Category Archives: modern life

Truth, Trump, and Trisectors

What is truth? said jesting Pilate, and did not stay for an answer. —Francis Bacon Lately there’s been a lot of news about fake news (some of it, for all I know, fake). Critics are urging Facebook, Google, and Twitter … Continue reading

Posted in mathematics, modern life, off-topic | 6 Comments

Geotargeted by the NY Times

Reading the Times this morning, I got to the middle of a story about the cost of medical care when I was stopped by this passage: Consider Boston, our best guess for where you might be reading this article. It’s … Continue reading

Posted in modern life | 3 Comments

Ramsey Theory in the Dining Room

Friends were coming for dinner, and we would be eight at the table. When I pulled the wine glasses out of the cupboard, I found quite a miscellaneous array of stemware—an equilibrium distribution reached after many years of occasional additions … Continue reading

Posted in mathematics, modern life | 9 Comments

AIpocalypse

Murder by Robot in R.U.R. (Image from Wikipedia.)The robot that runs amok and turns on its maker has been a staple of fiction and film for at least a century. The plotline goes back to Karel Kapek’s 1921 play R.U.R., … Continue reading

Posted in computing, modern life | 7 Comments

Traffic Jams in Javascript

Building bigger roads can make traffic worse. The usual explanation for this counter­intuitive and counterproductive outcome is that bigger roads attract bigger shopping malls, which in turn attract more cars. But that’s not the whole story. In the 1960s Dietrich … Continue reading

Posted in computing, featured, mathematics, modern life | 12 Comments