Wednesday, October 17, 2012
The TI-89 interprets "xy" as a single variable, not the product of x and y. In the end, this was a good thing to discover: I had feared for a couple of hours that I had either broken mathematics or, more likely, my own modest cerebrum.
Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Monday, October 8, 2012
Anthropologists know that objectivity can be badly shaken by many factors. Last year I was in the land of the Dogon and asked a little boy if he was Muslim. He answered me in French, saying, "No, I'm an animist." Now, believe me, an animist doesn't describe himself as such unless he has a diploma from the École des Hautes Études in Paris. That boy was talking about his culture as it had been defined by anthropologists.
—Umberto Eco, Turning Back the Clock: Hot Wars and Media Populism (Orlando: Harcourt, 2007), p. 238-239.