"The sun is a symbol...

of the risen Christ."

Response A: No it isn't! It is a ball of flaming hydrogen!

"The Mona Lisa is a symbol of the mysteries of feminine beauty."

Response B: No it isn't! It is a bunch of pigments spread across a canvas!

Response A makes no more sense than Response B.

Who Am I?

Pretend you are on one of those Guess-My-Line-style gameshows. Could you name the following person?

"I have been referred to as inarguably 'the most original and the most versatile intellect that the Americas have so far produced... because any second would be so far behind as not to be worth nominating.' I was accomplished as a mathematician, astronomer, chemist, geodesist, surveyor, cartographer, metrologist, spectroscopist, engineer, inventor, psychologist, philologist, lexicographer, historian of science, mathematical economist, book reviewer, dramtist, actor, short story writer, phenomenologist, semiotician, logician, rhetorician, and metaphysician. I developed a cardinal arithmetic for infinite numbers years before Cantor, axiomatized natural number arithmetic before Dedekind and Peano, and set out axiomatized set theory before Zermelo. Fifty years before Shannon, I described how Boolean logic could be implemented in electrical switches.

"Karl Popper described…

"He isn't college educated."

So often I've heard this euphemism for "he's not very bright."

As though a smattering of introductory courses plus a concentration, most of which are evaluated en-masse, are to bestow intelligence or wisdom.

Algocynfas advances!

We can now do minimum spanning trees.

Next up: binary search trees.

David Attenborough, empty posh accent

I was alerted to the fact that this "naturalist" apparently doesn't care what nonsense they give him to read when I was binge-watching the "Wild [X]" (where X = "India" or "China" or "Indochina") series, and heard him describe a encounter between two red pandas as "a male driving off a male intruder," and in a subsequent episode, describe the exact same footage as "a male trying to attract a female." (I actually went and re-played the earlier episode to make sure.)

In Blue Planet, Attenborough treats the viewer to such gems as:

"Spring comes as the sun begins to climb higher in the sky."

Nope, by the time spring comes, the sun has been climbing higher in the sky for three months!

"It is now mid-summer, and the days are getting longer."

No, mid-summer's day is when the days begin getting shorter. And if he means "the middle of the summer," the quote is even worse.

"Kelp, l…

Great paper on computer science education


Racist dog whistles

These days the progressive left talks continually about "racist dog whistles" being sounded by... well, any figure they don't like.

Here's the thing about dog whistles though: only dogs can hear them! And that is the idea behind the "racist dog whistle" meme: this is secret, coded language that only racists can understand. But...

That means the progressives pointing out these "dog whistles" would have to be... racists! Or else they couldn't hear the whistle, they wouldn't understand the code.

Of course, what the charge really amounts to is, "I don't like that person's preferred policies, and while I can't point to anything explicitly racist that he said, I can instead smear him by claiming he's speaking in a secret racist code."