, a game that uses logical connections between words to pwn your opponent.
Computers are providing solutions to math problems that we can't check
- "A computer has solved the longstanding Erdős discrepancy
problem! Trouble is, we have no idea what it's talking about — because the solution, which is as long as all of Wikipedia
's pages combined, is far too voluminous
for us puny humans
to confirm." (via
An Illustrated Book of Bad Arguments
This book is aimed at newcomers to the field of logical reasoning, particularly those who, to borrow a phrase from Pascal, are so made that they understand best through visuals.
Here is a video
of the philosopher Graham Priest
giving a talk at the 2012 Conference on Paradox and Logical Revision. He addresses three questions. Can logic be revised? If so, can it be revised rationally? If so, how? [more inside]
Our Inconsistent Ethical Instincts
We like to believe that the principled side of the equation is rooted in deep, reasoned conviction. But a growing wealth of research shows that those values often prove to be finicky, inconsistent intuitions, swayed by ethically irrelevant factors. What you say now you might disagree with in five minutes. And such wavering has implications for both public policy and our personal lives. [more inside]
Using computer systems for doing mathematical proofs
- "With the proliferation of computer-assisted proofs
that are all but impossible to check by hand, Hales thinks computers must become the judge." [more inside]
Is your elementary school youngster struggling with math? Are they a visual person? Would math games and videos help them learn? Enter Math Playground
, to assist with problem solving and real world math. Try the enticing logic game Sugar, Sugar
or beef up your math word problem
skills. There are plenty of games
to help educate while entertaining.
is a flash game that takes the game mechanics of the indie hit VVVVVV
and transforms them from a fast-twitch platform game to a puzzle platformer. [more inside]
An illustrated guide to common logical fallacies
as well as well as a very nice worked example
of the fallacies involved in Cardinal Keith O'Brien
's recent(ish) article against gay marriage.
A series of short animations
explaining critical thinking. Created for children and pretty good for adults too.
"Suppose the null-byte is an electron. Then, /dev/zero provides an infinite supply of electrons and /dev/null has an infinite appetite for them..." Modeling transistors and logic gates using Unix pipes.
, also known as Pearls, is an NP-complete
logic puzzle created by the makers of Sudoku. Brandon McPhail provides a few free puzzles to get your feet wet on his web site
(Java applet). Once you've mastered those, UCLICK Games offers a free daily puzzle
(Flash) with the past month of archives available too. [more inside]
Professor Augustus S. F. X. Van Dusen, Ph.D., LL.D., F.R.S., M.D., M.D.S.*
is a fictional character in a series of detective short stories and two novels by Jacques Futrelle. Van Dusen was also known as "The Thinking Machine" for his application of logic to any and all situations. Most of Futrelle's stories are online
. Futrelle himself went down with the Titanic
"Perhaps twenty or thirty people in England may be expected to read this book."
G.H. Hardy's review of Whitehead and Russell's Principia Mathematica
, published in the Times Literary Supplement 100 years ago last week. "The time has passed when a philosopher can afford to be ignorant of mathematics, and a little perseverance will be well rewarded. It will be something to learn how many of the spectres that have haunted philosophers modern mathematics has finally laid to rest."
In the early 1960s, actor/comedian/writer/composer/TV-star Steve Allen recorded How to Think
, an educational album about the brain and the mind. [more inside]
Bret Victor on WorryDream
The power to understand and predict the quantities of the world should not be restricted to those with a freakish knack for manipulating abstract symbols.
When most people speak of Math, what they have in mind is more its mechanism than its essence. This "Math" consists of assigning meaning to a set of symbols, blindly shuffling around these symbols according to arcane rules, and then interpreting a meaning from the shuffled result. The process is not unlike casting lots.
is a simple flash-based puzzle game that involves getting your object from point A to B.
Levels you complete can be scrolled through using "x" to move to the next level and "d" to return the level select button to the first level.
The browser saves your progress, so you can close your tab/browser and return to it later.
