Posts tagged with drama

                         CAST OF CHARACTERS

          Captain.................A leader and a politician.  Believes that
                                   any action is better than no action.

          Executive Officer.......Cautious but intelligent -- a survivor.

          Navigator...............Adventurer; brash glory-hound.

          Communications..........Tech Intellectual; a romantic.

          Mining Engineer.........High-strung; came along to make his

          Engine Tech.............A worker.  Unimaginative.

     The crew is unisex and all parts are interchangeable for men or women.

These characters are so lifelike. I feel like I know a Cleave Hunter.


  • M. You live in a society where lovers choose whom to marry based on romance. So you don’t want to give up your right to choose a partner (or no partner at all). But if you actually lived under rules of arranged marriage, you would not want to be forever-bitter about something you can’t change. So you would accept your fate, go with the flow, and learn to love whom you had to.
  • She didn’t want to be pregnant. She couldn’t afford it. She was too young. There was so much else she wanted to do with her life. But once the baby was born, s/he became the joy of her life—and the mother wouldn’t change a thing about her past choices. (P.)
  • You need a vacation. You’ve focussed on work for too long. You plan a grand adventure. You negotiate a year off with your employer. On the plane ride to the coast, somebody asks, “What do you do?” and, without thinking, you give your normal response: “I’m a lawyer.” Unsettled, you arrive at the mooring where you’re scheduled to pick up the rented boat. A week into your trip down the coast, you find that you’ve succeeded in running away from nothing. You’re still alone with your thoughts, and they still have exactly the same consistency. It’s going to be a long voyage, achieving nothing, cleansing nothing, a propos of nothing. At least you’ve got work to look forward to when you return. [[[V.]]]

There is an algebra that describes this. Something like a von Neumann algebra (the logic of quantum measurements).


In the vNA, “measuring” X changes the information that X reports. You measure the Z-spin of an atom, you get the Z-spin information but you’ve affected the atom in measuring.

Similarly, instantiating myself in a different context (a society with different social norms, being somewhere else other than where I am) would change the answers to questions M, V, P (marry, vacation, pregnant).

Self-as-function, with input parameters.

My answer to M(me, where-I-in-fact-grew-up) is that, no, I don’t want arranged marriage. My answer to M′( me, where-I-in-fact-grew-up) is that, no, I wouldn’t want arranged marriage. But different-my′ answer to M′(me′, where-I-might-have-grown-up′)M(me, where-i-in-fact-grew-up). Real-me doesn’t think like different-me, and doesn’t correctly predict different-me′'s feelings. 

I feel like a critical dramatic tool has been lost with the death of the magnetic-tape answering machine. A scene like this could never be written these days. (Not to mention scenes where one character can’t find the other, now that most characters presumably have cell phones.)

What are some movies that use more modern technologies (cell phone, text messaging, internet) to create dramatic situations?

The only one I can think of is Easy A.

Human psychology is such that we all like to imagine ourselves at the center of a dramatically coherent and meaningful story, whether we work in a Dilbert-style cubicle zoo or commute to weekly Executive Committee meetings on the company G550.
"The Epicurean Dealmaker”


\dpi{300} \bg_white f: \mathbb{Z}_2 \times \mathbb{Z}_2 \to \{0,1\}

I don’t find numbers particularly interesting, in and of themselves. Mathematics’ folklore suggests that, even if you’re misled into thinking that, for example, 1729 is an uninteresting number, you may be wrong. Whatever. I’m just not a numbers person.

But you can combine numbers to get interesting things. When you put enough numbers together you get Toy Story. Beyond interesting: it was moving. All of the polygons and sound waves (1-D functions of time) are mathematical, and the movie was ultimately encoded as bits — so Toy Story is one long number.

Drama can be built up with much less. Consider the set {Jun, Kiko}. There is a function which maps pairs from the set to {0,1}: a two-place relation

  • ƒ(Jun, Kiko) = 1
  • ƒ(Kiko, Jun) = 0

{0,1} is isomorphic to {true, false} and the two-place relation’s name is “Love”. True, Jun loves Kiko. False, Kiko does not love Jun

See what I did there? ƒ(a,b)=1 && ƒ(b,a)=0 ——functor—→

  • Love(Jun, Kiko) = T
  • Love(Kiko, Jun) = F

The possibilities take the shape of the vierergruppe:

A love triangle isn’t far off. And now you have my attention if you want to talk about cohomology or something. Oh, the cohomology of a love triangle? The cohomology of unrequited love? Yeah. I could get interested in that.

This is why I read mathematics. Not because numbers fascinate me. Not because deduction is fun. Because with math you can think about sh_t in a totally new way.