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: June 21)

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 | Which technological advances have improved the working of autocracy? — The big innovation in authoritarian governance has been this: subsequent autocratic leaders, most of all in China, have found ways of both liberalizing and staying in power.

Blog: Schneier on Security | Free Societies are at a Disadvantage in National Cybersecurity — "I do worry that these disadvantages will someday become intolerable. Dan Geer often said that "the price of freedom is the probability of crime." We are willing to pay this price because it isn't that high. As technology makes individual and small-group actors more powerful, this price will

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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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