Dev Notes #2

Welcome to The Vault of Ideas Dev Notes!

This is a place where I offload some production ideas, discuss thoughts, just your general banter.

[14/08/2022 09:19PM GMT-3]

Backing up the Vault of Ideas. Blazing fast, as usual. Oh Google, beloved company, just take over the World already. Not being sarcastic here, the job they did in Google Sites is outstanding. 

If you are reading these notes, I should issue a waiver. I'd rather do it sooner than after you notice it. I'm a very inconsistent person. 

For people that know me briefly, I may seem like a centered fellow, with strong and deeply rooted convictions, but deep down I'm riddled with conflicting points of view and internal struggles. I often change opinions, sometimes in the midst of an argument with someone. I've avoided debates for that reason on many occasions. I form an opinion of things as I go, as I examine the things before me and the facts presented by the other person. My view of the world is constantly being updated, as I'm always adding more information.

This could be perceived as a flaw of character by people who expect absolute consistency. I've seen many times, for example, celebrities that were subjected to public scrutiny because they said something, only to a day later, say the exact opposite. But I'm here to tell you that it is wrong, in principle, to expect people to be consistent. The thing is that I don't really believe that there is a magical position for every situation, it is much best to be fluid, keep adapting to things, keep things in motion. We may base decisions by generalizations and analogies, but any situation demands you to look into what is particular to it.

A Brazilian songwriter (Raul Seixas) beautifully put this idea in a song in the phrase "I'd rather be a walking metamorphosis"

The reason why I think I'm like that is because I have very poor memory. I don't recall exactly the person I was a year ago, or even a day ago, so I can't recall in general what were my stances on things. For me, it is a Herculean task for example to recall if I was pro-abortion six months ago, or if I'm an atheist today. I prefer not have a stance. Don't declare anything, leave space for a sort of Quantum Indeterminancy. I only commit to an opinion when matters of practice actually demand it.

Nevertheless, I go back and forth in my mind with things such as this list. It keeps myself in my toes to keep asking myself them. This is the sort of stuff that gets you to brew coffee while you are gazing at the stars, pondering. I have not come to definite conclusions to pretty much any one of those questions; as Data once told in an episode, it is the search for answers that matter. I know that I know very little in that regard.

I just witnessed Jupiter bright in the sky, close to the partial full Moon, right from my front yard. It is 00:07AM of 15/08/2022. The sky was partially clouded, windy, so the bright spot appeared on and off. Remarkable magnitude of brightness. I confirmed it with the StarChart app on Android. 

Stargazing is something I've started maybe about a year ago. Whenever I remember and got spare time, and weather permitting, I brew a coffee and take some time looking at the stars from my front yard. Since I live in an urban area, and the terrain is mostly flat, I don't get a lot of visibility of the sky. Light pollution is very strong, but still enough to see a couple of things. There is something new to see every day, whether it is a new meteor shower, or even something big as a comet. It is just naked eye observation, me and my poor eyesight. I don't own any instrument, but that would be cool someday. I challenge myself to memorize the constellations and star formations, their names, and it captures my imagination. Orion Constellation has always been a favorite. Betelgeuse with its eerie reddish color. While I'm stargazing, and since I have Internet, I browse about the features of the Universe, Eta Carinae, the Andromeda Galaxy, and so on. Try to learn something more about them. When my eyes can't reach the stars, the hundreds of images on websites such as ESA/HUBBLE take place.

I recommend stargazing to anyone. It connects us with something that is larger than us in a way few things do. It teaches us to be humble too, and puts a few things to perspective. What is the magnitude of our problems, when compared to the infinity of the cosmos?

Did you know the Moon is upside down when viewed from the the Southern hemisphere?

I have tons of things to learn about Astronomy. I'm really a toddler when it comes to it. It is nice to have something interesting that you know so little about. I think often about the ancient people and how they looked up to the stars. How they were, as we are, mesmerized about it. Our scientific knowlegde may have placed some dots on things, but it is the large unknown we see when look up. The future of man is in the stars, hear me on this. All our other ventures pale in comparison to the quest to explore the Universe. 

I've written a section with Fundamental Questions. It is time to consolidate the work, check for misspells, do translations. Translate Diego, translate!

I'm afraid my leeway to work on the Vault has ended. The past days I've been literally working on it every second. Now I must do some college work, that I've been neglecting. I'll be back here tomorrow or the next day. Have a great day!

[16/08/2022 04:18AM GMT-3]

Good night, there!

