4 February 2016

Policy hamburger

A few weeks ago I had an idea for an article. I would set out the arguments in favor of a political position which I deeply want to be true. And then, I would set out the evidence which proves that it’s actually false. The idea is that if you’re really in favor of evidence-based policy, you’ll be in favor of it even when your own sacred cows are being made into policy hamburger — so why not demonstrate that with an article? ... Read more

3 February 2016

Kurt Gödel

I may not be much of a mathematician, but I have a favorite mathematician: Kurt Gödel. At the beginning of the 20th Century, Bertrand Russell started an ambitious project. They would begin from basic principles of logic (truth, falsity and sets), and gradually derive the whole of modern mathematics. The work began to be published as a series of volumes named Principia Mathematica. After 379 pages, they’d gotten as far as conclusively proving that 1+1=2, so it looked as if they were well on the way to deriving integers, fractions, and so on. ... Read more

2 February 2016

Malware masquerading as security software

Three products to avoid because they hijack your browser and decrease security, with links to details: AVG Antivirus. Comodo Internet Security. TrendMicro Antivirus.

23 January 2016

Looking the part

Siobhan Thompson writes on Twitter: Diversity hiring is scary because it makes people realize that part of why they got their job is because they look like the idea of that job — Siobhan Thompson (@vornietom) October 21, 2015 This is something I’ve been aware of for a long time. Last time I found myself unemployed in a new city, I went and spent time sitting outside some offices when everyone went to get lunch. ... Read more

21 January 2016

School daze

While I was back in the UK last year, I went through all my old schoolwork from the boxes in my parents’ attic. There were answers in 3D boxes with drop shadows. On one page, a chunk of math proof stood sadly on a clifftop looking at the answers on the beach below. Then there were the months following my purchase of New Order’s FAC 73 “Blue Monday” single, when chemistry and math homework had messages encoded in colored triangles along the edges: ... Read more

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