November 14, 2012

Today’s awesome morning meeting was directed by Mabe Fratti. First, she asked for 4 volunteers and she gave each of them a piece of paper with a feeling or emotion that they had to portrait only by making one sound. Isa, the two Javiers and Kata volunteered and illustrated sounds of nostalgia, sadness, happiness and anger. It was very fun and cool that we guessed the word or something related to it. Then, Mabe played 7 tracks of classical pieces and we had to write down the feelings that we were getting from listening to these tracks. It was very cool to listen to real music and to let our feelings evolve and our imagination flow. When we shared what we got we discovered that many times we had written similar things and some people even imagined sort of the same story.

Epicycle on Consilience by Edward O. Wilson: During my individual time I was taking notes on my reading on Consilience and I’ll share them right here, and then I’ll share what we discussed in the circle (dialogue).

Chapter 4:

Theories: are a product of informed imagination.

Created by me via Gliffy.com

Science: is the organized systematic enterprise (def. undertake, new project) that gathers knowledge about the world and condenses the knowledge into testable laws and principles.

Reductionism: Looking for the right questions and then finding them solutions or experiments. This is the primary and essential activity of science.

19th century: Rekindle of the idea of achieving objective truth.
• Positivism: Only certain knowledge is the exact description of what we perceive with our senses.
• Pragmatism: Truth is what consistently works in human action.

Tautological: Every conclusion follows completely from its own premises, which may not have anything to do with the real world. (Mathematics is tautological).

An idea that I got from reading this chapter and one that I will mention in the dialogue part is that maybe an objective truth will never be able to be defined, but we still have to try. Trying is the only way of knowing if we will be able to do it or not.

Chapter 5:

Chapter 5 starts with an analogy of the Greek mythology’s labyrinth and consilience. Now I am glad for the course I took on mythology and vampires in EPRI some months ago because I can understand the references Wilson makes with Greek mythology (this is the 3rd time he mentions something related to the Greeks and this chapter is named after Ariadne’s thread).

Consilience among the branches of learning is the Ariadne’s thread needed to traverse it. Theseus is humanity, the Minotaur our own dangerous irrationality. Near the entrance of the labyrinth of empirical knowledge is physics, comprising one gallery, then a few branching galleries that all searchers undertaking the journey must follow… While there is an entrance, more or less, there is no center, only an immense number of end points deep within the maze. In tracking the thread backward, from effect to cause, assuming we have enough knowledge to do so, we can begin with only one end point. The labyrinth of the real world is thus a Borgesian maze of almost infinite possibility. We can never map it all, never discover and explain everything. But we can hope to travel through the known parts swiftly, from the specific back to the general, and—in resonance with the human spirit—we can go on tracing pathways forever. We can connect threads into broadening webs of explanation, because we have been given the torch and the ball of thread.

Wilson also shared that he had a project once, he is a biologist, and he asked for help from a chemist and a mathematician. He was practicing what he preached, solving a problem of biology with physics and chemistry.

Wilson also talks a lot about going from a level of specific organization (like an organism) to a more general level (like a molecule). He also mentions this structure: superorganism—-organism—-glands & organs—-molecules. He describes this in page 93 as the challenge of scientific holism (going from general to more specific levels of organization). About this I feel like he is talking about going from the micro perspective into a macro one. By examining the macro we can learn more not only about one organism in specific, but also about many, many other which are obviously composed by molecules. We have been working on the micro perspective for years and we still have no cure for cancer which is only incrementing. Maybe we should try to go on and change a little on the process and methods we are using to achieve what we want to achieve.

Discovering stuff in any field, according to Wilson, will help us to get to the objective truth. He believes that there is only on truth which we can achieve or know starting from any branch of knowledge. Then, Wilson goes on talking about truth and he asks this question: “How can we know that nature’s algorithms are the same as our own?” Which leads to:

Complexity theory: Born in the 1970s. Searches for algorithms used in nature that display common features across many levels of organization. The opposite side argues that everything is too complex to be reduced to elementary processes. The opposite side also says that there can be no matter that predicts the wholes.

Fervent advocates:
Believe in complex laws. They believe the can leapfrog conventional science. The opposed to this believe that there is not enough information yet and that their conclusions are vague.

Dialogue on Consilience:
Marce mentioned that what if the scientific method is wrong? Then, all the things that have been proven by it will not be true anymore. Wow, how can we be sure that we know? How do we know that what we know is the truth? How can we know that we are not mistaken?
Wilson believes that there are laws that guide both science and human society. For example: math and physics relate to the collection of men. He also believes that the celestial bodies discovered by astronomy and physics could serve as a model for human society.

