Generally, the concept of two devices being combined into one is called convergence.

Specifically, a wierd idea that the television is going to take over the function of your computer, and every other useful device in your house (i.e., your stereo, your VCR, your toaster, etc.)

It makes a certain degree of sense- there's a lot of duplication of function between some of these devices. However, I think the TV is too low-resolution (even HDTV) to act as an effective monitor.

Convergence was created by the North American net.goth community to be an answer to the UK's gatherings at Whitby. Each year, the various sites that wish to host a Convergence put up their bid websites, and net.goths from alt.gothic flame each other and the various committees to a crisp before voting on the site that will get to host the next year's Convergence.
Convergence is at its core a party for the alt.gothic newsgroup, but later ones have welcomed those net.goths who mainly follow mailing lists, LiveJournal and even MySpace. Convergence 7 caused much controversy by advertising in the Village Voice, and by being run by Cliff Low, a notorious (in the mid/late-90s NYC goth scene, anyway), socially inept greaseball.

Convergence itself is half convention, half party. There are bands and other forms of live entertainment, occasional celebrities stopping by (i.e., Jhonen Vasquez showing up at C3, and Peter Murphy's surprise appearance at C6), fashion shows, and all manner of vendors hawking all material things associated with goth subculture (except for drugs, but then, the venues that host Convergences often maintain well-stocked bars). DJs from around the world appear and spin sets for dancing, which makes up the bulk of the evenings during Convergence when the bands aren't playing.

Convergences past, present and future:

Convergence of the eyes, that is, the tendency for the eyes to independently point towards an object of interest, is often listed as a depth perception cue. It's true that convergence is a part of depth perception, but in fact, it is more of an effect than it is a cause. The real cause is binocular disparity, or parallax.

Objects in three dimensions, when viewed independently from two distinct vantage points, appear to be at slightly different angles (unless the object is colinear with the two vantage points, but depth perception colinear with the eyes is impossible - the eyeballs would have to be transparent!). The greatest angular resolution of the eyeball is near the centre-line, so when a person is looking at an object, to get the most information regarding the angular disparity, each eyeball rotates so as to project the object to the centre of the retina. This increases the accuracy of angular measurement, and hence increases the accuracy of depth perception. But there would be no convergence if there were not disparity to prompt the eyes to converge, and even with convergence it is the disparity (coupled with the intrinsic knowledge of the difference in angle between the eyeballs) that is used to estimate depth.

Convergence is the state of a network when all routers in that network share the most updated routing tables. Routing Protocols, such as RIP, EIGRP, and IGRP, are responsible for broadcasting routing tables, which makes these protocols the cause of Convergence and Convergence Time.

When a change in one or more router's routing table, all other routers have to be informed of the change. The time it takes until all routers have updated information about the new/obsolete route is called the Convergence Time

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Those who believe and understand will come together at Convergence.

The nature of Convergence is two-fold. The first stage of Convergence is the coming together of the within. The person must make themselves whole. To do so, a person must be honest with themselves about who they are and what they need and desire. They must embrace forgiveness to heal the wounds to their spirit. They must turn the voices within into a choir instead of a chaotic cacophony.

The second stage of Convergence is the coming together of personal orbits. The attainment of harmony with one's environment and the people in their orbit. At this stage, things begin to make more sense, but in a less than standard way. The reading of signs, the visualization of splinters of future memory, the following of the path.

The third stage of Convergence is the coming together of souls. Those that can embrace and follow the code of give everything you can to everyone you know and are willing to accept that everyone is right will come together. They will find everything they need at Convergence, because there is plenty. They will also find acceptance and kinship of a higher level than accustomed to here in this frame.

Who will come together at Convergence?

The Convergents embrace theology and philosophy but they are not chained to it. They all have their own vision, but are willing to accept the equal value of the beliefs of the other Convergents. There is no discrimination and there is no hierarchy of order. Convergence welcomes all and all are equal.

