Category Archives: Comments to others’ blogs

Chaos, Order, Randomness, and Determinacy

Amazing what some tweet about on Twitter.

I was having a somewhat esoteric discussion with @LLiu that started with a tweet he sent out.  @DavidPae said he wanted to see whose theory is right by proof and to share our hypotheses.  I took the challenge.


First, context.  Here is a transcript of our tweets.

@LLiu: "The simple willingness to improvise is more vital, in the long run, than research." – Rolf Potts [Don’t stop asking if u don’t understand!]

@SlkRck: Nice adage, but reality is different.

@LLiu: “How so?” Research w/o implementation & continuous improvement is just ideas. So much value trapped in MSR!

@SlkRck: Potts favored improvisation over research. Think of how that would scale….can you say CHAOS?

@LLiu: Discoveries/innovations/revolutions result from chaos, not order. Only those in power would prefer order. Progress = managed chaos.

@SlkRck: The Law of Entropy disagrees with you 😉 What you describe (e.g. discoveries, innovations) is serendipity, not chaos

@LLiu:  Chaos is essential 2serendipity -ppl need 2meet randomly, stumble upon new thoughts & ideas, & be stimulated by others around them. no, my pt is that true progress arises from empowering/leveraging chaos vs enforcing order.

@SlkRck: Progress is methodical, not random. Random != Chaos.

@LLiu: "Progress is methodical, not random." – Edison-style brute force can only go so far. Discoveries like penicillin cannot be planned.

@SlkRck: “YES, but pencillin discovery wasnt CHAOS, it *was* random. Again– Random != Chaos.

@LLiu: agreed, but I’d say Randomness:Determinacy == Chaos:Order. Hence, chaos is essential to randomness.


Next, let the proof begin.

First, definitions: 

Chaos:  1)any confused or disorderly collection or state of things;2) Mathematics A dynamical system that has a sensitive dependence on its initial conditions

Random: 1)Of or relating to an event in which all outcomes are equally likely;2)Mathematics & Statistics Of or relating to a type of circumstance or event that is described by a probability distribution.

Determinacy: 1) The quality or condition of being determinate; 2) The condition of being determined or characterized.

Order: 1)A condition of logical or comprehensible arrangement among the separate elements of a group; 2)A condition of methodical or prescribed arrangement among component parts such that proper functioning or appearance is achieved


Each time one rolls a pair of dice, the outcome is random.  All outcomes are equally likely.  I could say that the condition has been determined; it is already assured that you will get a 1/12 change of getting snake-eyes—or any other combination.  Therefore, Randomness can be the same as Determinacy in some situations.  By definition, chaos is the complete opposite of order.  So, what does that have to do with our discussion?

Improvising suggests that one makes do from whatever is available, without previous planning.  Research suggests that one studies thoroughly so as to present in a detailed, accurate manner.  Improvising takes no thought or care as to accuracy or order, the opposite of research.  The willingness to improvise, as the saying goes, is more valuable in the long run, than research.

A discovery that is revealed during research is not random.  Discoveries happen randomly but the act of doing research will result in a discovery of some sort.  The discovery of penicillin happened because Fleming noticed something during RESEARCH.  And then RESEARCHED it some more.

Research is methodical.  It is a process by which truth can be found.  It is not random, but planned; hence—orderly. 

Randomness is simply a distribution of things have happened.   It matters not what its initial conditions are, and thus is characterized by that fact.  Randomness and Determinacy go hand in hand, unlike Chaos and Order which are the antithesis of each other. 


That is enough to get the debate going.  This is my proof.

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Age Activated Attention Deficit Disorder

First of all, I stole this from a friend’s blog.
Second of all, I’ve *always* had this, so I am not sure if it is so related to one’s age.
               AAADD – Age Activated Attention Deficit Disorder. This is how it manifests:

I decide to water my garden. As I turn on the hose in the driveway, I look over at my car and decide my car needs washing.