I was able to do some study this afternoon on college, and that alleviated my guilt enough so that I can work for a couple of hours here, on the Vault. I'm afraid I got a final exam to do in college before vacations, darn. Well, Engineering can be challenging too. 

When I was growing up, I had absolute conviction I'd be a physicist. It was by far my favorite topic of study, and I coudn't get enough of it. I had excelent teachers during high-school that honed this interest, fortunately. I enrolled in Physics right after finishing high-school, even though I was aware that it is not really a promising profession in terms of financial rewards. It wasn't hard, it is not a sought-after profession here in Brazil. I was gambling that the satisfaction of studying something you deeply love would offset any hardships along the way. 

My university was Universidade de Brasília (UnB), in Brasília, the capital city of Brazil. It is a city in the middle of nowhere in Brazil, distant from the São Paulo-Rio de Janeiro axis, where most of Brazil happens, sort of speak. There aren't many major cities around it. I didn't like Brasília very much, didn't adapt to it. It was very different from what I was used too, and unfortunately it is a place where I sense you need to be wealthy in order to fully enjoy. I guess people that never lived anywhere else are perfectly contempt with the place, but if you had seen other places, you might get doubts about it. 

Part of me was trying to ignore that fact that most physicists turn out to become teachers. I completed two years of pure Physics there, with good success. A discipline almost failed here and there, but good marks overall. I enjoyed immensely studying calculus for the first time; the College was great. I can't put into words the joy of studying in halls designed by famous architect Oscar Niemeyer. There are some things in UnB, such as the student's restaurant, that are unrivaled. The library was very comfortable, and generally just being in college was pleasurable. I remember staying on the grounds for a whole day without really feeling strained. 

But there was something else I had heard about, that was called Engineering Physics. I've learned more about it, and there was a course in a prestigious uni called Universidade Federal de São Carlos (UFSCar). It was actually my first choice, but the college was hard to get in. This was a time when this course was recently established, so it was risky too. We didn't even had an Engineering permit there fully settled, to work after college. But it was perfect for my long-term plans, I'd be studying Physics, and maybe didn't have to become a teacher, something I didn't feel capable of. I could do applications too, Physics can turn out to be a little dispatched from real-world applications. The idea began to grow on me, until I found a way to get myself transferred there. It was the prestige of UnB that allowed this transfer to take place, something that I'll be forever grateful. 

The first year of college in UFSCar was a thrill. I was finally living by myself, in a comfortable place, exactly where I wanted to be. I worked hard to pass on the courses, I really wanted everything to go smoothly. But the learning curve in UFSCar was a lot steeper. The calculus courses alone were much more theoretical, it wasn't just calculate stuff but understand Theorems, prove things. We not only had great difficulty on the courses, but we had very limited time. In retrospect, I think the course is over-designed in terms of courses per semester. It had everything Physics had, plus all the Engineering courses. It was very, very hard. Naturally, you always come across that teacher that makes things just a little bit more spicy.

It provided me with great background on Experimental Physics. I was able to complete the experimental courses. There were about five or six of them, and an endless amount of experiments and reports to be done. There I learned about things I never knew existed, such as polarization of light, light-speed determination, Millikan's drop experiment, and so on.   

The city, São Carlos, was alive with thousands of students. It is a small-city, but it is very quaint. It is even better being a small city so I didn't have to worry about things such as traffic on a daily basis. I can say for sure I would live there for the rest of my life. To make things better, it is close to larger cities, so if you needed something all It took was about an hour-ride to Ribeirão Preto, another city. São Carlos has two major universities, UFSCAR and Universidade de São Paulo (USP). One of the yearly student parties in the city, Tusca, joins around +20.000 students, or so people say.    

UFSCar is a great place to be. Entering the gates, you notice the tall pine trees, covering a road that leads either to the place where people study soft of hard Sciences. The campus is lovely. It was this huge old farm back in the day, so it retained some of the natural beauty. Down in the Southern Part, there is a small forest and a lake, with a bridge and small dam, next to the places where people play sports. There is a place for students to hold concerts and parties, inside the grounds, called Palquinho. Thinking back, was quite something for students to have earned the right to consume alcohol, inside the grounds, in behaved gatherings. One can really see the wisdom of embracing students in this.

The buildings, when I was there, were seriously lacking a second hand of paint [these were tough times in terms of budget for the institution]. All of that didn't matter. It was perfect. 

The time I spent in UFSCar was the best of my life, regardless. I studied a lot, went to many parties, met more people than I remember, made lasting friends. Everything a young adult needs. 

