Archives for January, 2008

If you’ll forgive another chess post, the annual grandmaster chess tournament in Wijk aan Zee in the Netherlands is now complete. It was the first major tournament of the year, and it had a pleasingly unexpected outcome. Young phenoms Levon Aronian of Armenia and Magnus Carlsen of Norway were the joint winners, with eight points…

Krugman States it Plain

Go read Paul Krugman’s column. Money quote: First, those who don’t want to nominate Hillary Clinton because they don’t want to return to the nastiness of the 1990s — a sizable group, at least in the punditocracy — are deluding themselves. Any Democrat who makes it to the White House can expect the same treatment:…

Hillary Clinton for President

Journalism is dead, folks. Start with that. Can you point to a single mainstream media outlet, whether a cable news channel or network news broadcast or newspaper or newsmagazine, that you trust to give you the basic facts about anything? Cable news is now almost wall-to-wall gossip shows, where right-wingers and properly housebroken liberals gather…

ID folks make numerous assertions said to represent scientific challenges to conventional evolutionary theory. These claims are uniformly wrong, which is one of the reasons scientists generally ignore them. But ID folks also claim that adopting a design perspective could lead to great progress in science, if only scientists would take off their materialist blinders.…

Kasparov on Fischer

Via The Chess Ninja, I see that Gary Kasparov has commented on the death of Bobby Fischer. I have copied his remarks below the fold.

Bobby Fischer Dead at 64

Former World Chess Champion Bobby Fischer has died of kidney failure at the age of 64. The New York Times has an informative article here. For chess fans Bobby Fischer was the classic example of the need to separate the art from the artist. Away from the board Fischer was an emotionally disturbed misfit, entirely…

Cognitive Illusions

We are all familiar with optical illusions. These are situations where your eyes misperceive the nature of some image or physical object. For some time now psychologists and cognitive scientists have been discussing the reality of cognitive illusions. These are situations where people just don’t reason properly about some readily described situation. The Monty Hall…

Maybe I’ll Vote For Gravel…

As reported in this article in Reason Magazine: My favorite response from any candidate about the evolution/creationism debate was from former Sen. Mike Gravel (Alaska). When LiveScience asked the senator if he thought creationism should be taught in public schools, Gravel replied, “Oh God, no. Oh, Jesus. We thought we had made a big advance…

What Goes on at a Math Conference?

I just got back from six days in San Diego, participating in the annual Joint Mathematics Meetings. Why “Joint”? Because they are jointly sponsored by the two major American mathematical organizations. I refer, of course, to the Mathematical Association of America (MAA) and the Amercian Mathematical Society (AMS). (No Monty Python jokes, please.) The Joint…