Open Thread

A little random stuff from the web:

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I felt pretty much that way after watching the video below and skimming parts of Terence Tao’s related blogpost.

I did a little work on infinite series and their convergence properties in a previous course in micro – enough to know that this stuff sometimes makes no sense at all – but I do not think I have ever seen this one before. Incidentally I should point out that if you ever get the impression that you have a tendency to overestimate your own intellectual abilities and you would like an easy way to keep reminding yourself that you’re not actually that smart, making Tao’s blog your starting page for a couple of weeks should do the trick…

ii. A couple of Khan Academy videos (just to remind you guys that the site is still around and still has a lot of videos you may be interested in watching at some point):

iii. A few interesting wikipedia links from the bookmarks (I can’t be bothered to write a ‘wikipedia links of interest post’):
Empire of Japan.
Juan Perón.
Operation Keelhaul.
Project MKUltra.
List of animals with fraudulent diplomas.

iv. After the end of the last chess tournament I participated in I got curious as to how strong the opponents I’m regularly playing against on playchess actually are, so I decided to for a while semi-systematically look up the ratings of the players I play against to get an idea how well I actually do. I got curious to a significant degree because despite a rather horrible end of the aforementioned tournament (½ out of 4 in the last four games), I still performed at ~1900 FIDE, which is far higher than the playing strength I had assumed based on my online games/rating. There may be multiple explanations for this, for one thing ‘over-the-board chess is different’. But another aspect may play a role as well: What I realized when I started ‘checking out’ my opponents was that a lot of strong players have online ratings not that different from my own (I defeated all these players in online games during the last month or so). Of course lots of opponents didn’t have fide ratings, and lots of players don’t add their true names to their profiles, but this little exercise did make me realize that I may not actually be doing that badly on the site.

I recently found out how to share games I’ve played on playchess, making the game sharing process significantly easier than it used to be. I may share more games in the future than I have in the past. Here are two games I played in January: 1, 2. On a related matter, here’s one reason why I’ll probably never become an IM. Despite the fact that I’m most of the time on the top 100 tactics list on playchess, I feel pretty confident I’ll never find a mate like that in one minute.

v. Am I the only one thinking this is way too much work to be worth the effort? Also: 88 dates? A mathematician like him should be familiar with the literature on optimal stopping rules (see e.g. this), and from my reading of the article it doesn’t seem as if he even considered implemented a stopping rule.

January 30, 2014 - Posted by | Chess, History, Khan Academy, Lectures, Mathematics, Medicine, Open Thread

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