陈京的博客

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  • 发表时间:

    Carbon: The backbone of life 


    Carbon is the smallest atom that has four bonds. It can connect with many other atoms to form large molecules. All life are constructed from carbon molecules. Carbon is the backbone of life. 


    Carbon is an unassuming atom.  Most of the time, it forms the interior backbone of the molecules. Other atoms, such as hydrogen, decorate the exterior of the molecules. It is owed to carbon that we humans exist in this world.


    Somehow in the last several decades, carbon becomes an unforgivable criminal in the mainstream society. What is its crime? The rising CO2 level is raising the temperature on the earth. Is warming a bad thing?


    More than a hundred years ago, Swedish scientist, Svante Arrhenius, conducted some early research on global warming. As a man lived in cold Sweden, he naturally thought warming brought by the increasing release of CO2 is a great thing.


    Today, people still prefer to live in warm places. Canada is larger than the United States. But its population is only about one tenth of its southern neighbor. Inside Canada, most people live along the southern border, where temperature is the highest.


    Is rising CO2 level that bad? CO2 is the main ingredient of plants. With higher CO2 level, plants grow better. Crop yields are higher. People are better fed. 


    Are warriors against global warming truly concerned about rising temperature? They live the most extravagant life. Their carbon emissions are much higher than the ordinary people. These people try to cover up their wasteful lifestyle by promoting various types of carbon offset schemes, which all turn out to generate additional carbon emissions. After been exposed, these carbon offset schemes fold up quietly in the end. 


    The warriors against global warming are the biggest consumers of resources. They themselves contribute most to global warming. Why they promote the cap on carbon consumption? 


    As a group, these biggest resource consumers are past their prime time. Their ability to control and consume resources are declining. Imagine a hunter. He has been killing a hundred bears every year for a long time and made a lot of money from that. But he has past his prime age. He find it increasingly difficult to hunt any more. Through scientific research, he finds hunting is bad. He wants to curb hunting.


    The best way to achieve anything is, not surprisingly, through market. He designs a cap and trade system on hunting. The cap on each person is based on the quantity of his past hunting. Those who hunt less in the future can sell their quota to others. Many people are too poor to buy a hunting rifle. If they make enough money to buy a rifle in the future, they need to buy hunting quota from those who had hunted a lot in the past. 


    In this way, those who had hunted a lot will remain wealthy forever; those who hunted little will remain poor forever. What a fantastic idea!



  • 发表时间:

    I am reading Prime Obsession: Bernhard Riemann and the Greatest Unsolved Problem in Mathematics. It is about Riemann hypothesis, a famous mathematical problem. I found the book quite interesting. I want to learn more about the author, Derbyshire. The following is a quote of him from Wikipedia.


    Derbyshire summed up his view of American society by saying that it is "slipping into totalitarianism: into a state of affairs where to hold certain opinions is to be excluded from normal society, to be unemployable.





    I read Riemann’s original paper. I now understand how the prime counting function F(x) is integrated into the equation (Page 5). But the rest of the technical details remain to be worked out.


  • 发表时间:

    Should adult children stay with their parents 


    More than two thousand years ago in ancient China, several states were at wars with each other. The period was called Warring States. Once a state Zhao was attacked by  Qing. Zhao asked help from another state Qi. But Qi demanded hostage from the queen's young son before it can dispatch its army. In the old time, a state often demand hostages from royal family members of another state before they can take action. Otherwise, they could be cheated in a big way. 


    But the queen loved her young son very much and refused to send him away as a hostage, despite her state  was under attack. Many ministers argued that the queen's young son should be sent. But the queen was adamant. At that time, an old and sick minister went to see the queen.


    The old man asked about the queen's daughter, who was married far far away. Although the queen missed her daughter very much, she didn’t want her daughter come back to see her. Instead, she wished her daughter to stay where she was, to have children and establish herself. As a princess, the daughter would have the easiest life if she was not married and stayed with her parents. But still the parents wanted the daughter to marry away and establish her own family. 


    Similarly, the queen's young son should establish himself by taking the responsibility at the time when his country is in emergency. Finally, the queen relented. Her son went to Qi as a hostage and Qi sent out army to rescue Zhao.


    The story tells us that all young people should leave the comfortable protection from their parents to establish themselves. Even the royal families are no exceptions.




  • 发表时间:

    Spring up and fall down 

    Early spring 
    It’s still cold 
    But south wind blows
    Bamboo shoots spring up

    Early fall 
    It’s still hot 
    But north wind blows 
    Leaves fall down


  • 发表时间:

    Press

    Whom do they press against 

    Whom do they impress on 

    Whom do they suppress 


    They press against the repressed

    They impress on the depressed 

    They suppress who wish to express 



  • 发表时间:

    Within and without 

    If you live 
    Within the walled city 
    You are 
    Within fairness and justice 

    If you live 
    Without the walled city 
    You are 
    Without power and status 
    And
    Without the wall
    That confines us from
    Wandering and wondering 


  • 发表时间:

    Credible and Incredible 


    It is nice to be credible. We pile up credits and accreditations. 


    But you don’t chase after all the credits and accreditations. Some people might say you are not credible. I would echo them and say you are incredible.


    You are incredible because you follow your own heart. It is nice to be credible. It is a wonder to be incredible.



  • 发表时间:

    A Candle in the Wind



    I am 

    A candle in the wind

    Shivering 

    In the darkness of the wild 


    You are 

    A traveler on the road 

    Stopping 

    To warm your heart awhile 


    You shield me 

    From the blowing of the wind

    You hold me 

    Tightly in your hand 


    And now 

    it’s time for you to go

    Waving 

    goodbye you hit the road


    My hot tears

    Drip to the ground 


    I am 

    A candle in the wind 

    Shivering 

    In the darkness of the wild



    ??



  • 发表时间:

    缺憾之美

    巜龙的传人》是很多人喜爱的一首歌曲。对祖国的感情如此深,作者一定很熟悉祖国的大好河山。但实际情况并非这样。

    虽不曾看见长江美 

    梦里常神游长江水

    虽不曾听过黄河壮

    澎湃汹涌在梦里

    写歌的人并没有见过长江和黄河。后来他回到大陆,却再也写不出好歌了。

    另一首广为流传的台湾歌曲是邓丽君演唱的《梅花》。

    梅花梅花满天下

    愈冷它愈开花

    梅花坚忍象征我们

    巍巍的大中华

    看啊遍地开了梅花

    有土地就有它

    冰雪风雨它都不怕

    它是我的国花

    她唱的是大中华,却只能呆在一个小岛上。邓丽君在大陆有数亿歌迷,却至死未能踏上大陆的土地。

    为什么台湾歌曲有这么大的吸引力?大概因为台湾是《亚细亚的孤儿》。

    亚细亚的孤儿在风中哭泣

    黄色的脸孔有红色的污泥

    黑色的眼珠有白色的恐惧

    西风在东方唱着悲伤的歌曲

    亚细亚的孤儿在风中哭泣

    没有人要和你玩平等的游戏