goodmath

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October 2, 2009
In the history of this blog, I've gone after lots of religious folks. I've mocked lots and lots of christians, a few muslims, some Jews, some newagers, and even one stupid Hindu. Today, I'm doing something that's probably going to get me into trouble with a lot of readers. I'm going to mock a…
September 21, 2009
If you regularly follow comments on this blog, you'll know that I've been having a back-and-forth with a guy who doesn't know much about information theory, and who's been using his ignorance to try to assemble arguments against the Kolmogorov-Chaitin information-theoretic measure of information…
September 10, 2009
I'm currently away on a family vacation, and as soon as vacation is over, I'm off on a business trip for a week. And along the way, I've got some deadlines for my book. So to fill in, I'm recycling some old posts. I decided that it's been entirely too long since there was any pathological…
September 8, 2009
I'm currently away on a family vacation, and as soon as vacation is over, I'm off on a business trip for a week. And along the way, I've got some deadlines for my book. So to fill in, I'm recycling some old posts. I decided that it's been entirely too long since there was any pathological…
September 6, 2009
Via Tor.com, a meme that I thought looked really interesting. What were the last three genre books that you purchased? Why did you purchase them? And do they feel comfortable together? Daniel Abraham,The Price of Spring (The Long Price Quartet): This is the conclusion to Abraham's Long Price…
September 6, 2009
I'm currently away on a family vacation, and as soon as vacation is over, I'm off on a business trip for a week. And along the way, I've got some deadlines for my book. So to fill in, I'm recycling some old posts. I decided that it's been entirely too long since there was any pathological…
September 3, 2009
I'm currently away on a family vacation, and as soon as vacation is over, I'm off on a business trip for a week. And along the way, I've got some deadlines for my book. So to fill in, I'm recycling some old posts. I decided that it's been entirely too long since there was any pathological…
August 21, 2009
A brief disclaimer before I start. I do not read Uncommon Descent. I didn't check it before writing my post yesterday. So I didn't know about the content of Dembski's post there that I'm about to write about, until I saw Bob O'H's comment on my post this morning. Yesterday, I explained how he…
August 20, 2009
As lots of you have heard, William Dembski and Robert Marks just had href="http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/xpl/tocresult.jsp?isYear=2009&isnumber=5208652&Submit32=View+Contents">a paper published in an IEEE journal. In the last couple of days, I've received about 30 copies of the paper in…
August 14, 2009
Peter Hamill, "The Unconscious Life": A track from an amazing live performance. In general, I'm not a big fan of live recordings - you really need to be there for a live performance. There's a dynamic between the performer and the audience in live music, and in a recording, you're listening…
August 12, 2009
It sometimes seems like every day, some "intelligent design" bozo comes out with another book rehashing the same-old crap. I usually ignore it. But this time, I felt like the promotional materials for one of the new books really stepped right into my part of the world, rhetorically speaking, and…
August 11, 2009
Here's a quick bit of obnoxious bad math. I saw this myself in a link to an AP article via Salon.com, and a reader sent me a link to the same story via CNN. It's yet another example of what I call a metric error: that is, the use of a measurement in a way that makes it appear to mean something…
August 3, 2009
I normally try to ignore things like this, but this is just too funny. In general, I find arguments like this to be extremely silly. This is, basically, like playing with gematria - only instead of doing real gematria (which can be quite silly enough), it's like our friend "Gotcha" - mixing…
August 1, 2009
As long-time readers know, I'm an amateur musician, from a very musical family. My sister is a music teacher, and my brother used to be a professional french horn player and composer. I personally play classical clarinet, a very wide range of folk-flutes, and some bluegrass banjo. As long as I've…
July 31, 2009
Russian Circles, "Youngblood": post rock, in the Mogwai style. Very nice stuff. Not the most exciting PR band around, but good. The Flower Kings, "World Without a Heart": typical FK. Since I pretty much worship the ground that Roine Stolte walks on, you can guess what I think of this. Darcy…
July 28, 2009
An alert reader just sent me, via "Media Matters", the single dumbest real-life video clip that I have ever seen. In case you've been living under a rock, Bill O'Reilly is a conservative radio and TV talk-show host. He's known for doing a lot of really obnoxious things, ranging from sexually…
July 24, 2009
My wife is chinese. So in our house, comfort food is often something chinese. For her, one of her very favorite things is dumplings, also known as pot-stickers. They're time consuming to make, but not difficult. They're really delicious, well worth the effort. They're best with a homemade…
July 22, 2009
This morning, my good friend Orac sent me a link to an interesting piece of bad math. Orac is the guy who really motivated me to start blogging; I jokingly call him my blogfather. He's also a really smart guy, not to mention a genuinely nice one (at least for a transparent box of blinking lights…
July 17, 2009
We've been having some load trouble with the ScienceBlogs server, and the400+ comment over on the high school reunion thread seem to be resulting in a lot of timeouts. In an attempt to reduce the number of errors, I'm closing the thread on that post, and asking folks to post any new comments here.
