Monthly Archives: September 2013

Advances in Obfuscation

Richard M. Stallman, the gnuru of the free software movement, has launched a campaign to liberate JavaScript. His call to action begins: “You may be running nonfree programs on your computer every day without realizing it—through your web browser.” My … Continue reading

Posted in computing | 5 Comments

Who was Aleph Null?

Thirty years ago this month Scientific American launched a new column called “Computer Recreations.” I wrote the first six installments, then passed the baton to A. K. Dewdney. Soon after the first column appeared, we received a letter pointing out … Continue reading

Posted in computing, meta | 9 Comments

Black and white in one dimension

At the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington I find myself writing again about racial segregation, and specifically about Thomas C. Schelling’s mathematical model of how people wind up living in monochrome neighborhoods. I have mentioned Schelling’s model several … Continue reading

Posted in mathematics, social science | 3 Comments