publication (noun): The act of publishing printed or other matter

A quick post to celebrate the online availability of my PhD thesis !

Whatever its (lame) scientific significance, this will remain the very first book I've ever written, and, what's more one that took me 3 years of hard work to gather its content.

After waiting 3 more years for it to come out the "confidential" closet in which it had been put, this is afterall a nice occasion to rejoice.

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Review: The Math behind the Music

Cover of The Math Behind MusicLeon Harkleroad (2006). The Math Behind the Music. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-81095-7.

A book on math and music, with such an ugly cover... how not to look like a nerd with all that... whatever... the book was really good and not that nerdy anyway !

In the fact, the first interesting feature is that the author wrote the book for non-mathematician and non-musician. Well, I guess you have to be interested a little bit in one or the other to read it, but it's true: you don't need to know any mathematical stuff and the only required musical concept is about the most basic structure of musical scores.

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Joys of coffee

No matter how much we are aware of this...

The state coffee puts one in when it is drunk on an empty stomach under these magisterial conditions produces a kind of animation that looks like anger: one's voice rises, one's gestures suggest unhealthy impatience: one wants everything to proceed with the speed of ideas; one becomes brusque, ill-tempered about nothing. One actually becomes that fickle character, The Poet, condemned by grocers and their like. One assumes that everyone is equally lucid. A man of spirit must therefore avoid going out in public. I discovered this singular state through a series of accidents that made me lose, without any effort, the ecstasy I had been feeling. Some friends, with whom I had gone out to the country, witnessed me arguing about everything, haranguing with monumental bad faith. The following day I recognized my wrongdoing and we searched the cause. My friends were wise men of the first rank, and we found the problem soon enough: coffee wanted its victim. -- Honoré de Balzac, Traité des excitants modernes (1838), translated by Robert Onopa)

Via “The Pleasures and Pains of Coffee” but the original version is here[fr obviously].

So I guess that's a "thanks" to my family for offering me this wonderful expresso machine...

Crash: do markets believe in UFO ?

I recently listened to a podcast about recent revelations on the Belgian UFO wave in the 80's. I'm not really into UFOs but apparently a famous photo taken for granted as a solid proof for 30years, has just been outed as a fake by its very own photographer.

And so, the episode[fr] describes the ensuing phenomenon of cognitive dissonance among the UFO believers.

So far, so good, but nothing related to markets !

However, I've just read a very interesting analysis on the current state of finances in which, one paragraph describes the "cognitive chaos" in which the financial and public autorities are in. Pointing out at the fact that they've recently finely observed that budget restrictions was not doing any good to any economy (and that they increase a country's economic problem by jeopardizing its growth) and yet they keep on firmly advising countries  to stick to policies fostering economic austerity.

The article is in french but still available there: Le commencement de la fin[fr] by Frédéric Lordon

So, maybe I'm just tired but somehow reading the later immediately reminded me of the former and the cognitive dissonance of UFO believers...