Performing Arts: We discussed the play of Macbeth by William Shakespeare ♥. We’ll have auditions for the play characters and we will probably be playing it either this or next year. Here is a link where you can look for the characters in the play: http://nfs.sparknotes.com/macbeth/characters.html. Sounds like a lot of fun. I will be auditioning for Lady Macbeth role and since there are more men than women on the play and since in the MPC we have more women, I will also be auditioning for Macduff role. I love Shakespeare’s plays and I’ll really like to act in one of them. I hope that we get more into Shakespeare, there are some books that mention him. I love the Merchant of Venice and Romeo and Juliet. I haven’t read Hamlet yet.

During our programming class we gave or “one minute” pitch on our app ideas. I had many of them and people had very cool ideas. Some ideas where kind of difficult to program, so Kyle told us to re-think and re-organize our ideas or to try to make things simpler or to set up a small goal that we can be able to finish before this year ends.

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November 13, 2012

Today Bert directed the morning meeting. He was supposed to show us a video of a conversation between Steven Pinker and another guy whose name I don’t remember right now. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EMFsXICSqUe I went out for about 15 min and missed part of the agora where people discussed the Thanksgiving lunch party that we are throwing to celebrate with the friends of the MPC. The reason of my going out was visiting Amable Sanchez to give him a rose. Yesterday I left a thank you letter for him giving us the classes on Don Quijote and for the time he has given to us before. Today I gave him a rose and he opened the letter and read it in front of me. First, he cried when I gave him the rose. Then, he cried when he read the letter. He was very happy and eager to see what the letter had to say and he told me multiple times that it was “beautiful”. I was thinking the whole time: “I should have a camera with me right now”. But I think it would also be kind of awkward to have a camera in front of you while you are all excited and joyful, moved to tears. I also wanted to cry because I noticed that he is still wearing his wedding ring, in his little finger, I guess because it doesn’t fit in any other. Amable is seriously the cutest person in the entire planet and he is such a gentleman. I love him!!! I just got the idea of giving him a rose randomly, and then he and Diego told me that roses are something very, very dear to him. He writes a lot about them. I hope that everyone in the MPC can share Amable’s excitement toward The Quixote in order for all of us to enjoy this and in order to honor Cervantes and Sanchez. Amable told me that Don Quijote is the second most translated book after the Bible. I didn’t know that, it’s really cool.

Euclid’s class today was kind of messy and tense at the beginning. The day finally come when were to pick from the sorting hat the names of the people who were to present propositions 4, 5 and 6. Many of us were not prepared, including me, and the first name that got out of the hat was Diego’s. He said that he was not feeling prepared to do this but we all told him to try because it was his turn, and so he did. Then Mabe helped him out and I finally understood this proposition. Is such a joy to watch Mabe present Euclid, she sort of transmits her love for him. Proposition number 2 was also presented by Mabe, this time she took some pauses and time to present her argument but in the end I also got the proposition. Then, it was Kata’s turn to present proposition number 6, i had a hard time following, probably because of how long have I been sitting down and listening. Finally I sort of understand this one but what I had troubles with was with Euclid supposing things when they were not like that, but never mind is just an exemplification.

We discussed the difference between debate and dialogue way too long, so we didn’t have time for words and rules.

I really need to improve my schedule, because I am not posting what a I doing every 15 min. I just have a schedule for every 15 min. Something to point out is that we don’t follow the schedule a lot of the times at the MPC, because we talk more about stuff that we shouldn’t bother with. We learn a lot but this time needs to be replaced for our weekend, which is no longer a “week-end”. This reminds me of Steven Pinker’s “Words and Rules”, chapter 2. Because we often forget the meaning of the composition of compound words like weekend, which should mean: week-end. But the week never ends for me anymore; at least that is how it seems right now. I’ll be documenting last week and trying to document some of our readings. I am now following advice and taking notes, at least on paper, something is something. We also mentioned that we really need to get our levels up with Euclid and prepare ourselves to present anytime.

November 12, 2012

Today Isa Moino directed the morning meeting. Diego and Pablito shared with us that they won the debate tournament and we talked about the TEDxUFM that will take place this Saturday! Pablito, Diego and Franz are going to give one each. Isa showed us some optical illusion-related-very-cool-stuff.

During my individual time I re-read Euthyphro by Plato and looked for the answer to the question asked during our last session. “What definitions does Euthyphro provide to what is piety?” I personally read a different version than the one we used last class. It say basically the same, the main difference was that they didn’t have the same notation. Here I copy the answers (summarized) I found that Euthyphro gives to Mr.Plato:

1. Doing as I do, charging my father with murder.
2. Piety is what is dear to the gods, and impiety what is not dear to them.
3. What all the gods love is pious and what they all hate is impious.
4. Piety is a part of justice concerned with the care of the gods/ Piety is that part of justice which attends to the gods. (All the pious is just).
5. Piety is knowing how to please the gods in word and deed by prayers and sacrifices.
6. We give to the gods what is pleasing and dear to them.

