Pedram's stream of consciousness

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Time: Creation of Man

Years, months, weeks, days, hours, minutes, seconds, nanoseconds...... They are a big fat lie. Each and every single one of these is a construct of man. We have a law that prohibits anyone from drinking until they are 21 but all that means is that your atoms have been roughly intact for 21 rotations of the earth around the sun since you exited the womb. This isn't actually true either because approximately every 3 years almost every atom in your body is replaced. The speed limit is another one, basically your velocity can't exceed a value such that you would travel 65 miles during 1/24th the rotation of the earth on its axis. And what is a mile but 5,280 feet and what the heck is a foot but 12 inches and an inch? Oh yeah here is the cute part, inch comes from the root uncia which means 1/12th. Now I know I skipped some of the important details on the origins of feet and inches but then the last sentence wouldn't sound as witty (that's assuming you found the last sentence even mildly amusing, which after reading it twice I am not sure I do anymore).

Back to time. Now that we know time is a big lie, let's examine why we need it. Well we need it because humans are bad at estimating progression of extended natural cycles like the earth's path around the sun (technical term: drift error). So we invented months that break up the cycle into units of twelve and we have days to break up the months. It seems reasonable, it is far easier to organize a BBQ by sending an invite for people to come to your house on Feb 1st as apposed to telling everyone to come to your house when the earth has completed 8.487% of the path around the sun because they would all come at different times based on when they start measuring the progression.

When someone is bored they have time to kill, when they have a hobby that is a pass time, when they are stalling they are buying time, when they are free they have time on their hands, and so on and so forth. Next time someone tells you they are running late think of this common saying "he was at the right place at the right time" and simply respond "no you're not late, you are just at the wrong place".

Now don't forget to set your clocks ahead for daylight savings.

Monday, March 05, 2007

The Googies

While most people in the US were watching the Oscars last week there was another awards ceremony going on. While this awards ceremony was watched by far fewer people the magnitude of trophy is much more important. It was the first annual Google tech talk awards. Here is the background: Google has a wide program of tech talks for sharing information. Most tech talks are from Googlers on their projects and some from well known industry figures on what they are working on. In 2006 There were a few thousand such talks and out of this massive list my tech talk won! Woohoo! The trophy is a golden microphone (spray painted) and when I get a chance I will take a picture of it and post it.