goodmath

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January 4, 2010
As you've surely heard by now, on christmas day, some idiot attempted to blow up an airplane by stuffing his underwear full of explosives and then lighting his crotch on fire. There's been a ton of coverage of this - most of which takes the form of people running around wetting their pants in…
December 23, 2009
One thing that continually amazes me is the amount of email I get from readers of this blog asking for career advice. I usually try to just politely decline; I don't think I'm particularly qualified to give personal advice to people that I don't know personally. But one thing that I have done…
December 18, 2009
Naftule's Dream, "Speed Klez": Naftule's Dream is a brilliant progressive klezmer band. I happen to love klezmer, but I think that anyone into jazzy prog rock would also enjoy them. They're terrific. Oregon, "Celeste": Oregon is a band that I can't make up my mind about. They're a jazz…
December 14, 2009
An alert reader pointed me at href="http://www.uncommondescent.com/philosophy/what-is-intelligence/" rel="nofollow">a recent post over at Uncommon Descent by a guy who calls himself "niwrad", which argues (among other things) that life is non-computable. In fact, it basically tries to use…
December 9, 2009
I've been getting lots of mail from readers about a href="http://knol.google.com/k/are-real-numbers-uncountable#">new article on Google's Knol about Cantor's diagonalization. I actually wrote about the authors argument href="http://scienceblogs.com/goodmath/2009/01/…
December 7, 2009
I've got a bunch of stuff queued up to be posted over the next couple of days. It's been the sort of week where I've gotten lots of interesting links from readers, but I haven't had time to finish anything! I thought I'd start off with something short but positive. A reader sent me a link to a…
November 30, 2009
So, we've built up some pretty nifty binary trees - we can use the binary tree both as the basis of an implementation of a set, or as an implementation of a dictionary. But our implementation has had one major problem: it's got absolutely no way to maintain balance. What that means is…
November 26, 2009
It's not saturday, but I've got a recipe that I needed to write down before I forget it, so you're getting an extra bonus. I usually make a simple cranberry relish for thanksgiving. But it needs to be made a couple of days in advance. This year, I completely forgot about the cranberries until…
November 23, 2009
(This is an edited repost of one of the posts from the earlier version of my Haskell tutorial.) (This file is a literate haskell script. If you save it as a file whose name ends in ".lhs", it's actually loadable and runnable in GHCI or Hugs.) Like any other modern programming language,…
November 19, 2009
As you've no doubt heard by now, there's been a new recommendation issues which proposes changing the breast-cancer screening protocol for women under 50, by eliminating mammograms for women who don't have significant risk factos. While Orac has done a terrific job of covering this here andhere, I…
November 17, 2009
I've been writing this blog for a long time - nearly four years. You'd think that after all of the bad math I've written about, I must have reached the point where I wouldn't be surprised at the sheer innumeracy of most people - even most supposedly educated people. But alas for me, I'm a hopeless…
November 17, 2009
(This is a revised repost of an earlier part of my Haskell tutorial.) Haskell is a strongly typed language. In fact, the type system in Haskell is both stricter and more expressive than any type system I've seen for any non-functional language. The moment we get beyond writing trivial integer-…
November 16, 2009
For those who have slightly better memory of recent events than an average gerbil, you'll surely remember that not too long ago, the Intelligent Design folks, with the help of Ben Stein, put together a whole movie about how evilutionists are all a bunch of evil fascists, out to silence the poor,…
November 13, 2009
(This is a heavily edited repost of the first article in my original Haskell tutorial.) (I've attempted o write this as a literate haskell program. What that means is that if you just cut-and-paste the text of this post from your browser into a file whose name ends with ".lhs", you should be able…
November 13, 2009
A couple of people pointed out that in my wednesday post about Go, I completely left out the concurrency stuff! That's what I get for rushing the post - I managed to leave out one of the most interesting subjects! Go provides very strong support for communicating processes. I haven't done a lot…
