Thursday, December 11, 2014

One hour Walk to School

First time I meet Azarbanoo, she told me that she every day walked one hour to the bus station of the next bigger village and from there she rode on a bus another forty minutes to the station where my mother picked her up to school. My mother was teaching in the same girls' school. Because Azarbanoo was a good student, she was supported to come to a good high school in our city, Shiraz.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Impossible objects, why they work and how scientists can use them


An impossible object is a picture of an object that looks three-dimensional but cannot be a two-dimensional projection of a real 3D object. It is a type of optical illusion. One of the best descriptions I have read about them was this one: "impossible objects are reasonable parts put together in un-reasonable ways".

And this is why they work: we interpret them as a two dimensional projection of a three dimensional object. So, there are two possibilities to make them:

Saturday, May 24, 2014

[German] Das Beispiel Stammzellforschung zeigt: Unsere moralische Vorstellungen sind veraltet. Und eigentlich unmoralisch!

In Deutschland glauben die meisten Menschen an die Evolution. Es gibt wahrscheinlich kaum Menschen, die behaupten würden, die Erde sei nicht älter als 6000 Jahre. Und Viele lachen über „die Amerikaner“, weil ihre Weltanschauung veraltet ist. Natürlich ist es gut, dass hier in Deutschland eine modernere Weltanschauung existiert als in den USA. Aber sind unser Glauben und Handeln im Einklang mit dem aktuellsten Stand des Wissens? Das Beispiel Stammzellforschung zeigt, dass dies nicht der Fall ist. Und das hat Konsequenzen.

Stammzellforschung hat das Potential Millionen erkrankte Menschen zu retten. Mögliche Patientengruppen wären beispielsweise Menschen die an Krebs oder Diabetes leiden. Man könnte also möglicherweise Millionen Menschen helfen, tut es aber nicht. Warum eigentlich?

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Our Universe: orderly or chaotic?


It is broadly believed, that our world is orderly: planets circle the sun and our bodies are some how symmetric. The belief in an ordered universe is so common, that many people use it as a proof for the existence of god in terms of an intelligent creator (+). In that picture, disorders in the universe are assumed as some "noise".

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Our random behavior and the question of free will


To describe random phenomena, events or variables, we often use statistics and probability theories. This is because we are unable to expound these phenomena exactly. We can not predict how particular events will happen, but according to our knowledge we may know the probabilities. Let's look at some examples:

1. If we role a dice, we don't know which number will come up, but we know the probability for each number (1/6).
2. in physics, we describe many processes by their probability, such as the kinetic properties of gases or many quantum mechanical effect (see for example this article about statistical ensemble).
3. In our everyday life, we can guess on what times the traffic jam may be more probable, but we cannot say exactly which people will be on the street tomorrow at 14:00!

Also if we have brought some regulation in our societies by laws and other regulations, our behavior remains random. This becomes more obvious when we observe economics, that is very complex. But still there are some interesting models trying to foresee economical variables. Here my favorite example is the Brownian motion's role in economics:

Actually, the Brownian motion describes the random moving of particles floating in a fluid or a Gas. In the middle of the 20th century, it came out, that prices in the market vary in a similar fashion to molecules in Brownian motion (read more here)! what the hank? Brownian motion and random walk can help us (human being) to understand how market and economics (resulted by human being) function! This is not logical at all.

In our times, interesting results of experiments in the field of neuroscience are questioning the free will (+). A question that would arise in this context would be if our behavior is random itself, or if our free will makes our behavior looks random.