Tag Archives: literature

from “On Self-Referential Sentences” by Douglas Hofstadter, originally in Scientific American (January 1981), reprinted in Metamagical Themas (1985) via crystilogic (Source: http://amzn.to/Ka9370)

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tense second

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Jo Ann Beard on Day Jobs

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I view a mathematics library the same way an archaeologist views a prime digging site. There are all these wonderful treasures that are buried there and hidden from the rest of the world. If you pick up a typical book … Continue reading

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[A] wall of fifty or sixty glass demijohns, wired tight against earthquakes, exhibit creatures from the [United East India] Company’s once-vast empire. A pickled dragon of Kandy…a slack-jawed viper of the Celebes…A baby alligator from Halmahera…The alligator’s umbilical cord is … Continue reading

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Boat Times

by sandydreamsinmybackpackman: When the boat times were over How it all came crashing down. We couldn’t maintain That glory, that leisure. Something…like that Can’t last forever. ________________ She had a muddled underbelly. There was an iceberg. 3,000 people died, and that’s … Continue reading

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The Wild Prologue

Semigroups are like groups but semigroup elements don’t always have inverses, necessarily. Semigroups obey the associative law: a then b, then c       =       b then c, after a. but not necessarily the commutative law (3+14=14+3). Aristotle observed … Continue reading

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Superadditivity

“The whole is more than the sum of the parts” Who says scientists are reductionistic? Any superadditive system—due to complexity, interaction terms, valuation by an Lₚ norm with 0<p<1, or some other reason—adds up to more in total than the … Continue reading

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Don Quijote — Word Statistics

Using the Gutenberg Project’s free text of Don Quijote + Unix for Poets, here are the most used (non-short) words in Miguel de Cervantes’ famous work: 2167 Quijote 2145 Sancho 1331 porque 1053 respondió 1027 había  900 merced  813 vuestra  796 … Continue reading

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As David Foster Wallace saw it, irony could critique but it couldn’t nourish or redeem.

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