By Daniel

Welcome!

Brown Corporation Dinner

My name is Daniel Doro Ferrante and I am a [brazilian] physics (HET) PhD student at Brown University. I was born in São Paulo, Brazil, but I currently live in Providence, RI (USA). I’ve been SysAdmining and managing GNU/Linux networks (security, software, hardware, etc) for some 11+ years now, including webmastering a few different websites: Brown’s HET, Brown’s Computational HET, Ciências Moleculares, Brown’s LUG, Brown’s Graduate Student Council, etc. My current research includes a tentative method to determine a “topological dynamics”, something that would make Quantum Gravity very happy!😉

You can download my GPG public key here (just save it with an ‘appropriate’ name😉 ). I support widespread use of strong cryptography for privacy, and encourage you to use GPG encryption with this key when sending me messages. If your mailer makes this difficult, consider switching to Mutt.

Academic Genealogy…

?Otto MenckenJohann WichmannshausenChristian HausenAbraham KaestnerJohann PfaffCarl GaußChristian GerlingJulius PlückerFelix Christian KleinCarl Louis Ferdinand von LindemannArnold SommerfeldWolfgang PauliNicholas KemmerAbdus SalamWalter GilbertGerald Guralnik.

Brought to you by The Mathematics Genealogy Project.

Hacker/Geek culture…

If you are wondering about some facts of life, like “How to become a hacker?”, “hacker/geek culture”, “GNU/Linux FAQs and/or HOWTOs”, check out ESR’s collection of FAQs and HOWTOs. If that is not enough for your needs, take a further look into the Linux Documentation Project. I am sure that, if you don’t find what you’re looking for, you will, at the very least, get a nice heads up.

Furthermore, if you have some time and you want to put it to some use, take a look at either/both of these two pages: Richard M. Stallman’s (of GNU/FSF fame; more on the GNU/FSF philosophy) and ESR’s writings/essays (of Open Source fame). Both of them have lots and lots of stuff written… some of which I personally agree and some which I don’t. But, that’s not the point, the point is that both of them will make you think!💡 ) (As Voltaire used to say: “I may disapprove of what you say, but will defend to the death your right to say it!” Need I say more?!😎 ) If you’d like to know what is my personal position on the matter of free (as in freedom; or, in pt-br: “livre” which is very different from “gratuito”) software, take a look at this JPEG file (I think it says it all, doens’t it😈 ).

In case anyone cares, here’s my Geek Code decoded and below you can find it in its original form:

-----BEGIN GEEK CODE BLOCK----- 
Version: 3.12 
GS/CS/M/P/SS/TW d-- s++: a- C++ UBLAVHIOS++++ P-(---) L++++ E++ W++ N++ o+++ K w--- 
!O M- V- PS+++ PE-- Y+ PGP++ t-- 5- X-- R* tv-- b+++ DI++ D 
G++ e+++++ h* r y++ 
ma+++ k+++ !F/F4 !X 
------END GEEK CODE BLOCK------

The master Geek Code page seems no longer to be maintained, but you can interpret this with The Geek Code Decoder Page. Note that the last line must be interpreted via Phil Stracchino’s weapons extension.

My BloggerCode is (decode it!):

-----BEGIN BLOGGER CODE BLOCK----- 
B9 d++ t+ k+ s++ u-- f+ i o+ x e l- c-- 
-----END BLOGGER CODE BLOCK-------

I am also very much against SPAM (Unsolicited Commercial Email, UCE, and/or Unsolicited Bulk Email, UBE) and all of its detrimental consequences to the web. Included in this category are not only all UCE but also all of those “email clients” and/or email servers that do not comply with the Internet Mail Consortium standards, causing their messages to be labelled as SPAM. (As a [general] rule of thumb, everything using the web in any form should be compliant with The Internet Engineering Task Force standards!)

Political views and stances…

I have taken so very loOong time to learn that politics is not “bad” nor “evil”, much less something derrogatory or to be ashamed of. (However, I do have to say that, to this time, I share Socrates views on it: “I was really too honest a man to be a politician and live.” And “False words are not only evil in themselves, but they infect the soul with evil.” And, to cap it off: “An honest man is always a child.”) The people using the word “politics” for their personal agenda are those that give it a [very] bad name. As the Devil’s Dictionary so beautifully puts it:

POLITICS, n. A strife of interests masquerading as a contest of principles.
The conduct of public affairs for private advantage.

Well, you can see why I wasn’t particularly found of it, right?!😛 Anyway, RMS came to talk here at Brown on 2003 and, I have to say: “I was blow away, by what he said, by his passion, by his ideals and by his strength and tenacity that have lasted for so long now!” And, among all the things that he said (it was a 2 hour long talk) I got particularly attached to the following: “You cannot be apolitical, you must have a position on issues!” Boy, did that got me thinking… I have always been so personal and so passionate about so many things in my life, I had always been so “active” in the issues that I had a direct influence on that I couldn’t simply “be passive” about the “stuff” that affected me just because I disliked the people doing the politics! I could not simply refuse to get involved. Those things mattered to me and the people doing politics would not keep me away from fighting for what I believed anymore. That was my turning point… from that day forward I have settled the meaning of politics in my head and I decided to take action!🙂

This does not mean that I have a position on every single “issue” that I have ever came across in my life; on the contrary, I’m not even familiar with most of them! But, now, I try to get to know what the problem means, I take a pro-active position and, upon crossing a certain threshold, I decide that I do have a certain stance on that particular topic. Sure enough this cannot be taken “easily”, you always have to keep yourself informed, active and interacted of what’s going on, so that you can keep your “positions” updated (whether or not it means changing it, getting more involved, etc). This is the real meaning of community: You care, you think, you share, you participate, you become involved, pro-active, you make it happen! So, in the end, I’ve made what was a quantum leap for me: Going from being pro-active within “my world” to being pro-active within the higher layers of the community, the society which I am an integral part of.

About this Blog…

The phrase that gives title to this weblog was coined during my [long gone😉 ] undergraduate years, as a pun with the many analogies that physics and math have.

I basically intend to write about the things I’m interested: physics, math, science in general, programming (web, FORTRAN, C/C++, scientific/numeric, scripting, python, bash, tcsh, …) and politics.

This site was built with PHP, XHTML, CSS, WordPress and lots of love!🙂

As usual, your input, is greatly appreciated.😎

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