On Eponymous Erasure

While slumming on the Internet I came across a woman complaining. Imagine my astonishment! The lady1, let’s call her Karen, had an esoteric complaint, it was: The Pythagorean Theorem was known long before his birth. Calling the theorem “Pythagorean” is a form of erasure. Oh my! Apparently, attributing a well-known mathematical result to a person … Continue reading On Eponymous Erasure

“Managing” a SQLite Database with J (Part 2)

When faced with unfamiliar program code Roger Hui, the co-creator of the J Programming Language would sometimes wipe out all the code comments. He told me this forced him to concentrate on the actual code and not the opinions of previous developers. Roger was an exceptional programmer; he knew that program comments are often dated, … Continue reading “Managing” a SQLite Database with J (Part 2)

“Managing” a SQLite Database with J (Part 1)

Previously, I promised to write three posts about dispatching irritants with J. This, my third post, is proving more irritating than the others, so I will split it over two posts. SQLite, by many estimates, is the most widely deployed SQL database system on Earth. It's everywhere. It's in your phone, your laptop, your cameras, … Continue reading “Managing” a SQLite Database with J (Part 1)

Checking a Racist Alien AI’s Homework

Near the end of Jordan Ellenberg’s wonderful collection of essays Shape he writes: What if the Poincaré Conjecture had been proved, not by an introverted Russian geometer, but by a machine? Say, a grandchild of a grandchild of Chinook, which instead of solving checkers had managed to solve this part of three-dimensional geometry. And suppose … Continue reading Checking a Racist Alien AI’s Homework