Notes on Resource Convertibility

  • See Resource Convertibility by Tobias Fritz
  • Tiny point but isn’t the whole point of the inequality
  • $latex \text{timber} + \text{nails} \geq  \text{table}
  • missed by “given timber and nails, we can make a table?”  You need “given enough timber and nails, we can make a table.”  Otherwise our words do not stress the constraints on resource allocation.
    • An thus, for example: a cup of sand > Intel i7 CPU
  • Wow. I was reading this backwards “I like to write it as an inequality like this, which I think of as stating that having timber and nails is at least as good as having a table, because the timber and nails can always be turned into a table whenever one needs a table.” 
    • Pending further reading: I do not like this.  Timber and nails is not better than a table without additional information: skill, hammer, time, workshop, plans, purpose for the end product, …
  • This thought is sort of addressed later, but I am still not comfortable with applying this abstraction to real world problems without clarifying the meaning of the ordering: does x \gt y mean
    • “x is sufficient for y”
    • “x is necessary for y”
    • something else
  • In his example, neither is true: you need more than just wood and nails to build a table and you could build a table with a sheet of steel and a welder.
  • Fascinating:
    1. John Baez is active in yet another application of category theory
    2. Azimuth

V01: Dad’s Scarf

It is odd what one has left after a life has ended.

My father was a somewhat important person in his time, a distinction that has faded to an oil portrait on the wall of a building he never saw under a director who is the successor to the director who succeeded him.

After he died — some time after he died, actually — I happened upon a grey scarf on the shelf above the coats in our front hall closet.  The fact that it was his scarf came to me instantly when I detected the odor of talcum powder that pervaded it, sparking a memory whose nature and origins a could not bring to consciousness.  In fact, I have no conscious memory that associated the smell of talc with him.

But there it was, his scarf and the last possible olfactory reminder of him, hanging in my hand.  For some reason, since this sort of nostalgia is not something that I think that I do, I took a lung full of this smell, got a rush of some ineffable memory, and put the scarf back where I had found it.

From then on I would occasionally happen across the scarf and repeat the strange ritual.

The smell gradually faded and, one day, the scarf was not there.  I do not recall throwing it out, although I may have, and I do not recall asking my wife if she had gotten rid of it.  I guess that I was content to let that last shred of physical evidence of him fade into non-existence as the fitting and proper order of things.

And, for some reason, I think that my father would agree with this.


It has long been my intention to write something and I focused some time ago on the idea of using little episodes from my past as kernels for this writing.  The intent is to paint a picture of the moment, not necessarily to accurately recall and report what actually happened.

It is also an opportunity to study the use of words…

I guess I will label these: Vxx: <title> in the subsequent posts.