November 11, 2009
I've been being peppered with questions about Go, the new programming language just released as open-source by Google. Yes, I know about it. And yes, I've used it. And yes, I've got some strong opinions about it. Go is an interesting language. I think that there are many fantastic things about it…
November 10, 2009
Way back, about three years ago, I started writing a Haskell tutorial as a series of posts on this blog. After getting to href="http://scienceblogs.com/goodmath/2007/01/haskell_a_first_step_into_mona_1.php">monads, I moved on to other things. But based on some recent philosophizing, I think I'…
November 9, 2009
An anonymous tipster sent me a note to let me know that on one of the Disco Institute's sites, my old pal David Berlinski has been arguing that all sorts of famous mathematicians were really anti-evolution. I've href="http://scienceblogs.com/goodmath/2006/08/bad_math_from_david_berlinksi.php"…
November 6, 2009
Porcupine Tree, "Kneel and Disconnect": New Porcupine Tree! It's always great to get new stuff from these guys. It's good, but it's not up to the quality of their last two albums. (But given that their last two were utterly amazing, that's not much of a criticism.) Mind Games, "Royalty in…
November 5, 2009
Another one of the fundamental properties of a chaotic system isdense periodic orbits. It's a bit of an odd one: a chaotic system doesn't have to have periodic orbits at all. But if it does, then they have to be dense. The dense periodic orbit rule is, in many ways, very similar to the…
November 2, 2009
After href="http://scienceblogs.com/goodmath/2008/12/the_real_bozo_attempts_to_aton.php">the fiasco that was my flame against the downwind faster than the wind vehicle, you might think that I'd be afraid of touching on more air-powered perpetual motion. You'd be wrong :-). I'm not afraid to…
October 28, 2009
Another chaos theory post is in progress. But while I was working on it, a couple of comments arrived on some old posts. In general, I'd reply on those posts if I thought it was worth it. But the two comments are interesting not because they actually lend anything to the discussion to which they…
October 26, 2009
One thing that I wanted to do when writing about Chaos is take a bit of time to really home in on each of the basic properties of chaos, and take a more detailed look at what they mean. To refresh your memory, for a dynamical system to be chaotic, it needs to have three basic properties:…
October 20, 2009
So I'm trying to ease back into the chaos theory posts. I thought that one good way of doing that was to take a look at one of the class chaos examples, which demonstrates just how simple a chaotic system can be. It really doesn't take much at all to push a system from being nice and smoothly…
October 19, 2009
I was planning on ignoring this one, but tons of readers have been writing to me about the latest inanity spouting from the keyboard of Discovery Institute's flunky, Denise O'Leary. Here's what she had to say: Even though I am not a creationist by any reasonable definition, I sometimes get…
October 17, 2009
I forgot to take a picture of this dish - so Physioprof, shut up :-) I don't even pretend that this is an authentic mexican mole. It's something that I whipped together because I felt like a mole, and I worked from very vague memories of a mole recipe I read years ago, and ad-libbed this. So it's…
October 15, 2009
First, a quick status note: the blog has been really slow lately because I fell behind schedule on my book, and I've been putting all of my free time into catching up. I'm finally pretty much caught up, so I should have time to get back to the Chaos theory posts. I need a few days of study time to…
October 10, 2009
Lately, friday's have just been too busy for me to get around to posting a recipe. So I decided to switch my recipe posts to saturday. I'll try to be reliable about posting a recipe every saturday. I tried making homemade salsa for the first time about about two months ago. Once I'd made a batch…
October 8, 2009
This is really off-topic for GM/BM, but I just can't resist mocking the astonishing stupidity of the Conservapedia folks. I'm sure you've heard by now that Andy Schafly and his pals are working on a "new translation" of the bible. They say that they need to do this in order to remove liberal bias…
October 2, 2009
Dead Soul Tribe, "Goodbye City Life": mediocre prog metal. Not bad, but nothing special either. Dave Matthews Band, "Lying in the Hands of God": I know, lots of people think I'm crazy to like DMB. But I do. And I find this song terribly depressing. One of the members of the DMB was an…