2016-07-26

On "Metaphysics of Quality" of Robert M. Pirsig

"It's more moral for a doctor to kill a germ than to allow the germ to kill his patient. The germ wants to live. The patient wants to live. But the patient has moral precedence because he's at a higher level of evolution"

In "Lila, an Inquiry into Morals", Robert M. Pirsig brings intriguing reflections about the philosophy of moral using as pretext a river journey he had on a boat. Here I will bring my insights based on this book. Many of this reflections will be my own re-interpretations that were inspired by the book. Even my understanding on Pirsig's views might not fully correspond to the original author's intention.

2016-06-20

Ask me any question!

I like to give advises...for free!

I have an advise, an opinion or a theory about almost any subject. Sometimes I can advise about things that I don't master very well myself. I didn't say it always works... Just challenge me ;)

In this page you can ask questions about any problem you might have, including personal matters - that can be discussed in public of course. I will attempt to answer to each one, the best I can. If the subject is very far from my experience or it is not interesting enough for the needed effort to answer, I might decline to answer. For the rest of it, I will give at least a short idea.

2016-05-29

On layoffs

There is a certain economical logic in companies going bankrupt or being forced to do layoffs. When a company does not provide enough value anymore to society, it should release some of the resources (namely people and materials) for doing something more useful for society.

There are, of course, some tricks here.

When someone that is fired cannot find another job, the actual value in society is decreasing. Even premature retirement can have a similar loss effect on society if that person was still creating some value and after retirement he doesn't find something useful to do (like volunteering, helping family).

2016-03-14

Vaccines and alergies

I'm not with those people that blames vaccines for baby autism and all the other health issues in a child. I think that there are many other things that might affect a child, including genetics and psychological issues.

Actually I found vaccines to be useful overall: I still see the effects of polio on people that were not vaccinated. I just wander if we really understand all the possible side effects of the way we are doing vaccination at this moment.

Wild question: is it possible that the vaccines increases the chance of developing various allergies? I'm not talking about the rare allergies immediately after the vaccine shot. I wander if, playing with the immune system, vaccines might also predispose to long time allergic reactions to various substances, like mites, pollen, peanut butter, eggs, etc.

2016-03-05

Can a computer (or human) simulate itself?

A virtual machine is a common example of simulation. It can take the description of a (virtual) "computer" state and continue the execution from that point on. You can simulate a huge computer given a computer with more memory than the virtual machine, although it might be way slower. However, such virtual machine does not answer the problem because it normally simulates a computer with less memory.

The question is, can a computer to simulate a virtual computer that has the same capabilities as itself? Before answering this, let's exclude some trivial (forbidden) cases of "simulation":
  1. A calculator will always do exactly what it does, it will be identical with itself, we will not call this a simulation of itself.
  2. Copying the exact state of another identical computer in a "twin brother" will not be considered simulation.
  3. Starting 2 identical computers with the same input will not be considered like one is simulating the other.

2016-01-21

"Cutting edge" might cut you up


We love "cutting edge" technology. We need to have the latest gadget, we need to use this new trendy framework, we need to use the latest update of our favorite software. Newer should be better, right?

Actually, each new technology brings a promise of improvement and an additional hidden small risk. You are trying the new innovative painkiller drug that promises to solve your low intensity, but still disturbing, migraines. You can get a real improvement on your condition, you could get no significant improvement or, with a small probability, you could die, like in the recent drug trial in France. Indeed, that was an experimental drug, and many others that took the drug were not affected. Well, this is exactly the danger: if the really bad effects only happens with low probability, it might not even be caught in the trial period...

2015-12-31

How to have a better life

If you could take a drug that gives you 100 years of constant pleasures in your bad, with no side effects, while someone would feed you by a tube, would you take it?

If you think a bit about this question, the answer has an interesting consequence: there must be more in life than physical pleasures.