cultivating & crashing

an organic collection of notes, observations, and thoughts

Tag: beauty


I know it seems silly, but recently I’ve been really impressed by the mechanism of division in math. Maybe it’s because in my head I’ve always conceptualized it as breaking up a larger group into parts, and it’s only lately that I’ve started to think of it as standardization. When dividing a sum for a mean, you’re standardizing the numerator by the denominator. The denominator becomes 1, and for all the groups. Another example is when calculating out a conditional probability:


In this case, dividing by the probability of event E is standardizing — or conditioning on — the numerator by that probability. The probability of E and F is what it may be, but once divided by P(E) it is standardized to what P(EF) would be if P(E) were equal to 1; that is, it’s the P(EF) if the probability of E were the only universe that exists. So simple and so damn brilliant. If I were to go back in time and decide I wanted to live in the world of philosophy, I would have studied math.



Clara Khudaverdian, my classical social theory professor, says that the thing that will make you most happy is the one that you fear the most. I have the sneaking suspicion that my confusion and being conflicted about so much and so many fundamental questions is a way to keep me from engaging the things I apprehend.

Last night I read Annie Dillard’s “Living Like Weasels” again for the first time in a long while. It reminded me why I was so in love with literature and why I was convinced I would major in it. I realized that my bookshelves were where I acquired my sense of style and my deep appreciation for beauty; when one drinks deep the poetry of language, one seeks the poetry of life.

I miss my books, the companions of my soul. I must not forget to cultivate this part of who I am, lest I let dry, confused, so-called realism convince me of its myopia.



How dare I forget it?

There are so many books, philosophical political and artistic movements, so many brilliant people, so many stories to hear, so many adventures to have, so many gorgeous sunrises, so much delicious food to eat, so much love to feel. I, like every other stupid human, seldom forget these things. Next time I fall prey to the greyness that comes into our days and steals from our eyes its beauty and deep, unadultered worth, may I remember how to see again and appreciate everything that is around me.

It’s all there! It’s all ours!