Archive for August, 2006

I’m a betting man, and yesterday I was offered a betting proposition. The U.S. Bridge Championships are going on now, and the great Nickell team, which has won the event eight years running, has a bye to the semifinals. My friend Justin Lall, a bridge pro, offered me 6:1 odds on $50 on the field: […]

Aaron Haspel | Posted August 26, 2006 @ 5:07 PM | Heuristic

Possibly the most annoying truth in the world is that good qualities cluster. People who are good at something tend to be good at many things. The psychometric version of clustering is g, or general intelligence. The existence of g is not seriously disputed in the field, and g-deniers like Howard Gardner, with his theory […]

Aaron Haspel | Posted August 22, 2006 @ 1:16 AM | Philosophy

Idly browsing in the bookstore one day, I found this, carefully wrapped in onionskin and folded into an old edition of Hardy’s Collected Poems. The road to ignorance may be paved with good editions, as Bernard Shaw remarked, but its byways are littered with interesting ephemera. Dear Mr. Smyth, The assignment is all of the […]

Aaron Haspel | Posted August 14, 2006 @ 5:20 PM | Literature,Poetry

The idea that aesthetics has a lot to do with self-similarity occurred to Benoit Mandelbrot thirty or so years before it occured to me, although if you ask Mandelbrot there are vanishingly few ideas that didn’t occur to him first. It’s Newton, Einstein, Archimedes, and Mandelbrot, not necessarily in that order. So it isn’t original, […]

Aaron Haspel | Posted August 12, 2006 @ 2:32 AM | Poetry

One problem with blogging is that anyone can read your archives and see what an idiot you were. I will spare you the trouble. I used to be a race skeptic. Eventually a cursory reading of Cavalli-Sforza convinced me how wrong I was. The History and Geography of Human Genes is a careful and scholarly […]

Aaron Haspel | Posted August 7, 2006 @ 10:11 PM | Navel-Gazing

This blog used to run on Greymatter, a collection of Perl scripts that its creator stopped supporting about ten minutes after I chose it. Greymatter served me well for years, but modern features that I need, like RSS feeds and comment spam control, are alien to it, and my Perl isn’t good enough to add […]

Aaron Haspel | Posted August 2, 2006 @ 6:28 PM | Code,Navel-Gazing