As I start toward the garage, I notice that there is mail on the porch table that I brought up from the mail box earlier.

I decide to go through the mail before I wash the car. I lay my car keys down on the table, put the junk mail in the garbage can under the table, and notice that the can is full.

So, I decide to put the bills back on the table and take out the garbage first.

But then I think, since I’m going to be near the mailbox when I take out the garbage anyway, I may as well pay the bills first.

I take my check book off the table, and see that there is only 1 check left. My extra checks are in my desk in the study, so I go inside the house to my desk where I find the can of Coke that I had been drinking.

I’m going to look for my checks, but first I need to push the Coke aside so that I don’t accidentally knock it over. I see that the Coke is getting warm, and I decide I should put it in the refrigerator to keep it cold.

As I head toward the kitchen with the Coke, a vase of flowers on the counter catches my eye–they need to be watered.

I set the Coke down on the counter, and I discover my reading glasses that I’ve been searching for all morning.

I decide I better put them back on my desk, but first I’m going to water the flowers.

I set the glasses back down on the counter, fill a container with water and suddenly I spot the TV remote. Someone left it on the kitchen table.

I realize that tonight when we go to watch TV, I will be looking for the remote, but I won’t remember that it’s on the kitchen table, so I decide to put it back in the den where it belongs, but first I’ll water the flowers.

I pour some water in the flowers, but quite a bit of it spills on the floor.

So, I set the remote back down on the table, get some towels and wipe up the spill.

Then, I head down the hall trying to remember what I was planning to do.

At the end of the day:

1) The car isn’t washed
2) The bills aren’t paid
3) There is a warm can of Coke sitting on the counter
4) The flowers don’t have enough water,
5) There is still only 1 check in my check book,
6) I can’t find the remote,
7) I can’t find my glasses,
8) And I don’t remember what I did with the car keys.

Then, when I try to figure out why nothing got done today, I’m really baffled because I know I was busy all day long, and I’m really tired.

I realize this is a serious problem, and I’ll try to get some help for it, but first I’ll check my e-mail.


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Out of the mouths of babes….

A friend of mine had an interesting talk with her son.  I said, "See?  This is one reason I’m glad I’m a *GUY*"

I’m not much of a feminist, and so, unlike some other women, Hooters® has never been a problem for me.  You   ALREADY know that I speak not of Owls ~  nocturnal birds of prey ~ nor of the O.W.L.’s – Ordinary Wizarding Level (O.W.L.) ~ the annual exam given to pupils of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft & Wizardry during their 3rd thru 5th years at Hogwarts.  No, no….I do indeed speak of Hooters® ~ that notorious American restaurant chain that targets male customers (not mail customers) by boasting a staff of female  waitresses.  These Hooters® Girls are known for their All-American good looks.  Ahhhh, I see it in your thoughts right now – ‘that is NOT what they are hired for’.   Well….that is true too.  And there in lies the subject for this story.

I’m not sure how the discussion first came up, but the whole fam damily was in a local 50’s themed restaurant.  Maybe it was the waitress taking our order that first sparked Hunter’s memory.  Suddenly Hunter spoke up "Nick (his friend) said that if a girl wants to work at Hooters®, she has to stand in front of a wall as close as she can, but her nose can’t touch the wall."  He looked at all of us with a grin, "Do you know what I mean?"  We just stared at him, a bit shocked, quite amused, and wondering how we were to approach this.  After a couple of moments of complete silence, we began to laugh.

Since I am unemployed and we are always talking about  crazy jobs that I could do for work, I said, "Hey, maybe I could get a job at Hooters®."

 We all laughed, and Hunter said, "Momma, your nose would touch the wall!"

I was surprised he would say this as it’s obvious I have ample bosom.  "How come, Hunter?"  Hunter… sweet, my darling, my kind, wonderful boy.

