My Faults My Own

…willing to sacrifice something we don't have

for something we won't have, so somebody will someday.

IN WHICH Ross Rheingans-Yoo, a sometimes-poet and erstwhile student of Computer Science and Math, oc­cas­ion­al­ly writes on things of int­erest.

Reading Feed (last update: July 28)

A collection of things that I was happy I read. Views expressed by linked authors are chosen because I think they're interesting, not because I think they're correct, unless indicated otherwise.


Blog: Marginal Revolution | How well is Germany dealing with the migration crisis? — "Whatever respite Germany may have gained this week is offset, and then some, by the arrival of a new and frightening political dynamic. Mr. Seehofer succeeded by going nuclear; chances are, he won’t be the last. The politics of fear and menace may be here to stay, undermining the foundations of democracy. In sound democracies, policies are the results of compromise between parties representing a majority of the voters. Through the politics of artificial crisis, minorities take the system hostage. They create policies redeeming fictional problems for fictional


Impressions: Freakonomics

On my flight Boston-Keflavik, I picked up Freakonomics, by Levitt and Dubner. It was a fun read that I highly recommend. But a few things struck me about it, so I figured I'd write them down rapid-fire.

There's also a much longer about-Christmas post in the works, but it might not be out until tomorrow.

(1) "Despite [his] elite credentials, his approach is notably unorthodox."

I'm not sure what bothers me more: the widespread stereotype that eliteness is inextricable from orthodoxy, or my sinking suspicion that it's not entirely false.

(2) "He is ... an intuitionist."

In mathematics, "intuitionism" is a bit of a dirty word. In layman's term's, an intuitionist rejects the idea that a double negative is a positive, and so considers as invalid the logic:

1) Either A or B is true.
2) A is false.
3) Therefore, B is true.

It's appealing, because disallowing proofs by contradiction of the negation (i.e. the above form) means that every proof of "X exists" necessarily gives a mathematical

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