During our dialogue, we had an argue with the premise number 4, because one side said that care and service is not the same. So that, caring for the gods would be one definition and giving service to the gods would be another. When you care about someone you give them service, and I think this is an explanation of something said before.

Before our dialogue I hadn’t noticed that Plato is talking about trade, where he mentions that if we give something to the gods we must get something back. Another thing that I learned during this dialogue is that Euthyphro’s last premise is the same as the second one he gave. So, in Alejo’s words “that is part of the beauty of the whole thing”. I agree, because in his first answer to what is piety, Euthyphro does not give an answer relating to the external forces, just relating to himself. But during the entire dialogue, he goes on arguing about what is pious to the gods, and everything related to them, not to him. So that is how he ends the dialogue with Socrates.

Another very cool thing is that the first question Plato asked Euthyphro is: WHAT are you doing? The second one is: WHY are you doing it? And then he finally asks: What is piety?

With his first answer it seemed like Euthyphro’s values came from within himself, but when he goes on he discovers that his values come from outside of him. This, we related in our dialogue to Kant’s essay on enlightenment and on Twain’s “Corn-Pone Opinions”. The relation between this and Kant is that nonage means being able to use thy own understanding without the guidance of another, that was what Euthyphro was doing, trying to get his values and understanding from the gods and not from him. Twain says that we get our opinions out of somebody else, which is the public opinion, which some call “the voice of god”. That is exactly what Euthyphro was doing, trying to discover the truth from an outer force, which are the gods, instead of looking for it inside himself. Bert asked this great question: “If we believe that there is an absolute truth, can we get out of nonage?” A universal truth being something that is true even if people don’t know that it exists. Can we all get to the same truth if we don’t get our understanding from one only part or persona? Can a universal truth come from within and can all of us achieve the same answer? Because if it is a universal truth, it shall be the same truth for everyone. Oh, complexity, oh philosophy, oh Shakespeare: “ay me”.

Bert asked if we thought that this reading (defining what is piety) still has value and importance today, and why? We all answered yes. Some of the answers that I got is that it will teach us how to approach a classical reading, like the bible, there is so much that we can take out of this kinds of books. If we define piety, we will understand more our society and how people think. Because even if Socrates didn’t share the same believes with Euthyphro, he was still very interested in what he had to say and in the way he thought and in the way in which he acted.

We also talked about values, and about a time when we start doing the right thing just because it is so inside ourselves and in our values that we don’t even have to choose what to do. We only have one option, which is the good thing to do. Here, I’ll be quoting Bert talking about unpunctuality and punctuality being a part of you: “It is not in the menu anymore because it has become a part of you”. We also discussed the topic “WHAT DO YOU OBEY”, because Euthyphro supposedly obeyed the gods, and that’s supposedly why he was acting in the way in which he actually was acting. So the question is, what do you obey? What do you follow? Why do you do every single thing that you do? Who is your master? Is it yourself? Is it society? Is it your family?… etc.

We had a debrief on this dialogue and I was feeling very ashamed because Isa asked why did we think that the beginning of this dialogue was kind of awkward and was not flowing like in other occasions? I answered that I noticed that a lot of people were not prepared to discuss this and that I felt awkward because I felt like I was the most prepared person for this dialogue in the circle and I didn’t want to show off. Bert said that people feeling bad for doing the right thing is going to sink our boat an ruin us completely. I felt very guilty because of that, I’m still thinking of other ways in which I could have approached the problem. I really liked something that Isa said, acknowledging that in the end everything went out fine: “It was great, we came with pretty good questions”. It stroked me that having questions is something great. I guess that the culture is finally evolving pretty well. YEEEEEEEYY! We also talked about how we’ve been lowering our standards. We can all notice this by people coming late, people not even coming, people not reading or not coming prepared for the dialogues, me no documenting the entire last week and some books, etc. I seriously think that the standards are within us, and we can ofer to help each other but in the end it is all our responsibility. Our standards and commitment to the program end up being something personal. We also discussed that we should have some written rubrics to the ones we’ll agree on, in order to have this so people can really do things right when it is their time to have the roster of the week. I really liked this debrief, it was very long and it took my time for documentation but it was really worth it. We had discussions, negative feedback, sharing, commentary, etc, ant I really think that everyone handle it well and it was amazing.
After lunch we had performing arts, where we were trying to sing some Christmas gospels. I think that it sounded fine, but we still need to work on getting the same notes. Then, we had greek in the terrance, since Moris is not with us anymore, Bert gave us some copies of a book that we’ll be using until the end of the year. The lessons are pretty easy to do and to learn, especially because we have mostly discussed this with Moris or it was mentioned in our Greek book before. On Wednesday we agreed on having a quiz on the first 4 lessons of these copies.

