About The Daily Pochemuchka

Newton once compared himself to a boy playing on the seashore, “diverting [himself] in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary”. It takes exquisitely good taste to consistently find nice pebbles and shells, and good taste is unfortunately not something I have.
Fortunately, thousands and thousands of people do. They spend long years scouring distant shores, amass pebbles by the bucketload, and hawk their wares in the vast marketplace of ideas. The better ones are bought, refined, systematically organized in museums by conscientious collectors, again over long years.
Then people like me visit these museums: “Oh, how enthralling! It is tragic that most aren’t even aware these pretty little pebbles and shells exist; it is blasphemous that some even confidently deny their existence!” And so I start spirited one-person awareness-raising campaigns from time to time. The Daily Pochemuchka is the latest such incarnation in a long line of those campaigns. Topics vary unpredictably, but include philosophy, math, science, politics, poetry and rationality.
Little content here is original. You could say this blog is essentially a repository of links to cool stuff elsewhere, a one-stop warehouse of portals, a neuron with ten thousand dendrites, a young node aspiring to high betweenness centrality….
The blog design is obscenely bad.
My quotes often run to thousands of words for a number of reasons. Sometimes it’s the inferential gaps you need to cross. Mostly it’s because pithy one-liners aren’t as rewarding to me as hundred-liners that steadily ratchet the wow factor up to the dizzying heights of ecstasy. Sure it’s more efficient just to link to the original articles, but quoting longform is so fulfilling.
Occasionally I go down to the marketplaces themselves, but the dilettante in me with its gnat-on-meth attention span often finds the curated collections of museums more immediately gratifying.
I have never been as far as the shores of reason.



2 thoughts on “About The Daily Pochemuchka

  1. Ron Maimon on Quora about what is missing from mathematics…

    574 Views • Ron has 6 endorsements in Mathematics.
    “Everything looks basic after it is understood. Cohen forcing is probably the most basic thing that was understood recently, in the 1960s. This allows us to understand that it is consistent that all sets of reals are Lebesgue measurable, something which is extremely intuitively obvious. It should be viewed as fundamental as zero, or negative numbers, it’s due to Solovay.

    Similarly, advanced techniques like those of Grothendieck and Thurston begin to look elementary with the passage of time. It’s the nature of mathematics that almost all the major advances look obvious in hindsight.”

    That said, sir, as I cannot find Ron’s contact info, I am presuming to ask you: can degrees of nothing be observed in terms of multiples and fractions of zero, as per the diagram found at Mobius-ity.us/BENums.png ? If so, so does such add anything to mathematics? If not, what are the flaws you see in the diagram which prevent it from having even a wit of mathematical significance?

    In any case, great blog!!! And warmest regards!


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