Philosophies, Sciences, Formalisms, Language, Music and More

Philosophies, Science, Formalisms, Music, and More

From Brazilian music to foreign film reviews, this site is filled with diverse topics and ideas. I have translated the works of my favorite Brazilian artists, There is even a fiction I wrote some years ago: Carolina's Dream

There are plenty of English translations of my favorite artist: Jorge Ben Jor. Who is the son of a Brazilian father and Abyssinian mother, and also a world-famous guitarist and singer.

The works of some other Brazilian artists I've translated and posted include Seu Jorge, Chico Buarque, Vinicius De Moraes, Celso Fonseca, Luiz Melodia, Elis Regina, Djavan, Ed Motta and Simone. Brazilian music I believe is pointing the way to true artistic expression in the 21st century.

I adore mathematics and theoretical physics and there are several essays on these topics. Some are speculative, like for instance a rumination about eternal life using the idea of a convergent series found in elementary calculus.

Ethnically, I am a Somali-American by birth. I was born in New York City and matured in Jersey City, NJ.

Articles of General Interest

For students of group theory here is a short tutorial on finding the order of an element in a group

Order Of An Element in Group Theory Have you ever heard this fallacious saying: The enemy of my enemy is my friend In this article we look at why this is a fallacious adage. A Fallacious Adage I have begun to wonder about our devices with CNNs running on them becoming sentient. Here is my rumination on the topic. Are Our Devices Becoming Sentient? Released in 1998, Enemy Of The State is not anything I'd rave about, except that it oddly presages what Ed Snowden warned us of: government invasion of our privacy. Enemy Of The State NEW Repartir is a song by the Brazilian group 2 Reis (2 Kings) I adore this song and just had to give it an English translation. Repartir Repartir mp3 NEW Reversed Lettering and Graph TheoryReversed English Words Graph Theory and mapping the reversed letters of common English words has become a new interest to me. Read the short intro below and maybe you will be intrigued too. Reversed English Words And Graph Theory The comedian skeptic due Penn and Teller have released a documentary about how one man, Tim Jenison discovered how the 17th century Dutch realistic painter, Johannes Vermeer may have created his famous The Music Lesson. I review it and the metaphysical questions it poses in this article Tim's Vermeer The film Hidden Figures was a wonderful little piece of film. Not perfect, somewhat on the bombastic side, but a real ground-breaking work about a period in American history that has been overlooked. Hidden Figures Two films in 2015 I reviewed in this essay The Revenant and The Hateful Eight I thought Jeopardy was a commercial festival. Wait until you see what I found happens during American National Network. This short study focuses on CBS News, but it's the same for the other two networks.
Network National News: An Advertiser's Paradise I review the debate back in the 80s that the hard rock song Stairway To Heaven contained a satanic message in the form of reversed lyrics Reverse Lyrics in Stairway to Heaven Some words are becoming archaic in modern English. I look at 5 such words in the following essay. Dying English Words What's happening to the phrase you're welcome It seems to be disappearing as a salutary greeting. Too many Thank Yous This story written in diarist style is about an adulterous affair I had over 20 years ago. I've given fictional names to protect her even now, but the events are true. An example of how destructive, obsessive desire can be. An Affair

In this article we look at palindromic numbers that occur as a 12 hour clock proceeds through its cycles. There are 57 palindromic minutes in one cycle, but what if we start adding these palindromes together will new palindromes occur? This is what I'm studying now. There is a downloadable excel file contained within to help anyone interested in further analysis.

Palindromes on the 12-Hour Clock Palindromic Mappings

I've discovered some weird properties of palindromic number strings based on a 3-tuple seed of palindromic strings like ABCBA. Where those letters represent integers. See the Palindromic Number Mappings above for the article.

I am finding that reading paper material is becoming rare for me. Do notice this too? Are we becoming a read less society?

