joseph

I am from a mathematical background, having taken my first degree in Mathematics and Economics, graduating in 2012 from the University of Leeds, and currently undertaking my second degree in Mathematics and Physics with the Open University – for no real gain except for the love of learning and challenging my mind. So much of what we do on a daily basis has some specific goal – to progress in a career, to achieve something particular but far too infrequently do we do something just because it is fun. It seems like we forgot how to play once we got old! I like to think of it as progressing from lego to numbers – but still a wonderful thing to keep the mind entertained.

When you are a Chartered anything, I admit the jobs are a little bit better paid and generally much safer. You are in many senses a grown up dream – steadily middle class in a career unlikely to be made obsolete by computers for at least a generation. But alas, unless you were one of those people who wanted a career in an office from a young age (who do exist, I know some), then life becomes humdrum monotony devoid of natural light. It gets to the point where all you seem to do is placate the beast with Thursday drinks, low level  of sports competition and impressing old school friends by checking into expensive places on Facebook; but these activities are as much a solution as paracetamol is to a headache, a welcome break but irrelevant to addressing root cause.

They quarter life crisis was coined recently [I think?] and I think it is a wonderful and real thing. Around the quarter-life (which I generously take to be 25), something sparks in the brain screaming that where a year was once forever  it just isn’t as long anymore. The denominator keeps getting larger, with each year seeming shorter as time marches onwards in its linear fashion; oh the keen sting of relativity.  There is a temptation to throw caution to the wind and do that thing you always thought was too stupid to do while you were growing up. Don’t choose this option, rationally you didn’t do it for a good reason. The trick is to use the increasing skills and experience you have with being a human to enrich the quality of time. Waste less, do more, counterbalance relativity with frightening productivity and live with a burning impatience.

In a way this is my journey. It isn’t really the beginning at all: in many ways I have always been roughly following this path, I have just taken a rather large detour, assuming you (like me) don’t think events are fully predetermined. When I sit down and think about the things that truly make me happy, [ignoring people to save bad feeling], the non-human thing that makes me really and truly happy is learning things and trying to solve things I don’t know how to do. Within that the two areas I like to study more than anything are Mathematics and Physics – and many, including myself would argue these are not two distinct subjects. They are the only subjects for me which are worth studying (no offence meant – this is a personal bio). They are as real as it gets: What? Why? Who? Where? When? How? The subjects attempt to answer the question which at some time must have bothered us all; why are we actually here? Are we a terrible design or are we a beautiful accident?

What I love about it most is that the answer is already there. It has always existed, at least for the history of the universe anyhow but it is written in a language we cannot speak and contains ideas beyond our comprehension. If we are to ever understand the world we need to make it simpler (or rather view it in a more simple fashion) – we need lots of minds to work together and start rationalising the universe. It upsets me how much of the neurological power in the world is engaged in conflict, or just wasted away on  Xbox consoles. The universe will die – and what a tragedy it would be if the human race had not uncovered its secrets before its death. Upon the death of the universe there shall be no lifeboat offering safe refuge to a brand new ready made universe. We make our own destiny.

I won’t spend any longer trying to convince you of my dedication or beliefs – this is after all a personal journey to which I hold nobody accountable but myself. Currently I am sitting a formal degree in Mathematics and Physics with the Open University, along with a number of personal studies in an attempt to better understand the universe in which I exist. I will be using societies, institutes, conferences, colloquiums, meetings, magazines, books, libraries… just about anything possible to aid me in this and documenting what I am thinking here. My hope is that through this site I will be able to record my journey allowing me to criticise and correct the direction I am taking,  get some help from like minded people and rationalise my own thoughts. A timeline of my journey to a currently unknown location.

 

joseph@rationalisingtheuniverse.org

84 responses to “joseph

  1. Fascinating bio. From someone who was brought up and lives in Sir Isaac Newton’s hometown, mathematics and physics have always been a part of air we breathe here – I was in his bedroom the other day wishing I understood them more. Perhaps your blog will enlighten me.

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  4. hello 🙂
    I have also a sort of passion, more curiosity, for what’s going on in the universe. However my academic background is at some galaxies away from mathematics and physics. I’m glad I found your blog to read short articles – hopefully I will understand – in order to get the right glance at our world. Thanks for sharing your passion!
    PS: If you know a link to ‘The explaination of wrapped universe for dummies, would you tell me? thanks by advance

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Great blog (I read the Energy post too but couldn’t think of any questions – he he he) but it did make me want to know more about you. We share the idea that the blog is about our journey through this life. Congrats on your under 7minute mile – extended run.

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  6. Hey! I really enjoy reading your blog and the way you write the texts – they complete me somehow. I study Biology and I’m completely passionate about Philosophy… I see your blog as a tool to expand my knowledge on these subjects.

    I look forward to reading it all!
    Congrats!

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  8. Hi joseph… 🙂 .. nice to meet you. I just want to say you I love your blog. Is there any way to contact you, via email? thank you. Hope to hear from you soon. Giulia

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  9. Thanks so much for stopping by my blog, Joseph!! My father has the same background as you. Although my profession in life is actually accounting, I tend to use the other side of my brain more. Still, I will continue to visit and read your blogs! You are a wonderful writer and I am happy to know you!

