Vasilios Theodorakis – An Online Author is a digital repository of all my written work (in text and podcast formats)…

May 27, 2011

Graphical User Interfaces

Filed under: General,Science And Technology — Vasilios Theodorakis @ 8:45 am

Dear Apple and Microsoft,

Please bring back GUIs – Graphical User Interfaces that make sense. Mac OS 7.1 or Mac OS 7.6 did just fine, even Windows 3.1 made some sense in regards to applications, files and folders. Our current (operating systems) OSs make no sense at all in relation to real world analogies. Its no wonder people get lost in the latest Mac OS X and Windows 7 menus. So many friends and relatives over the age of 75 have just given up in regards to digital technology, and those who haven’t, are constantly on the phone in need of OS support. ;)

Cheers – Vasilios Theodorakis – May 2011

September 14, 2010

Vocational Education?

Filed under: Arts,Culture And Society,Science And Technology — Vasilios Theodorakis @ 10:06 pm

It astounds me how our political leaders don’t understand that new ideas come out of endeavours that aren’t necessarily associated with well defined jobs. Do they really think that people like Einstein came up with the “Theory Of Relativity” through their job training? The theory came out of Einstein’s thought experiments!

The current paradigm, that goes back to the late 1980’s, believes all you need to do is get an education or be trained for a job i.e. Vocational Education. The notion of eduction for life and eduction for innovation went out the window years ago. Dreamers and visionaries no longer have a place in Australian society – then again, maybe they never did – and you can see this, when you compare the budgets for the Arts and Pure Sciences against the applied fields and economics. History, Philosophy, Literature, etc. are viewed as irrelevant because they don’t lead to a direct job. Pure Mathematics, Physics, Palaeontology, etc. aren’t valued because it’s thought they don’t accomplish anything economically. The irony is, that without people having studied in these fields and “mused” over “irrelevant” questions, insights and discoveries which have improved society and driven technology would never have happened.

Take for instance your little USB memory stick – this device came out of pure research in solid state physics. At the time of its discovery, i.e. many decades ago, solid state theory had no practical use for the idea, but if those researchers hadn’t been allowed to pursue their research for the sake of knowledge alone, you wouldn’t have your little storage device today!

This issue was recently covered in ABC’s Radio National – Big Ideas presentation titled: Weaving the Rainbow: The Poet and The Scientist Speak. The presentation included Les Murray and Barry Jones talking about where Education has gone wrong in Australia and how there is no vision for the future.

Unfortunately our nation’s politicians don’t seem to understand that one needs to pay more attention to the nation’s thinkers – i.e. our thinkers are the true visionaries, guides and seers into the future. Instead of taking on board what people like Jones and Murray have said over the years, the current PM has down graded education to such an extent, that we now don’t have a Ministry Of Education in the new parliament – just 3 smaller ministries preparing people for jobs! We are well and truly on the way to becoming the region’s Eurasian trash. All the country will be good for in the long run, is handing over resources and doing menial jobs that drive the immediate economy.

I therefore fear, thinking and dreaming will have to be done elsewhere – God help Australia’s creative young who spend all their time “musing” on things that are deemed irrelevant! Not only will they be unable to develop their ideas into robust theories but they’ll have no means of earning a living from their intellectual passion!

Copyright © Vasilios Theodorakis 2010

August 31, 2010

Contact From The Future

Filed under: Religion And Theology,Science And Technology — Vasilios Theodorakis @ 4:21 pm

None of us will ever hear from the future unless, we hand down the ideas (through story) and the ability (through invention) to reach back in time and speak to ourselves.

Those of us who choose to do nothing will in turn, never change the course of history, let alone communicate with it. Alternatively, those of us who do something – no matter how small – will increase their legacy exponentially across time. One’s investment in action (or thought) deposits the principle (genetic or memetic) in creation’s temporal bank account. i.e. Once deposited (in time) an action or idea can never be withdrawn and therefore accumulates like compound interest for the rest of the universe’s life. This means growth is guaranteed and “the filling of the void” really can and will take care of itself – that is – as long as we try.

