Yesterday’s Thoughts

Showing all posts in 'Ways of Knowing'

April 17, 2007

A New Meaning for the History of Ideas

From New York Times via Matt. Our desire to believe in an orderly universe leads us to interpret the uncertainty we feel about the future as nothing but a consequence of our current state of ignorance, to be dispelled by greater knowledge or better analysis. But even a modest amount of randomness can play havoc […]

January 16, 2007

Depression, Parenting and Protection

One of the perks that I receive by virtue of being the President of the parent’s organization at my children’s school is that I occasionally get to attend presentations on education and parenting that I might not otherwise. A couple of months ago, I heard a woman named Madeline Levine speak about her book about […]

January 6, 2007

Gerald Ford – Failed Healer

Gerald Ford’s policy of healing and moving on, whether it was the right thing to do, or the wrong thing to do, was a failure. Rather than allowing honest conflict of opinion to flourish and consensus to form, Ford attempted to shut down debate and paper over conflict. The debate addresses whether Ford was right […]

December 5, 2006

Seach Strategy

In Hunting the elusive search strategy Jon Udell proposes to study the methods that people use to effectively search. He proposes capturing individual cases of searching for something and then analyzing those cases. The point is to help people learn to search. That’s an interesting approach, and it would benefit from having some good tools […]

November 12, 2006

Network Effects of the Opposite Kind

I have been reading The Economy of Cities by Jane Jacobs. It was published in 1969 which means I have been walking around blindly for the past 37 years not noticing it. I don’t know how that is possible. So many of my interests intersect in this single thin book, the history of agriculture, the […]

November 8, 2006

Rumsfeld’s Rules

In honor of Donald Rumsfeld’s resignation, quotations from Rumsfeld’s Rules It is easier to get into something than to get out of it. If a prospective presidential approach can’t be explained clearly enough to be understood well, it probably hasn’t been thought through well enough. If not well understood by the American people, it probably […]

September 8, 2006


Regular readers know have a handful of disparate phenomena that are interesting to me because they are mathematically similar. Each is a process that traverses a probability tree and becomes more or less probably as the number of branches in the tree increase. My posts on Wiio’s Laws, network effects in rural economies (Jane Jacob’s […]

September 1, 2006

Hot Water/Cold Water

Steve Yegge wants to hear about my gross conceptual misunderstandings. I’ve had a couple in the hopper to blog about for a while, so I’ll take the opportunity of this new blog to mention two I’ve become clear on over the past few years. Both relate to plumbing and water temperature. Once when I was […]

March 26, 2006

Press Coverage from Iraq

This week both President Bush and Vice President Cheney have pointed fingers at the press for focusing on the bad news from Iraq. These attempts to salvage US public opinion in favor of Iraqi War and against President Bush follow on earlier effort by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld to shape media coverage to favor […]

March 16, 2006

Who knew there were no WMD in Iraq?

Last week Andrew Sullivan was raising the issue of ex post facto claims that the speaker/writer knew Saddam did not have WMD. Examples here,here, here, and here. The central nugget: I’m now overwhelmed by how many people say they now opposed the war all along because they could see that the WMD issue was invalid. […]