On Reading

Complexity theory is a part of mathematics and studies phenomena that are fascinating to mathematicians and others within the field of science. Douglas Hofstadter presented an equation in the subdivision of complexity theory called Strange Attractors in his book GEB, circa 1987 (look up that acronym for the full title). I've turned it into an Excel file with a graph that shows the odd behavior of this equation. Have a look, I'm sure you'll be intrigued. Download it and use the instructions I've embedded on the sheet to see how with one seed, the function tends toward a certain value

Strange Attractors Spreadsheet

Kid Abelha or Kid Bee is a Brazilian popular music group that makes what might be called soft rock. I like some of their songs though few have very profound lyrics. Here is one I enjoy and have translated.

Fixacao (Fixation translation)

Fixacao (Fixation, the song)

Another in my series on English Grammar. This time we look at the verb To Go and how it's misused in common speech

The Misuse of Verb To Go

Possession is a concept all of us know. The latest in my series of essays on Existentialism, we look at possession from an Existentialist perspective

What is Possession?

The Martian, I'm reviewing it and haven't even seen it yet. Find out why here

The Martian: My Pre-review

Have you ever wondered what is nothing? Just what does that word mean? Is there some strange way that Nothing exists? This is what the following article is about.

What is Nothing?

The song, Esfera (Sphere) is a mesmerizing look at loneliness and love from the point of Rosy Aragao. She is an English instructor in Brazil or so I am told. So, I just had to put this 7-minute song into English. The song hypnotizes me with reflection


How are chance and accident related? Have you ever thought about what chance is? Well, surely it's a random event. But have you ever wondered if when an accident occurs it too is a chance event? In the essay below I make the point that one is existential, and the other is contrived.

The Difference Between Chance and Accident

TV drug advertisements drive us crazy, right? Here is my take on this form of irritation.

TV Drug Commercials

It is true when you watch a football game you only see 11 minutes of actual gameplay Sorry, I didn't get this written during the 2015-2016 season. Have a look at my timed study.

Football Games And Commercials

Voting in America is a topic that has been a bone of contention with friends of my mine. I have never voted and never will. In this article, I explain why.

The Biggest Sham in America: Voting

What is the difference between Inductive and Deductive Logic? In this review of the fields, I compare the two and use a fictitious example to illustrate the difference.

Inductive Logical Method

It is a popular idea that all we do and make is limited and finite. We know we will die and our relatives too. But in this essay, I try to look at it from a different perspective. What if we can be infinite as a species?

Are We Finite?

Goedel Numbering is the basis for Kurt Goedel's famous Incompleteness Theorem. In this article, I explain it and explore its implications.

Goedel Numbering

O Rei Chegou Viva O Rei

The King Came Long Live The King

This song is Jorge Ben's tribute TO monarchy, I guess. It describes the kind of ruler you'd find in 18th Century Europe, but the chanting, melodic development, and driving beat takes you in when you listen, though the lyrics are shallow platitudes.

Onde Anda O Meu Amor

Where are you going, Darling

A song by Jorge Ben that keeps me remembering my affair with the woman I describe below. Early 1960's love ballad and Ben at his best!

The Coen Brothers have made so many good films. This one is called Burn After Reading. It's a comedy and boy what a good laugh it is. I of course relate it to mathematics.

Burn After Reading

Is Prayer Just Hope? Is it different from hoping? This is what this next article in the Existentialism series looks at

What is Prayer

Hector Hugh Munro was a 19th-century Burmese-born British writer with the pen name Saki. He wrote many spell-binding short stories. The Interlopers is the first I'll review. There are many more to come. Here is my take on a story of men in deadly conflict that find their biggest enemy is not themselves but well... something else.

The Interlopers

Another in my continuing series of articles about contrived human conceptions. This time we examine Beauty, the idea and the perception.

What Is Beauty

When we send messages over computer networks today, we are using encryption to protect what is within them. When we want to know that the source of messages received is authentically from the person we believe is sending them, again we use encryption. RSA is one method to this. It comes from cryptography mathematics which is part of set theory and here is simplified description of it.

