Just organizing a few thoughts regarding computational complexity, applied probability, and cost-benefit analysis.
- A song called “I just do theory” [mp3] made me smile. (“I wrote a program that solved TSP / Superquasipolynomially / Ain’t no such thing as lunch for free / When you’re digesting P-NP”). Link for lyrics.
- One of the players that the Chicago Bears drafted this week (Al Afalava) boasts that he won a Rocks-Paper-Scissors tournament. His odds of winning are probably 1/N. Before you start arguing that there is skill involved, consider this: he lost in the first round following his championship run. Link.
- Carl Bialik reports that often, poker is a game of chance, not a game of skill. Of course, skill is really important, but the article is worth a read. Link.
- A geeky mother provides a cost-benefit analysis of breastfeeding in response to a recent Atlantic article that slams breastfeeding (I felt like the Atlantic article brought up a couple of good points, but I was otherwise unimpressed). Many, many differening opinions have been voiced. This is the quantitative response I would have written if I had more time. Link.