Archive for the ‘General’ Category

Queen and bishop

Monday, February 11th, 2019

Meilleurs vœux 2019

Monday, December 31st, 2018

Bookends of Fowey, Cornwall

La Ronde autour du monde

Saturday, December 29th, 2018

Si toutes les filles du monde voulaient s’ donner la main
Tout autour de la mer, elles pourraient faire une ronde
Si tous les gars du monde voulaient bien êtr’ marins
Ils f’raient avec leurs barques un joli pont sur l’onde
Alors on pourrait faire une ronde autour du monde
Si tous les gars du monde voulaient s’ donner la main

Si tous les gars du monde
Décidaient d’être copains
Et partageaient un beau matin
Leurs espoirs et leurs chagrins
Si tous les gars du monde
Devenaient de bons copains
Et marchaient la main dans la main
Le bonheur serait pour demain

Ne parle pas de différence
Ne dites pas qu’il est trop blond
Ou qu’il est noir comme du charbon
Ni même qu’il n’est pas né en France
Aimez-les n’importe comment
Même si leur gueule doit vous surprendre
L’amour c’est comme au régiment
Il n’faut pas chercher à comprendre

J’ai mes ennuis et vous les vôtres
Mais moi je compte sur les gars
Les copains qu’on ne connaît pas
Peuvent nous consoler des autres
Le bonheur c’est une habitude
Avec deux cent millions d’amis
On ne craint pas la solitude…

Paul FORT, Ballades françaises, 1913

Anonymous for fifteen minutes

Friday, December 28th, 2018

Manchester Morning Graffiti

Paris jaune épisode 2

Tuesday, December 4th, 2018

Photo Mathias Zwick, dessin Valott.

Grand Palais by the Sea

Sunday, October 7th, 2018

Chanel, Paris Fashion Week

Early Detection of Breast Cancer by Mammography Screening

Sunday, September 30th, 2018

Isn’t it high time this kind of program is stopped?

Source Harding Center for Health Literacy

Cake à la farine de châtaigne corse de Pauline

Monday, September 24th, 2018

Recette pour 2 cakes… parce que Christophe Lamarre ne fait pas les choses à moitié ;-) . Si vous n’avez qu’un moule à cake, profitez-en pour diviser les ingrédients par deux. Si vous n’avez qu’un moule à gaufres, un ectoplasme ou un bachibouzouk, divisez par plus.

Ingrédients :

  • farine 250 g
  • pincée de sel
  • huile de colza 1/2 verre
  • crème fraîche épaisse 2 CàSoupe
  • levure chimique 1 paquet
  • œufs 5 ou 6 selon taille
  • lait 1/2 verre environ (alors là c’est le tour de main, car selon la farine, il va falloir rajouter un peu de lait pour obtenir la consistance d’une pâte à gâteau telle qu’on a l’habitude de la "touiller" (ceux qui en font comprennent, et pour les autres faites vous aider, ou (re)faites un gâteau au yaourt avant, ça vous rappellera la maternelle :-) )
  • vanille/sucre vanillé, mais alors là, c’est facultatif, et je vous conseille d’essayer aussi sans, pour conserver 100% du goût subtil de cette farine, pareil pour le rhum, la grappa ou autres).

Méthode :

Tamisez la farine, mélanger tout, sauf les blancs d’œufs et le lait, puis attendez qqs minutes que la farine s’hydrate, puis ajouter le lait jusqu’à consistance parfaite. Enfin, battez les blancs en neige ferme et ajoutez les en 2 fois, un petit quart en premier et le reste ensuite (c’est un truc de pro ;-) )

Cuisson chaleur tournante, enfourner à 180 15mn puis baisser à 150, piquer avec un couteau comme d’hab.

À manger avec le café sans sucre, c’est le mieux.

C’est la recette de Pauline, figure emblématique du village de 96 ans, une de mes copines :-) (elle prépare encore des repas monstrueux pour des tablées, et faut pas qu’on l’aide..)



Monday, September 10th, 2018

Blue Iceberg

Monday, July 30th, 2018

Cherry Alexander (UK) 1995:
This magnificent blue iceberg was shot from a ship off the South Sandwich Islands in Antarctica. It’s a cathedral of ancient ice, with a little group of Adélie penguins and a prion perfectly positioned overhead. To catch the moment and frame it perfectly reveals skill, in this case, of a photographer in love with ice.

