Sunday, October 27, 2013

FOCS Reception sing-along

Tomorrow night at 7:30 (before the FOCS business meeting at 9), the Positive Eigenvalues will be playing a live set for the entertainment of  FOCSers. 

Who are the Positive Eigenvalues, you might ask ? Well, you'll have to come and hear us to find out :). Two of the songs we're playing are compositions by our resident philosopher/graphic novelist/keyboardist/composer/complexity theorist, Christos Papadimitriou.

The first is a riff off the Dylan song "Man gave names to all the animals", with the same tune but different lyrics. If you're so inspired, you're encouraged to sing along to the chorus (which repeats after each verse). It goes like this:
Theorists gave names to all the classes
in the beginning, in the beginning
Theorists gave names to all the classes
in the beginning long time ago 

Verse 1:
They saw a woman slim and tall
forging steadily to her goal
she went by fast but that's no crime
uh I think I'll call her PTIME

Verse 2:
They saw a kid who soldiered on
he got no rest from dusk to dawn
he kept sweating in the same place
uh I think I'll call him PSPACE

Verse 3:
They saw a blind man comb his shack
to find his walkstick in the black
but once he found it he could see
uh I think I'll call him NP

Verse 4:
They saw a boy who walked and walked all night
never veered to the left or right
was kind of slow but not that bad
uh I think I'll call him PPAD

Verse 5:
There was a beast and on its back
it carried Heisenberg and Dirac
it was as weird as a beast can be
For more on the tailed off line at the end, see the wikipedia entry.

The second song is an original composition by Christos in rock ballad/power rock mode. The lyrics speak poignantly about the life of a theoretician:
In Theory
Think of a carpenter of sorts
he has the flu he has the blues
He burns his oil every night
all night frustrated and confused

And worst of all he can't complain
In theory his job is plain  (twice)

Build something sturdy and beautiful and useful
He's always short in one goal
He juggles true with elegant and useful
and he keeps dropping one ball

Verse 2
His buddies like him alright
except they love to criticize
They go and take his stuff apart
with clever words with clever eyes

Verse 3
Some nights a girl comes to his shop
to sip his tea learn something raw
his foggy mind his tangled soul
want her to stay but let her go

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