Monthly Archives: June 2013

the unreasonable effectiveness of quantifying habits


Somewhere at Harvard

Although not a new article, this one is certainly fascinating.  With all the media hyper-ventilating about NSA spy programs, the following articled describes just how much information a retailer can glean from your buying habits.

The idea that most of today’s physicists are self-described Platonists is quite remarkable.   As a group, most physicists would agree that the unreasonable effectiveness of mathematics in theoretical physics is explained by the fact that mathematics exists a priori from human experience and the physical world.  This piece describes how the deification of mathematics – in pursuit of a “theory of everything” – leads to a dizzying array of realities.  Physics’s pangolin


Problems in the Turkish Polity

Protestor, Harvard Square

Protestor, Harvard Square

It’s too early to tell if anything will come of the recent protests in Turkey.  It’s safe to say the veneer of democracy that Erdogan created over the last decade has been tarnished.  One wonders when authoritarian leaders (especially in the Middle East) will learn the lesson of the Arab Spring.  Perhaps those who remain don’t feel threatened by popular uprisings.  Assad certainly did not believe he needed to consider any meaningful reforms.

Here’s an article describing the potential factors that led to the Turkish turmoil: