Monthly Archives: September 2014

How Much Information Does Your MP Contain?

Canada is supposed to be a representative democracy, not a democratic oligarchy. “Oligo” is a prefix that means “few”, from the Greek word ολιγος, which means “few”. In an oligarchy, a small number of people–we’ll call them “party leaders” for … Continue reading

Posted in ethics, politics, probability | Leave a comment

Some Other Rules

The title of this post is an extremely obscure joke: sum rules for total transition strength are a way of accounting for all possible transitions without actually measuring them individually. They serve as a sanity check on both theory and … Continue reading

Posted in interactive fiction, sailing, writing | 2 Comments

Puzzles vs Problems

Most of my life has been spent unraveling puzzles that are presented to the human race by nature, or god, or some equally malignant power. “How do you measure the e+/e- annihilation cross section in the range of 1 – … Continue reading

Posted in interactive fiction, writing | Leave a comment

Some Notes on Interactive Fiction

I’m old enough to have played Zork, but I never did. It and similar games were part of the atmosphere of my early academic career. So I’ve been aware of interactive fiction–although I would not have thought of it in … Continue reading

Posted in interactive fiction, writing | 2 Comments

Deficits, Deficits, Deficits

Back at the end of 2012 I predicted that the deficit for 2013 would be over $25 billion. I was wrong, maintaining my record as the only person who has ever been wrong about anything. The deficit for 2013 was … Continue reading

Posted in economics, politics | Leave a comment

Is the US a \”Developing Nation\”?

I’ve just read “Fault Lines” by Raghuram Rajan, who is now the head of the Reserve Bank of India. He is an American-trained economist but unlike most Americans has a decidedly international perspective (this is not particularly a kick at … Continue reading

Posted in economics, politics | Leave a comment