Thursday, January 13, 2005

Luck In Math and Physics

About a week ago I saw a movie called "Intacto". Here is a description:

With INTACTO, from director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo, a group of people who have "the gift" of being extremely lucky play into a suspenseful world of gambling and superstition. The film begins and ends in the Canary Islands, where ringleader Sam (Max von Sydow), a Holocaust survivor, runs a casino. His right-hand man Federico (Eusebio Poncela) is stripped of "the gift" in a terrifying exchange that Federico sees as worse than death: Sam hugs him and in doing so steals his luck away. Desperate for revenge, Federico latches onto Tomas (Leonard Sbaraglia), the miraculous sole survivor of an airplane crash. He convinces Tomas to test his luck in various games (one involves running full-speed, blindfolded, through a heavily wooded forest to see if he is "lucky" enough to avoid running into a tree.) By training Tomas to be a winner, Federico hopes to eventually have him challenge Sam. Thrown into the complicated mix are an untouchable bullfighter (Antonio Dechent), and an auto accident survivor (Monica Lopez) who want to break up this obsessive gambling ring.

George Polya, the writer of the book "How to Solve it", said that one of the aspects of a good problem solver is luck. You need luck to come up with the ideas that help solve the problem in question. So luck does play a factor in problem solving, but how to do we obtain luck or maximize our luck? We can see luck in two ways, we can either maximize our luck or we can minimize its use.

We can minimize the amount of luck necessary to solve a problem by studying problem solving techniques and studying the subject. This is what my website focuses on.

Now aside from strictly paranormal methods to increase one's luck, we can approach the subject from an experimental basis. For the most part luck has a large subjective component, of course there are some instances when most people would agree a certain person is lucky, but they are few and far between. One way to "maximize" one's luck would be to keep a record of the lucky things that happen to you everyday, try to organize the records according to the field in which you were lucky (lucky in physics, lucky financially, etc..). Then focus on the field of interest, if you want to maximize your luck in physics, make a chart of all the days you where "lucky" in physics and try to find a pattern. You can even analyze the data statistically and find which days, and times when you are most lucky. Once you do this you can plan your studies such that on those lucky days you work on problems you want to solve.

After you have compiled and analyzed enough luck data, you can perform experiments. For instance you can perform certain actions and see if they substantially affect your luck data. If you find that certain actions substantially affect your luck data in a positive manner, then you can maximize your luck.

John G.

Monday, January 10, 2005

A Method for Generating New Ideas

One way to generate new ideas in both math and physics is to simply take the words used to describe the concepts and arrange them together at random to hopefully form a new concept. For instance if we take the word negative as in "negative number" and combine it with the word dimension, we get negative dimension. As of yet I have not seen any mathematical paper dealing with a concept.

There is no limit to the amount of new concepts we can create using such a method.

John G.

How to Learn Math and Do Proofs

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Different world view, different solutions

During the cold war there were many instances when the Soviet Union made advances in fields where we didn't. High level groups at the white house sat around and asked why couldn't we have invented that or come up with that idea. The reason why the Soviet Union came up with different ideas and different solutions is because they had a different world view.

Our world view plays a part in solving problems both in math and physics. The ability to think differently is very important when coming up with new solutions. Implicit in our ability to think differently is our ability to come up with new and original thoughts and this is related to our world view.

Aside from the superficial aspects of world view like politics or opionions, our world view is something inculcated in us since we were born. It is the cultural aspects of our world view, the cultural mythology, the cultural interpretation of relgion, and the cultural history of how to solve problems that affects our ability to understand and solve problems in the present day. It is only when we are aware of our world view that we can broaden it.

Learning a different language implicitly teaches us the world view of a different peoples, different languages have different words for same thing, sometimes they have words for things or events that we don't have, or sometimes may not have a word for a thing or an event common in our native culture. Watching television shows from other parts of the world also help us broaden our world view (if you can understand the language or they have subtitles). Reading the history or mythology of different peoples can help understand their world view.

Our goal is to broaden our world view in hopes of broadening the amount of new thoughts we can have, thereby helping us come up with different solutions to old problems or new solutions to unsolved ones.

John G.

How to Learn Math and Do Proofs

Tuesday, January 04, 2005


Hello everyone, welcome to my new blog. I decided to get rid of the forum and change to a blog. Very few people were posting in my forum and I realized I was using more like a blog and less like a forum. I will take all of the posts from the forum and post them here.

If you want to comment please click on the comment link below.

John G.

How to Learn Math and Do Proofs

More Ideas

Another exercise we can perform is to take a well established physical theory or mathematical idea and slightly change some of its basic axioms. We should explore what effect this change will have on the theory, what happens to our well established results, or what effect it will have on other physical phenomena. This is a good way to tune our intution to what consitutes plausible changes in our theories.

In addition used book stores are a great repositry of physics and mathematics books at cheaper prices.

John G.

Saturday, January 01, 2005

Creativity vs. Rigor

To be successful in nearly any scientific field you need both a creative and a detailed rigorous mind.

When we are first learning a subject it would beneficial to approach the subject in a detailed and rigorous manner. The reason is that when we are first learning a subject we are prone to understanding and applying the concepts in an erroneous fashion, hence our first priority should be detail and rigor.

Now once we understand the concepts and know how to apply them, in order to advance our respective fields, our main priority should shift to creativity. This is actually more difficult than being detailed and rigorous, for true genius lies not in perfection but in originality, and it is very difficult to have a truly original idea in modern times. There are some methods to "increase" one's creativity but since creativity is subjective they are bound by one's own thinking.

John G.