Monthly Archives: December 2010

Science, humbling and inspirational

I sometimes visit the Science Museum in London to ponder some of the exhibits and find myself humbled by what has been discovered and invented in the past. I have marvelled at the James Watt steam engine that looks so crudely made and obvious now, yet required a big thought transition to conceive and build. Here is something from over 2000 years ago. It has precision gearing to do complex calculations: The Antikythera Mechanism. There is a link to the article in Nature Ancient astronomy: Mechanical inspiration that you might as well read instead as it has more detail. I did know about this device from articles a few years ago but at that time the 3D analysis with X-rays had not been done and I didn’t follow up the details. Now the details of the contruction of the device are so refined that we can appreciate the immense knowledge and skill in making it, and fully understand its function.

Notes after a year of blog

The blog is notes to myself that might sometimes be picked up by others who may find some useful insight.

I write things down to clarify and consolidate thoughts because I find that it is easy to have the illusion that you have a view or opinion which turns out not to be so when you try to articulate it. I have still not resolved what I should write about, though not things that are about my main activities. Probably there is 10% of general interest material that I would like to comment on, but where is the lifetime?

If I wanted to write about my main activities in depth I would have to start dedicated blogs, and how does one get the right balance of doing things and writing about the doing?

I marvel at the reams that some bloggers manage to post. Maybe are more talkative people than me.

I realise how little people read of what one writes because I read some other blogs and note how little I read, and I know how little my own friends read of what I write. It is worth giving thought to this to optimize one’s activities. I may start the optimize-blog blog.