Monthly Archives: November 2009

El Farol Highway

I got caught Wednesday night in the national pre-Thanksgiving traffic jam. As I was approaching Baltimore, an electronic signboard announced: Delays on I-95 and I-895 Suggest I-695 Of course I immediately thought: But everyone will read the sign and take … Continue reading

Posted in modern life | 5 Comments

The birth of the giant component

The waste product of my document scanning project is a slag heap of extracted staples: The other day I made a discovery: If you grab one of the discarded staples and lift it, the whole ball of tangled, mangled metal … Continue reading

Posted in mathematics | 12 Comments

Information is physical

I’m still busy digitizing a lifetime’s accumulation of clippings from magazines and journals, along with heaps of old tech reports, memos, and miscellaneous other cruft. There’s something slightly eerie about the process. So far I’ve emptied out a dozen file … Continue reading

Posted in computing | 12 Comments

A comment on comment spam

Someone out there is being paid to post comments on–and doubtless on tens of thousands of other blogs as well. The comments are mostly bland and inoffensive, sometimes effusive, always hastily composed. “Thanks for article..good work,” they say. “Amazing!!” … Continue reading

Posted in computing, modern life | 16 Comments