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  10. I see time is a theme betwixt you co-authors. 🙂 I often think of time as merely a construct to delineate our varied paths and keep us sane. It’s so much more than that, but truly considering it feels like a deep well one could become lost within. I hope your future deep thoughts find worthy knowledge to enjoy!

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      • Overall – very good but there are frustrations I must be honest. One example would be in certain modules they removed printed copies of books, saying it was not for cost reasons and raised the fees in the same year. Yet, if you want a hard copy of the book they want £60 – which seems a bit off. The materials are really good. Personally I think Level 1 is below the standard of a regular university (I have graduated once!) but second year is a bit above – then third year seems to be having reviewed the materials about right. Overall – you will know as much as anyone who has come from a traditional university when you leave; but it takes a huge amount of self discipline. What route are you taking?

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      • Thank you for the insight. Thinking of Biology/Chemistry. (The Physics route or Psychology also interests me but we can’t do everything). I don’t have an issue with paying for a service, but I just wonder how they can justify such high fees when things like books, laboratory sessions, exams and tutorials aren’t included. I’ve had disappointing interactions with their student ‘advisors’ for the most simple questions, but in the broader frame of things, that isn’t important. If the standard is, as you say, at the end of the final year is the same as a traditional university, I get a good academic framework for exploring the mysteries of science, and I learn something I wouldn’t otherwise, then it will be worth it.

        P.S. Pleased to see such a brilliant mind hasn’t been dulled by the Chartered status/accounting career! Not a criticism and I know real life gets in the way of stuff – your blog is great.

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      • Yes – the OU has gorwn a huge amounts from its humble beginnings and is creaking a little bit in the way a large organisation with small infrastructure does. but you can find your way – generally the tutors are very good. If you have some level of study behind you do prepare to be frustrated in year 1; but otherwise academically it’s good with some really frustrating bits around the side!

        And thank you very much! It is difficult at times to balance the double commitment but always worth it

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      • Do you get much interaction with your tutors or is it basically ingesting huge piles of materials and clarifying any major points you get stuck on with the tutor? (That is essentially what many traditional universities have become in certain subjects but that’s a different topic ;-))

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      • In theory – you get as much interaction as you need. My first year tutor was really responsive, phoned me to see how I was getting on etc. You also go to physical tutorials throughout the module – which are really good to consolidate (although if you are REALLY comfortable with the material it can be a waste of time). These are run by all different tutors which again is good, alongside the online materials. Occasionally, like I have now you have a slow tutor – you just need to keep pushing with them to get what you want. It’s effort, but it has always been the same my whole life – at school, in my first degree at a traditional university, in the workplace and now the OU!

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      • Hear hear. Can’t disagree with the last phrase. Thanks very much. Very helpful. Are the physical tutorials recorded and put online for those who can’t attend? (Apologies for the gazillion questions).

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      • The face to face ones are not but you get the slides and problem sets provided. All the online ones are; that’s for the science ones anyway. If you were to take any maths modules there you choose if you attend and online or a face to face; so a little different. No problem – let me know if there is anything else at all!

        Liked by 2 people

    • Yes, Joseph, I agree with internationalhuusfrau about your career-induced quarter-life crisis brought on by the lack of change and challenge in your job as an accountant.

      However, were you to become a scientist and/or academic staff, you might find some systemic issues and institutional problems or barriers more dreadful and deplorable than the “humdrum monotony devoid of natural light”, as discussed in a special post on my main website at https://soundeagle.wordpress.com/2016/08/17/do-plants-and-insects-coevolve/

      As for your chosen journey or preferred specialization, your writing quoted below shows that you have an expansive mind in pursuit of some of the age-old existential questions:

      Within that the two areas I like to study more than anything are Mathematics and Physics – and many, including myself would argue these are not two distinct subjects. They are the only subjects for me which are worth studying (no offence meant – this is a personal bio). They are as real as it gets: What? Why? Who? Where? When? How? The subjects attempt to answer the question which at some time must have bothered us all; why are we actually here? Are we a terrible design or are we a beautiful accident?

      It does amuses me that the quote above is just as valid, cogent and compelling when one substitutes “Mathematics and Physics” with “Biology and Natural (or Evolutionary) Sciences.

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      • Some very interesting thoughts – an very very thorough article with amazing referencing. It’s actually a very interesting thought and not one I have given any consideration to before! I hate to admit it but you are almost right with regard to the biology and natural sciences point! The only caveat I would make is I do believe that Physics has an extra layer of richness in its attempt the most fundamental building block possible within the universe. It is this thirst to go smaller and smaller that really attracts me to the subject. That is’t of course to say I am not fascinated by evolutionary studies – it is of course fundamental to my being. Dawkins’ books were favorites of mine growing up

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you, Joseph. It would be also heuristic and helpful if you could also provide comment(s) right at the comment section of the article at https://soundeagle.wordpress.com/2016/08/17/do-plants-and-insects-coevolve/

        To begin with, I would be very curious to know how you, as a very potent entity rationalising the universe, feel and/or rationalise about some of the issues and subject matters of the article, regardless of the levels of your expertise and interest.

