July 05, 2008

"Advanced Studies"

"Occasionally the patient may use a set of space-time co-ordinates that suggest to him a linkage of points which for his physician are not clearly linked. The patient may then prove to be ill with an unknown disease, to be mad, or to be a genius; and we are sometimes willing to award him some of the four-dimensional world to prove himself, by providing protected circumstances in which he may test his theories of world-line linkage. Such a person may occupy the bed of a mental hospital or be a cherished member of an institute for "advanced studies"."

William Gooddy, Time and the Nervous System, 1988, p.139.

July 01, 2008

Time In Mathematics

"...but he (the mathematician) is always speaking of a given moment -- a static moment, that is -- and not of flowing time. In short, the world the mathematician deals with dies and is reborn at every instant [...] To know a living being or natural system is to get at the very interval of duration, while the knowledge of an artificial or mathematical system applies only to the extremity."

Bergson, Creative Evolution, 1914, cited by William Gooddy, Time and the Nervous System, 1988.

Two Computing Quotes

"The idea that you can know everything in the design stage is a fallacy that I think started with the mathematicians, who were the world's first programmers."
George V. Neville-Neil, Kode Vicious, ACM Communications, 51(7), July 2007, p.25

"If you have programs that interact with the physical environment, time becomes very important. For these systems, verification is more complicated."
Joseph Sifakis, Talking Model-Checking Technology, ACM Communications, 51(7), July 2007, p.111

The Mind Is Not (Only) A Computer

"As long as you ignore most of human life, the [mind-as-]computer metaphor is terrific. Computers are human artifacts designed to fulfill human needs, such as increasing the value of Microsoft stock. They are not autonomous entitied that evolved to survive and reproduce."

Geoffrey Miller, The Mating Mind, 2000, p.153.