Wednesday, September 24, 2014

A Gentle Risk Assessment

Just a reminder: No matter how many people terrorists kill, the current Ebola outbreak will kill a thousand times more. Where should those dollars and our attention be directed? No matter how many people the current Ebola outbreak kills, AIDS will kill a thousand times more. Diabetes will kill a thousand times more. Which one are you most worried about? No matter how many people all three of these diseases will kill, global warming could kill everyone. Where do you put your attention?

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Book Release: Giordano Bruno - On the Infinite, the Universe and the Worlds

The new English translation of Giordano Bruno's On the Infinite, the Universe and the Worlds is now available in several locations online and in the real world. Buy it at:


Barnes and Noble
On the Infinite is one of Bruno's most insightful cosmological works. Written in 1584, it argues for a boundless, infinite universe, containing innumerable planets, all of which are inhabited. This was a revolutionary idea for the day, opposed to the traditional Aristotelian model of a unique Earth-centered system, encapsulated within a set of planet-bearing crystalline spheres, and surrounded by an outermost sphere of fixed stars.

Bruno's ideas and struggle with the Church authorities were recently featured on an episode of Cosmos, and excerpts from the book 

Friday, August 15, 2014

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Links for Later 7-28-14

  1. The daily routines of Vladimir Putin. Very weird and very sad.
  2. "Is Russia Pregnant with Ukraine?" "Like a play we cannot leave."
  3. The New York Times calls for legalizing marijuana. Considering how retro their trend pieces usually are, legalization may have already happened several years ago.
  4. George RR Martin really feels like he should finish that book now.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Links for Later 7-22-14

  1. What Fourier tranforms can do for you.
  2. Andrew Gelman: "Bayesian methods are presented as an automatic inference engine, and this raises suspicion in anyone with applied experience, who realizes that different methods work well in different settings" as quoted in this critique of Bayesian stats.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Five for Dinner

Look at this from 10 years ago: Jon Favreau, Colin Farrell, Jennifer Garner, Ben Affleck and Kevin Smith. None of them have any idea where they'll be in 2014.

You've been Wrong about Every Prediction in the Last Five Years

Steve Liesman points out Rick Santelli's forecasting record. Paul Krugman points out why the traders (who lost money listening to Santelli) still applaud him

Why You Should Use Tor

The EFF's brief on why and how you should use Tor, the anonymizing & encrypting software for browing securely.