Good Math, Bad Math

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In my post yesterday, I briefly mentioned the problem with simulations as a replacement for animal testing. But I’ve gotten a couple of self-righteous emails from people criticizing that: they’ve all argued that given the quantity of computational resources available to us today, of course we can do all of our research using simulations. I’ll…

This post is off-topic for this blog, but there are some things that I just can’t keep quiet about. Via my friend and fellow ScienceBlogger Janet over at Adventures in Ethics and Science, I’ve heard about some absolutely disgraceful antics by an animal rights group. To be clear, in what follows, I’m not saying that…

Friday Random Ten, 2/19/2010

Transatlantic, “The Whirlwind (Part 4) – A Man Can Feel”: a track from the new Transatlantic album. Transatlantic is a supergroup: it’s made of members of Marillion (Pete Trevawas on bass), the Flower Kings (Roine Stolte, guitar), Spock’s Beard (Neil Morse, vocals and keyboards), and Dream Theater (Mike Portnoy, drums). In general, I don’t like…

For a lot of people, I seem to have become the go-to blogger for information theory stuff. I really don’t deserve it: Jeff Shallit at Recursivity knows a whole lot more than I do. But I do my best. Anyway, several people pointed out that over at the Disco Institute, resident Legal Eagle Casey Luskin…

The last major property of a chaotic system is topological mixing. You can think of mixing as being, in some sense, the opposite of the dense periodic orbits property. Intuitively, the dense orbits tell you that things that are arbitrarily close together for arbitrarily long periods of time can have vastly different behaviors. Mixing means…

So, remember back in December, I wrote a post about a Cantor crank who had a Knol page supposedly refuting Cantor’s diagonalization? This week, I foolishly let myself get drawn into an extended conversation with him in comments. Since it’s a comment thread on an old post that had been inactive for close to two…

Poor Georg Cantor. During his life, he suffered from dreadful depression. He was mocked by his mathematical colleagues, who didn’t understand his work. And after his death, he’s become the number one target of mathematical crackpots. As I’ve mentioned before, I get a lot of messages either from or about Cantor cranks. I could easily…

It’s been quite a while since my last chaos theory post. I’ve been caught up in other things, and I’ve needed to do some studying. Based on a recommendation from a commenter, I’ve gotten another book on Chaos theory, and it’s frankly vastly better than the two I was using before. Anyway, I want to…

In the Haskell stuff, I was planning on moving on to some monad-related stuff. But I had a reader write in, and ask me to write another post on data structures, focusing on a structured called a zipper. A zipper is a remarkably clever idea. It’s not really a single data structure, but rather a…

A lot of people have been sending me links to a numerology article, in which yet another numerological idiot claims to have identified the date of the end of the world. This time, the idiot claims that it’s going to happen on May 21, 2011. I’ve written a lot about numerology-related stuff before. What makes…