shopping period

the first few days of class are always the best. this contrasts greatly with my apocalyptic view of colleges in the middle of the semester.
you get to shop guilt-freely without having to do any of the work, feel uber intellectual as you listen to professors talk about these grandiose themes and ideas and what you will get out of the class, imagine yourself being a superstar without having to face the reality of terrible grades.
then you shop till you drop (all except four) <-credits to akovac for the quote

a few unrelated thoughts at the end of the first half-week of school:

for those privileged few like myself who go to schools with a more liberal emphasis on higher education, i have the following suggestions about choosing classes.
when choosing your fourth class or something outside of your major, choose the class for the professor rather than the content.

most people choose their fourth class or elective to be an eye opener towards other disciplines so it is not necessarily something you’re EXTREMELY interested in, as opposed to your major (hopefully).
classes that are not organized well will make that experience absolute torture cause you won’t bother trying to figure out what’s going on and you don’t care.
and i think it’s difficult to know how well a class is organized just from reading a syllabus that has been revised many times.
choosing a class for the professor will make you want to go to lecture even if you don’t want to do the work.

the most interesting research i think being done today is in the fields of psych, cognitive science, neuro, bio, comp sci, applied math.
we realized from the 20th century the physical limits of our universe.
so in the 21st century, we’re trying to understand the limits of a human being biologically and mentally. computer science and applied math is giving us to tools to study these in massive quantities.
some of the questions that were raised in some first lectures were:

  • DNA replication like all biological processes is flawed. We may not always get a perfect copy of DNA, cell. Adding to that is the fact that in reproduction at least we don’t want to make perfect copies. So what is the implication of imperfect copies psychologically, biologically?
  • Humans are social animals. Civilization would not exist of humans were non-social animals. Is the advancement and intelligence of our civilization correlated or even capped by our neo-cortex ratio according to Dunbar’s number? How much of that is already pre-determined biologically?
  • Society requires human beings to operate as social animals, to care and look after one another. But in turn, great pleasure can be derived from these social bonds.
  • Computer Science and math (and business actually) are tools to do things. There is no meaning unless you have a topic you want to apply it to.

happy shopping everyone.


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