Thomas Pynchon, in his sprawling novel Gravity’s Rainbow (1973), exhibited a fascination for the peculiar mathematics of the Poisson Distribution, a pattern exhibited in certain random sequences (including the location of German rocket strikes in London during WWII). Sometimes referred to as a “law of rare events”, the Poisson distribution has proven to apply to […]
This summer two curious scientific findings were reported, both dealing with the effects of gender, but in very different circumstances. The odd juxtaposition raises interesting questions about gender bias and suggests that in some cases it is deeply subliminal, rather than cultural – and inscribed in the actual biochemistry of the body. This also suggests […]
Is the universe rational? Last week (September 15, 2014) we established a framework for being “rational”, and talked about the importance of consistency. To be rational, we need to avoid inconsistences and contradictions. At the same time, we expect that being rational provides the confidence that we can reach the complete truth. But at the […]
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