Monday, April 09, 2007

Sweet, Succulent, Stanford

Well, your humble blogger just spent a few days in x4mr heaven. Imagine a world where everything great about humanity prevails and everything horrible about humanity, well, just isn't around.

Visited the daughter at Flo-Mo. Just for fun, sat in on her math class, and was jaw dropped shocked to see that they still use CHALK. I haven't seen a chalkboard in 10 years. We're talking the famous white stick that forwarded intellectual discourse for, well, a long time.

What a spectacular place. On the streets of Palo Alto, outside an exquisite Thai restaurant, we ran into a daughter interested but not yet attained fellow of solid build holding 140 black binder clipped pages on algebraic topology for reading material while riding the bus. OK.

Well, to fruitfully engage a discussion on algebraic topology requires considerable maturity regarding the concepts of point set topology as well as a fair command of group theory and real algebra (not the parabola graphing stuff in high school) in general.

For a graduate student to enter this discussion is pedestrian.

This kid was 18, a freshman. Do you know of any high schools that teach point set topology? Group theory?

(Your humble blogger with the daughter) I wanted to buy the kid a cup of coffee and inquire. The daughter shot a look clearly indicating that our interests had reached a crossroads, and that it was in my best interest for her best interests to prevail. They did.

The closest I have come to true mathematics is falling madly in love with a mathematician and regarding her as my soul mate. She spent a year at RTP and dumped me for a martini drinking philosopher specializing in phenomenalogical epistemology or something like that. I have had a sour relationship with epistemology ever since, and I know that I have this sour relationship.

Just don't ask me how I know that I know this.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, x4mr, I assume, since you are obviously rather intelligent, that you know you have completely blown your anonymity.

You do realize some of your readers are able to know that only person fits the information you just supplied about your daughter.

I know your daughter.

I know exactly who you are. I won't tell.

Holy shit. Are you really going to quit? Are you truly going to blog all about where you work?

Oh my God. I think I am beginning to understand this. Oh my God.

Does anyone else know?

4/09/2007 1:04 PM  
Blogger x4mr said...


Quoting Clarice, "You see a lot, doctor."

Anon, I am SO far ahead of you that an onlooker would think I'm behind.

Anyone with an interest and five minutes could learn who I am, but am requesting folks let me choose the timing, and it will simply occur at the profile.

Yes, am resigning for sure. Yes, will post "Something Else" right here. Yes, will link to pdf documents.

Your reasoning is clear and correct, but perhaps it will tickle your noodle to learn that I know who you are, DOCTOR.

I think I have an idea who Sirocco might be, but won't say anything. That guy is sharp, although I doubt he was reading about algebraic topology at the age of 18. I don't know, but I would speculate his academic credentials are on par with yours.

I don't have my doctorate yet, but if things go as planned, that will change.

4/09/2007 7:38 PM  
Blogger Liza said...

Well, hell. I don't have a clue who any of you are. Now I'm guessing that you are all somehow associated with U of A?

4/09/2007 9:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I am 100% clear who x4mr is, but do not know who Sirocco is. I will respect x4mr's request, but will say that this guy runs a company. x4mr is a CEO. When he quits, it is going to make the paper.


How the #@$# can you know who I am?!!!!! You are assuming a continuity that I am the same anonymous poster from before. You don't know that.

I will confess, that yes, I have a doctorate. You put your identity on a silver platter. I didn't. How can you know who I am?

4/09/2007 10:29 PM  
Blogger sirocco said...

Heh ... I am busy respecting x4mr's wishes and NOT looking him up online. So I don't know who anyone is. :)

Looking forward to hearing the whole story though.

I don't particularly care for algebra in any form, although topology is fun to look over (I wasn't close to looking at it when 18). I am more of a Graph Theory and Algorithms kind of guy.

4/10/2007 7:32 AM  
Blogger x4mr said...

"Topology is fun to look over."

You confirm my speculation, Sirocco. Are you willing to share your degrees or at least elaborate to some extent your background? Graph theory yet publishing that China is the next superpower? Dang, Sirocco, if you were a woman.

At the risk of sounding arrogant, it appears that the fairly astute post comments here. Liza is very sharp, and if I recall correctly, she earns her keep in the software area.

That you are very sharp, Liza, is clear. Am I right about your involvement in software?

4/10/2007 10:23 PM  
Blogger Liza said...

Hi, x4mr,
I was a software developer for over 20 years, but I retired soon after moving to Tucson and marrying my current husband. I offered him the same deal if we stayed in California, but he turned it down.

My writing skills are owed mostly to Mrs. McLaughlin, my English teacher for two years in high school. Aside from that, I've had years of practice because I did all of my own technical writing.

4/11/2007 10:21 AM  
Blogger sirocco said...

Hmph ...

I've typed in things four or five times and then deleted them, since I am not sure how much of my anonymity I want to give up. But since Liza filled in some background about herself ...

I have degrees in microbiology (which I have done nothing with and largely forgotten ... it's only useful now when I read papers about, say, stem cell research), journalism (the China paper I referenced some time in the past originated as the major paper for a graduate class I was taking while getting this degree) and computer science (thus some math background).

I currently work as a software researcher/architect/whatever.

4/11/2007 11:49 AM  
Blogger x4mr said...

Very cool to learn this stuff.

As you might imagine, my career has been, well, rather unique, of which you will learn much more should you choose to read about it.

First degree was electrical engineering and pretty much abandoned all of that. Then MS and all but dissertation Phd in math. LOTS of math. Serious math in probability theory.

Soon to be writing a dissertation for a Phd, but not in math.

If everything just falls apart, I will start a buffel grass eradication company. I've already got the marketing and ad campaigns figured out.

"BuffelBeGone is trouble for buffel."

"BuffelBeGone's patented BuffelMatics baffle buffel for breakfast."

"BuffelBeGone's Buffenators have the stuff for your buff."

Oh, God. I am really losing it.

4/11/2007 3:02 PM  

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