Browsing All posts tagged under »math«

Probable Cause (Part 3)

May 21, 2013


I reach for a book in my office, and I get that weird tingly feeling, something like an invisible finger tapping me on the brain. I turn and walk over to another bookcase, pulled along as though I were a migrating insect, and not one of the smart ones either. I’m heading somewhere, but for […]

Probable Cause (Part 1)

May 6, 2013


I’m interested in probability. Not in how we calculate probability, because once you know how to do it, the whole thing can get pretty boring. But what probability is – that’s what I wonder about. Does it really exist? Or is it more like time, in the sense that it’s a way of measuring something […]

Math Hysteria

December 11, 2010


One day my father, for no apparent reason, began a hypothetical discussion with me about pennies and how quickly they could add up to something. It’s possible that he was using a diversionary tactic after I’d requested an increase in my allowance. He said that if we were to put a single penny into a […]

Zero, One, and Infinity

August 15, 2010


The concept of infinity is useful in mathematics, but doesn’t have many practical applications in everyday life. In fact, it tends to cause problems. For example, if you had an infinite number of ping pong balls, each with a different numeral, and you gave away all of the even-numbered balls, you’d still have an infinite […]