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Alireza Jamali



I arrived at Gatwick International Airport about 11. As the aeroplane was landing it began raining to remind me of the essence of the weather of London.

After claiming my baggage, I went on to buy tickets to London St Pancras. about £12. well, not cheap! more expensive than the train from Tehran to Mashhad.

The train was to arrive at 11:19 and it actually came at 11:18:30! This was the first sign that I have entered a country where time matters! 

It was almost empty (and it remained so untill when I got off at St Pancras), scattered newspapers on some seats and a father who had fun teaching english grammer to his young girl; the problem was why should one use different words when talking about plural things! the girl reasoned `two oranges are still made of orange' which seemed logical to me. she was clever! 

The train passed through lovely, green and unspoiled areas reminding me of North of Iran with the trash removed. It also passed over the Thames and I observed what I have been seeing for ten years in my English books! London's Eye!

At the St Pancras I wanted to use escalators but I noticed a warning sign `Baggages strictly forbidden' something like this. OK, if it was Iran there was no problem, but it is England and I had to find the lifts but I could not, meanwhile, I saw people (mostly Chineese) who were behaving iranian! so I came back to use escalators.

 


I got up at about 8:30 in the morning to go for breakfast.

After lunch I decided to go to Waterstones for which I have been long waiting. I struggled a bit to find it --though it was very close--. on the way I passed the British Museum with a long queue consisting mainly of Chineese/Japanese/Korean people; there were some traditional street shows performed by Chineese artists.

It was clear that Waterstones was going to be stunning from the beginning. I started exploring the first floor and the books were mainly about history. I was wondering where are the other topics when I realized that it has three floors! three floors full of books. the second floor mainly science and the third philosophy (I only mention my favorite topics!).

 


I arrived at Gatwick International Airport about 11. As the aeroplane was landing it began raining to remind me of the essence of the weather of London.

After claiming my baggage, I went on to buy tickets to London St Pancras. about £12. well, not cheap! more expensive than the train from Tehran to Mashhad.

The train was to arrive at 11:19 and it actually came at 11:18:30! This was the first sign that I have entered a country where time matters! 

It was almost empty (and it remained so untill when I got off at St Pancras), scattered newspapers on some seats and a father who had fun teaching english grammer to his young girl; the problem was why should one use different words when talking about plural things! the girl reasoned `two oranges are still made of orange' which seemed logical to me. she was clever! 

The train passed through lovely, green and unspoiled areas reminding me of North of Iran with the trash removed. It also passed over the Thames and I observed what I have been seeing for ten years in my English books! London's Eye!

At the St Pancras I wanted to use escalators but I noticed a warning sign `Baggages strictly forbidden' something like this. OK, if it was Iran there was no problem, but it is England and I had to find the lifts but I could not, meanwhile, I saw people (mostly Chineese) who were behaving iranian! so I came back to use escalators.

Then I wandered for a while in London to find the Ramsay Hall where my room is located. On my way I had to ask several people about the address; usually they did not know but they were really nice and willing to help. they usually said that they do not know but they can look it up on the map. Finally I found the hall and went on to take my room. It seemed the people in the reception were all students and it was interesting for me. A nice girl in the reception asked for details and she knew that I have won a scholarship for mathematics, etc. She then accompanied me to my room and I began to open my baggages and prepare for the weeks to come.


This is a part of my letter to Dr. Smolin and Ashtekar

 

In what follows I list the possible objections for accepting me followed by my replies

  • Self-taught people are ill-educated.” Only lazy people who do not have the self-determination to read a book completely on themselves claim that. We all know that without numerous self-taught giants we would have never achieved 20% of our current’s knowledge.
  • If you are so good in physics why your grades are so awful?” Good question. Because I am not a yes-man! Because I cannot memorize mathematics and physics. Because I do not want to waste my time in a boring class hearing what I had known when I was at high-school. Good grades can only mean in a good and standard institute. One cannot judge a student by grades obtained in an institute which has no scientific nor moral values.
  • How do we know that your claims are justified?” The problem is that people do not like to know that. If they would
  • ever really like to know that, it would be a simple matter. Test me by any kind of standard interview/exam. Discuss physics with me as much as you like and let us find who will run out of fuel!
  • You are good but not good enough. We have bright applicants from top schools.” By which measure? Superficial grades? We are in 21st century, claiming that we are in the summit of our intellectual society and yet we judge people by GPA. Compare the number of PhD alumni who have turned in careers like data science and computer programming with their fraction who had enough courage to be an independent thinker on fundamental questions and not follow string-fashion to find that at least half of our resources are wasted for nothing. Same for this case, if people ever bother to like to find out who is better it would be a simple matter to hold a discussion between me and those who they admit.

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