During my individual time, I worked for more than an hour trying to get my thank you letters printed. Because I had written them since last month, but action was never taken in order to print and deliver them. This really hurt because I know that I truly have a lot of readings and documentation in my plate, but I had compromised to write and deliver this thank you letters.

During programming class I went to Amable Sanchez office to give him the letter but he had just left, so I left it with the secretary. Then I just worked in Codecademy and time ran by because next thing I knew is that I was in the circle again, discussing chapter 4 of Taming the Infinite. Something cool that I didn’t really paid attention to before, is the fact that negative numbers and zero where accepted just because of business purposes: to illustrate debt. Economics is everywhere! Then, Kyle showed us the company where he works and which he created, how it works and how everything is managed. I wish I someday can understand all this programming language. One of the things that I found really cool is that Kyle uses github to record all the programs he writes and that he uses gliffy. I felt kindda cool for know what Gliffy is and for using it before. He mentioned other cool stuff like Amazon’s webservice which he uses to process programs for his company. And something AWESOME that I learned is that I can change my IP address in order to be able to use the Kindle Fire and other programs that are available for other country which is not mine. “Strong VPN” is one of the webpages in where I can choose which part of the world I want my IP address to be, in order to use the web with stupid country limitations. Another webpage that Bin Laden probably used was: “Top project: anonymity online”. KEWL! Here is a video including a lot of geek fun http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=5ceaqtWhdnI

Many people were left out of the circle for the debrief for coming late. We talked a lot about Franz and Gabbi and about how can we help them to achieve what we have to and to raise up their standards. With both of them we need to take different action. I think that with Gabbi we really need to let her know that she truly can do this if she wants to, and with Franz is more a thing of commitment and responsibility. We decided that we will be going to talk to them personally, if we felt like it and to try to listen to them and to offer them help. I really miss these guys.

“Taming the Infinite” Ian Stewart

Chapter 1: Tokens, Tallies and Tablets: The birth of numbers

Ian Stewart mentions that math -from Mesopotamia to Babylon, Egypt and Islam- started with numbers, but in nowadays Mathematics are more about “structure, pattern and form” than it is about numbers as such. Mathematics is a very beautiful heritage, is history, is knowledge that has tons of years of existing. Numbers are infinite and therefore math is also infinite because it is composed by it.

-Foundations of number: geometry, calculus, dynamics, probability, topology, chaos, complexity, etc.

-Stewart also mentions what to me is the most important question of mathematics: did humanity discovered numbers in nature or did we invent them? If we as humanity disappear, would math still be there?

-We say that math is a language, but: what is language? It is a way to communicate that we invented, it is not a letter or a set of letters, the letter itself is just a representation, just as numbers are.

-Origins of Inflation: We cant just print money just because we want to, because it needs to be supported by something, that is what gives it value. If it is not supported, then it has no value. From what we read, the Babylonians were probably one of the first people inflating their currency, with what they did with the Tokens (…*LOOK AT THE BOOK*)

Chapter 4:

Something cool that I didn’t really paid attention to before, is the fact that negative numbers and zero where accepted just because of business purposes: to illustrate debt. Economics is everywhere!

Chapter 16: The Fourth Dimension

This chapter starts saying how in the Victorian era, “fiction” writers were saying that we truly have four dimensions, 3 that we can see and another one, which is time. That there is truly no distinction between the four of them, but we are the ones who separate them. Thinking like this allows considering time traveling as something plausible.

Chapter 17: The Shape of Logic

By the 1850s mathematicians were paying attention only to the properties of numbers ignoring what numbers were. When they started to ask themselves what numbers are and what is their meaning, they were clueless. In 1889, Giuseppe Peano, taking Euclid as an example, simply wrote a list of axioms for whole numbers. It seems to me a complete description of whole numbers, without going into the question of if they are real and what do their axioms mean. The importance that this axioms had in mathematics, what that this approach of Peano showed exactly what we were to prove fi we want to know that whole numbers exist. Stewart then explain that in the real world we say that something exists because we can see it, or because we can see what it causes. Like gravity, or a certain object. But a number is nothing like that, because it is not a thing, but a conceptual construct.

Cantor: there is no largest whole number – because addng one always produces a larger number still.

*set: collection of objects, its members

*Cardinal numbers: describe how big is the set

*equinumerous: two or more sets that have the same number of members.

*transfinite numbers/infinite cardinals:  how many members an infinite set has. Different sizes of infinity.

cardin

 

Quick footnote: I’ve been reading one chapter a day of this book. Yesterday I fell asleep thinking something regarding math and woke up thinking the same. Apparently I also had a dream regarding this. I am starting to feel interested in mathematics, it is beautiful how must of mathematicians believe that we can attain objective truth and that we can indeed solve our problems. I’ll like to learn more of this.

David Hilbert: Wir müssen wissen. Wir werden wissen” We must know, we shall know.