92 years young, the delightful Raymond Smullyan
is a mathematician, logician, magician, concert pianist
, and Taoist philosopher
- who also pioneered retrograde chess problems
A logic puzzle called NAWNCO
(flash, game) "You got your Picross in my Minesweeper!" "You got your Minesweeper in my Picross!" [more inside]
Subjects don't need formal logic training. They don't need math or philosophy.
Fewer than 10 percent of the participants got it right when Peter Cathcart Wason
performed his 1966 study, the Wason Selection Task
. But according to an essay by Bruce Schneier referencing the work of evolutionary psychologists Leda Cosmides and John Tooby, that number improves, by 65 to 80 percent "...when the rule has to do with cheating and privilege."
Logical fallacies: 1
The next time your computer won't do what you want, just give it
a stern talking-to
Interested in teaching yourself some statistics? Here is an excellent online and interactive statistics textbook
developed at UC Berkeley, and also used at CUNY, UCSC, SJSU, and Bard. Here is the syllabus
for the course at Berkeley. And here are some insightful reflections
from the professor on developing Berkeley's first fully approved online course.
Since 1980, Nikoli^
has been in the business of creating many different variations
of logic puzzles (such as the very popular Sudoku and Kakuro). Unfortunately, as they're stationed in Tokyo, their magazine is unavailable to most Americans.
Luckily, over the decades they've inspired quite a few people to make their own puzzles and variants, including:
The Sexaholics of Truthteller Planet
- yes, it's one of those rotten logic problems, one of many that can be found at Tanya Khovanova’s Math Guide to the MIT Mystery Hunt
End of the decade flash fun: Picma Picture Enigmas
How to Talk to a Climate Sceptic
: "...a handy one-stop shop for all the material you should need to rebut the more common anti-global warming science arguments constantly echoed across the internet."
are modern logic puzzle games based on the classic educational games Rocky's Boots
(1982) and Robot Odyssey
(1984). [more inside]
Games, Actions and Social Software.
As seen through the lens of mathematics and logic. Presented as a discussion between characters. [more inside]
Apparently there's at least a 51% chance of God's existence. It starts out 50/50, like with pets. You have, say, either a dog or a cat. It's a 50/50 chance that it's one or the other, just like it's 50/50 that there's a God or not. Well, we exist. You exist. The earth exists. That nudges it up to 51%. If I understand this youtube gentleman
. Hilarious exercise in smug delivery of ironclad logic.
Friday Flash Fun*: Конструктор: Engineer of the People
, in which you are an engineer working in a top-secret semiconductor facility called H3, designing top-secret integrated circuits based on specifications provided to you.
*For certain values of 'fun'
Five ways 'common sense' lies to you
- a description of some everyday logical fallacies and how they effect us in a larger scale.
Metafilter's Back Monday Flash Fun: Two Rooms
is a logic game where you trigger switches to move barriers out of your way. [more inside]
In a breathless, passionate, yet level-headed 15 part series, YouTube user, paleontologist, ex-Christian, and potential Space Coyote
presents an uncommonly well-written and presented argument against what he identifies as the 14 "Fundamental Falsehoods of Creationism." [more inside]
Consider the Philosopher.
The early metaphysical investigations of David Foster Wallace.
The Mathemagician and Pied Puzzler (PDF, rough table of contents here)
is a collection of puzzles created by members of the Gathering 4 Gardner Foundation
, in tribute to the man himself (previously)
. Also freely available at the G4G site is Puzzle Craft (PDF)
, by Stewart Coffin. (The Puzzling World of Polyhedral Dissections, also by Coffin, is available here.)
Some are calling it the "Kindle Killer".
(Demo launch video at engadget
.) Plastic Logic's new e-reader, expected to be out in the first half of 2009, does promise to offer a lot that Kindle and most other other popular e-readers don't, like a larger display, big enough to provide a newspaper or magazine layout; touch-based markup and annotation; the ability to read standard documents and other file types without conversion; (promised) Wi-Fi connectivity (including the ability to transfer documents between readers); and last but not least, a screen display that you can hit with a shoe
, and isn't that something we've all been waiting for during these tense times? [more inside]