RSA Algorithm

Intuitionism is a form of Logic that the Dutch mathematician Luitzen Brouwer helped to create. It is a direct repudiation of the older Truth-Functional system of Logic. Its implications are far-reaching as I examine in the article below

Intuitionism, Brouwer and GÓ§del

Television advertising is turning us into consumer machines. I look at Jeopardy, the quiz to see how it's just a device to make us buy things.

Jeopardy An Advertiser's Paradise

Do you like your given name?  What if we could choose our names at some point after we were born? Until then, what if we had a temporary name? I think this system could work in any culture. See why.

Self Naming Sampling Music Debate

Is music sampling plagiarism? I don't think so, see why.

The Black Cloud

A real science fiction novel that will have you entranced. Written in 1958 by the famous British cosmologist Sir Fred Hoyle, it's about alien visitation to Earth

Infinite Life

What if as we aged our real age from say 25 only grew by half-lives of that age in an infinite diminishing convergent series? One way to live forever for sure.


James Cameron's Avatar is not worth its ticket price.

Avatar: A 3-D rip-off

Does Perfection Exist?

A short article about the concept of Perfection

Here is the PDF of the same article Does Perfection Exist?
Turing Test and AI

Alan Turing

Does the Turing Test really measure if a computer is conscious? In this article, which I wrote over 10 years ago, the issue is thoroughly examined.

Is Web Piracy Out of Control?

Web Piracy is everywhere on the Net and I've made a brief study of it. Here are my results.

Jorge Ben Jor creates a searing hot narrative about the power of a Black slave woman in 18th century colonial Brazil: Xica Da Silva , the theme song to the movie of the same name.

Xica Da Silva

Ze do Caroco (Joe Pit) is a song about a man trapped in the "favela" or slums. It's poignant and makes you sway to the plaintive tone. She speaks of a new leader arising in the slums. Like a new paragon, or anointed hero.

I have read on some Internet pages what I consider an inaccurate English translation of this song. Some seem to have been done by transformer programs for sure. Well, here is mine: Ze do Caroco

She has an accompanying vocalist, I don't recognize, who takes the song to a new height.

Jorge Ben sings about a man who wants to be a star. Or better put a Superstar.

O Astro (Superstar)

One of Ben Jor's most melodic works. A Minha Teimosa uma Arma Pra Te Conquistar.My Plan To Win You Over

Celso Fonseca is a Brazilian artist with a Bossa Nova style and being a Carioca he knows it. The song in English means The Night is my Opium.

A Noite Meu Opio

Celso Fonseca

A Noite Meu Opio

A song by Jorge Vercilo, based on the Spider-Man comic book character.

Homem Arranha (Spider-Man, The Song)


Jorge Vercilo Inclination (Queda)

Another one by Fonseca. This time a song about adultery or the temptation to commit it. This is something I know about personally.

De Jesus de Praga

Jorge Ben Jor shows his Catholicism again with this song about the amazing boy Jesus in Prague. I like this song for his pure beauty of melody and style.

Ed Motta is to my mind the direction that Brazilian-American-Afro music should take. This guy has African-Americans down so pat, you can't help but love him

Fora da Lei (Outside the Law)

What Is Belief

An article about the philosophic idea of Belief. I explore the topic from the perspective of science and philosophy.

myself 1999

Um Homem Solitario

Skank is a rock group in Brazil that has made a song that speaks to my Existentialist philosophy. I love the sardonic tone of this song, even its American-influence rock thematic structure. Check out the translation.

Language and Infinity

Is language construction infinite? Can we form an infinite real world sentence? Steven Pinker, the author of The Language Instinct believes we can. I believe this idea is wrong, and explain why in this article.