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  12. Wow. Great work. Your book should be called “Consciousness–The Final Frontier.” I am new to your blog–have you looked into meditation studies and consciousness? Is there is a difference in brain wave patterns during meditation vs. sleep/dream states?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you very much I am glad you have enjoyed the blog! I just hope I am able to have a book one day – title regardless (within reason)! I must disclaim I do not know much about meditation; but my understanding is it’s actually more like a heightened sense of being awake when done properly. So the emotional responses are raised and not dampened

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  13. I am so happy to read your blog. You have an authentic voice that connects with the reader. Your love for maths and physics and your musings about quarter life crisis makes it very interesting. I love maths and even now I find it exhilarating. I think writing is a wonderful way to connect with self. Look forward to reading more of your posts.

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    • Hello and thank you very much for your lovely comment! I am glad you have found the blog of interest and that you, just like us are thrilled by the challenges posed to us in modern mathematics. I look forward to staying connected!

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    • Thank you very much! Me and Mekhi love to get comments like this! I think it is very unlikely that the reality we are living in is base reality – which means anything we define as real or not real is only so in the confines of our reality…. it is an interesting point; to which I believe the answer is yes, they are real but not in the way we perceive them. We romanticise over our consciousness in a very unscientific manner. Thanks for visiting our blog!

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  14. Thoroughly enjoy your blog. Can really feel the passion toward science and looking forward to reading more. Loved the “are we a terrible design or are we a beautiful accident” and the followed explanation. I agree that people are heavily wasting their intelligence on games and such. Documenting your journey on the blog is inspiring!

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    • Thank you very much! I am so glad that you enjoy the blog, always makes our day to find someone like minded who appreciates our approach. Thank you for visiting

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  15. You are a young man after my own heart I could sit and converse with you for hours. I just read one of your posts. So you will know I subscribe to the “Law of Reciprocity” under which the universe operates. I may write about that. Enjoy your work !

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you very much! I am glad you find something you like in my writing; I am not looking for everyone to agree or find interest in it, but as long as someone is taking something from it the whole thing is worthwhile! I will make sure I get over to your blog and read an article in due course – although I am currently on the Christmas Market trail in Hamburg!

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  16. I see we both believe in the power of things unseen. I know that coincidences are really nothing to get excited about because they happen MORE OFTEN than many realize. Not sure I accept that the Universe will die. I’ll have to re-read. I have come to see that Earth, however, is an open system that regenerates itself. Happy to find your site because one grandson is a very serious physics student at Univ. of Illinois. Thank you for your most interesting site.

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  17. So, joseph, how is your journey going? Your philosophy alone takes me on a journy past what my eyes is programmed to identify. Thanks for sharing what you see. . . its beautiful!

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  18. Hi Joseph – thanks for liking the FOCAL Countdown blog post about Leeds! If you’re interested in attending the event, all the details are available here: https://focalcountdown.co.uk/upcoming-events/leeds/ Entry is just £10. Please feel free to bring friends, family members, other halves, work colleagues, etc; the more the merrier! 🙂 Would be great to meet you. If you can’t make it, you can always subscribe to our page, and we’ll let you know when new events are announced, including October’s Huddersfield tournament. All the best!

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  19. Hi Joseph – very interesting topics. I do not have any kind of formal background in anything but have always found studying about the unknown aspects of our universe breathtaking at times. Most recently, quantum mechanics has become a fascinating world for me. Can’t say I understand the details, but I enjoy reading theories about the subject, and I have opinions. Lots of them. Stay strong to your beliefs.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, thank you very much for reading. You truly don’t need a formal background at all to enjoy and challenge yourself to understand the big concepts in Physics toady. Of course if you are looking to really get behind the detail at some point there is a need to take on some more rigorous study, but even so there is so much that can be learned and enjoyed simply by engaging with free materials available online. Thank you for your encouragement

      Liked by 1 person

  20. “Waste less, do more, counterbalance relativity with frightening productivity and live with a burning impatience.” I love this…it should be on a T-shirt or mug…I’ll buy both. Your post really resonated with me (I’m at midlife…I hope.) Thank you for sharing a great analysis. It said everything I’ve been feeling.

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  21. Dear Joseph, I saw you have a ‘featured on Discover’ button on your site. After Inktober 2016 my blog was mentioned on Discover, how do I get the button, thanks for any advice. Sincerely

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  22. Hey Joseph, well done! While I am mathematically illiterate,I appreciate those who are not! I also liked your notion of “placate the beast with Thursday drinks, low level of sports competition and impressing old school friends by checking into expensive places on Facebook”
    Looking forward to hearing more.
    Best wishes

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you very much! I am very glad you enjoy the rhetoric! My way of thinking isn’t for everyone, but wouldn’t life be dull id we all thought the same – certainly wouldn’t be anything to argue about!

      Liked by 1 person

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