would happen if Tristram had already been writing for an infinite amount of time. It at first may seem that the two temporal directions might be mirror images of one another. In that case, just as he might begin to write at time t in the original paradox, in the reversed version it would seem he might have finished his task at t. But a little reflection shows that that is impossible. If he had just finished writing his autobiography, then he would have just written about the most recent day of his life. But since it takes him a year to write about each day, he would have had to start writing about this most recent day 364 days before the day started! Thus, unless Tristram can foretell the future, he cannot have finished writing yet, even though he has already spent an infinite amount of time on the task.

Suppose Tristram has in fact been writing forever and has just finished describing another day. When might have been the day he just finished writing about? As we've just seen, he could not have been writing about today, for he would have had to start writing about it a year ago. So it seems that the most recent day he could have been writing about is a year ago today. But then what was he writing about in the previous year? He would have been writing about a year ago yesterday. But that too is impossible, for he would once again have had to start 364 days too soon. Repeated application of this argument shows that, no matter what date in the past one chooses, Tristram could not already have written about it. He therefore can only have finished writing about a day that lies in the infinitely remote past!

2 comments:

Anonymous Midwest Girl said...

Congratulations on your job! I'm very proud of you!

Regarding Tristam Shandy...have you seen they are making that into a movie out of it? It looks awesome. Check out the trailer if you get a chance.

http://www.tristramshandymovie.com/

dad said...

Hey Tristram, I hear ya. I've had days like that too.