The great prophet and messenger, Jesus of Nazareth, once said that the meek would inherit the earth. He spoke of Convergence. He spoke to his flock and instructed them to be as he was. He was telling us how to embrace the concept of "give everything you can to everyone you know." He taught us how to create the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth, and most failed to understand what he was teaching. The wars that would be fought in his name over the centuries would prove the absence of true comprehension.

Other prophets have spoken of the same concepts, the central core of the message, for thousands of years. Convergence is often explained as a coming together of souls of a shared faith. The faith is the foundation of eternity. What is believed in is real and those with shared beliefs can find each other within the passages of their faith. The greater Convergence ascends beyond the boundaries of the constructs of faith because it accepts all and welcomes all. The level of faith is not paramount to arriving at Convergence. You may have faith that your car will start tomorrow morning. You don't sit at home all night wondering if it will start or not unless you have recently been having problems starting it. You have faith, whether it is in other people, yourself, elements of this frame of existence or higher powers. You have faith that the coffee you got at breakfast this morning doesn't contain poisons that will kill you.

We are all merely travelers.

Ignorance of truth is not our path. Fanaticism is ignorance of universal truth. Everyone is right.

The faith we have in other human beings not to try to kill or cause us harm is key to co-existence in a shared reality. If we were to consider the possibilities every time we went outside, we would go mad. Is there anything keeping that man from pulling out of that side street in front of us while we are driving down the road? Is there anything to keep that waitress from putting rat poison in our steak dinner? What keeps that man on line behind us at the supermarket from pulling the fishing knife out of his jacket and stabbing us then and there? These things can happen, and they do, but the frequency of such hate-filled actions is not great enough to warrant daily concern. We have a reasonable amount of faith in our ability to live life without the constant threat of being killed or injured. Not all people have the luxury of that faith.

Fear, hatred and the seeking of revenge unhinge us in our journey. Those who seek to destroy us will draw us into the same abyss. Witness the violent retribution against "terrorists" and the cries for blood that follow the events of the day. Once you lower yourself to the level of your enemy, you are lost.

You will reap what you sow.

Everyone is right, but your version of right becomes you. If you live by the sword, you die by the sword. The sword becomes your passage. Violence and bloodshed breed violence and bloodshed, not just in this lifetime but within the core of your soul. The battlefields of eternity await those who would embrace them. The nature of your soul core determines your fate. It is your eternal judge. It can grant the power of judgment to more powerful entities, but in doing so must first accept this judge within the soul core. The fate of souls who proclaim faith in Jesus Christ and kill in his name is something I often feel quite sad about. When he spoke of being the sword that would separate family and friends, he knew that those who followed the path would alienate those who did not. It had nothing to do with faith in him, it had to do with faith in the message. Or so I believe.

Convergence steps beyond the standard interpretations. Those that converge within, bringing themselves together and making themselves whole, can find Convergence if they believe in it. The coming together of souls united in spirit, but coming from many walks of life and many backgrounds. They know to focus on the core message of their faith or their beliefs, to embrace and love all as children of a greater purpose, and by that path they will find each other. The road of the Convergents is generally harder than that of those who would follow the paths laid out for them by their forebears and their peers.

The structures and beliefs of your religion or philosophy are like your personal automobile. Out on the road there are many different cars. Different makes, different models, different colors... the road to Convergence welcomes all cars, but there is no race to the finish line.

There are exit ramps on the road to Convergence. They are marked with options you may choose to embrace. One may choose to take the exit to power or glory, looking to gratify the self rather than continuing to seek Convergence. There are always material rewards available to those willing to sacrifice for them. Nothing is gained in life without a sacrifice of some kind. We simply don't always see the nature of our sacrifices.

Learn to separate wants from needs. Once you understand the difference, you will be able to heal yourself.

For those who are suffering, the separation of wants and needs is an essential building block towards internal Convergence. During difficult passages through life we must remember the difference. Not all people have the same needs, aside from the basic survival needs, and each person must frame themselves differently.

You cannot give anything unless it is received.

