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.


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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

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A Meditation on π

note: This is not a volley in the \(\pi-\tau\) debate, of which Vi Hart is undisputed monarch -- and right, as well -- as far as I'm concerned.


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A few number-theoretic \(\pi\) facts:

  • \(\pi\) is provably transcendental, thus also irrational.
  • \(\pi\) is suspected, but not known, to be normal, a generalization of transcendence.
  • \(\pi\), provably, has Liouville-Roth constant (or irrationality coefficient) no greater than \(7.6063\), and is suspected to have constant no greater than \(2.5\). (As a consequence of its irrationality, its L-R constant is \(\geq2\).)

Note, though, that each of these things is also true of literally 100% of numbers. And before you scoff at my use of the figurative 'literally', no no -- measure-theoretically, the non-(normal, transcendental, irrational, irrationality-coefficient-less-than-8) numbers make up exactly, mathematically 0% of the number line.

For the record: irrational algebraics like \(\sqrt2\) are also nonterminating and nonrepeating, and it's not clear what features of the stringwise-local decimal expansion (which seems to be the only thing \(\pi\) enthusiasts focus on,

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