Understanding e to the pi i - "An intuitive explanation as to why e to the pi i equals -1 without a hint of calculus. This is not your usual Taylor series nonsense." (via via; reddit; previously) [more inside]
"Can doctors and investment advisers be trusted? And do we live more for experiences or memories? In a SPIEGEL interview, Nobel Prize-winning psychologist Daniel Kahneman discusses the innate weakness of human thought, deceptive memories and the misleading power of intuition."
Professional philosophers have long known that there are far fewer women in philosophy than there are men. (Some quick info.) Recently, this issue has taken center-stage in the philosophy blogosphere. First, a new study suggests that gender plays a role in what intuitions one has to philosophical thought experiments, such as the Gettier cases about knowledge, and The Trolley Problem related to ethics (via). Second, a new blog, What is it like to be a woman in philosophy?, has exploded in popularity as it shows the good, the bad, and the downright ugly involved in being a woman in the profession. [more inside]
Philosophy’s great experiment. "Philosophers used to combine conceptual reflections with practical experiment. The trendiest new branch of the discipline, known as x-phi, wants to return to those days. Some philosophers don’t like it." [Via]
"That's why so many insights happen during warm showers."[pdf/html]
print-only print-mostly article in last week's New Yorker magazine fascinatingly describes the neurological processes behind human insight, with nods to Henri Poincaré's omnibus eureka ("Having reached Coutances, we entered an omnibus to go some place or other. At the moment when I put my foot on the step the idea came to me, without anything in my former thoughts seeming to have paved the way for it") and Archimedes' bathtub eureka* ("Eureka!")
World's smallest flying robots In the early 1930 's, Arthur Young, a brilliant young inventor, built and successfully demonstrated a viable, flyable helicopter model. In Oslo Peter Muren developed a totally silent and aerodynamically stable coaxial rotor flying robot.In Brussels Alexander Van de Rostyne developed a 6.9 grams helicopter with infrared 4 axis control. Very cute too .
The New-Boy Network Finally, the Malcolm Gladwell article describing - all at once! - hiring in the software industry and the scientific basis of first impressions ia onliné. I discussed this very story with a recruitrix from MSN just today. It cast a bit of a pall over an otherwise surprisingly pleasant and reassuring interview (held after hours in a café with me wearing shorts). But I digress.