He was convinced that it is possible to prove that mathematics can never lead to a logical contradiction and that every problem can be solved, every mathematical statement could either be proved or disproved.

Kurt Gödel:

The one who believed that formal systems can’t be both consistent and complete at the same time. Since math is a formal system, Gödel proved that it is not logically consistent and that it is not complete. The exact opposite of what Hilbert believed.

Chapter 18: How likely is that? The rational approach to chance

It was until the 20th century that probability theory emerged as a subject of its own right.

Chapter 19: Number Crunching: Calculating machines and computational mathematics

Chapter 20: Chaos and Complexity

Change in the meaning of the world caos, I would say that it means something very complex that in the end has a certain order or organization.

Mandelbrot: Fractals: Monstrous curves as clues to the irregularities in nature. Examples: shape of a tree, branching patterns of rivers, movements of the stock market.

Remember, remember the 5th of November.

Today Javier P. guided the morning meeting. Guy Fawkes was hanged in the streets of England, a long time ago, on a 5th of November and then this phrase was often used by the government to keep people calmed and under their control. Today, people in England still remember Guy and have and start a fire every 5th of November. Javier also shared with us some picture of his visit to Sumpango on Friday, the day of the “fiambre” and the kites. The kites were humongous, very cool, beautiful and colorful.

To do list:
– Add more to my documentation of Benjamin Franklin
– How to read a book chapters 6,7,8
– Taming the infinite chapters 7, 8
– Euclid’s Elements propositions 4, 5, 6
– Learn Greek in 30 minutes a day lessons 19-30
– Work on my autobiography
– Finish with the documentation of  The Trivium and publish it.
– Documentation of The Well Educated Mind and Getting Real.
– Polish Website design (Documentation)
-Document some days that I’m missing
– Khan Academy (work more on this)
– Programming class: code academy and project Euler
-Last chapters of let your life speak

We worked in groups to fill our schedule of the new cycle that we are starting today! Bert gave us a schedule and as a group we filled some things out and organized our time in order to get everything done. Pablito, Grace and I discovered that during this cycle we will need to work more in our home, at least with the readings. We planned on using Fridays to finish with the documentation of the week and with the readings.
Then all of us had a brainstorm session about a presentation that we will be given to the people from the Business School on Thursday. Here is the link where you can see what we were doing today… https://docs.google.com/a/ufm.edu/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AuazmUwZUI41dDMwMGxBaGRCYWdZOWh0ZXlqeHNMMFE#gid=0,

My group (Grace, Pablito and I) is presenting the “process” part and my topics are: Project based learning, Self-evaluation and documentation. I hope that everything goes out fine.

We had our Epicycle on Plato’s “Euthyphro” where Socrates is going to a trial because he has been acused of inventing things of the gods. On his way to the trial, Socrates meets Euthyphro, who is going to prosecute against his dad for killing somebody who killed somebody else. Euthyphro explains that this act is impious, and that even if the killer is his father, he shall prosecute against him. They start discussing about values and piety. Socrates asked Euthyphro what piety meant and that is what their entire argument is about. Bert told us to note the elements that Socrates used in his dialogue. I thought that Socrates was very curious, inquisitive, and accurate. He tried to give real proof and his arguments where very complete. He explains himself very clearly and asks questions in order to make other people’s arguments clear. We have a lot to learn from Socrates! The main questions asked during this dialogue were: “How many definitions does Euthyphro give?” and “what is the pious?”. Personally, this made me wonder a lot about what Emerson also mentions in Self-Reliance, that people consider the “goodness” to be something different. There is not a concrete definition accepted by everyone about what is good, in Plato’s case: “what is pious?”, what do the gods appreciate? People have always looked for answers about what is alright, but these definitions are constantly changing and people never agree on these definitions. A good way to solve this problem would be to seek to understand everyone and to use Socrates method of asking questions to see why people are disagreeing. But even Euthyphro mentions that pious is what the gods like, but all the gods like different things. Some things that are valuable to one god may not be valuable for the rest of the gods.

We started singing our madrigals today! Mabe, Bert and Alejo helped to divide us in our singing tones. I was “diagnosed” an Alto. We were all supposed to sing to the tone of the piano that was playing from Alejo’s computer. Some people were told that they could not really sing and I was very nervous when my turn came. This is going to be cool, our voices together sound cool.

