Tag Archives: metrics

the Charles Dickens gift metric

If Charles Dickens were alive today, he would rather receive £20 from a waiter friend than £100 from a banker friend, because it means more coming from the poor man. £20 is a larger fraction of the poor man’s income, so it … Continue reading

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[T]he point of introducing L^p spaces in the first place is … to exploit … Banach space. For instance, if one has |ƒ − g| = 0, one would like to conclude that ƒ = g. But because of the … Continue reading

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Talking in Tuples

Mathematics is the *Most* Different Language. In Can we make mathematics intelligible?, R P Boas jokes: There is a test for identifying some of the future professional mathematicians at an early age. These are the students who instantly comprehend a sentence … Continue reading

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Average Wages by US County, 1Q2011

When people pontificate about national politics, I find the dialogue too generalistic. “Technology X will create green jobs”. “Wall Street is making more than Main Street.” “The United States needs to invest more money in high tech. Routine production is … Continue reading

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Manifolds, Star Fox, and Self-versus-Other

Branes, D-branes, M-theory, K-theory … news articles about theoretical physics often mention “manifolds”.  Manifolds are also good tools for theoretical psychology and economics. Thinking about manifolds is guaranteed to make you sexy and interesting. Fortunately, these fancy surfaces are already … Continue reading

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Movie Ratings

Another unmeasurable distance is ★★★ movie ratings. Movie ratings are drawn from the set {★,★★,★★★,★★★★,★★★★★} and related by the total ordering >: ★★★★★ > ★★★★ ★★★★ > ★★★ ★★★ > ★★ ★★ > ★ and the transitivity of > gives … Continue reading

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The Hotness Scale

One example of a total ordering ≤ is the “hotness” scale from 1–10. Because of the widespread disagreement about the meaning of the numbers, the only thing one can infer based on a man’s rating of a woman is that … Continue reading

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