In a positive energy exchange, there is giving and receiving, and a balance is attained between two souls. To give what is not received is not giving, it is imposing. The sign of the false prophet is the imposition of beliefs as absolute upon those who must be coerced or deceived before "accepting" what is offered. The true prophets speak and welcome those who would understand and are as giving of themselves to the non-believers as well as the believers. Withholding food from a starving man until he embraces your religion is one of the mostly spiritually heinous acts one can undertake.

The spirit of Convergence excludes no belief systems. Personal theology is the framework in which we construct ourselves and seek internal Convergence. To make ourselves whole with the assistance of the structure of belief is easier than flying solo, but one can fly solo and still attain Convergence. It is impossible to attain if you consider your beliefs to be superior to those of your fellow souls, if you allow your life and works to contradict those beliefs, or if you are unwilling to accept your brothers and sisters as equals in spirit. Convergence is acceptance and love.

"Isn't Convergence part of your personal theology, making it irrelevant to anyone else?"

Quite possible, but relevancy has to do with acceptance and belief. Various religions and belief systems offer rewards to those who would embrace them. Usually some kind of eternal bliss is involved. Convergence offers nothing of the kind. The bliss is created by the souls who converge. They are one in spirit, accepting, loving, giving, and forgiving. The bliss is not created by external powers who reward you for following their laws. The bliss is created by the Convergents themselves.

Convergence is offered. Nothing can be given unless it is received. Nothing can be attained unless it is embraced. It is not an easy road. The road to Convergence is one of sacrifice and selflessness, and one must be capable of forgiving themselves for their missteps, just as they forgive others. Reaching Convergence promises no eternal reward, other than what you now have within yourself. Your soul will reach a higher level of understanding and strength and you will become consumed with doing all you can for everyone you know.

The rewards of Convergence are more hard work, for the Convergent soul does not rest for long. In my dreams I have seen Convergence. People of all shapes, sizes and backgrounds walking through a wooded area towards a great lake or river. They walk into the water and feel fulfilled and refreshed, and then they look to each other knowingly, smile and are gone. Miles to go before we sleep. Our work will never end. That is our reward. If you don't understand why work is a reward, then you are not ready for Convergence.

Forward

Everyone seems to be in a contest to identify the next disruptive technology. From organic electroluminescence to the iPod, various technologies and devices have been presented as radically changing the way we look at the world.

When is a cell phone no longer a cell phone?

However, I believe that most of the recent turmoil in the electronics industry is due more to the convergence that is going on at every level than to any one thing. Convergence is a phenomenon that has and will continue to change the very way you live, work, and play.

Convergence is occurring on many fronts, from device functionality to software to applications, each fueling one another's development. The trick is in determining the best way to address the ramifications of this growing-together of everything and everyone.

What this means for engineers is that designing a device that serves a single application is often not good enough anymore, and that one must also keep in mind all peripheral usages and inter-device operability. That new cell phone not only has to make calls, it has to be able to surf the web, play games, handle email, watch TV, and play any kind of media the user desires.

The danger here is the temptation to lard a device with excess and often pointless functionality to provide the marketing department with a lot of bullet point for the ad. As always, it is more important to understand the needs of the user and the marketplace to ensure that the device can serve its core application well while being flexible enough to address peripheral needs.

The iPod family of portable media devices is a perfect example of this philosophy. They are easy to use, clean in design, and their functionality is only limited by the imagination of the user. The latest generation iPod is many things to many people —a music player, a portable hard drive, a video, movie, and still image viewer —and yet it doesn't suffer from feature overrun or button clutter. The fact that half the industry is making peripherals for the iPod also demonstrates the flexibility in application vital to success under the convergence paradigm.

Fifteen years and they noded some obsolete tech buzzword but NOBODY NODED THIS! OK, well, until someone spends several days addressing this subject thoroughly, this will just have to do.

Convergence is a concept at the heart of mathematical analysis. It's probably the single most important concept. It's the only way you can pin down the value of almost all real numbers; indeed, it's the only context under which an "actual" value exists for most of them.

