Purism, an open mobile

17 Sep 2017 / Leonardo Barichello

Since the failed attempt of Canonical to crowdfund the Ubuntu Touch device some time ago, there was not much news regarding free/open/libre options in the mobile world... until now! Purism, a company with a good experience with devices focused on openness and privacy, is launching a crowdfunding campaign to support a truly linux based device.

If you appreciate the idea, what about support the campaign? Personally, the device is a bit above my financial reach, but you can donate smaller amount just to support the campaign. If they succeed, this is probably going to open a huge door for linux onto the mobile market, and this could bring new (cheaper) devices :)

Tiramisu

17 Sep 2017 / Leonardo Barichello

This recipe was strongly inspired by the video below.

Carluccio is quite relaxed about the recipe, that is why I calibrated it a little bit after some attempts. I have to say, my favorite part of this desert is to prepare it after the main dish, right before eating it, seating at the table, talking...

The ingredients below are for 2 people.

1 egg yolk
3 tsp caster sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla paste
A drop of milk (enough to soften the mascarpone)
150g mascarpone
100 ml of espresso (sweetened to your regular taste)
1 tbsp of amaretto liqueur
10-12 Savoiardi biscuits
2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder

For preparation, follow the video above. There are some alternative for Savoiardi biscuits, but this is actually the best option for this recipe.

Embodied cognition and postmodernism

11 Aug 2017 / Leonardo Barichello

The text below is a section of the book "Where mathematics comes from: how the embodied mind brings mathematics to being" by George Lakoff and Rafael Núñez.

As we have just noted, a significant part of mathematics itself is a product of historical moments, peculiarities of history, culture, and economics. This is simply a fact. In recognizing the facts for what they are, we are not adopting a postmodernist philosophy that says that mathematics is merely a cultural artifact. We have gone to great lengths to argue against such a view.

The theory of embodied mathematics recognizes alternative forms of mathematics (like well-founded and non-well-founded set theories) as equally valid but about different subject matters. Although it recognizes the profound effects of history and culture upon the content of mathematics, it strongly rejects radical cultural relativism on empirical grounds.

In recognizing all the ways that mathematics makes use of cognitive universal and universal aspects of experience, the theory of embodied mathematics explicitly rejects any possible claim that mathematics is arbitrarily shaped by history and culture alone.

Indeed, the embodiment of mathematics accounts for real properties of mathematics that a radical cultural relativism would deny or ignore: conceptual stability stability of inference, precision, consistency, generalizability, discoverability, calculability, and real utility in describing the world.

This distinguishes an embodied view of mathematics from a radical relativist perspective. The broad forms of postmodernism recognize the effects of culture and history. But they do not recognize those effects of embodiment that are not arbitrary. It is the nonarbitrariness arising from embodiment that takes mathematics out of the purview of postmodernism.

Moreover, the embodiment of mind in general has been scientifically established by means of convergent evidence within cognitive science. Here, too, em- bodied mathematics diverges from a radically relativistic view of science as just historically and culturally contingent. We believe that a science based on convergent evidence can make real progress in understanding the world.

I think that just the fact that the authors felt the need to clarify why their ideas do not align to the postmodern view is quite interesting. But also, I enjoyed their explanation.



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