Translation of Barbarella

A song from the cult classic Barbarella, starring Ann-Margaret in the late 70s, what Ben Jor does with is beyond description

Films, Music and Computationalism
L'Enfant (The Child) is a film by Belgian brothers Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne that will tear at your parental instincts.


The Wrong Man

A film by Alfred Hitchcock. Henry Fonda plays the mild-mannered musician who becomes the subject of a police investigation into a recent bank robbery.

Unique Infinity

Is there a unique infinity? This article looks at infinity from a different perspective.

Afro Blue A John Coltrane Classic

John Coltrane

A Review of John Searle's Chinese Room Argument

John Searle's Chinese Room Argument

The 4th Spatial Dimension

Is there a 4th spatial dimension? If so, are there living beings within it? This unfinished work looks at that question.

Order Of An Element Group Theory

PDF of Order Of an Element in Group Theory

Sub-Normal translation

A song by Luiz Melodia

Sao Liebowitz translation

Jorge Ben's song based on the book The Canticle of Saint Liebowitz, A chilling work about the aftermath of nuclear war.

Elements of filmmaking

Short review of how films are made.

Typical Dreams

Dreams are strange night stories we fashion for ourselves.

Justice in America is a strange mixture of theater and ritualized procedure.

Flawed Jurisprudence

Carolina's Dream

How we can voice our opinions on radio talks with the help of set theory. Radio Programs, Sets and the Individual

Two more English words that have been used in a context for which they were not intended. The English words High and Low

Pseudo Scientists

Scientists with a religious agenda

On the Day I Went Away-No Dia Que Eu Vim Embora

A poignant work, sung by the late beautiful Brazilian singer Elis Regina. She led a tragic life that parallels this song.

Tolstoy, Kafka, Life and Death, and English Idiom

In The Penal Colony is another of Kakfa's grotesque stories. A prison colony that enforces its will through a deadly mechanical instrument.

In The Penal Colony

Lies Cynicism and Suspicion

What do the words: Lies, Cynicism and Suspicion mean?

Matrix Revolutions has more action than a prizefight, the corniest dialogue you could ever imagine, and some more amateur metaphysics screenwriting.

Matrix Revolutions

Why do we fear dying so much? As we approach our mortality there is a disturbing state of mind that steadily possesses us. It was termed by one of my favorite philosophers, Jean-Paul Sartre, Being-toward-death.

Jean Paul Satre

Matters of Life and Death

Self-Deception is an idea that Jean-Paul Sartre examined. Aren't we deceiving ourselves all the time? Another in my series of articles about Existentialism.

Jean Paul Satre

Self-deception and Sartre

There is one phrase in English that has troubled me for some time now: the last thing.

A Phrase most irritating: The Last Thing

One of Russia's many great novelists is Leo Tolstoy. His Master and Man is a novelette that in 73 pages will keep you reading every word.

Leo Tolstoy

Master and Man

Franz Kafka was a brilliant Jewish writer who lived a very short life. Here is my take on two of his most famous works. I wonder why the The Castle has never been made into a movie?


The Trial and The Castle compared

Again Kafka befuddles and astounds us with this surreal story. Are we all before a law? Do we seek the Law?

Before the Law

Kafka at 40 years of age

Tolstoy's Anna Karenina and The Death of Ivan Ilych

The Death of Ivan Ilych and Anna Karenina

Set Theory, Physics, and Existentialism

Georg Cantor, a 19th century mathematician that first extended our knowledge of infinity to include supra-infinity or better put Transfinity

Numbers Larger Than Infinity?


Is C, the Speed of Light changing? Joao Magueijo a cosmologist and a self-centered, egotistic, physicist seems to think so. Here is my review of his book.

Faster than the speed of light

Review of the philosophic school of Existentialism

The Existential Concept

How does our physical experience relate to the concept of Existentialism?

Existentialism and our Bodies

In 1986 physicists, John Barrow and Frank Tipler, wrote The Anthropic Cosmological Principle , in which they claim to prove no alien life exists in the Galaxy, and I must dissent.