From 50 Years of Wildlife Photographer of the Year


Sunday, July 15th, 2018

This is the Volvo Ocean Race 2017-18

Friday, July 13th, 2018

Things that happen in Silicon Valley and also the Soviet Union

Tuesday, July 10th, 2018

Great Twitter thread by Anton Troynikov (@atroyn)

Things that happen in Silicon Valley and also the Soviet Union:

  • waiting years to receive a car you ordered, to find that it’s of poor workmanship and quality
  • promises of colonizing the solar system while you toil in drudgery day in, day out
  • living five adults to a two room apartment
  • being told you are constructing utopia while the system crumbles around you
  • ‘totally not illegal taxi’ taxis by private citizens moonlighting to make ends meet
  • everything slaved to the needs of the military-industrial complex
  • mandatory workplace political education
  • productivity largely falsified to satisfy appearance of sponsoring elites
  • deviation from mainstream narrative carries heavy social and political consequences
  • networked computers exist but they’re really bad
  • Henry Kissinger visits sometimes for some reason
  • elite power struggles result in massive collateral damage, sometimes purges
  • failures are bizarrely upheld as triumphs
  • otherwise extremely intelligent people just turning the crank because it’s the only way to get ahead
  • the plight of the working class is discussed mainly by people who do no work
  • the United States as a whole is depicted as evil by default
  • the currency most people are talking about is fake and worthless
  • the economy is centrally planned, using opaque algorithms not fully understood by their users


Friday, July 6th, 2018

Les Grands boulevards après la victoire en quart de finale face à l’Uruguay. Deux superbes photos de Dan Lawler (@DanielLawler) :

Welcome to America

Thursday, June 21st, 2018

Planet or Plastic?

Thursday, May 17th, 2018

Pink Floyd Album

Tuesday, April 24th, 2018

Which Pink Floyd album is this?

Updated 25/04

There are some clues if could be part of Games for May concert which encore was "Lucifer Sam".


Thursday, April 12th, 2018

General Characteristics of Complex Systems

Monday, March 12th, 2018

In an article from march 2000 titled What can we learn from a theory of complexity?, Paul Cilliers enumerates the general characteristics of complex systems:

  1. Complex systems consist of a large number of elements that in themselves can be simple.
  2. The elements interact dynamically by exchanging energy or information. These interactions are rich. Even if specific elements only interact with a few others, the effects of these interactions are propagated throughout the system. The interactions are nonlinear.
  3. There are many direct and indirect feedback loops.
  4. Complex systems are open systems—they exchange energy or information with their environment—and operate at conditions far from equilibrium.
  5. Complex systems have memory, not located at a specific place, but distributed throughout the system. Any complex system thus has a history, and the history is of cardinal importance to the behavior of the system.
  6. The behavior of the system is determined by the nature of the interactions, not by what is contained within the components. Since the interactions are rich, dynamic, fed back, and, above all, nonlinear, the behavior of the system as a whole cannot be predicted from an inspection of its components. The notion of "emergence" is used to describe this aspect. The presence of emergent properties does not provide an argument against causality, only against deterministic forms of prediction.
  7. Complex systems are adaptive. They can (re)organize their internal structure without the intervention of an external agent.

Then he applies these characteristics to social organizations after stating that Complexity theory has important implications for the general framework we use to understand complex organizations, but within that (new) framework we must still be clear, as well as decisive.

