This is a personal blog, please observe Think Hour for ad hoc quasi-diary writings and Big Ideas for my ratified longform items. I will see you there.


2020-08-15


Half an hour’s meditation each day is essential, except when you are busy. Then a full hour is needed. So says Saint Francis de Sales. In light of this potentially highly correct discernment I’m going to dedicate this post to the purity of wonderment, and avoid talking about all the things I have going on that have kept me from fashioning new quick-blog posts. This superposes my stress with my need to create long-blog posts, still. One on automation improving data/graphic creation and I still must do a retrospective on a recent movie I made. Let’s quickly move on to this post, which will be solely composed of leisurely reading of a couple bookmarks accrued recently.

Death // Qinni

qinni

Browsing around some twitter pages led to an encounter with a re-tweet of a post by Qinni. I was unaware of her until this point, there’s a deluge of artist putting out images in a similar manga/anime derived style out there and it’s not something I’m particularly interested in at its core, but I’ll enjoy if there’s elements of it that stand out. However, the re-tweet was accompanied by a short message that implied she had passed away. She had, and apparently was dealing with illness for a long time before this, and was quite open about it.

This led me to consider a zone of thinking I often revisit, that I consider to be important and even fundamental in the amalgam of my own personal perception of life. That is, death and celebrating death, the way we approach the concept of dying, what comes after, the influence we have and ways in which we augment reality while we are here in a way that will continue on after we are gone, and the inevitability of our own death. We will all die someday and join those who passed before us on the other side of “life”. I think whether you believe in God or not this is very thought provoking stuff.

This really ought be a topic for deeper exploration, but this was merely a reminder/indicator to me for refocusing on it. I was in hospital early this year (before COVID19) and being surrounded by (with rare exception) people older and sicker than me as I lay there and helplessly monitoring their disturbances through the nights I got to think about death quite a lot, and “spirit”. My cat passing away, and the differences between the mind and spirit of human and animal further convolute this area of thoughts.

qinni art

Before I move on from this notification of notification of death without product, let me offer myself a few interesting points. Firstly I am perplexed by the grief and sadness of death, though it’s easy to rationalize (“I know that I am actually sad because I no longer have this persons company, and I will die soon also.”) it’s much harder to inculcate in yourself and others an approach to perceiving reality such that this overwhelming “sadness” goes away instead of simple and reverent intermission of “introspection”.

Secondly, a greatest fear when it comes to death, quite selfishly, is that I’ll be robbed of time to realize all the things I have planned or to tie up all the strings and ropes that accumulate themselves in my mind to a satisfying degree. This is annulled almost as soon as you remember that even in lieu of persistent memory, we are all part of a reality much greater than we could ever comprehend and meshed together in a way that there will be someone or something else to accomplish what you cannot and it’s held dear and divine that you should not focus on “worldly” things, of which any “work” or “discovery” is necessarily part of, and rather focus on the spirit.

Well, rest in peace Qinni. It’s hard to comprehend how much influence you’ve had and inspiration doled out to the large amount of people who followed you in “life”, but it is very easy to comprehend my jealousy of your abilities and work ethic. God bless.

Big Blue Brain // Switzerland

brain visual

I think this came from some reading on the topic of the human brain, the gulf between us and animals and also the fact that it has a name I really like. I came down this rabbit hole after checking out a lecture, which was so fascinating I sought out a book by one of the lecturers, which I couldn’t find in digital format anywhere. In short it’s a Swiss government funded project centered around reverse engineering, virtualising and modelling of the human brain, beginning and attenuating to the task by achieving them with the rodent brain (mouse).

cajal

In an attempt to achieve the tasks of the project, it was broadened to an international scope. Including Cajal Blue Brain, a Spanish arm of the effort (Cajal was a famed Spanish neuro-man, and along with a traditional university there is an institute started in his honour that takes part in the project). They have access to “CeSViMa”, which houses an IBM-provided supercomputer, one of the most powerful locally.

Some cool aspects of the project:

blue gene supercomputer

I’m quickly overwhelmed and completely out of my element here, and running short on time, so I’ll leave this as a simple overview rather than delving further. I feel like I’m 16 years old writing a power point presentation for science class again. Worth noting: currently the Blue Brain project has committed resources to helping with the COVID19 pandemic, as part of the national task-force of Switzerland.

CeSViMa