Archive for France Inter

quote of the year

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on October 19, 2019 by xi'an

“J’ai eu une vie assez droite, je ne me suis jamais conduit comme un salaud” [I have lived a rather righteous life, I never behaved like a bastard]

Jean-Marie le Pen [condemned for apology of war crimes (1969), contestation of crimes against humanity (2009), Holocaust denial (1988, 2006), antisemitism (1986), racial hatred (2005, 2008), provocation to discrimination against Muslims (2004, 2006) and Roma (2017), and insults (1993, 1998, 2018), demoted of his European parliamentary immunity (1997), suspended from the European parliament for assault (2000), suspected of misappropriation of public funds (2019) and of torture in Algeria, founder of the extreme-right Front National (1972), &tc., &tc., speaking on France Inter]

Young Americans

Posted in Travel with tags , , , , , , on May 25, 2019 by xi'an

I heard this song from David Bowie’s 1975 album on the [national public] radio the other day and it reminded me this was one of the first LPs I bought… and played till it was no longer audible.

the last argument of drivers

Posted in Travel with tags , , , , , , , on February 2, 2019 by xi'an

When vaguely listening to the national public radio France Inter last night, while cooking dinner, I heard Patrick Septiers, president of le conseil départemental de Seine et Marne, express his (electorate catering) opposition to the new 80km/h speed limit on national and departmental roads on the most rational (!) argument that delivery trucks drove at that speed already and hence that the speed limit would “force” car drivers to break the law to pass trucks. Along with similarly rational claims to have each department regulate its speed limits on the basis it was financing most roads. (I had another illustration of the rationality above when walking by a big SUV this morning, with a large sticker against wind farms.)


Posted in Statistics with tags , , , , , , on December 6, 2017 by xi'an

La déraisonnable efficacité des mathématiques

Posted in Books, pictures, Statistics, University life with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on May 11, 2017 by xi'an

Although it went completely out of my mind, thanks to a rather heavy travel schedule, I gave last week a short interview about the notion of mathematical models, which got broadcast this week on France Culture, one of the French public radio channels. Within the daily La Méthode Scientifique show, which is a one-hour emission on scientific issues, always a [rare] pleasure to listen to. (Including the day they invited Claire Voisin.) The theme of the show that day was about the unreasonable effectiveness of mathematics, with the [classical] questioning of whether it is an efficient tool towards solving scientific (and inference?) problems because the mathematical objects pre-existed their use or we are (pre-)conditioned to use mathematics to solve problems. I somewhat sounded like a dog in a game of skittles, but it was interesting to listen to the philosopher discussing my relativistic perspective [provided you understand French!]. And I appreciated very much the way Céline Loozen the journalist who interviewed me sorted the chaff from the wheat in the original interview to make me sound mostly coherent! (A coincidence: Jean-Michel Marin got interviewed this morning on France Inter, the major public radio, about the Grothendieck papers.)