Beiträge vom 10. April 2011

Rediscovered: The Devil’s Dictionary (Ambrose Bierce)

Sonntag, 10. April 2011 22:13

I sometimes have free time at my hands right now to read things that have been slumbering in the depths of my computer for a long time. And I rediscovered „The Devil’s Dictionary“, composed around 1900 by Ambrose Bierce and available for free in a horrible text format on Project Gutenberg. As one of my early ventures into search and replace with regular expressions and into LaTeX, I created a nicely typeset version of that, hereby to be put into the public domain. And some of my favorite definitions from it right here:


Thema: English | Kommentare deaktiviert | Autor:

“Street-fighting Maths” and Nigeria vs Exxon

Sonntag, 10. April 2011 21:52

I just came across a book with the promising title „Street-Fighting Mathematics — The Art of Educated Guessing and Opportunistic Problem Solving“ by Sanjoy Mahajan (2010), which is actually licensed under Creative Commons, so it can be found for free online. The basic premise is to provide some mathematical tools or heuristics to sufficiently approximate solutions to everyday problems (and maybe also provide a more general framework for that kind of reasoning). And it starts teasingly with a topic called „Dimensions“ and „The power of multinational corporations“. Here’s the problem:

In Nigeria, a relatively economically strong country, the GDP [gross domestic product] is $99 billion. The net worth of Exxon is $119 billion. “When multinationals have a net worth higher than the GDP of the country in which they operate, what kind of power relationship are we talking about?” asks Laura Morosini.

What is the most egregious fault in the comparison between Exxon and Nigeria?


Thema: English | Kommentare deaktiviert | Autor:

small thoughts 2011-04-10 (my week in twitter)

Sonntag, 10. April 2011 7:59

  • Der kleinste Teufel der Energiehölle Runder Blick auf billige Energie, Externalitäten und ein Plädoyer fürs „smart grid“ #
  • #travelinsight 25: So beautiful to have little things from the loved ones back home around. So many I use every day and warm my heart! #

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