Happy Birthday George Boole

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It was Claude Shannon, a masters student in MIT, who recognised that Boolean Algebra could construct any logical numerical relationship in electrical circuit design.  Up to that point Boole was considered an interesting but irrelevant mathematician.  Claude Shannon learned about him in a philosophy class!  Shannon was concerned with telephony switch design, and then during WW2 with encryption.

After the war Boolean algebra became a fundamental building block in the design of digital computers (yes folks, there used to be mechanical ones).

George Boole, born November 2nd, in Lincoln, England in 1815 was a self-taught mathematician.  He became a teacher from the age of 16, supporting his family when his father, a cobbler, could not secure work.  He founded and ran a number of schools.  He learned calculus and algebra from textbooks loaned to him by well-wishing patrons who recognised his ability.

Boole achieved recognition in his own lifetime when he was offered the first chair in Mathematics at Queens College Cork, now University College Cork.  He is so highly regarded there you would think he was a Corkonian.

Boole’s legacy surrounds us everywhere, in the computers, information storage and retrieval, electronic circuits and controls that support life, learning and communications in the 21st century. His pivotal advances in mathematics, logic and probability provided the essential groundwork for modern mathematics, microelectronic engineering and computer science.”

—University College Cork

And now a fun fact. The grandson of George Boole, Sebastian Hinton, invented the Jungle Gym, or as we call them in Ireland; Monkey Bars.

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Sharpen the saw

Charlemont

Every now and then I need to remember what I am doing on this blog.  Refocus on the original purpose to remind myself what I am doing.  This blog is the journey of my mind.  MY MIND.  It is a selfish journey because it is all about me.  I am the Master of this Ship, I am Captain and Mate, Coxswain and Boatswain, AB, OS, Steward and Galley Boy.

You are here as my guests.  Nothing more than supercargo.  Sit back, relax, enjoy the view, complain if you wish.

This blog is not a quest for followers.  If you enjoy what I do that’s nice but changes nothing.  If you hate my blog I don’t care a whit.  If you thrive by expressing your hate of blogs you will gain no satisfaction here.

I have sailed this ship for almost three years.  I can go back in time and read the log and re-engage with the me of that time.  That is a very productive process on a personal and spiritual level.  I enjoy those meetings with myself.  My only regret is that I did not begin this process earlier.

My blog is an emotional snapshot.  I do my best to capture my emotional state at the time of writing the blog.  This is the primary purpose of the poems, and sometimes of the images.  For me it works.  Returning to past posts I don’t just remember the emotions, I feel them.

This week was my last in the Charlemont Place offices of Hostelworld.  The office is now closed and when I return next week it will be to Leopardstown.  For the coming week I will work remotely from home.

Yesterday Gavin returned to secondary school, kicking off third year in Rockwell.  He got the usual round of teachers speeches.  You know the ones.  “Summer is over – This is when it gets serious – Sorting the men from the boys – Time to grow up and take responsibility – yadda, yadda, yadda“.  We had a good laugh about it in the car on the way home.

Thursday I brought Jerry to UCC to check into his student dorm.  My office move pales in comparison to that journey.  It reminds me of a scene from the movie “The Sundowners”.  Sean is the son of the protagonists played by Robert Mitchum and Deborah Kerr.  He is becoming a man and decides to leave the family wagon and sleep with the men in the bunkhouse of the sheep station.  Peter Ustinov, who plays the part of mentor and sage, notes that it is the greatest journey the young man will ever make.

Sean:  This is the first time I was ever away from home.

Station Hand:  With your mom and dad not 50 yards outside that window. You call that being away from home?

Venneker (Ustinov):  Being out in the world’s a state of mind, not of geography.  Distance between that tent
and this bunkhouse……is the longest journey you’ll ever make in your life.

Thursday also saw Louise head to Dublin for research training.  It is her first real foray back into the workplace since the birth of Gavin.  The highways of possibilities emerging from this step are broad and exciting.

Finally Esha will return to UCT next week and begin fifth year.  She is now on the final push to the leaving cert having completed a truly excellent transition year.

The final week of August 2015 is a ripened gourd, turgid with possibilities, tumescent and feracious.

There is no frigate like a book; by Emily Dickinson

There is no Frigate like a Book
To take us Lands away,
Nor any Coursers like a Page
Of prancing Poetry –
This Traverse may the poorest take
Without oppress of Toll –
How frugal is the Chariot
That bears a Human soul.

Book Frigate