We read something about Socratic Practice, relating to the academic skills that all of us should have by the end of the program. We need to work hard in order to accomplish these standards:
1.    Textual Understanding: Student is fully capable of understanding a text or, if a text is difficult, student is capable of specifying precisely which aspects of the text she or he does not understand. Can formulate questions, the answers to which would supply the student with complete understanding.
2.    Speaking: Speaking clearly and articulately, even when expressing complex ideas. Student seems secure and confident even while speaking in front of strangers.
3.    Listening: The student shows an accurate understanding of the complex ideas spoken by others. He or she truly comprehends what everyone is saying in the dialogue.
4.    Knowing how to learn: Student knows how to learn without assistance. The student know when and how to do things in order to achieve his ultimate goal which is learning.
5.    Critical Thinking: Making distinctions between assumptions and conclusions, evidence and arguments. The student notices when one argument is weak and when it is strong and reliable. Student is capable of distinguishing between his opinion and the one of the author.
6.    Teamwork: Student’s comment are helpful to others in the group, and works to synthesize the comments of others in the group. Is extremely aware and cares about the dialogue.
7.    Sensitivity/Good manners: Polite and respectful. Does not interrupt others, is sensitive towards the needs of others, is not sarcastic or aggressive. Is graceful.
8.    Personal Skills: Straightforward with regard to comments and behaviors. Admits it when he is wrong. Acknowledges when claims made are guesses.
9.    Willingness to accept criticism: Is never defensive when opinions or behavior are criticized, takes criticism constructively.
10.    Responsibility and initiative: Responsible and shows initiative in all aspects and activities. Student is also punctual, gets work done, reads the assigned text, and makes an effort to contribute. Student holds him or herself responsible for the progress of the class as a whole.

For our programming class we decided to work individually in our Ruby lessons in codeacademy.com and to have finished the first two lessons on Ruby for the next week, and hopefully even more than that. As a group, we compromised to solve 5 Euler problems each and the pre Eucler programs that Kyle is going to create for us. I entirely worked on Ruby and I am writing a glossary on Ruby’s terms. We are supposed to work on phone apps at the end of this year, awesome!

October 29, 2012

Today Grace directed the morning meeting. She showed us two videos of dance which I enjoyed very much. She showed us this videos to share her passion with us (which is obviously dancing) and today she is directing the performance arts time, the MPCers are finally dancing! The late arrivals were: Ines, Ingrid and Javier Tabush. The “thank you letters” that my group is doing are due on Wednesday, so we need to work on that. Oh, and the costume thing for Wednesday (Halloween) is for real, so all the MPCers are going to dress like a famous character from our readings or a famous author. I want to see what people come up with.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WoAjE1aioHE
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RT9poLXPIGw

Then, we worked in our groups, brainstorming “what exists at UFM? What is out there on campus that we can use and enjoy?” After brainstorming and sharing our ideas with everyone, we came up with a google docs list (https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AuazmUwZUI41dERqRjRyNlNCM2hycS1SbngxYmVxdlE). Here is a list of the things I brainstormed with Grace and Pablito:

• Library resources: reading clubs, the library tour, José Cecilio del Valle reserve, movies, maps, multimedia, old books sale, data base.
• New Media: videos.
• Organización para las artes
• Visiting professors
• Clever professors @ UFM
• Casa Popenoe
• Arboretum
• Heuristica
• Centers: Cadep, ix caldún, henry Hazlitt, Capitalism, CEES (centro de estudios economicos), Free Cities Institute, Ethic Center, Centro de Economía Experimental, etc.
• Labs
• Facultades: Psicologia, odontología, medicina, EPRI, educación, derecho, economía, Escuela de Negocios,
• Cuerdas program
• Hospital Esperanza
• Popol Vuh Museum
• Theathers (Juan Bautista Gutierres, Hayek, etc.)
• Cursos libres
• Logos
• Anfitriones
• Exchange and traveling opportunities
• TEDxUFM
• UFM book editorial
• Debate club
• Sporty activities (once in a lifetime)
• Hymn and rules of the University
• First Tuesday
• UFM family
• People you have to meet from UFM (ask Pablito about it)
• UFM map
• UFM board of directors and fiduciaries
• Memoirs of important people: Francisco Marroquin, Hayek, Freud, Mises, etc. around the university.
• UFM gardens
• Akademya.
• UFM allies

Then, we went together to a conference which was supposed to be about free cities, but it was more about making islands and maybe using the free cities ideas on them. It was a part of the architecture faculty and maybe that’s why the conference was boring to me. Besides, the guy giving is wasn’t very good at rhetoric at all and he talked a lot about building and architecture related facts.

During performing arts we had Grace teach us some dancing moves. The whole thing was very cool, I laughed a lot and had a lot of fun, like everyone else. We need to dance more often! Wuhu!
This is how we probably looked to someone outside of MPC, nutsss!

We were supposed to have our math class at 4 pm, but only four people were on the circle at that time. Kyle told us that he was not going to be able to make it until 5 pm, so we had to present the problems left. Kata and Chacho were trying to explain it but very few people were paying attention and trying to solve the problem. I was one of them, but then a little circle emerged around Alejo’s computer with people who wanted to solve this problem. I didn’t join because I thought that they were going to spread sometime, I dint say a thing either, which now I realize was a mistake. Carla arrived and Diego and I had a conversation with her, I forgot the Project Euler program while doing this. During the debrief many commentary and reflection was given to the fact that almost no one was paying attention and being engaged to solving this problem. Many people were pretending to pay attention and were only waiting for this class to end. Maybe we were waiting for some kind of authority to tell us what to do. This is time for us to think of what we are doing. One group needed to be more inclusive and try to engage the rest of the class but at the end it is an individual responsibility and a “self-governance” issue that we need to work on.

