aku-aku: v.. To move a tall, flat bottomed object (such as a bookshelf) by swiveling it alternatively on its corners in a "walking" fashion. [After the book by Thor Heyerdahl theorising the statues of Easter Island were moved in this fashion.] source: LangMaker.com. Aku Aku also has another meaning to the islanders: a spiritual guide.
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What is a Model
Posted by dav at 2005 August 10 08:26 PM
File under: Art

Found on the Future Salon mailing list today, apparently penned by an upcoming speaker:

What is a model?

Walter J. Freeman
Berkeley, California
Perspectives in Biology & Medicine 18: 475-476, 1975.


Let us bring to time
You the feminine phases of the moon,
I the masculine footsteps of the years.
Time's arrow and the circle make a stream.
From every point the past and future fan
With infinite possibilities.
Like rocks we stand as time swirls by.
We do not know what happened or will happen
But tell a past and cast a future
By extrapolation of our motion.
Mathematicians say we have
Uncountable rates of change.
So much for math, and for prediction.

Turn and face a past
And see another future.
Try to recreate, and get nostalgia.
Climb a hill and time
Spreads all before, past and future,
Fusing on the line in both directions
Orthogonal to gaze. Our futures shrink
To vanish at a mile or a millennium,
Below the fixed horizon
Receding as time runs by.

Is time's rate constant? What shall be our clock?
Your touch accelerates my pulse.
Physicists assert their rate is fixed
To keep perspective on their world of matter.
Growing old, they sense time's quickening
And blame it on their chemistry.
Let us take time's measure not from world
But you and me, and then the rate of time
Increases exponentially. Our physics
Says our universe is not expanding
But time is shrinking. Theirs says the red shift
Is the contrail of a fleeing star,
Ours that it is fossil light
Emitted when our universe was young.

So much for physics. Shall we say the speed
Of time increases in proportion to
The number of our friends?
Will time's rate increase for everyone
As the world's population? Is it uniform
For wastelands and the cities?
Will crisis come when the rate exceeds the rate
Of speech between ourselves? Is this why
With time we drift apart?

Let us choose a unit of a day
And look back in exponential time.
Four days: you and I were born.
Seven days: man invented fire.
Ten days: dinosaurs
Two weeks: the universe exploded.
Look forward. In two days
You will take a day to brush your hair
And I to dress. Six days: we will need
A day to think a thought. Two weeks:
Our last heartbeat will last forever.

Long before, its time run out
Our brains dissolve, their parts
Returning to material time,
And only thus we circumvent
The deep freeze of time's tailing
Immortal loneliness.

Comments:

this person clearly confused "model" with "spokesmodel"

Posted by: cheesebikini on August 15, 2005 11:22 AM

Nonlinear dynamics and poetry.
But is too cerebral (pardon the pun).

Posted by: Camilo on August 16, 2005 01:21 AM

(from "The Cyberiad" by Stanislaw Lem)

Come, let us hasten to a higher plane
Where dyads tread the fairy fields of Venn,
Their indices bedecked from one to n
Commingled in an endless Markov chain!

Come, every frustrum longs to be a cone
And every vector dreams of matrices.
Hark to the gentle gradient of the breeze:
It whispers of a more ergodic zone.

In Riemann, Hilbert or in Banach space
Let superscripts and subscripts go their ways.
Our asymptotes no longer out of phase,
We shall encounter, counting, face to face.

I'll grant thee random access to my heart,
Thou'lt tell me all the constants of thy love;
And so we two shall all love's lemmas prove,
And in our bound partition never part.

For what did Cauchy know, or Christoffel,
Or Fourier, or any Bools or Euler,
Wielding their compasses, their pens and rulers,
Of thy supernal sinusoidal spell?

Cancel me not - for what then shall remain?
Abscissas some mantissas, modules, modes,
A root or two, a torus and a node:
The inverse of my verse, a null domain.

Ellipse of bliss, converge, O lips divine!
the product o four scalars is defines!
Cyberiad draws nigh, and the skew mind
Cuts capers like a happy haversine.

I see the eigenvalue in thine eye,
I hear the tender tensor in thy sigh.
Bernoulli would have been content to die,
Had he but known such a^2 cos 2 phi!

Posted by: Schuyler Erle on August 22, 2005 09:40 AM

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