I've just signed up for Tom Henderson's Math for Primates podcast
on the strength of this interview he conducted with Technoccult about his theory of punk mathematics. My dad's a mathematician and I love math, but stopped taking it after first year university calculus and stats and feel like I'm losing it by the year. I like Henderson's approach to the subject! Bonus: Tom helped Jane McGonigal and pals make the awesome Superstruct
So, the concept I pitched to Nick was, "Let's talk about math from the platform of 'Math that humans are likely to want to know, because it's about other humans.'"
Social conflict. Sex. Beauty.
The Philosophy of Punk Rock Mathematics - Technoccult interviews Tom Henderson
It gives us an excuse to talk extensively about game theory. And, game theory is a key place to teach humans mathematics, because we seem to have some optimized "cheat detection" in our brains.
Let me give you an example, it's something like, uh...
There are four face-down cards on a table. There is a rule: "If the number showing is even, then the back of the card MUST have a vowel."
Now, given an E, 3, 8, D, what is the smallest number of cards you need to flip over to verify that the rule is being followed?
Maybe I fucked up the puzzle. But, anyway, the answer as I've phrased it is NOT E and 3.
You need to make sure that 8 has a vowel on the back, and you need to make sure that D does NOT have an even number on the back.
Everyone gets this wrong, basically. Well, non-mathematicians always do, and I'm pretty sure I got it wrong because I get every answer wrong on the first try. Punk as fuck.
Now, if you ask the same people a logically equivalent question: "You see four people. Two are drinking beer and two are drinking coke. Whose IDs do you have to check?"
No one says you have to check the ID of the coke drinker. Because who cares how old they are? If it's the same puzzle, but phrased as a problem of possible social cheating, we nail it.
(via Beyond the Beyond
NASA today announced that astronomers studying data from NASA’s Great Observatories have found the best evidence yet for “cosmic seeds in the early universe that should grow into supermassive black holes.”
Could you recover a murder victim’s last sight of their killer by extracting it from the retina? Little more than a century ago, forensic scientists thought it might be possible. After all, in 1877 physiologist Wilhelm Friedrich Kühne was able to develop a simple image from an albino rabbit’s dissected eyeball. (Above, the two images […]
Backed by huge donations from vitamin companies, the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians is pushing to get naturopathic medicine recognized and regulated in all 50 US states, paving the way to receiving public funds in the form of Medicare reimbursements.
Every company wants to harness the power of social media, but few understand how to make that happen. Be one of those select few with this Social Media Marketing Course & Certification package, now just $29 in the Boing Boing Store.Over 12 modules of course material, you’ll learn what it takes to increase a brand’s […]
If you’ve got a killer app idea, but don’t have the technical expertise to pull it off, get a crash course in all things app development with the Comprehensive Android Development Bundle, now over 90% off in the Boing Boing Store. Across 83 hours of training, you’ll learn to develop for the world’s most popular mobile OS, mastering […]
Jared Sinclair developed the RSS reader app Unread, which made $10,000 in its first 24 hours on the iOS market. And we’ve all heard the story of Flappy Bird developer Dong Nguyen, whose creation was reportedly earning $50,000 a day at the height of its 2013 explosion. While those are rare examples, they’re also testament to the […]