October 23, 2012

Today Franz directed the morning meeting and he showed us something that he wrote called “What I talk about when I talk about “This and “That”. Throughout the essay, Franz talks about a thing that he wants to do that is being oppressed by another thing that society imposes on him. Franz has an awesome ability in writing. Then, I just worked on my Self-Evaluation during the entire morning.

Today we worked again with the first 3 Euclid’s Propositions. I felt very happy and joyful, because I finally was able to understand a lot of Euclid. I had a big, big smile on my face. I’ll like to thank Kata, because she was my guide towards this understanding of my own haha. Truly, every time I work on Euclid I feel a bit more enlightened. Thank you Euclid if you can read this you know that I love you.

Today debrief was very heated. A lot, a lot heated haha. It was a discussion of whether we should let in the people who come late to the morning meeting and to the epicycles and other reunions that we have. There were practically two sides, the one of the two Riveras, who were in my perspective not willing to change their opinion, they were not being flexible, not allowing other ideas into their minds. The fact is, that we have pass by 6 weeks and the same people keep on coming late or not caring about the time commitment that we made. I find it very rude when people don’t come on time, because I think that they slept more than I, and that I also wanted to sleep more, but I don’t because I mind about other people’s time, and I also mind missing the morning meeting. Truth is, that we shouldn’t have the necessity to discuss this punctuality issues, but we have to. I hope that people realize with this discussion finally that it is very important that they arrive on time to the morning meeting. It is also important to get on time after lunch, and to form the circles when the time is requiring so, because today I was one minute late for the epicycle. Something that I learned at the MPC is that it doesn’t matter how little late you were, what matters is that you were or were not late. Is the same when you don’t do an assignment, is the same if you don’t do it than if you haven’t completed it. So better give that little extra effort in order to achieve things and make things better. So, we are going to try this week a new methodology, when people arrive late, they are going to get inside the room, but they are not going to be allowed to be in the circle or to participate in the discussion. They are just going to be listeners.

October 22, 2012

Finally, my time of guiding the morning meeting arrived. I arrived earlier today, in order to set things up. Is also my group’s turn to have the roster and to feed everyone in the MPC. I brought some jocotes and chucherias for everyone. The morning meeting worked very fluidly, I shared with everyone my experience in a dialogue out of MPC, it was very weird to go back to the dark place. Bert told me that If I noticed that some people were being un-respectful, I should have speak up, the thing is that I was sort of intimidated because all of my ex professors were there and I was the youngest one in the room. Pablito, Diego and Alejo shared their experience in a Students For Liberty workshop at UFM on Saturday. I was feeling a little bit disappointed because Isa, Mabe, Franz and Lore were not on time for the meeting, I was not planning on that. Anyway, we also spoke about our Public Relations for the MPC, and about how we need to improve on them, many people think that we just waste our time the entire day. This really makes me mad because I feel like I have learned the same amount of stuff that I learned in EPRI in 5 month in 1 month of MPC. We need to work on our PR.

My activity: I didn’t want to show everyone a video as most of the people have done, even thou there are a bunch of videos that I would like to share with everyone. I gave everyone a sheet of paper and asked them to put their names on it. Then, I asked them to pass I to the person on the right and to write something nice about the other person. I forgot to mention how I named this activity, so if anyone reads this it was called “CELEBRATING WHATS WRIGHT WITH THE MPCers”. I participated in this activity too, it was hard for me at the beginning to think of nice things to write about other people, but as the time kept going I improved much more. I was supposed to give a minute for everyone to write what they celebrated about the MPCers, but then I realized that this was too little time, so when I noticed that people needed more time, I gave it to them. I am still trying to decipher what each of the MPCers wrote about me, because we wrote it anonymously. I’ll have to ask everyone haha. Lucia and Gabbi cried and other people like Diego, Carla and one of the Javier’s told me that they really enjoyed and liked this activity. I saw lots of people smiling because they were feeling happy by reading beautiful commentary about themselves and by the praise they were given. Sometimes we forget to look at the bright side of the picture and we only focus on the negative side. It’s important and necessary to celebrate what’s right with each of us if we are becoming a family and if we are spending so much time together and relying on each and every one of us.

Here, the beautiful comments that I received:

Here is a snapshot taken from Chacho’s blog regarding my activity:

With this said and done, is time to work on my documentation, which is what I am doing at the time, and then we’ll have Moris for our Greek lesson.