July 17, 2009
John Corigliano, "Fantasia on an Ostinato": Corigliano is absolutely my favorite modern composer. He writes stunningly beautiful music. This is a wonderfully subtle piece: unaccompanied solo piano. Just incredible. Isis, "Not in Rivers, But in Drops": The transition between the last one and…
July 16, 2009
One of the things that confused my when I started reading about chaos is easy to explain using what we've covered about attractors. (The image to the side was created by Jean-Francois Colonna, and is part of his slide-show here) Here's the problem: We know that things like N-body gravitational…
July 16, 2009
This comment thread has gotten long enough to start causing some server load problems. As a result, I'm closing the comments here, and I've added a new post where discussions of this past can continue. If you're not interested in completely off-topic personal rambling, stop reading now. This is…
July 13, 2009
Sorry for the slowness of the blog; I fell behind in writing my book, which is on a rather strict schedule, and until I got close to catching up, I didn't have time to do the research necessary to write the next chaos article. (And no one has sent me any particularly interesting bad math, so I…
June 24, 2009
One of my pet peeves about people and math is that most people don't really have a clue of what math is. I've been writing this blog for something over three years, and by the standards of a lot of people, I've almost never written about math. Yesterday, my son's kindergarten class had a picnic.…
June 19, 2009
This is an edited repost of something I wrote nearly three years ago. You can see the original post and comments here. Over at Dr. Isis's blog, there's a post answering a reader's question about whether to tell her postdoc advisor about her troubles with clinical depression. I agree with Isis's…
June 19, 2009
About a month ago, I decided to make a nice special meal for my wife for mothers' day. I asked her what she wanted, and she said duck. This made me happy, since I consider duck to be one of the most wonderful foods in the entire universe. I decided that instead of making one of my regular duck…
June 12, 2009
I do all of the cooking in my house; my wife amazing at baking, but she's just totally lost when it comes to cooking. But given my commute, it's hard to start making a nice dinner when I get home, and have it done in time to be able to eat, and have some time with my kids before they go to bed. So…
June 12, 2009
In my first chaos post, I kept talking about dynamical systems without bothering to define them. Most people who read this blog probably have at least an informal idea of what a dynamical system is. But today I'm going to do a quick walkthrough of what a dynamical system is, and what the basic…
June 7, 2009
One mathematical topic that I find fascinating, but which I've never had a chance to study formally is chaos. I've been sort of non-motivated about blog-writing lately due to so many demands on my time, which has left me feeling somewhat guilty towards those of you who follow this blog. So I…
May 29, 2009
The Flower Kings, "The Truth Will Set you Free": One of the superlong Flower Kings opuses - in fact, the first thing by the Flower Kings that I ever heard. Solas, "Pastures of Plenty": a stunning version of the old Guthrie song, played by one of my favorite Irish bands. It's a brilliant cover -…