"As The Mind Gets Learnded" or "There's No Minute Like The Last Minute"

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Location: Phoenix: The Jewel Of Sand, Arizona, United States

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Monsieur Georges Louis Leclerc comte Buffon,

I am a young naturalist in search of a mentor. After careful examination, I have chosen to allow you the opportunity of training me.

Your ambitious approach to Natural History in observing internal morphology, breeding habits, distinctive characteristics, and varieties is the only method that will yield true knowledge.

Linneaus, with his utter reliance on external morphology, is in a fool's paradise. I would expect him next to attempt to divide all of creation into 2 types: that which moves when prodded with a stick, and that which does not.

Your system, based as it is on the fine strokes of the Creator's brush, is the only one I will consider.


Guillermo Lopez

PS. I like your hair.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

My Relationship With Science (Thus Far)

My experiences with science began when I was very young. I began to notice that whenever I would fall down, I would experience a certain sensation. I did not know what this sensation was, but I felt an intense desire to never experience it again, much like certain musical productions. I would later learn that in English this sensation was called “pain” and the musical in question was called “Cats.”

Falling was not an uncommon occurrence. I noticed that the pain I associated with a fall was not always constant. There were times when I would wish for it to never happen again more than others. This would change depending on what kind of surface I fell upon. Falling on a gravel path would yield a grating, stinging pain, falling on a concrete sidewalk would provoke a heavy, numbing pain, and falling onto a bed would cause almost no pain at all unless one of my brothers was already asleep in it. I had struggled to put this into the words I was still learning. I eventually concluded that some things were not other things but that they were all interacting somehow. Sadly, before I could get much farther I was snatched up by my parents, taken to a building with stained glass and vaulted ceilings and dunked into cold water while a man in a dress prayed over me.

I had already considered myself pretty confused and once I began attending Catholic religious services my situation only worsened. Or so I thought. The silver lining to the ominous, sinful cloud was that Catholicism was quite progressive in scientific thought compared to many other religions. Despite its strict dogmas, there were surprisingly few outright refutations of the methodological processes that governed natural systems. When flagrant violations of natural laws did occur, they were labeled as miracles and not to be included in the study of a discipline such as physics that might argue against the possibility of a man walking on water. The Law of the Conservation of Matter must also be brushed into the corner for a bit when imagining feeding four hundred people with only two fish and five loaves of bread.
Despite the occasional miracle, science was not the enemy of the Catholic Church. My philosophical inquiries would receive quite a bit of flak, but my interest in causality and a system that allowed human beings to have actual knowledge (however infinitesimal and faulty when compared with the Lord Our God,) was not stifled outright. I like to imagine that I was a strong-willed child, really very much like a little mule in a Lacoste polo shirt. Growing up in an environment where I was free to explore science and faith was an excellent place to be from either standpoint.

Today, as a student and as a citizen of the United States, I use the scientific method to guide my understanding of the world. The information I receive that does not come directly from my own observation must be testable. I do not completely disregard the possibility of untestable information being true, but I believe my time in this state of consciousness to be limited and I do not wish to spend the brunt of it chasing after knowledge I can, by definition, never achieve whilst I am alive. If I am limited in the understanding of the world by my own brain, so be it. I gotta do what I can with what I got.
I believe that by adopting this thought process I contribute and protect the democratic system we have adopted. Scientific innovation is increasing exponentially as new discoveries lead to new technologies which make even more discovery possible. With the world virtually connected through the internet, the potential now exists for the greatest minds to share and critically examine existing information. The trend seems to be that the world is becoming more connected and more interdependent. Or rather, the human race is beginning to realize how interdependent we have been all along. How does this flood of new technologies affect the democracy of the United States? If it becomes the case that stem cell research is advanced to the point where it actually becomes therapy (which is considerably farther off than is often publicized) people could have access to treatments of diseases ranging from heart disease to spinal injuries to rebuilding the neural pathways of the brain itself. That is, people that can afford these therapies. One of the dearest tenets of this country is that “all men are created equal.” If scientific advances determine that this is no longer the case as certain groups of people become healthier than others, smarter than others, perhaps even reaching the point where they are so biologically different that they can no longer reproduce with other people. How could a democracy function? I’m not certain myself, but I am determined to educate myself in preparation for the problems of the future and I will be arrogant enough to assume that they can be overcome with the application of testable knowledge.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Personi Famosi

Una persona famosa che io ammiro enormemente e’ Conan O’Brien. Lui e’ uno degli personi piu’ inteligente nella televsione e il mondo e’ molto fortunate chi fare la commedia.
Conan O’ Brien si e’ laureate dell’ Universita di Harvard con il migliori della sua clase. Durante quella tempo, aveva scritto, mah, sempre ha scritto. Ha scritto per alcuni della mia spettacoli favorite come Gli Simpsons e Sabato Notte Vivo. Io lo ammiro perche e’ inteligente, comico, e sa come lovarare duro. Anche, sembra che lui e’ sinceramente bene.
Una persona chie e’ uno degli persone piu’ famoso in tutto il mundo che mi dispiace e’ Presidente George W. Bush. E’ posibile che e’ un po’ personale per me perche Io sono stato nella esercito e il mio fratello ha combattato nella Guerra con Iraq. Tutto della mia famiglia eravamo molto precoccupati per lui per molto tempo. Era’ naturale per noi essere arrabbiato al humo chi ha mandato il mio fratello nell pericolo. Sebbene admiro Presidente Bush per avere chi fede forti, credo che Presidente Bush, alla fine, avra guidato l’Estati Uniti a molto male e piu’ peggiore, vergogna.

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Student Resources

Guillermo Lopez
July 12, 2004
English 102

South Mountain is one of the smaller community colleges in Maricopa County. The school uses this small stature to full advantage when providing students with resources that will assist them in succeeding in school and in their outside lives. While larger universities become bogged down by administrative bureaucracy and large distances between facilities, South Mountain remains nimble and user-friendly. The majority of the school's facilities are within fifty yards of each other. Tony Bracamante proudly refers to it as a "one-stop shop." Two student resources that I will be taking full advantage of are the college library and counseling services.

The library is a literary Mecca and a haven for publications. DVD's, videos, and audio recordings also find sanctuary there. The library also boasts a garrison of databases. Some, such as InfoTrack and EBSCO Host, are only available elsewhere by subscription and are extensive and current. While these resources are formidable, undoubtedly the greatest assets to a bewildered collegiate are the professional librarians that patrol the vast corridors of information. One of the librarians proudly stated that their motto is "Students come first." Any and all opportunities to assist anyone with a thirst for knowledge will not be denied, even if the librarian has several other duties to fill. Except of course, in the case of small fires or if the student is particularly rude in going about it.

Much like the library, Academic Advisement is a resource that is always tapped into, but seldom exploited to full potential. The advisement offices can help a student answer the toughest questions facing students of all levels. How? What? Where? Once students decide to further themselves by pursuing higher learning, advisement will be able to answer questions about career and academic goals. Once an objective is in the cross-hairs, a trained advisor can help chart the ideal path. One of the most advantageous aspects of an advisor is that they are able to provide constant service. When other options become available for a student, when they are questioning the path they are on, or even considering abandoning South Mountain for an educational venue they believe will be superior, an advisor will still be there to plot the course through the murky waters of professional uncertainty and help you circumnavigate the iceberg of un-transferable credits.

In conclusion, South Mountain provides many invaluable resources that students should be scrambling over each other to take advantage of. Academic Advisement provides the will and the campus library provides the way. In a campus brimming with assistance and the means to accommodate each student, a person would have to work so hard to fail it almost does not seem worth it.