In the end though, only God can track the total effect of us twirling in a field singing his praises or the flapping of a butterfly’s wings in the sun – not even the grandest A.I. computer will ever track all the variables involved or their cascading consequences on existence. So, until we reach God’s status of Omniscience we should console ourselves with the fact that everything does count and that the only way to move forward with life is to live it in such a way that guarantees “there is a tomorrow” – not one that guarantees there is no tomorrow!

N.B. The concept of Memes is one of the few things the atheist Richard Dawkins has come up with that’s useful to everyone. Ironically most of his material is about his “belief” in science not its “facts”. This being the case, its strange how he’s unable to see that while he bags other religions, his own approach to knowledge has turned science into a religion as well! The fact that Theists like me use his memetics material on a daily basis must really rub him up the wrong way. ;)

Copyright © Vasilios Theodorakis 2010

July 16, 2010

Window To The Visible World

Filed under: Culture And Society,Science And Technology — Vasilios Theodorakis @ 7:29 pm

As a child I used to dream of being able to look through my bedroom window and seeing what ever I could imagine appearing on the other side of the glass – a person, a scene, another world. As an adult, I can now ask my computing devises just about anything and up will pop a digital window which will display what ever I hoped to see. Not quite as romantic as what I imagined as a child but it does give me access to information, sounds, pictures and moving pictures almost instantly and all in the palm of my hand. The dream of the naive child has almost become the reality of the adult.

And to think, that as a child and adolescent, I would take a thousand questions to bed with me, each and every day. Questions that no one and nothing could answer and which are now resolved within a matter of seconds – minutes at most! For example: How old is the musician I just listened to? Where was that actor born? Is a company independent or owned by a multinational? How many bees in a beehive? What does a red gum look like? And does anyone know what happens after death?

I don’t know if this ability to see, hear or answer things instantly is a good or bad thing for our youth. I do know however, that I sleep easier now – not haunted by questions I haven’t been able to answer or by facts I haven’t been able to access. :)

Copyright © Vasilios Theodorakis 2010

May 7, 2010

Save The Planet?

Filed under: Culture And Society,Science And Technology — Vasilios Theodorakis @ 9:40 pm

It never ceases to amaze me as to how much noise people make regarding the environmental impact of humanity, yet, how little they’re prepared to modify their lifestyles.

For example, after thirty years of intensive research (carried out by agricultural departments in universities across the globe) there are now commonly available facts regarding meat and dairy production and the consumption of natural resources during meat and dairy production. It takes approximately 100000 litres of water to produce 1 kg of beef while it only takes 4000 litres of water to produce 1 kg of lentils – i.e. a saving of 96% of the earth’s resources. Despite the negligible differences in nutrition between beef and lentils, you wouldn’t know there was such an alternative and such a saving gained by simply switching to legumes. And why? Because people don’t want to know – it makes them uncomfortable to think where their food comes from and what impact it has on the planet. Most of us are just too lazy to make a change to our lifestyles. The fact that the meat industry is such a powerful lobby group and promotes its product so well, doesn’t help matters either.

So if you really want to make a change on your environmental impact, switching off your lights for one hour per year,  just isn’t going to cut it! To quote what we’ve printed on our VVOC T-Shirts  – “Want To Save The Planet?” – “Stop Eating Meat!” A simple mantra, that would have a dramatic impact on the environment if all humanity followed it!

Copyright © Vasilios Theodorakis 2010

May 5, 2009

Hope For The Planet…

Filed under: Science And Technology — Vasilios Theodorakis @ 6:00 pm

What I find hopeful is grass growing out of crevices on a concrete wall or weeds appearing through a crack in the pavement.

These defiant acts of nature remind us that life is waiting in the wings for humanity to stumble. And were we to trip and fall, the Earth’s ecosystem would take over and run things the way they should have been run in the first place.

It’s heartening to discover, that life will out last our destructive presence even if we don’t.

Cheers – Vasilios Theodorakis – May 2009

Copyright © Vasilios Theodorakis 1983-2016. All rights reserved.   Powered by WordPress