Resonance in My Feed Reader

My feed reader today had a series of oddly-related articles stacked right in a row.

First, I watched bits from the 1903 Princeton-Yale football game, the oldest surviving college football film  (apparently it is just barely old enough not to have Keith Jackson doing the play-by-play).  It is amazing how much more this looked like rugby than modern football.  The formations look just like rugby scrums except that the players are not locked together.  Note there are no huddles, just power scrum after power scrum.  Sort of like a missing link between the two games, and oddly less interesting than either.

I then was met with this post from Zero Hedge, discussing the current Greek bailouts in terms of a Nash Equilibrium, the game-theory concept developed by Princeton grad / professor John Nash (who was famously profiled in A Beautiful Mind).

It's not often I run into John Nash even once in a month, but two articles later I found this really interesting early letter, recently de-classified, from John Nash to the NSA, wherein he apparently anticipated many of the foundation of modern cryptography 10-20 years ahead of his time.

And its only a short walk from John Nash and cryptography to Alan Turing, and from Princeton to tiger stripes, so the next article I ran into was this one discussing a group of scientists who apparently have proved a Turing hypothesis for how tiger stripes (and other recurring patterns in animals) are formed.


  1. Pat:

    Would love to ear a list of your subscriptions. What are your must reads every day? Any particular feed(Google, Yahoo, etc.) that you recommend?

  2. Bertha Minerva:

    Check out the referee's attire in the football clip - looks like he's wearing a suit & tie!

  3. Goober:

    I use Alan Turing's story quite often to discuss the evils of a government that is too involved in enforcing morality on it's people - and hell, just to round it out, the evils of government, in general.

    Alan Turing helped the allies win WWII. He created a huge amount of scientific knowledge and worked tirelessly at it for years, to the benefit of all mankind.

    His reward was to cop a plea deal in court to be chemically castrated so that he might avoid going to prison for years. His crime?

    He was homosexual. In 1950's Great Britain, such sexual orientations were still illegal.

    He died of cyanide poisoning soon afterwards, presumably by his own hand - and who can blame him? The government he spent his whole life serving just emasculated him permanently and denied him his freedom for doing something that hurt no one, all so a few select moral busybodies could feel good about themselves and their attempts to stop sexual immorality.

    Again, as I've said before, if you take two individuals, one who is gay, but hurts no one and had lived a life of service to his country, and one who wants to chemically neuter the first man, driving him to suicide, for the crime of hurting absolutely no one and absolutely nothing but their moral sensibilities (read: OPINION), and you think the FIRST GUY is the immoral one, then you really, really suck.

    Sort of like if you take one guy who likes to smoke some pot, not hurting anyone, causing harm to no one, and you take a guy that wants to violently break into guy #1's home, physically assault him, and then throw him in an iron cage for the next few years, upsetting his life, destroying his livelihood, and denying him his freedom, for the crime of hurting absolutely no one and smoking a little weed, and you think that guy #1 is the criminal, then you suck, too.