Saturday, January 27, 2007

Far away

Well, I'm here. It's the coldest week this winter in Porto. And I'm having a really bad flu. I start classes on monday, so I can only talk about the residence and the city. But who cares about the residence? Luckily, it was also sunny these days. I haven't seen the hystorical center yet, but I have an idea of the general "shape". Everything is so mediterannean, even though we are in the northern part of Portugal: lemon trees and palm trees, a lot of light-coloured houses. Some large streets, many narrow and cosy streets, green parks (in january) and modern public transportation. Sometimes, when looking at the little shops (still in the 70s) next to buses that run on natural gas you think that nothing can change a Portuguese, not even technology. There is a sense of belonging and family each Portuguese has for the other I've never encountered. I wish I could speak the language, so that I would feel I'm one of them.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

No determinism, no randomness

Trying to find the connection between Zeno's Paradox, Chaos Theory and Organizational Change, I ran into this idea of snow flakes. The question was how does each molecule know where to stay in order for the symmetric and unique shape to appear? The answer was self-similarity. The shape of the snowflake imitates the behavior of its molecules. Still, each snowflake is unique - we can't predict its form from looking at the initial conditions (let's say molecule behavior), since these conditions cannot be perfectly measured - there is no pure determinism and no randomness either - molecules create a pattern according to which they will arrange. Maybe it's not clear the way I put it. But the point is - even physics can say there is no faith, no hazard, only strong will.