Alien Life in the Galaxy

Personal Tragedies

My mother died under tragic circumstances in 1997. I would like to remember and pay tribute to her here. First, an account of the event and its aftermath. The needless suffering, my family and I experienced as a result of the negligent incompetence of a few doctors is immeasurable. I would like the entire Internet community to know this, and rightfully beware. Second, I pay homage to her in poetry (see the poem entitled 'Is It Like' below). Most of all, in future additions to this site, I hope to give expression to the meaning of her long life for me. It is painful to remember those last weeks and commit them to words, but it is as necessary to do, as is my demise. Losing My Mother

Is It Like

A poem that alludes to her death and is a tribute to her.

In 1983, my father died at 84 years of age. Unlike my mother's demise, his was expected. Yet, it was no less painful for myself and my family. I wrote a short account of his last moments a few days after he died. It is written just as I witnessed the events. I am not as bitter about Dad's death, though he too was the victim of a callous physician who cared very little for his health and welfare. But, Dad's death was natural and could not have been avoided. Now, so many years late, I have learned to accept and even fondly remember the event, as evidence of his stoic Somali nature. My Father's Death

Film Reviews

The Vanishing is a Dutch-French film which might disturb you

The Vanishing

Tzameti 13 is a thriller directed by Gela Babluani

13 Tzameti

French director, Claude Chabrol's film L'Enfer is a tense study in madness


The last Star Wars installment had great special effects, didn't? Not much else, as we all expected

Star Wars: Attack of the Clones

Spanish director, Carlos Saura is famous for creating inventive films that challenge conventional notions of filmmaking, much as David Lynch has been.

El Jardin De Las Delicias

(The Garden of Delights)

For those interested in Saura's work, the film Cria is a good chance to see how he developed his filmmaking style

Cria Review

Spielberg's latest film is Catch Me If You Can . I liked it can you believe that? One set of thumbs up for the Berg.

Catch Me If You Can

David Lynch's new work, Mullholland Drive is in short: strange and incomprehensible by some estimates, but a typical Lynch film, to which I give a vote of yes.

Mullholland Drive Review

Tom Tykwer is a German director whose film Run Lola Run (German title is Lola Rennt) delivers a fresh, new directorial style.

Lola Rennt

Well Tom Tykwer strikes again. The Princess and the Warrior is one good flick, moviegoers!

The Princess and the Warrior

An obscure film entitled The Lightship, deserves a wider audience. Robert Duvall and Klaus Maria Brandauer give superb performances in this flick.

The Lightship

Matrix II is an improvement. I still can't believe anybody can take this film seriously on philosophic grounds.

Matrix Reloaded Review

Minority Report is proof positive that the Berg is declining. Will he ever give up the action blockbuster and return to serious cinema?

Minority Report

I gave this film a negative review back in 1999. Well, I didn't entirely torch it. It didn't have much cinematic or intellectual value, but it did have great special effects. Its biggest flaw was it took an area of human endeavor and trivialized it.

The Matrix: The AI Uneducation

AI Steven Spielberg's Artificial Intelligence epic is a failure.

The Movie AI

Est/Ouest is a film French director, Regis Wargnier. It's set in Stalinist Russia after WWII and is a look at what happens to people in love under a repressive government.

Est Ouest

The Listeners by Walter De La Mare

The Listeners the poem's verses

Walter De La Mare

Brazilian songs with Portuguese/English parallel translations

Milton Nascimento sings about youth and the city: Credo(Creed)

Milton Nascimento


Nascimento's song about the world as seen from a bedroom window.

Milton Nascimento

Paisagem Da Janela

Seu Jorge is best known for his role in Cidade de Deus as Knock-out Ned. His thick baritone voice is unmistakable and a real turn-on to women.

