October 25th, 2008

beartato phd

(no subject)

The real numbers are the dependable breadwinner of the family, the complete ordered field we all rely on. The complex numbers are a slightly flashier but still respectable younger brother: not ordered, but algebraically complete. The quaternions, being noncommutative, are the eccentric cousin who is shunned at important family gatherings. But the octonions are the crazy old uncle nobody lets out of the attic: they are nonassociative. — John Baez
(from wikipedia article on Octonions)
beartato phd

(no subject)

I started reading Roberto Bolaño's "The Amulet" today, and sort of accidentally finished it. It only took about three hours to read. I don't suppose it was a very long novel (184 pages) but it wasn't particularly easy either - just very and uncannily compelling.