Downstairs in a house are three identical on-off switches. One of them controls the lamp in the attic. The puzzle is to work out which switch controls the lamp. The rules are as follows. You are allowed to manipulate the switches all you like, and then you are allowed a single trip to the attic. How do you do it?
Univalent Foundations Redefines Mathematics - "When a legendary mathematician found a mistake in his own work, he embarked on a computer-aided quest to eliminate human error. To succeed, he has to rewrite the century-old rules underlying all of mathematics." (previously) [more inside]
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]
The game is the game, what's done is done, and it is what it is.
The Wire: Tautology Supercut [SLYT, NSFW]
In the 1960s, the English psychologist Peter Wason devised an experiment that would revolutionize his field.
Alcazar is a neat little path-finding logic game. There are also printable puzzles, strategy tips and metapuzzles to be had. [more inside]
0h n0 is a game of logical deduction where each dot in a grid can only exist in the same row or column as a certain number of like-colored dots. The game will give you specific pieces of information about how many like-colored dots a single dot can "see", and you must deduce the remaining grid of dots. It's from the same people who brought us the zen-like logic game 0h h1 (previously). [more inside]
Are you interested in making ambient, drifting, densely-layered electronic music? But don't know where to even start? This is the most thoughtful and gentle introduction I'm aware of, from a fine musician. It's a 45-minute video workshop from Rich Vreeland aka Disasterpeace, composer of the gorgeous, acclaimed Fez soundtrack. Rich composes a Fez-like track on the fly, explaining what he's doing in the process. While he uses Logic and the softsynth Massive in this workshop, his general approach and attention to sound design and synthesis will be applicable to whatever software or hardware you choose to use. (Hat tip to sparkletone for the link. Fez previously on Metafilter.)
Walter Pitts rose from the streets to MIT, but couldn’t escape himself. Pitts was used to being bullied. He’d been born into a tough family in Prohibition-era Detroit, where his father, a boiler-maker, had no trouble raising his fists to get his way. The neighborhood boys weren’t much better. One afternoon in 1935, they chased him through the streets until he ducked into the local library to hide. The library was familiar ground, where he had taught himself Greek, Latin, logic, and mathematics—better than home, where his father insisted he drop out of school and go to work. Outside, the world was messy. Inside, it all made sense. [more inside]
Get 10 is a new browser game from veewo, creators of 1024.
The best learning games are always fun. Try playing them yourself and see if you enjoy them. No matter how advanced your understanding of the subject matter, a good game should still be fun. I've understood algebra and number partitions for decades, but DragonBox and Wuzzit Trouble are still challenging puzzlers that I like to fiddle with on long airline flights. All good games offer challenges in intuitive ways. In fact, this is the reason games work so well for learning: Players are intrinsically motivated to identify and succeed at understanding the game's mechanics.The MindShift Guide to Digital Games and Learning provides a basic introduction to the use of video games in education, gives several thought-provoking examples, and points to numerous sites with related goals, including Edutopia's articles on game-based learning and Graphite's reviews of digital games with educational content. Meanwhile, this being what The Guardian has just called "Board games' golden age," resources such as Play Play Learn, BoardGameGeek's Games in the Classroom, and The Dice Tower's recent countdown of "Top Ten Games for the Classroom" offer interesting options for the tabletop as well. [more inside]
Argument Champion, 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; previously ;)
Crates in video games. (previously) Trains in video games. Birds in video games. Wall art in video games. Luchadores in video games. Foliage in video games. (previously) Logic in video games. Easter eggs (secret content) in video games. Normal eggs (and other food) in video games. Toilets in video games. Improved women's armor in video games (slightly NSFW). (previously) Bears in video games. Mickey Mouse in video games. Love in video games.
Many programmers' careers were launched by playing an innovative computer game called Robot Odyssey. [more inside]
The Adventures of Fallacy Man, from Existential Comics.
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.
Entertaining, collected bon mots and surprisingly interesting, collected poems by various authors. From a likable math brainiac's site, Dr T.E. Forster, a Cambridge University lecturer. He also knits and writes about Buddhist logic [pdf]. Bonus, there's a fun gif.
FFF: MMMMMM 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]
The problem with slippery slope arguments is that once you start using them you quickly move on to other fallacies
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.
Pipe Logic "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.
Masyu, 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.
Impasse is a simple flash-based puzzle game that involves getting your object from point A to B. Notes:
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.
"Cubelets is a robot construction kit; by combining sensor, logic and actuator blocks, young kids can create simple reconfigurable robots that exhibit surprisingly complex behavior." Watch the Cubelets Engineering Prototypes demo (1.01) on Vimeo. [more inside]
A logic puzzle called NAWNCO.
Picma Squared (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 literacy is an awareness and understanding of the metalanguage in which propositions, conjectures, lemmas and theorems are written.
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:
Luckily, over the decades they've inspired quite a few people to make their own puzzles and variants, including:
- The Art of Puzzles, by Thomas Snyder (updated weekly, plus bonuses)
- A Cleverly-Titled Logic Puzzle Blog, by Grant Fikes (updated several times a week)
- Melon's Puzzles, by Palmer Mebane (updated daily)
- Detuned Radio, by Tom Collyer (updated weekly)
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."
DroidQuest, Gate and Logicly 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]