Last Tuesday Ahyan and I played the 5th and 6th round of Tuesday Night Marathon online over chess.com arranged by Mechanics Chess Institute. The games are live analyzed by FIDE Master Paul Whitehead and Abel Talamantez. After a nice win by Ahyan at 5th round he was jointly in second position with 4 out of 5 in the open section which is phenomenal at his age and rating. Ahyan and I joined the commentary by invitation from TD Judit Sztaray after the 6th round for a short time. Here are some excerpts from our games and the commentaries. The TNM newsletter for this round may be found here - https://www.milibrary.org/chess-newsletters/931
Saturday, August 22, 2020
Saturday, August 15, 2020
Friday, August 14, 2020
I have been thinking of learning Philosophy without going to a college or enrolling in Philosophy courses for some time now. Philosophy is such a vast topic that the biggest trouble for me was to figure out where to start, what are the major areas of Philosophy that I should focus on, and how to go about it within the limited time I have. Apart from my spiritual quest, I was very intrigued by Jordan B Peterson's mentions of Friedrich Nietzsche in one of the best books I have ever read 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos.
First I went for identifying major branches of Philosophy to explore. Those are -
- Metaphysics - ultimate nature of reality
- Epistemology - what we know and how we come to know it
- Axiology - study of principles and values which is further divided into two major kinds
- Ethics - the study of morality
- Aesthetics - inquiry about art and beauty
- Ontology - knowing the reality
- Political Philosophy - deals with government, justice, and so on
- Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu
- Poetics by Aristotle
- The Republic by Plato
- Meditations by Rene Descartes
- A Treatise of Human Nature by David Hume
- An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding by David Hume
- Candide by Voltaire
- The Prophet by Khalil Gibran
- Thinking: Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman (read it earlier but will read again)
- The Conquest of Happiness by Bertrand Russell
- The Problems of Philosophy by Bertrand Russell
- Beyond Good and Evil by Friedrich Nietzsche
- Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor E Frankl
- The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
- The Incoherence of the Philosophers by Abu Hamid Muhammad al-Ghazali
- The Incoherence of the Incoherence by Ibn Rush (Averroes)
- The Muqaddimah: An Introduction to History - The Abridged Edition by Ibn Khaldun
- Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values by Robert M Pirsig
- The Black Swan by Nassim Nicholas Taleb
- Understanding Power by Noam Chomsky
- Free Will by Sam Harris
I have been fascinated while listening to and reading about the Universe since my childhood. But most of those readings have been random, organic in nature just like my readings on everything else - science fictions, detective novels, history, biography, cricket, soccer, and so on. The notable exception is Chess and Software Engineering which I have done pretty significantly in terms of method and volume.
In 2015 I started reducing my overall time spent reading, learning, and playing chess (it was not an easy decision, believe me). That gave me extra time to focus on my pursuit of knowledge outside of my day job and family responsibilities. So I picked up first to understand religions and particularly Islam as I felt it's my duty to know in detail as a Muslim. About 3 years of reading, watching videos, enrolling in seminars on topics related to Islam, Comparative Religions, Atheism, and relevant topics - I felt like it's good enough for me to synthesize and reflect on what I found for the foreseeable future. So I switched next to learn about Leadership and Self Help to move towards an Engineering Leadership career. My particular area of interest has been Bay Area Software Startups although I have been learning all aspects of leadership and management that I possibly could find. And then recently, I picked up the journey to learn deeply about Philosophy. I am immensely enjoying all these.
Metric expansion of space
Cosmic time or Cosmological time
Inflationary Epoch or Cosmic Inflation
Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation (CMBR)
Curvature of Spacetime
Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity
Neutrino or Cosmic Neutrino Background (CNB)
Active Galactic Nucleus
Dwarf Stars - Red / Yellow / Orange / Brown / White / Black
Variable Stars - Intrinsic / Extrinsic / Semiregular / Cephid
Blue Giant - Red Giant, Super Giant, Hyper Giant
Neutron Star - Pulsar, Magnetar
Fast Radio Burst
Fabric of Spacetime
H II Region
Type 1 vs Type 2
Sub-satellite or moonmoon
Sunday, July 19, 2020
- The Merchant and the Alchemist's Gate - What would you do if you are given a choice to meet your own self 20 years in the future or 20 years in the past? I chose 20 years in the future (when my friend asked me) as Alhamdulillah I am content with my past. Ted touched on what destiny means in the style of Arabian Nights i.e. story-within-story in an Islamic context. Apart from the time travel part, he didn't try to use science in it, and hence this may better be classified under fantasy or philosophy rather than sci-fi. The way Ted wrote, I felt he has talked to his Muslim friends or scholars to properly understand Qadr (Predestination), fate, and the relevant arguments and counter-arguments within Islam about destiny. Just this story alone is worth buying the whole book for. It won the 2008 Hugo Award for Best Novelette and the 2008 Nebula Award for Best Novelette.
- Exhalation - You may read the story online here. This is a story based on the second law of thermodynamics (total entropy, thermodynamic equilibrium) in a civilization led by air-driven mechanical human-like robots. The story is epistolary in nature, taking the form of a scientist's journal entry who first identifies the upcoming eventual demise of the universe they live in. Exhalation won the 2009 Hugo Award for Best Short Story.
- What's Expected of Us - You may read this very short story online here.
- The Lifecycle of Software Objects - I was surprised to read how familiar the author sounded in this novella about software startups and the ecosystem. So later I found he is by profession a technical writer in the software industry. It won the 2011 Locus Award for Best Novella and the Hugo Award for Best Novella.
- Dacey's Patent Automatic Nanny
- The Truth of Fact, The Truth of Feeling
- The Great Silence - You may read this short story online here.
- Anxiety Is the Dizziness of Freedom
Sunday, June 21, 2020
Last Tuesday Ahyan and I played the 5th and 6th round of Tuesday Night Marathon online over chess.com arranged by Mechanics Chess Institut...
After a month of my Civic being completely destroyed in a car accident, I bought my new car yesterday. It's Honda Accord 2009 LX-P Maro...
We moved to a new rental house near BART end of last month. We have stayed in LakeView Apartments for three and half years before moving he...
বাকের ভাই - কোথাও কেউ নেই, হুমায়ুন আহমেদ