  1. Since the nature of a complex organization is determined by the interaction between its members, relationships are fundamental. This does not mean that everybody must be nice to each other; on the contrary. For example, for self-organization to take place, some form of competition is a requirement (Cilliers, 1998: 94-5). The point is merely that things happen during interaction, not in isolation.
  2. Complex organizations are open systems. This means that a great deal of energy and information flows through them, and that a stable state is not desirable. More importantly, it means that the boundaries of the organization are not clearly defined. Statements of "mission" and "vision" are often attempts to define the borders, and may work to the detriment of the organization if taken too literally. A vital organization interacts with the environment and other organizations. This may (or may not) lead to big changes in the way the organization understands itself. In short, no organization can be understood independently of its context.
  3. Along with the context, the history of an organization co-determines its nature. Two similar-looking organizations with different histories are not the same. Such histories do not consist of the recounting of a number of specific, significant events. The history of an organization is contained in all the individual little interactions that take place all the time, distributed throughout the system.
  4. Unpredictable and novel characteristics may emerge from an organization. These may or may not be desirable, but they are not by definition an indication of malfunctioning. For example, a totally unexpected loss of interest in a well-established product may emerge. Management may not understand what caused it, but it should not be surprising that such things are possible. Novel features can, on the other hand, be extremely beneficial. They should not be suppressed because they were not anticipated.
  5. Because of the nonlinearity of the interactions, small causes can have large effects. The reverse is, of course, also true. The point is that the magnitude of the outcome is not only determined by the size of the cause, but also by the context and by the history of the system. This is another way of saying that we should be prepared for the unexpected. It also implies that we have to be very careful. Something we may think to be insignificant (a casual remark, a joke, a tone of voice) may change everything. Conversely, the grand five-year plan, the result of huge effort, may retrospectively turn out to be meaningless. This is not an argument against proper planning; we have to plan. The point is just that we cannot predict the outcome of a certain cause with absolute clarity.
  6. We know that organizations can self-organize, but it appears that complex systems also organize themselves toward a critical state. This not only means that at any given point we can expect the system to respond to external events on all possible scales of magnitude, but also that the system will organize itself to be maximally sensitive to events that are critical to the system’s survival. Think of language as a complex system. If there is a desperate need for new terms to describe important events, the system will organize itself to be critically sensitive to those terms specifically, and not necessarily to other novel terms. The "need" is determined by the context and the history of the system, not by a specific "decision" by some component of the system. Similarly, an organization will self-organize to be critically sensitive to specific issues in the environment that may affect its wellbeing. The implications of self-organized criticality for organizational systems seems to be a subject that demands further investigation.
  7. Complex organizations cannot thrive when there is too much central control. This certainly does not imply that there should be no control, but rather that control should be distributed throughout the system. One should not go overboard with the notions of self-organization and distributed control. This can be an excuse not to accept the responsibility for decisions when firm decisions are demanded by the context. A good example here is the fact that managers are often keen to "distribute" the responsibility when there are unpopular decisions to be made—like retrenchments—but keen to centralize decisions when they are popular.
  8. Complex organizations work best with shallow structures. This does not mean that they should have no structure. This point requires a little elaboration. Complexity and chaos—whether in the technical or the colloquial sense—have little to do with each other. A complex system is not chaotic, it has a rich structure. One would certainly not describe the brain or language, prime examples of complex systems, as "chaotic." I certainly would not put my trust in a chaotic organization. A complex system does have structure, but not a strictly hierarchical structure; perhaps not even a shallow structure. Structure can be shallow, but still extremely hierarchical. Perhaps the best way to think of this would be to say that there should be structure on all scales, and much interaction between different structural components. This is another aspect of complex organizations that could be fleshed out with insights from self-organized criticality.

Trois conseils pour réussir

Sunday, February 18th, 2018

En septembre 2013, la cérémonie de remise de diplômes de l’ENSTA Bretagne coïncidait avec les adieux du directeur de l’école. Ni les fiers parents, dont j’étais, ni les bientôt diplômés n’attendaient grand chose de son discours… et pourtant j’en ai un souvenir marquant, principalement pour les trois conseils en forme de passage de témoin qui en constituaient à la fois la touche finale et le signal d’entrée dans la vie active pour une promotion d’ingénieurs.

Son premier conseil était de ne pas calculer, de ne pas établir un plan de carrière mais, au contraire, de s’orienter vers les domaines d’intérêt véritable.
L’argument étant qu’on est naturellement bien meilleur et mieux capable de progresser quand on fait ce qu’on aime.

Son deuxième conseil traitait de l’ouverture à l’autre, partant du constat qu’un ingénieur moderne travaillera une grande partie de sa vie (physiquement ou à distance) en environnement multi-culturel.

Le troisème conseil se résumait en un mot  "Osez". Osez prendre des risques, osez innover. C’est précisément ce qu’on attend d’un ingénieur, donc la meilleure façon de réussir.

Ces trois points me sont revenus en mémoire en lisant, dans un article du magazine du Monde, les trois conseils que Cédric Villani donne aux jeunes qui l’interrogent le sujet : Un, ne vous mettez pas dans une case. Deux, soyez toujours en mouvement et bougez dès que vous connaissez bien un sujet. Trois, laissez une part importante de hasard dans votre carrière.

Et vous, quels seraient vos trois conseils ?