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Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Cherchez La Femme

This translates as "follow the woman". Its a phrase Dumas used for when one is trying to understand a man's inexplicable behavior. There is a method to his madness, but if you didn't realize the madness was caused by his secret pursuit of la femme you wouldn't see the method he is using. Once you know of la femme, everything falls into place.

When we use the term "linear" it means we know the line ("la femme"). When we use the term "non-linear" we don't know the line, but it it out there.

When we see the results of an iterated equation it may look nothing like a line. But if we were lying along the right x-axis and staring "up" the line would be revealed. So perhaps when were trying to sort through complexity we should take comfort that there is an answer out there, somewhere. We just must continue to Cherchez La Femme.


Dr John said...

I am having a lot of trouble absorbing this visually. I know how important the point is and will watch it a few times.

Thai said...

I can't get mine to work for some reason. Can you post the link

Debra said...

While I couldn't get the link to work either, I definitely enjoyed the introduction. Very poetic.
And I definitely appreciated the recourse to images and analogy.
That helped me to understand.. a LITTLE better...
I understand that "cherchez la femme" is a little bit like.. "cherchez Dieu" for some people, maybe.
I will check out the link when it is up.

JP said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JP said...

And this is why you need two Calabi-Yau manifolds instead of just one to solve those difficult problems. What is incomprehensible from the point of view of the first manifold is rendered easy if you look to it's mirror.

From Wikipedia's "mirror symmetry":

"In physics and mathematics, mirror symmetry is a relation that can exist between two Calabi-Yau manifolds."

"Mirror symmetry allowed the physicists to calculate many quantities that seemed virtually incalculable before, by invoking the "mirror" description of a given physical situation, which can be often much easier. Mirror symmetry has also become a very powerful tool in mathematics, and although mathematicians have proved many rigorous theorems based on the physicists' intuition, a full mathematical understanding of the phenomenon of mirror symmetry is still being developed."

JP said...

And this "mirror" concept works the same way with the hemispheres of the brain, as well.

What is nonsense for the left brain is straighforward for the right brain.

Dink said...

I will post a link, but the problem may be that it takes a while to load (~28 seconds on my computer) before anything starts to happen.

Flat V. Round

Also fun

Clearly a maniac

Thai said...

Can you share a little more about mirror symmetry in the brain?

Thai said...

It would appear that B-E condensates of atom lasers have been created

... Can one be made from an electrical signal?

Dr John said...

Please do offer more JP because that does not make sense to me as the right and left brain certainly are not mirror images of each other. What specific structures or functions are your referring to ? I must not understand what you imply by this term. Are you referring to processing of information from the retina into the visual cortex specifically and why we are sensitive to such symmetry from a visual standpoint?

Thai said...

I am interpreting him as referring to the decussation of the pyramids, etc... but am not totally sure.

Thai said...

JP, bravo

I didn't know

Dr John said...

Thanks. That is new information to me. It will be interesting to see if other systems show such symmetry, why do they develop and why do they not in some cases. Good stuff. Thanks again.

Thai said...

So JP- I had another great last night- here is my question:

Do you know if mirror symmetry is a requirement for synchronization?

It would explain a tremendous amount of why we see certain anatomy in the brain, why cerebellar fibers do not cross and why the newer structures do, etc...

JP said...

Thai says:

"Do you know if mirror symmetry is a requirement for synchronization?

It would explain a tremendous amount of why we see certain anatomy in the brain, why cerebellar fibers do not cross and why the newer structures do, etc..."

I never thought about it. But my current rule of thumb is that if mirror symmetry might explain it, then mirror symmetry is a good initial hypothesis on which to develop some theories and run some experiments. :)

I'm currently trying to wrap my mind around the thesis that time has three dimensions.

Dr John said...

Thai, by using the term "operating in synchrony", do you mean separate brains operating or firing in the same way? If so this would not seem to be the case as far as I know from f-MRI data. I may be wrong. Frankly at times I am not sure what you mean by mirror symmetry. The peduncles may appear to anatomically display mirror symmetry but are not somewhat "redundant" in function where adjacent neurons represent adjacent sensory building blocks like in the homunculus. Do you mean something else by those terms? You and JP have me confused I must admit by this symmetry thing.

Dr John said...

Maybe I am having the most trouble seeing how this brain reference applies to String theory and this video post. I think JP said we need a mirror to understand this well. That does not seem as obvious with the brain references. Maybe its my brain that is the problem?

The Most Fabulous Objects In The World

  • Hitchhiker's Guide To The Universe trilogy
  • Lord of the Rings trilogy
  • Flight of the Conchords
  • Time Bandits

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