Without skipping a single beat, my adorable and oh-so-innocent son said, " ‘Cause the Hooters® girls look like THIS….." and he put both hands in front of his chest and showed us the Hooters® form. (diagram A)

      diagram A   ☞  Hooters 1.jpg

"….and you……

(ooooh man……I already knew what was coming)


……look like THIS!

 diagram B   ☞  hooters 2.jpg

 (Give ’em 20 years, son, and their’s will be hanging to their toes!!)

We tipped the waitress extra.  She had heard the whole conversation.  I call it ‘hush money’.


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Michael Scherotter interview with Ice Cube

I’m not a big Ice Cube Fan….shoot…not even a LITTLE one.  But he talks about the Zune here. 


Michael Scherotter interview with Ice Cube

I met Michael Scherotter at Seattle Mind Camp a few years ago. Michael was a developer evangelist for MindJet at the time, and he introduced me to the addictive joy (for those of us who like to think visually) of MindManager, probably the most popular of the mindmapping applications. He is a quintessential evangelist: passionate, articulate, and curious; Michael is seriously interested in what you do and loves to come up with new ways to make it better for you. Microsoft is a lucky company for recruiting him.

It’s worth checking out his interview with Ice Cube over on Channel9.

Ice Cube interviewed by Michael Scherotter

Link: Interview with Ice Cube

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Talking about I’m pretty sure my mom rigged this quiz

I really wonder how many classifications there are.  My result was the same as Laura’s. 



I’m pretty sure my mom rigged this quiz

***You Are a Total Brainiac***
You’re amazingly brilliant. Some would even say genius.
You’re curious, thoughtful, analytical, and confident.
You take on difficult subjects because you want to… not because you have to.
No field of knowledge is too complicated or intimidating for you.
You’ve got the brains to do anything you want.
It’s possible you end up doing everything you want.


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Ooohh….neat!! Gotta love WM6!

I read this item on someone’s blog and all I can say is …NICE!!
Windows Mobile Rocks!!

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Article: How much is a housewife worth?


How much is a housewife worth?

Laura Barton
Thursday March 8, 2007
The Guardian

It was in her 1964 book Sixpence in Her Shoe that Phyllis McGinley observed that to be a housewife is "sometimes an ungrateful job if it is looked on only as a job. Regarded as a profession, it is the noblest as it is the most ancient of the catalogue. Let none persuade us differently or the world is lost indeed."

John Charman might bear this in mind if he is to reach even a vague understanding of what it is to be a housewife. A self-made insurance tycoon worth £131m, Charman and his wife Beverley began divorce proceedings in 2004, after 27 years of marriage. Last year, the high court decided that Mrs Charman was worth £48m (37% of the couple’s assets). Mr Charman this week appealed that she is deserving of only £20m, with his legal representatives pointedly referring to her as a "housewife". The decision, he argued, "failed to have proper regard for the contribution I made by being the only one to create the wealth".

Really? More than a decade ago, a report by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics stated that to employ all the cooks, cleaners, chauffeurs and nannies needed to meet a housewife’s annual contribution to the home would cost $120,900 (£62,590). A fair settlement would also take into account a woman’s loss of earnings from the career she abandoned – Mrs Charman, for example, was a civil servant. It is also arguable that Mrs Charman’s financial worth is greater still, as without her contribution to the household, her husband could not have pursued his immense fortune.

"This is a very unusual case," says Katherine Rake of the Fawcett Society, which campaigns for gender equality, "so we wouldn’t comment specifically on it, but we would say that divorce has a negative impact on women’s economic circumstances that lasts much longer than it does for men."

Ok, only one sentence is this whole article bugs me: "It is also arguable that Mrs Charman’s financial worth is greater still, as without her contribution to the household, her husband could not have pursued his immense fortune. "  It doesn’t say whether they had children or not, but what could she possibly have done at home that allowed her husband to pursue his immense fortune?  If they had children, he could have hired a nanny, a babysitter, etc.  What did she do that otherwise would have kept him home?


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