Monthly Archives: December 2011

Other People\’s Lives

I looked back at my own life a bit in the previous post. But how are the other 7 billion humans on and off this planet doing? The ones on the space station are doing pretty well, I guess. This … Continue reading

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Anno Post Mortem

The postmortem phase of a project is when you look back over it and figure out what went right, what went wrong, and what went crazy. I generally do yearly postmortems to see if I’m getting anywhere. Sometimes the answer … Continue reading

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Some Notes on the Prisoner\’s Dilemma

It goes like this: A and X are caught by the cops and accused of a crime. They are both told if they alone confess then they will get five years and their compatriot will go to jail for ten … Continue reading

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A Peak Behind the Curtain

Hilary sometimes complains that I write too fast (OK, it isn’t exactly a complaint…) so these pages from my notebook kind of amused me. The process sometimes is smooth and easy, but this particular poem for Hilary’s lovely winter scene … Continue reading

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Some Notes on Statisitical Paradoxes and Conditional Probabilities

Paradoxes are like the magic tricks of the mind: they require a careful setup that involves a healthy dose of misdirection, and any deviation from the carefully contrived script will make the apparent contradiction go away. It’s been my experience … Continue reading

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Mass Organized Killing, What\’s It Really Good For?

The New York Times has a brief account of a cache of secret American government documents found in an Iraqi junkyard that sheds some more light on the 2005 killing by American Marines of 24 human beings in the town … Continue reading

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Two Higgs or Not Two Higgs, That is the Question

There’s been a lot of buzz this week about results from CERN that are consistent with a Standard Model Higgs mass of about 125 GeV. I have to admit that my first reaction was a huge sigh of relief. Despite … Continue reading

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Evolved Behaviour

There were two interesting stories of animal behaviour in the news this week: an experiment suggesting helping behaviour in rats is emotionally motivated and an observation on behavioural regulation in swarms of bees. Understanding animal behaviours puts human behaviours in … Continue reading

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The Future of Reading

Some of the things I describe here may actually be illegal where you live. Just so you know. My longer-term life plan involves living aboard a sailboat on the West Coast of Canada. If money were no object it might … Continue reading

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Looking Backward

I’m not a big fan of Edward Bellamy’s silly little book, in which the author imagines a socialist utopia and therefore thinks he’s made an argument in favour of it it. Anyone who believes this is the case is welcome … Continue reading

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