31 MAY 2015 by ideonexus

 Flatland

Imagine a vast sheet of paper on which straight Lines, Triangles, Squares, Pentagons, Hexagons, and other figures, instead of remaining fixed in their places, move freely about, on or in the surface, but without the power of rising above or sinking below it, very much like shadows—only hard with luminous edges—and you will then have a pretty correct notion of my country and countrymen. Alas, a few years ago, I should have said "my universe:" but now my mind has been opened to higher views...
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31 MAY 2015 by ideonexus

 The Universality of Analogy

This reversibility and this polyvalency endow analogy with a universal field of application. Through it, all the figures in the whole universe can be drawn together. There does exist, however, in this space, furrowed in every direction, one particularly privileged point: it is saturated with analogies (all analogies can find one of their necessary terms there), and as they pass through it, their relations may be inverted without losing any of their force. This point is man: he stands in propo...
Folksonomies: similarity analogy
Folksonomies: similarity analogy
  1  notes
 
07 JUN 2012 by ideonexus

 Old Kepler On Reading His Young Work

I myself, a professional mathematician, on re-reading my own work find it strains my mental powers to recall to mind from the figures the meanings of the demonstrations, meanings which I myself originally put into the figures and the text from my mind. But when I attempt to remedy the obscurity of the material by putting in extra words, I see myself falling into the opposite fault of becoming chatty in something mathematical.
Folksonomies: age aging youth
Folksonomies: age aging youth
  1  notes

He has a hard time understanding them, but when he tries to work in easier explanations, he finds himself being verbose.

23 APR 2012 by ideonexus

 Statistics of a Country

Statistics are far from being the barren array of figures ingeniously and laboriously combined into columns and tables, which many persons are apt to suppose them. They constitute rather the ledger of a nation, in which, like the merchant in his books, the citizen can read, at one view, all of the results of a year or of a period of years, as compared with other periods, and deduce the profit or the loss which has been made, in morals, education, wealth or power.
Folksonomies: statistics
Folksonomies: statistics
  1  notes

Are a means to see its progress "in morals, education, wealth or power."

23 APR 2011 by ideonexus

 LBJ Counting the Dead

Lyndon B. couldn't figure it out. Every day the advisers came to him with their facts and figures and laid them down on his desk. Army dead. Navy dead. Marine dead. Civilian dead. Diplomatic dead. MASH dead. Delta dead. Seabee dead. National Guard dead. But the numbers didn't compute. Someone was messing up somewhere. All the reporters and TV channels were breathing down LBJ's neck and he needed the proper information. He could help put a man on the Moon, but he couldn't count the body bags. ...
Folksonomies: casualties vietnam lbj
Folksonomies: casualties vietnam lbj
  1  notes

The problem of counting the dead from Vietnam and needing computer scientists for the job.

21 APR 2011 by ideonexus

 Spend 20 Percent of Your Time Learning New Things

He says things like, "Do good stuff." He says, "If you don't do good stuff, in good areas, it doesn't matter what you do." And Hamming said, "I always spend a day a week learning new stuff. That means I spend 20 percent more of my time than my colleagues learning new stuff. Now 20 percent at compound interest means that after four and a half years I will know twice as much as them. And because of compound interest, this 20 percent extra, one day a week, after five years I will know three time...
  3  notes

From Joe Armstrong, the "compound interest" on this learning will result in big gains in the future.

13 APR 2011 by ideonexus

 The Circle of the Brain cannot be Squared

A Circle round divided in four partsHath been great Study 'mongst the men of Arts;Since Archimed's or Euclid's time, each BrainHath on a Line been stretched, yet all in Vain;And every Thought hath been a Figure set,Doubts Cyphers were, Hopes as Triangles met;There was Division and Subtraction made,And Lines drawn out, and Points exactly laid,But none hath yet by Demonstration foundThe way, by which to Square a Circle round:For while the Brain is round, no Square will be,While Thoughts divi...
Folksonomies: science philosophy poetry
Folksonomies: science philosophy poetry
  1  notes

A poem about the brain, quantification, and human curiosity.