Monthly Archives: August 2008

Life Curves

J. John Sepkoski, Jr., was a fossil-hunter who did most of his digging in the library, sifting through the literature of paleontology to build a detailed, quantitative timeline of life on earth. Focusing on marine animals, he recorded the earliest … Continue reading

Posted in biology, computing, science, statistics | 4 Comments

Shut up and calculate!

In my latest American Scientist column I advert to a famous passage in Leibniz (translation by Robert Latta, 1898): When controversies arise, there will be no more necessity of disputation between two philosophers than between two accountants.  Nothing will be … Continue reading

Posted in computing | 13 Comments

Big Money

(Photo courtesy ZeroOne.) It’s a cruel irony: As the citizens of Zimbabwe sink into bitter poverty, they are becoming millionaires and billionaires. Inflation is eroding the value of the Zimbabwean dollar so rapidly that everyday transactions turn into lessons in … Continue reading

Posted in games, modern life, statistics | 4 Comments