January 30, 2006
Quote of the Moment
"Five senses; an incurably abstract intellect; a haphazardly selective memory; a set of preconceptions and assumptions so numerous that I can never examine more than minority of them - never become conscious of them all. How much of total reality can such an apparatus let through?"
--C S Lewis
Geekness of the Moment
|--This is a Remote Control Steam-Powered Walking Centipede Engine! Steampunk come to life, nice....|
Math Geekness of the Moment
So there's a weird bit of math that BoingBoing covered where "1" shows up as the most significant digit (i.e. the leftmost non-zero digit) much more often than you might expect, at least when you're actually using a process to make numbers rather than just picking digits at random. I love how this idea was discovered by a guy who noticed that a book of logarithms at GE was much more worn for numbers that began with one... (Actually, that "page wear and tear" is an interesting type of metadata that most electronic systems are hard-pressed to replicate, though they're trying. I've heard about that at other places, like the most important pages in a parts book at an autoshop show the most grease and wear, and so stuff gets easier to find as time goes on.) Anyway, today boingboing linked to a cool Flash Toy that shows the principle in action. Take a number, keep multiplying it by another number, and you get 1... something more more often than any other digit.
I think I get the idea behind the math, but I'm not 100% sure. (Look! Another "1"!)