On Denoting

30 August 2012

A short but seminal work on logic, written by my favorite scholar of the 20th century, Bertrand Russell:


I read Principia when I was 18; I understood maybe 0.01% of it. For those who want to know more about this great man, there is a graphic novel (comic!) about his life:


What a great man:


For Sudoku Enthusiasts

30 August 2012

I got this email today:

The 2012 U.S. Sudoku Team Qualifying Test is this Saturday, September 1, at 1 PM, EDT (UTC-4). The top three U.S. contestants will be selected as members of the U.S. Team; unofficial participation is open to all puzzlers world-wide.

The procedures for this 2-part test are the same as last year. Complete details are available at the U.S. Sudoku Team home page (see URL below).

URL: http://wpc.puzzles.com/ussq2012

If there are any last-minute announcements or instructions, they will appear on the USSQ home and on the password page.

The organizers wish to thank Thomas Snyder and Wei-Hwa Huang for designing the puzzles again this year. As always, have fun and enjoy the puzzles!

Nick Baxter
USPC Director

We are hiring

30 August 2012


my childhood

29 August 2012

The Lost Tools of Learning

26 August 2012



by Dorothy Sayers


That I, whose experience of teaching is extremely limited, should presume to discuss education is a matter, surely, that calls for no apology. It is a kind of behavior to which the present climate of opinion is wholly favorable. Bishops air their opinions about economics; biologists, about metaphysics; inorganic chemists, about theology; the most irrelevant people are appointed to highly technical ministries; and plain, blunt men write to the papers to say that Epstein and Picasso do not know how to draw. Up to a certain point, and provided the the criticisms are made with a reasonable modesty, these activities are commendable. Too much specialization is not a good thing. There is also one excellent reason why the veriest amateur may feel entitled to have an opinion about education. For if we are not all professional teachers, we have all, at some time or another, been taught. Even if we learnt nothing–perhaps in particular if we learnt nothing–our contribution to the discussion may have a potential value.

However, it is in the highest degree improbable that the reforms I propose will ever be carried into effect. Neither the parents, nor the training colleges, nor the examination boards, nor the boards of governors, nor the ministries of education, would countenance them for a moment. For they amount to this: that if we are to produce a society of educated people, fitted to preserve their intellectual freedom amid the complex pressures of our modern society, we must turn back the wheel of progress some four or five hundred years, to the point at which education began to lose sight of its true object, towards the end of the Middle Ages.

Before you dismiss me with the appropriate phrase–reactionary, romantic, mediaevalist, laudator temporis acti (praiser of times past), or whatever tag comes first to hand–I will ask you to consider one or two miscellaneous questions that hang about at the back, perhaps, of all our minds, and occasionally pop out to worry us.


(more at link above)


24 August 2012

click to enlarge

why i dont like TED

17 August 2012


the author expressed my feeling exactly about the TED babblers

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