Things started to go downhill around the second or third year. I lost my class, the group of people I had entered with, and with that the support net I needed to study. I isolated myself more and more, and soon passing on courses became an exception rather than a rule. My self-esteem rock-bottomed, I felt stupid all the time, and couldn't isolate the cause of my problems. My parents gave a lot of support, but it was really up to me. I know now that I did a lot of wrong things, mostly I didn't know to study, not in the way it was required by Engineering Physics. I was too undisciplined, to tied to try to understand every aspect of a Theory, with little regard to what mattered on the tests. There were some health problems too, bad things have a way of clustering.

But I didn't gave up at first. Perhaps, it would have been better if I did back then, I can't tell. I couldn't accept failure, it is not in my nature. I tried to keep things going for about six or seven years, completing perhaps 65% of the course. But I was completely unprepared for what was coming next. I entered the big game, when we started to study Thermodynamics, Electromagnetism and oh yes, Quantum Physics. All courses tailored for physicists, not Engineers (there is a big difference). There I met my nemesis. It was hardship beyond anything I had ever experienced. Things were not just hard to calculate, but the concepts were hard for me to understand too. And I was doing those three courses, at the same time!

Perhaps today, more seasoned, I'd find more possible to study those topics. In one of my more recent Projects I covered about 30% of a Quantum Physics textbook, and was having a blast. It helped a lot that I wasn't studying for any test, I had all the time in the world to understand it. The pressure was off my back. Unfortunately, I had to give this Project a halt in order to focus on my actual college. Quantum Physics takes a toll. I still plan to resume studying Quantum Mechanics some day, it is provocative.

UFSCar southern grounds, recollected from an 8-year old memory. It is a shame that the drawing didn't made evident the ducks on the lake, or the capibaras that used to gather near the fields around the lake.

I remember the day I decided to drop UFSCar. I was waiting for a class, hopeless sitting in a chair, trying to come up with a way to give myself more time to study. I looked into other students, strangers to me, and something just clicked inside of me. It was a heart break I guess. I coudn't do that anymore, I didn't want to anymore. I didn't believe in it anymore. I called my parents and explained to them, they were most understanding. Then I moved back to my parents town.

We make this big decisions in life, and to tell you the truth, who can say if they are the right ones. 

I rolled up my sleeves and started studying again for college admission tests. Here in Brazil [I'm not sure if it is the same in other places] it can be very difficult to get into colleges that you don't pay, per month. After a year of study, I got accepted to both colleges of choice, one in my parents hometown, and one in Florianópolis, a beach city in southern Brazil. This victory changed things in me, it helped me to understand that I was not an idiot, in fact. When we got word, it was a huge celebration at home, and my mom burst one of those confetti tubes (she is a very festive person). I still hold in my wallet one of the red confetti's from that pipe, as a reminder that results come from hardwork

There is an episode in Trek when Troi says that we all have moments in life when we do that what seems impossible. The tough thing what comes next, how to deal with the feeling of loss, of falling below the peak. She says it is possible to take something from these good experiences and I agree entirely. I say to you that if you have such a moment where you exceed expectations, build yourself a shrine celebrating it, so you can remember it in times of need. A shrine can be for example a Word file where you keep you achievements, or a piece of paper in your office drawer. It is easy to remember all the terrible things that happened to us during life, but the real trick is remembering the good ones too!

Well, and now I'm almost finishing this new college, but that is another story lol. Sorry it got long, but it felt good to talk about it. Thanks for reading this.

[20/08/2022 08:43PM GMT-3]

Starting a short work session here on the Vault. There isn't much time, too much to do in college this week I'm afraid. A cold front has hit Southern America, and temperatures plummeted. I'm wearing today as many clothes to stay indoors as I'd used on a cold day outdoors. Double socks, that sort of thing. I'm a bit Cardassian when it comes to the cold, trekkers will get that one. 

The plan today is to finish translating the Fundamental Questions, as well as double check some of them because it seemed I mixed questions that noone knows about with questions I particularly don't know about. It is tough to tell. It is not that my personal questions aren't important, but they could go somewhere else. If they reflect my just my particular ignorances, they are not really Fundamental Questions. 

God knows that the perfect gift to me would be a professor that could answer all my questions, to the best of his abilities, without getting tired or annoyed of my inquisitive nature. I just got tons of questions all the time, and Google doesn't get them. You see no automated service can answer you the way a person can; you end up spending hours trying to rephrase things in a way a computer could retrieve the information, while a person could just get that context in a blink of an eye. The way the brain does that, it is beyond magical. 