Let's play a little game. We're going to chop up the number 2 and accumulate some of the pieces.

Start with A=0 and R=2.

For each integer N, we're going to calculate the value of F(N)=2*A*2-N+2-2N, and we'll make a note of whether or not it's greater than R. If it's too big, we'll just skip it. If it's not too big, we'll subtract F(N) from R and add 2-N to A.

F(0)=1 --> A=1; R=1
F(1)=1.25 (too much; skip)
F(2)=0.5625 --> A=1.25; R=0.4375
F(3)=0.328125 --> A=1.375; R=0.109375
F(4)=0.17578125 (too much; skip)
F(5)=0.0869140625 --> A=1.40625; R=0.0224609375
F(6)=0.044189453125 (too much; skip)
F(7)=0.02203369140625 --> A=1.4140625 R=0.00042724609375

You should be able to see that as N increases indefinitely, F(N) and R keep getting smaller and smaller. A can only change by at most R in each step, and so the difference between successive values of A (called partial sums) keep getting smaller and smaller, and closer and closer to each other. In this case, we can prove that the value of A will keep getting closer and closer to (but will never exceed) the square root of 2. As N gets large and larger and the difference between partial sums get smaller, some engineer or physicist may eventually decide she's had enough and stop, and use the current value of A for the "square root of 2".

But a mathematician has infinite patience and can go on forever. And that's the point: What happens if we go on forever? Do we get the "actual" square root of 2?

This was the dilemma facing late 18TH and early 19TH-century mathematicians. Two surpassing 17TH-century geniuses, Newton and Leibniz, had simultaneously invented calculus, a new way of squaring the circle and solving other problems that couldn't be solved by conventional algebra or geometry. Calculus, with its amazing predictive power revolutionized science and engineering, making the Industrial Revolution possible.

Unfortunately, a curmudgeonly Irish clergyman (no not that one, but his contemporary Bishop Berkeley) played spoilsport, showing the absurdity of flawed concepts built into both forms of calculus: For example, Differentials were thought to hold an "infinitesimal" value smaller than any finite value but larger than zero. Infinitesimals caused paradoxes right away in some of the most fundamental calculations.

The trouble was, calculus worked.

It was the job of later mathematicians to figure out why. And they eventually did: Cauchy worked out the concept of the limit of a convergent series. In his Cours d'Analyse he first used a notation that is used to this day, involving the two Greek letters δ (delta) and ε (epsilon).

Cauchy's concept of limit was less than completely rigorous, but Weierstrass was able to introduce concepts such as "uniform convergence" which finally allowed us to say

A function F(X) converges to a "limit" value L at a value X0 if for each real number δ there is a real number ε such that if |X-X0| < δ, then F(X)-L < ε

If we have such a limit L, we can usually say F(X0) = L.

We have a tool to assure ourselves that F(X0) has unique "actual" value (the limit L) if we can calculate the values of different F(X0+δ) and they keep getting closer and closer as δ gets smaller and smaller. We can sidestep infinitesimals, saying that after an infinite number of steps of our earlier calculation, R=0.

This answers the question we asked earlier on: Yes, if we are allowed to go on forever, we must obtain a "final" unique value of the square root of 2.

We can also define convergence in ways that don't involve real numbers: if we have

  1. a function F between two sets A and B (F:A->B)
  2. and a collection of nested subsets S in A with some a∈A in all of them,
  3. and if for each b∈A where b≠a there's a set s∈S where b∉s,
  4. defining F(s)={F(t)|t∈s},

then we can impose a structure on B with another such collection F(S) in B, so that there is a single element b∈B where F(a)=b. We are able to move on to the concept of the continuity of the function F based on the structure of B.

Con*ver"gence (?), Con*ver"gen*cy (?), n. [Cf. F. convergence.]

The condition or quality of converging; tendency to one point.

The convergence or divergence of the rays falling on the pupil. Berkeley.

 

© Webster 1913.

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