Icosian Reflections

…a tendency to systematize and a keen sense

that we live in a broken world.

IN  WHICH Ross Rheingans-Yoo—a sometime economist, trader, artist, expat, poet, EA, and programmer—writes on things of int­erest.

Reading Feed (last update: August 6)

A collection of things that I was glad 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 | PredictIt seems to be closing?


Blog: Marginal Revolution | How many times are we going to make this kind of mistake? — I am old enough to remember the claims that we had a strategic national stockpile of poxvirus vaccines large enough to vaccinate every American. Now: "The shortage of vaccines to combat a fast-growing monkeypox outbreak was caused in part because the Department of Health and Human Services failed early on to ask that bulk stocks of the vaccine it already owned be bottled for distribution, according to multiple administration officials familiar with the matter."


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.


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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