The Last Telegram

For over a hundred years one of the most tried and true methods of efficiently communicating across the globe was the telegram. That technology allowed for the first trans Atlantic cable to be financially possible. When my dad proposed to my mom he sent a telegram from Germany to Fresno California.

If you’d like to send a telegram today, you can’t. The last telegram was sent on July 14th 2013.

I find it prodigious that the iPhone and the telegram had several years of overlap. Looks to me though, like the iPhone won.

Conspiracy Theories

The Notre Dame Cathedral Fire has captured the attention of people around the world. At the time of writing this there are lots of eyes on the situation looking for answers and the researched answers haven’t yet emerged because the research is still ongoing. In the gap people naturally speculate. Some of this speculation is presented as fact or near-fact. Thus we have conspiracy theories.

Conspiracy theories fill a void in our need for context.

You can learn a lot from the spoon on mars.

Humans are so engineered to see patterns, prone to want context and understanding that we often times find ourselves believing things that have significant gaps in logic.

Whenever you run across a conspiracy theory, ask yourself what human need does this story address?

Some of them are actually pretty clever ways of addressing a desire to find an enemy or scapegoat. After all when something bad happens we assume there’s a bad guy.

As time moves on and the theories can be vetted they’re likely to be seen for what they are. Be patient. Answers don’t always come right away. Once they do. Draw a comic.

image courtesy of XKCD.com

preparing for our robot overlords

One of the jokes that often emerges in technical circles is that we humans are the biological boot loader for some superior robotic race that will come after us. Usually the joke is followed by an awkward chuckle.

Recently I got an iWatch and now I’m beginning to think that the whole thing might be a legitimate concern. This is the first device I’ve had that told me to breathe.

Awkward chuckle.

I turned off the app.

Take that future robot overlords.

Apocalypse averted. You’re welcome. Feel free to send me bitcoin.

Trying Really Does Matter

Matt and Hannah are the sort of people you wish you had teaching math to you at school. As a life long learner I’ve enjoyed their videos and what they’ve been able to teach me.

Recently, I wrote a post about the fallacy to find a single right answer and how that impacts our lives. This video demonstrates that multiple tries can actually improve the confidence of a singular data point.

Yes, it’d be cool to get it right the first time, but it’s also OK to keep trying and learn from each iteration. Here’s how to do it with Maths.

Try not to laugh so hard while you’re learning.