Even though Lil’ Wayne has been a thing for half a decade, I only just now listened to a song of his: Hustler Musik. I like it.

I think this video is juxtaposing different people’s work lives—unemployed responsible guy, cop, drug dealer, stripper.

And check this out at 3:09, 3:17, 3:30 and 3:54 — one of the strippers is reading Tensor Calculus by Synge & Schild.

Also a quantum chemistry book (can’t make out the author).

  • From the main girl’s facial expression at 3:54, I think it isn’t her book. But then again, she  counts her money on it which suggests it is hers.
  • Is the reader currently enrolled in a degree programme? 
  • Both books look in excellent condition — a little too unbent for her to be very far through them. (the softback cover would lift up more if she had made it to chapter 3)
  • How much down-time do you have between dances? I would think there’s some other “duty” or else they would send you home. Maybe working the crowd to sell private dances or trying to get guys to buy drinks.
  • Then again, these dense books are easy to fill up on quickly. When I was working as an artists’ model I would read a bit of maths before I started posing, that way I would have plenty to think about while I stood/sat there.
  • Even though it is a stereotype for a sex worker to say “I’m doing this to put myself through university” — because of the common belief that university is good and valid, much more so than just reading about quantum chemistry because you’re inherently interested in the universe — I don’t think it’s at all unrealistic to show a beautiful woman being into scientific / mathematical erudition. I hate the “attractive people are stupid” stereotype even more than I hate the “nerds rule the world” stereotype. And I actually know a girl who used to dance and at the time had attained an even higher level of mathematical erudition than this girl.
  • A young, attractive girl is much more likely to be able to make good money dancing than by knowing about quantum chemistry. Dancing is also a pick-up job in a way that, for example, working at Fermilab is not. I expect life is freer when you’re doing something like that. Also you don’t have to dance 40-60 hours/week, which leaves plenty of time for intellectual pursuits. I am never surprised to learn that someone with a lot of mathematical erudition is working in a job completely lacking university pre-requisites.
  • I actually have a copy of Synge & Schild — it was recommended supplementary reading in differential geometry class. The writing is good, but for pleasure reading I prefer the diagrams of Solid Shape—a book I’ve extolled in these pages before.
 

WTF is a tensor? I have a much longer post about the topic in my Drafts folder (along with 1150 others), but here’s a quickie preview:

  1. A matrix has two subscripts (row & column); a tensor has three or more subscripts.
  2. Just like the number of rows and columns in a matrix tell you “how many input dimensions” and “how many output dimensions”, tensors can also input/output vectors, matrices, 9-tensors, and so on. A weighted inner product looks like a (0,2) tensor, for example. A matrix looks like a (1,1) tensor, a vector looks like a (0,1) tensor, and a 1-form looks like a (1,0) tensor.
  3. A typical example of a tensor is the stress/strain tensor:

    The piece I have in my drafts folder is talking about foreign exchange rates.
  4. And back to the girl’s pair of textbooks—the two texts do go together. If you think about stress/strain tensors acting on a bridge or something—well if we were talking at a small scale then the forces could be electrical rather than mechanical and operating on a tetrahedron-shaped methane molecule. Tensors are the normal way to combine lots of different forces on different faces of an object.  

To understand tensors, I would recommend looking at the Wikipedia page and Chris Tiee’s essay Covariance, Contravariance, Densities, and All That and maybe also the fourth chapter of MIT OCW’s intro to geophysics lecture notes (that’s on the stress/strain tensors).

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