I'm Simon, a programmer in Copenhagen, Denmark. I like functional programming,
compilers, recreational mathematics, surrealist fiction. This page contains an
odd and hardly comprehensive collection of things I've found online.
I believe that imagination is stronger than knowledge. That myth
is more potent than history. That dreams are more powerful than facts. That
hope always triumphs over experience. That laughter is the only cure for grief.
And I believe that love is stronger than death. (Also, Robert Fulghum said this
I wrote this
I found these online
Assumptions (1996) is an essay by Paul Niquette about heuristics,
meaning "discovery methods". It is presented as a humourous dialogue between a
class of university students and a trickster lecturer.
(2014) is an attempt by Scott Aaronson to quantify morality using linear
algebra. Take Google's PageRank algorithm and apply it to a simulation of the
prisoner's dilemma. The result is an ability to mathematically divide actions
or actors into good and evil. Unfortunately, it appears you need external
notions like Eigenjesus or Eigenmoses to make this work.
- Who can name the bigger number?
is an essay by Scott Aaronson on coming up with really, really big numbers.
It's turtles and beavers all the way. To answer the question, he can.
- The Theory
of Interstellar Trade (1978) is a humourous scientific paper by Paul
Krugman documenting the implications that transporting goods at the speed of
light will have on economic theory. It is chiefly concerned with the following
question: How should interest charges on goods in transit be computed when the
goods travel at close to the speed of light?
- The Man
Who Loved Only Numbers (1998) is the story of a homeless man whose biggest
accomplishment in a kitchen is cutting a grapefruit with the dull side of a
knife, yet managed to be the most published mathematician in the world.
- 100+ Interesting
Data Sets for Statistics (2014) is a vast collection by Robert Seaton.
- A pair of dice
that never roll 7 (2006) is an essay by Simon Tatham about how one can
redefine the meaning of dice rolls in such a way that the combined outcome of
two six-sided dice is never 7, without affecting the likeliness of other
Shadow Scholar (2010) is a pseudonymous essay on professional cheating at
graduate levels. He'll write your master's thesis in cognitive psychology or
your Ph.D. thesis in sociology. He won't do math, of course.
- Return on Investment (2004) is a
piece of hacker fiction by Fyodor. Hacker fiction as a literary genre
relies on references to actual use of security software and thus works both as
educational and entertaining.
Sensations (2003) is an amateur erotic short story with lesbian aliens in
it by Colleen Thomas. It is very well-written and made a big impression on me
many years ago on the subject of Pansexuality.
- Thompson NFAs
(2007) by Russ Cox is an article on efficient implementation of regular
expression engines and how support for back-references, whether present or not
in a given regex, affects the running time exponentially for certain classes
of regexes. This is not the most recent research, but it presents a problem
currently present in most regex libraries across programming languages.
- How to Learn
Haskell (2014) is an overview of the best learning material available. In
particular, it links
to Brent Yorgey's
CIS 194 course material
and Bryan O'Sullivan's
CS240h course material (more advanced).
- The Alice and Bob After Dinner Speech (1984)
is the narration of Alice and Bob as viewed from space in the cryptographic