Translation of the Eternal Search

Chega no Suingue (Coming to Swing, English Translation)

Here is a new technique I've decided to use to bring Seu Jorge's music to English speaking listeners: a sound file in which a CNN (Convoluted Neural Network) AI reads the text of the song in Portuguese and English: In this case, we have the song Pessoal Particular. Pessoal Particular.

A song about how a man changes for love.

Here is the song itself

Pessoal Particular.

Finally here is my translation

Pessoal Particular, the translation

Jorge Ben Jor's song about of all things, Alchemy.

Translation of Os Alquimistas Estao Chegando

Jorge Vercilo is a young Brazilian singer with a velvet voice. Could he be the next Jorge Ben Jor? His Que Nem Mare is emblematic of his style and voice. My translation is not the best, but I stick by it.

For a much more eloquent translation in English see Algebra's at this site:Alternate translation of Que Nem Mare.

Translation of Que Nem Mare

To hear any of the songs I've translated here check out Nova Brasil. It's a great station for pure Brazilian music with no English songs or groups and that's a blessing considering how many Net stations from Brazil cater specifically to English-speaking listeners. This sycophancy to English culture sickens me.

Nova Brasil Brazilian radio station

Procissao (Procession) by Gil Gilberto is a song with a message undoubtedly. Gil tells us about the dupe that Roman Catholic Christianity foists upon its faithful

Minister of Culture for Brazil, Gilberto Gil in recent times


Gilberto Gil in youth

Jorge Ben in his 30's

A song by Ben Jor that ribs those false upper class Brazilians that come out at Carnaval. Check out that airy choral background! Lalari Olala

More Brazilian songs with Portuguese/English parallel translations

another love song by Ben Jor Princesa e o Plebeu (The Princess and the Peasant) Jorge Ben sings the song of every young man longing for a girl. Carnaval de Amor (Carnival of Love) Jorge Ben Sings about extraterrestrial visitation Errare Humanum Est (translation)
Chico Buarque's cool and sophisticated choral work about a time of repression in Brazil.

Living Wheel (The English translation)

Roda Viva (the mp3)

Jorge Ben Jor sings about St. George and his invincibility. This song as with many of his works, has been sung by several artists in Brazil.

Jorge de Capadocia

Jorge Ben sings about St. Thomas Aquinas

Assim Falou Santo Tomas de Aquino (English translation)

Another song by Chico Buarque

Chico Buarque in later years

Translation Pedro Pedreiro

A broken woman's lament sung by Simone

Cofre de Seda (Silk Cashbox)

Simone sings a song by Carlinhos Brown. Simone you make me wanna pray too!

Translation Garoa

Jorge Ben Jor sings of Rosa, his often cited sultry Brazilian temptress. A nightclub tune from the early 60's. The lyrics and melody are so strong it makes you want to jump and dance with the rose girl

Rosa Menina Rosa English Translation of Rosa Menina Rosa

Translation of Metamorfose Ambulante (Walking metamorphosis) from the film Cidade de Deus

Translation of Aviao by Djavan

And then there is Djavan. One of the so many black Brazilian artists I can't stop listening to. When Djavan sings of not playing the pawn anymore, you're in a nightclub somewhere along the coast of the Atlantic ocean hearing the lapping waves and warm humid night air beyond.

The Brazilian Music Continues

A samba dance from the 1960's by Jorge

O O O O Nena, Nena

Translation of Cebola Cortada (Cut Onion)

Translation of Na Rua Na Chuva Na Fazenda

Jorge Ben sings of a country girl's love for a city man

English translation of Jesualda

Construcao A song with an Existential theme written and sung by Chico Buarque

Visit the Heteronym Homepage link below for a discussion of a strange class of words that are pronounced differently, spelled the same, and have different meanings they are called heteronyms. The site contains a list of heteronyms and invites you to submit any you discover. Of course, they are all English heteronyms, though this kind of word formation occurs in other languages.

Heteronym homepage

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