Small Worlds

One day during the winter of 1998, mathematicians Duncan Watts and Steve Strogatz of Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, sat down at a table in Strogatz’s office and drew a series of dots on a piece of paper. They then connected some of the dots together with lines to produce a simple pattern that mathematicians refer to as a graph. This may not sound like serious mathematics; it certainly does not sound like a profitable way to go about making discoveries. But as the two mathematicians were soon to learn, they had connected their dots in a peculiar way that no mathematician had ever envisioned. In so doing, they had stumbled over a graph of an unprecedented and fascinating kind.

Liao, Vasilakos & He (2017)

Continuar leyendo «Small Worlds»

Is Bias Always Bad?

Hugo Mercier (@hugoreasoning) / TwitterHow should cognitive mechanisms in general go about producing sound beliefs? Part of the answer, it seems, is that they should be free of bias. Biases have a bad press, in part because a common definition is “inclination or prejudice for or against one person or group, especially in a way considered to be unfair.” However, psychologists often use the term in a different manner, to mean a systematic tendency to commit some specific kind of mistakes. These mistakes need not have any moral, social, or political overtones.

Continuar leyendo «Is Bias Always Bad?»

In Memoriam: E. O. Wilson (1929 – 2021)

E. O. Wilson - Wikipedia

One of the greatest just passed away. In fact, Edward O. Wilson had the privilege of suffering which probably was the first witch-hunt of wokeness back in the days. He will always be on the walls of the Hall of Fame, and I allow myself to copy his «polemic» lines below. RIP. Continuar leyendo «In Memoriam: E. O. Wilson (1929 – 2021)»

The source of Time

…We started out with the image of time that is familiar to us: something that flows uniformly and equally throughout the universe, in the course of which all things happen. With the idea that there exists throughout the cosmos a present, a “now” that constitutes reality. The past for everyone is fixed, is gone, having already happened. The future is open, yet to be determined. Reality flows from the past, through the present, toward the future—and the evolution of things between past and future is intrinsically asymmetrical. This, we thought, is the basic structure of the world.

Les gens de l'IP — L'esprit généreux de Carlo Rovelli - Inside the Perimeter

Continuar leyendo «The source of Time»