the other side of the dice

Posted in Books, Kids, pictures with tags , , , on August 19, 2022 by xi'an

A simple riddle from the Riddler: if a standard fair six-faced dice is falling on an edge rather than a face, what is the expectation of the sum of the faces sharing this edge?

The solution proposed there is however somewhat convoluted, when the average is simply

\frac{1}{6}\sum_{i=1}^6 \{i+\frac{1+\cdots+6}{4}-\frac{i+7-i}{4}\}=7

since the only face that does not share an edge with face i is 7-i…

nothing’s sacred [Charlie Hebdo repost]

Posted in Books, pictures with tags , , , , , , , on August 18, 2022 by xi'an

[Reposted a tribune by the Charlie Hebdo writers in Le Monde, 15 August]

The assassination attempt on Salman Rushdie is a reminder to those who seem to have forgotten that the basic freedoms of modern society, such as the freedom to create and express oneself, are constantly threatened by totalitarian ideologies around the world.

These hateful and contemptuous ideologies are based on political or religious theories whose self-proclaimed legitimacy raises questions. Salman Rushdie’s case forces us to question the place of religion and sacredness in our modern world.

If freedom of conscience gives each person the right to think what he or she wants about the origin of the world and its creation, the truths of religious revelation cannot impose their precepts on the whole of society. But for several years, we have noticed that religious practices are becoming more and more intrusive and authoritarian – when they are not outright threatening. This slippery slope seriously affects the subtle balance of democratic societies and creates a climate of insecurity, intimidation and violence that is no longer acceptable.

This is the goal of religious fanatics: to dissuade, through terror, the creation of works that challenge their dogmas, which are based on little more than a few visions from great mystics.

Can our modern societies be built around texts written by exalted minds? Nothing is sacred. The paradox is that today the mobilization to condemn the attack on Salman Rushdie seems stronger than the mobilization of artists to continue producing works that will perpetuate his vision. After those who have already been murdered, like Theo Van Gogh, and those who get stabbed during lectures, like Salman Rushdie, who will be left to continue their thinking and their struggle?

While global warming endangers living organisms on Earth, religious intolerance and unbridled mysticism threaten minds by suffocating them with prohibitions and irrevocable sentences.

To those who repeat: “We love death as much as you love life”, we must oppose limitless creativity and incessant insolence. No amount of moderation will allow us to enjoy the slightest indulgence from fanatics. The response must not only be political, through laws that protect freedoms and repress those who attack them. It must also be cultural and intellectual. We must never cease to challenge, using arguments and ideas, the dogmas and narratives of these so-called “sacred” books, which seek only to burn all others and to put to death those who wrote them.

hit by Brexit!

Posted in Statistics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on August 17, 2022 by xi'an

After realising while at ISBA²² that Probabilistic Numerics,  the book of Philipp Heinig, Michael Osborne, and Hans Kersting, had appeared, I requested a copy for review in CHANCE from Cambridge University Press, which they kindly sent me. However, I received it with a 21€ bill for the novel VAT tax the EU has just (re)established for goods imported from outside the EU. From now on, I will have review books delivered to my Warwick address or sent from within the EU! (I have attempted to complain about paying VAT on free goods, but customs were not at all sympathetic!!!)

stuck exchange

Posted in Books, Kids, Statistics with tags , , , , , , , on August 16, 2022 by xi'an

Made an attempt at explaining on X validated why simulating from the joint was equivalent to simulating from the marginal then from the conditional. Unfortunately failed as I could not fathom where the OP’s difficulty was. It seems it started at defining what drawing from a distribution meant… Then someone came by asking why I was writing the exponential in this unusual way (this was a barred E for expectation) and whether or not the “thin hollow rectangle” (a barred I for indicator) was standing for identity, that is

\mathbb E\quad\text{and}\quad \mathbb I$

Reaching a point of incomprehension from which I could not recover…

one year under students’ tyranny

Posted in pictures with tags , , , , , , , on August 15, 2022 by xi'an

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