Don’t Multitask! Singletask!

    It’s easy to think that multitasking is a great idea. If you listen to a podcast while making supper, you can get two things done simultaneously, and save time, right? Who wouldn’t want to do that?     As it turns out, it’s probably a bad idea for everyone. I’m not a neuroscientist, but recent research seems to have shown that...

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The Cold Darkness of the Night: Chapter 16

    Chapter 16    “I hope there are no hard feelings about all this shit, guys,” Michael said sheepishly as they stepped out of the storage container. His body language was awkward, but he maintained composure. “I’ll do whatever it takes to get my daughter back, but I didn’t agree with this charade.”    “I don’t blame you,” Bill...

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Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds: A Review

    I recently finished listening to a fascinating audiobook called Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds. It was written by a Scottish journalist named Charles Murray, in 1841, and was apparently one of the first studies on crowd psychology. Murray examines all kinds of crazy beliefs that large groups of people have...

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The Cold Darkness of the Night: Chapter 15

    Chapter 15    “All right,” Brian proclaimed, standing up. “Bill, presumably Marcel just told John what he told me, which is that we passed the test. We don’t take orders from John, and he doesn’t take orders from us. And everything we were told about the kidnapping is true.”    “This is fucking insane!” Bill exclaimed in exasperation,...

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Journey to Africa: Part 1: Tanzania

    My friend, David (who I talked with about math and evolution on previous blogs; links are below.) went on a backpacking trip in Africa recently. This is his story of the experience of other cultures.   Math, Evolution, and the Meaning of Life: A Dialogue: Part 1 Math, Evolution, and the Meaning of Life: A Dialogue: Part 2 Math, Evolution, and...

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The Cold Darkness of the Night: Chapter 14

  Chapter 14   In the enveloping darkness, Brian and Bill contemplated their situation. Their breathing was heavy because they inhaled through constricting fabric. It was very humid in the shipping container, and it smelled strongly of mildew.   The hit men feebly struggled against their bonds. But as they had suspected, the ropes and handcuffs...

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The Russian Revolution: Just as Brutal as Game of Thrones

  The Russian revolution is a fascinating story. So many surreal characters and events were involved. The people include Rasputin, Tsar Nicholas II, his wife, Alexandra, their son, Alexei, Lenin, Trotsky, and Stalin. The events include the end of the Russian monarchy, the revolution itself, and the fact that it took place during World War I. All of these...

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