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Sick Day Achievements

Spending my day at home while being sick has at least one perk: I can catch up with everything on the Internet that I’ve put off reading. After a day of RSS feed reading, I’ve compiled a list of things that I think are awesome and another list of things that I think are awful. […]

The War on Terror is Over: Repent!

Here’s an excerpt from a WSJ piece on “The War on Terror” that I found bewildering: Individually, some of this may be arguable. In toto, it’s a death sentence for an effective war on terror. It makes what’s left of the war—telephone wiretaps or monitoring money transfers—vulnerable to a steady stream of congressional and legal […]

Updating R Packages Automatically

Here’s a very naive program I just wrote to update all of the R packages I have on my system after I update the core R binary. Please let me know if there’s anything obviously wrong with this, such as failing to update items with chains of dependencies. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 […]

We Live and Die by Fire

There is no safe investment: to love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one — not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully around with hobbies […]

Chess Players versus The Beauty Contest Game

Here is a fascinating piece on the Beauty Contest game being played by chess players.

Brave New World

I am sitting on a NJ Transit train en route from Princeton to New York for a seminar on fMRI statistical analysis. As I travel, I’m corresponding in real time with my best friend, who lives in Madrid. We’re making plans for my trip there next week. And alI I can think about is how […]

Verbs and Nouns

When love is a feeling rather than an action, it is nearly worthless.

The Second Coming

Pew Research has found that 79% of Americans believe in The Second Coming of Jesus. What worries me more is not that 4 out of 5 Americans believe in The Second Coming, but that 1 out of 5 believes it will happen in their lifetime. It seems inevitable that such a belief will grossly warp […]

Dreams and Despair

We often find it easier to endure the evils we have sought to avoid than the good fortune that we have dreamt of.

Returning to the Escolios

Rereading Gómez Dávila’s “Escolios”, I am once again reminded that it is the greatest of the works of 20th Century Spanish language literature that have yet to be translated into English. Each time I return to these books, I find new sections that I adore: En el auténtico humanismo se respira la presencia de una […]