Posted 20 hours ago

Humble Pi: A Comedy of Maths Errors

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He just really loves anything even tangentially mathematical, and loves sharing it with everyone else. Lo que sí me ha quedado claro es que los humanos, desde programadores hasta arquitectos, han de poner sumo cuidado en la elaboración de sus tareas, y no obviar que las matemáticas están ahí para hacernos la vida más fácil.

When a disaster occurs, it is a system-wide failure and it may not be fair to find a single human to take the blame. If you get it as a present then worth a read but I wouldn’t go out of my way to recommend it for a purchase, if you want an interesting popular science read. The Null problem can be fixed by encoding names in a format for only character data, so that it doesn’t get confused with the data value of NULL. It isn’t exactly a compliment, but it almost always implies a fondness for the person being spoken about.

We want to find a villain in every disaster, but often they were well meaning people who were working at the edge of our knowledge or it was a committee failure. If you ever have access to a friend’s phone, go into the settings and change their calendar to the Buddhist one. In reality, the jump to a trillion is much bigger: the difference between living to your early thirties and a time when humankind may no longer exist. Progress in science and engineering often involves someone needing to go beyond the cutting edge, on to the bleeding edge.

The managers and high-up people in NASA were saying that each shuttle launch had only a one in 100,000 chance of disaster. A little larger or heavier construct suddenly passes a limit where previously minor problems become major ones or add up in odd ways. Matt Parker is some sort of unholy fusion of a prankster, wizard and brilliant nerd--maths is rarely this clever, funny and ever so slightly naughty. I enjoyed the book but was a little disappointed that so much was taken from fields of computing and engineering, where the issue wasn't strictly a mathematical failure, but a failure, for example, to understand the limits of binary, or load-bearing, or resonant frequency.

The book shares other mathematical situations where innovation outpaced the math calculations and tragedy occurred. The book is organized so that similar themes are grouped together into chapters, but each incident is only a few pages long, so it never feels bogged down or boring.

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