Toronto and Barcelona
The video of the experiment conducted by M Deghat, E Davis, and T See.
M Deghat, E Davis, T See, I Shames, B D O Anderson, C Yu, “Target Localization and Circumnavigation by a Non-holonomic Robot”, in the 2012 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS 2012), October 7-12, Vilamoura, Algarve, Portugal, 2012.
The code to regenerate our recent work, “Distributed MPC Via Dual Decomposition: Performance Guarantee”, can be found here (A video file for the simulations are included as well). It is done to make our research more accessible and to conform with the guidelines of reproducible research.
The codes here are fully commented and hopefully more understandable (Thank to Farhad Farokhi) than the codes that I have submitted earlier :-).
An example of misguided emotions and lack of rationalism among people who launch crusades against windmills. These actions do not help anyone. Neither the environment, nor the poor people suffering from famine benefit from it. We have been modifying wheat genetically for eons. The new modifications are the the next logical step. I will write more about this specific topic in future.
Something that has been gnawing at me for some time is the question of responsibility. Truth be told, it is driving me mad. Also, along with other factors that I might talk about later, is contributing to me not being able to sleep during the night. I am not talking about responsibility as in all those petty mundane tasks that the governments require me to do. For sure, it does not worry me to recycle, let’s say, my beer cans. I am thinking, at least would love to believe that I am thinking, about something grander, more noble, even more important I might add. The responsibility that I have as a person to make the world a better place is my main source of concern. Well, I see it in this way; first, thousands of dollars, a couple of millions probably, paid by at least 100 millions of people have been spent on me to get to where and to become who I am now. Second, I do not feel that anyone had to pay for my education and life. Third, I am not sure if I have done anything to return the favour. Of course, I have participated in projects and have been involved in teaching the next generations in some limited capacities, but I am not fully convinced if that really matters. Many people would say, well, it is what you have been trained for and just do what you are “supposed” to do. I am not saying that I am unhappy that I have done those things, or I think they were not important, or they were unnecessary. However, I am not persuaded that it is enough to just do what I am “supposed” to do. Actually, I want to argue that all these tasks are just a part of things that I, and anyone else who has enjoyed the same privileges, am supposed to do.
Just before I continue I have to make a disclaimer: I know that I probably sound like a whiny, annoying, and possibly frustrated individual. However, I think a bit of whining might do some good, at least as a starting point. I am going to outline a set of problems that I think exist and I will try to deal with them more scientifically and objectively in my future posts. I promise.
Let’s go back to the task of making the world a better place. A very important aspect of having a better world is having a better functioning society. With no backing my statement, I just claim that to be able to have a fully functional society, we will need to have an efficient government coupled with a thriving, inquisitive, and active society. In all of the OECD countries we have the former, but we lack the latter. The society have turned complacent. People are just happy to check their daily to-do list items, do their duties, deliver what they are supposed to, and are happy to leave the rest to their governments. Of course, every now and then, they complain a bit or cast a vote. But it simply is not enough. People, specially the educated ones, need to engage in an all inclusive debate with everyone else. For instance, in Europe there should be a debate going on reasons for the resurgence of archaic right wing ideas. There is none. The centre right parties discard them as outcasts, while adopting their ideas, and the liberals, with a massive ego, simply disregard them. As if they have no chance. Now I try to make my main point. I think liberals, or most of us, are doing things completely wrong here. We live in our ivory towers looking down at the commoners with hubris. We are failing to connect with them. We do not understand each other. The most dangerous of them all, we even fail to criticise ourselves. We hold some ideas as the corner stones of liberalism and no one dares to question them. Maybe, because we are afraid. Afraid of being labeled a right winger if we question ourselves. We are becoming and behaving like a tribe glued together with blind loyalty. We need to change that. Because of all these, for example, we fail to explain that the economic crisis was not really caused by immigrants in a way that everyone understands. Or, we fail to explain to the poorer classes of the society why higher corporate taxes are good for them. We just assume if we do not discuss ideas, albeit silly ones, they go away. Well, the problem is that it is not true. They do not, and we need to be more active in what we do and get more involved in the society. In the following posts I will try to criticise everything that I can think of. Some of them might be controversial or held holy by left wingers. But I will try to make a point against anything I can think is silly. I invite people to criticise all the silly things I say as well. And just to get things going, I think “organic farming is silly, inefficient, and actually harms the poor and the environment”.
Kalmar, Oland, and Linkoping.
Svenska Slott Tour – Easter of 2012
Some shots from Paris.
Some pictures taken in our recent road trip to the Blue Mountains. Pictures taken by Behzad Zamani and me.