I cannot stop playing.. My high score is 6683 and my highest tile is 512.
Via one of you, elsewhere
A certain amount of scrutiny and unfairness will attach to a high-profile new project by a brash youngster. But this is just bad.
Stormcrow sends in: "τ not π" [Was going to add this to some other Friday Puzzler, but since it is π Day here it is.] The Tau Manifesto
Before proceeding with the demonstration that τ is the natural choice for the circle constant, let us first acknowledge what we are up against--for there is a powerful conspiracy, centuries old, determined to propagate pro-π propaganda. Entire books are written extolling the virtues of π.. And since it's Friday, a bonus puzzler:
Dwarves with hats (no, not that one, a different one):
7 dwarves, 7 possible colors of hat. Any dwarf can get any color. All combinations possible; everyone can get the same color hat for instance. They then get to see everyone else's hat but not their own, and attempt to identify the color of their own hat. They do not have access to each other's answers. One dwarf must guess the color of his hat correctly, or else death or unpleasantness or something. How to guarantee that one dwarf correctly names the color of his hat?
Heebie's take: I'm getting nowhere on this stupid hat thing.
K-Sky sends in:
Someone once said this to me and I think it is precisely right and I know when it happens but it's hard to quantify. It's like: wear a cool brand, but not a famous brand? Lady Professors, despite being impeccably tasteful, are down with the people and can't look like they care too much about the neoliberal fashion industry.
Since the Unfoggedtariat contains a few lady professors, I wonder if the principles of Lady Professor Conference Fashions might not be fit for discussion.
Heebie's take: Neither my school nor any math conferences have had this kind kind of scrutiny, but it's a fun read.
A slightly different thing I've discussed at length: how often should you repeat an outfit, if you're teaching? It is a safe assumption that bored students are scrutinizing your wardrobe (and body). My opinion is that it's fine to wear the same pair of pants two days in a row, because your MWF classes will see it once and your TTh classes will see it once, and that it's fine to repeat a whole outfit the following week.
I do have a colleague who says she never wears the same thing twice in an entire semester. She is one of my very favorite people in general, and fashionwise lives in the rhinestone crosses and jeans universe, so I was a bit surprised (but also charmed) to learn how deliberate her choices are.
One of our commenters presidentially writes: OK, strictly speaking this isn't a philosophy paper, but it's a riveting description of a senior philosopher's night out.
It makes for fascinating reading, as you get to choose between two totally different versions of the evening. In his version, there's a freshman student who is hot to date (or as he claims she put it, 'down to f**k*) her 50-something professor, and he ends up letting her crash at his apartment while fending off her advances. She's so offended by his refusal to date her that she ends up reporting him for sexual harassment just two days later. In her version, there's a lecherous professor plying her with alcohol and pawing her in the elevator, and a university that refuses to adequately discipline him.
This case is currently causing quite a stir in philosophy as part of a recent wave of sexual harassment allegations in the field. Since the mineshaft is full of folks with connections to philosophy and academia, I thought people would have fun adjudicating this one.
Here is some more background on Prof. Ludlow and his 'philosophy of cyberspace'.
Heebie's take: Oh dear.
I like to believe that the passengers on that missing plane are having lamb kabobs in some dusty Pakistani village. I also know which country to test my drones over without being bothered.
So, Airedale and I need your help brainstorming good things to say to the cast at the cast party. Right now I've got "so, you're Weevil!..." Help us.
I should feel bad that my immediate response to defending a deposition at a big law firm is to pilfer their stationery. But really, I don't.
This unpleasant app will allow you to read 500 words a minute! I'm only linking it because if you click through, there's little test screens going of 250, 350, and 500 words per minute, and you can indeed keep up with the text.
If you are actually trying to make sense of a text as a coherent entity, I think it would be really difficult to get an overall sense of it. However, it is perfect if you're taking an easy class and only feel obligated to complete the reading out of a sense of guilt.
It is central to one's mental health to believe that everything will be all right, in a general sense. In times of crisis, to have certainty that things will be okay. Or even not in times of crisis.
It is central to one's compassion to recognize that it is super common for things not to turn out all right.
The goal is to simultaneously hold both beliefs. If you don't, you'll become either depressed or an asshole, depending on which one you sacrifice. There are a few ways to simultaneously believe both. First, you can decide that you are exceptional.This happens a lot, either by magical thinking, or the extent to which religions can prey on it. (This comes up in my FB Feed Christians a lot. The problem is that if everything will be all right for you because you're Christian, the natural conclusion is that you need to be constantly proselytizing.)
Or you can decide that you worship statistics. I think this only works to some extent. Or you can just realize that you must live as though everything will be okay, but not actually believe that in general. This also only works to some extent.
This paradox is the not unrelated to the problem that self-improvement movements make terrible public policy.
(I know I'm writing a terrible post when I'm speaking in bland generalities. I'm invoking the 40 comments rule to determine the real post.)
I have no idea what the quality of Neil deGrasse Tyson's academic work is, but he's certainly doing great work as a role model. When my kids picture a typical astrophysicist, he's it.
I'm mostly watching to find out if he ever says "Billions and billions."
I'd love to see everybody in LA on Tuesday, March 11th. Who's free?
Tuesday, March 11
We just had a USPS truck pull up and drop off a package, on a Sunday. It is Sunday, isn't it?
Also this article about Disney and the author's autistic son is pretty beautiful and complex.