Then, we kept on reading “Self-Reliance” until page 5. What I got from my new reading is that we are the only ones responsible for ourselves. We also discussed about the government, of whether we need a government to secure our rights or whether we can protect them by ourselves. This government Issue came to the table because Emerson points out that we are born with rights that no one else can remove from us, the other “rights” that we have are a mere invention. “I cannot consent to pay for a privilege where I have intrinsic right.”

I made another connection between Emerson and Twain in this quote: “Society is a joint-stock company, in which the members agree, for the better securing of his bread to each shareholder, to surrender the liberty and culture of the eater” This relates to Corn-Pone Opinions where Twain mentions that the black philosopher used to say that we do as society states in order to get our bread and butter.

My notes on this dialogue include the following: Society can impose goodness, but that could be wrong, so we better follow our principles and do what is right for us (instead of doing what society states as good, even if it doesn’t follow our principles). “No law can be sacred to me but that of my nature.”
There is not external force that will absolve you from your mistakes, is just you being responsible for your own acts and self. Marcela related this with the Catholic Church, because when one confesses its sins the priest says “I absolve you from your sins”. Emerson would disagree, and would state that the only responsible for our acts, are us (ourselves).

We also had a meeting regarding the MPC logo issue. We decided to post our logos in our Facebook page, and we showed the ones that are made by now. Only Alejo, Grace and I showed our logos and most of the MPCers liked Alejos’s logo more, but Bert argued that it was too flowery and that we could work on it in order to make it cooler.

It was our turn (my group: Grace, Pablito and myself) to present our solution to problem number 20 from Project Euler. We had the first part of the solution to this problem, but we were missing the last part. It could have been done with Mabe’s method using the modulo % but we wanted to solve the problem in a different way. So, we presented what we had done to the class and together we finally found another way of doing the second part of the problem. It was by using Pablito’s method of strings, to assign an index position to every number and then to sum them. Here is a print screen of our solution in Cloud 9, also the correct answer from Project Euler aaaand a picture of Pablito and I after proving that our solution to this problem was the right one.


During the debrief we discussed what we could do in order to make the Greek and Programming class better and the MPC in general. We discussed about the attitudes of some people toward certain classes. I, personally practiced Susan Campbell’s tactics on saying “I see that you are doing this ___, I imagine that you do so because of this ____”. This really helped me to clarify some stuff that needed to be clarified. Gabbi mentioned that she had some issues with the MPC because she felt that she was not able to do the same things that we all do and that she didn’t feel capable of achieving what we have to achieve. We all told her that she is an amazing person and that if she puts effort in catching up, she will be able to do so. We also told her that we loved her and that she could count on us for whatever she needed. At the end the Javieres took her in their arms and were throwing her in the air. We were all saying “Gabbi” “Gabbi”. Then, many people hugged her and told her that she could count on us, including myself. Oh, an Bert mentioned that he knew before starting this program that at this time of the semester, some people were going to be considering getting out or quitting because of the many things we need to get done by now. Also, things are going to get uglier, we will have even more stuff to do.

October 16, 2012

Today’s morning meeting was directed by Pablito. He showed us a video of the oldest women survivor of the holocaust, she plays the piano and loves music and is a very happy person. Pablito talked about his love for classical music and showed us a link where we can learn more about music.

http://epdlp.com/

Then, I talked with Gabbi and Diego about the power we as humans have, a power that allows us to destroy or to create huge things. We talked about our spiritual beliefs. I shared with them that I do believe that we have a spirit, and that I don’t want nor think that when we die everything ends for us. I also believe that there is a God, someone powerful and able to create things, but I’m not sure if it is the same God that the Christians believe in (Jesus). I do believe in demons and in the power of our spirits and the human race. It’s amazing to think about this stuff, but it is very difficult to encounter and experiment with our experiments. I personally am too coward to do so. Dear Soul of mine, if you are reading this I love you haha. I found interesting Diego’s believes. He said he believes in reincarnation, and that when we behave good in this life, we get to live a greater one. When we live a not so good one, we die and reincarnate to a worst life. When we achieve the top of the learning and wisdom pyramid, we stop reincarnating and become free souls or something like that. I have to quote Gabbi in this: “ay, Jesucito”. What is out there, how the universe works, THAT we don’t know, THAT we are far from knowing, but that knowledge humanity constantly and permanently seeks.

Then, we had our Euclid lesson. Ingrid surprised us because today’s task was to get into our groups and explain the 3 first postulates of Euclid. What worries me is that without looking at the answer I really can’t work with this things. It´s very frustrating for me not to know something, and I really need to be more real about it and say it. I was thinking of how could I document my Euclid learning and that may be by explaining it and vloging it. Besides, Euclid teaches precision, and his work is amazing and how he got things done many, many time ago. I know that I will be able to nail this, but I will have to work hard to achieve this.