The Letter from Douglas Hofstadter: A Mystery of My Own Mind

Recently I was going through a box of some old correspondence and came across a handwritten letter from Douglas Hofstadter, dated September 1, 1983. If that name sounds familiar, there’s a good reason. Hofstadter is a well-known professor of cognitive … Continue reading →

How Not to be Ignorant About the World

Hans and Ola Rosling present an entertaining TED talk illustrating why many of our assumptions about the world tend to be wrong, and how to improve our chances of getting things right. In the first half of the talk, Hans … Continue reading →

School Placement Lotteries: Problems and a Solution

In 1994 when my son was about to reach kindergarten age, I realized there were¬† glaring problems with the way the Minneapolis Public Schools operated their school choice placement program. With a bit of research I discovered a solution, patterned … Continue reading →

Chance in Elections

U.S. Presidential elections are often quite close, although the electoral college system tends to distort election results so that they appear to be more decisive than they are. The 2012 election is a good example. Although Obama won the electoral … Continue reading →