Of course I soon as I realized that I asked way too many questions, I decided that it was best to keep my mouth shut and try to come out with answers by myself. For a while I only asked teachers after a class was done. Eventually I ceased to do even that. I ended up censuring myself I'm afraid, it had to be done. I get the feeling that a lot that people don't really like to answer questions, to experience the fear of not knowing an answer. For me it is perfectly natural not to know something, but some people see questions literally as attacks to their personal truth. Do you ever get this feeling too?

Yes, I know that classes would not work if people just started making questions without an end. But still, every four or five classes, couldn't you make a guilt-free class where people could ask anything on their minds? That would be a neat schooling model for the likes of me. I feel it would be time well-spent. 

Oh I just had an awesome idea for a small text on the Scientific Thoughts section. I shouldn't but I won't resist the urge to write it immediately. Listening to Lana del Rey's Lust for Life demo version, the one with lyrics slightly different from the one with Weeknd. I just completed writing it, it is named "The Forest". You can check it out using the link above. See ya!

[28/08/2022 05:41AM GMT-3]

Late night here. I'm on vacations, a very short one but I'll take it. 

I'm doing what I love to do the most: staying up to late hours, just chilling. It is so great not to have to wake up for a college duty the next morning, you have no idea what it means for the likes of me, that chose this Vampire's life. It will probably cost me about 10 years of life to carry on living like this, out of pace with the circadian rhythm but well, I can't help it. I'm simply not motivated to change my sleeping habits. There is something about having the whole night ahead of you. 

It wasn't always like this. I used to have a very strict sleeping time, and a harsh policy about no coffee past 6PM. I admit that during this time I struggled less to get the work done. Things went smoother, but I didn't have nearly the same workload as I do today. It was out of necessity that I found myself stretching the hours, going to bed every day a little later, waking up sooner. I get a lot, from a few college professors remarks, that they have no idea how much they push us to the edge in terms of chronic sleep deprivation. This is in the very bottom of the list of concerns from college administrators here in Brazil.

Some things got terribly worse because of this. Sunbathing is one of them. I have to force myself and have a very reliable reminder to sunbathe. Exercising gets really hard when you are not sleeping during the night, because for the most part you can't exercise during the night, or rather it is not so easy to do so. I know that there are large cities where gyms work 24/7, but would you really feel the same way about going to the gym at 3AM? You can get more isolated from people too, and I've noticed that if you switch day and night for a prolonged period you start to feel funny, as sort of missing the blue sky. It can become a downer then. I admit 100% that in these aspects health takes a toll. 

I alternate between in-sync and out-of-sync with the circadian rhythm, most often due to college demands I'm in sync during the 5 days of the week, and out during the weekends.        

I'm not really entirely convinced that sleeping at nights is what is best for everyone, OK? I'm not only more productive during the nights, but I'm much more focused when the house and neighborhood noises are lesser. The perfect world for me would be to go to bed and sleep whenever I felt tired, simple as that. I try, as a policy, to listen to what my body is trying to say and respect it. That I think is a cardinal rule in taking care of oneself. My doctors are appalled when they hear about my sleeping patterns. Please don't take this as any sort of advice on living, I might be in for a very rough future because of my choices today.  

I'm off for some light work here on the Vault tonight. I left some translations in the Thoughts 1 section, maybe more lurking around. I'll try to complete an illustration too. 

I added an icon, still thinking of a FAVicon. I'll try to find a gold chest .png free for the taking on the Web, that would be suitable. 

This image is in reality a mirrored fractal. All rights reserved in this image.

The icon image has a curious story about it. Many years ago, when I had way too much time, I found a program that could draw fractal images. I won't recall the name after all those years. Still the program was great, although I didn't know anything about fractals back then, and still don't. I can't tell a Mandelbrot from a Julia set. But I played with the software, zooming things all the way to infinity and back, amazed with that. 

I was particularly concerned in taking photos that were fractals, but that didn't resemble like fractals. Just as when you look at a cloud, and it is a fractal deep down, but it is so distorted, zoomed or whatever that you don't really say it is one. That was my criteria for "beauty" on those images. This was one of the images produced. Unfortunately, out of all the fractals produced, this was the only one that survived the thousand PC formats and migrations. 

I finished Artwork for idea #94, and that prompted me to develop some work on it. It is in Schematic on Idea #94

BANNER IMAGE CREDITS: NASA, ESA and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)  The image has been cropped.

Want to know more about this image? Follow this external link.