An interesting quote about the unexpected effects of actions and the limitations of rationality and the planning fallacy: A net set up to catch fish may snare a duck; a mantis hunting an insect may itself be set upon by a sparrow. Machinations are hidden within machinations; changes arise beyond changes. So how can wit and cleverness be relied upon? – Back to Beginnings, Reflections on the Tao by Huanchu Daoren, translated by Thomas Cleary....

September 6, 2018 · 1 min · Thiago Araujo
xkcd: The Strong Collatz Conjecture states that this holds for any set of obsessively-hand-applied rules

Collatz Conjecture

The Collatz Conjecture is a simple mathematical problem that still has no formal proof. So it’s an open problem. This is how it works: Choose any positive integer x. While x > 0, do: if x is even, divide it by 2 (x = x/2) if x is odd, multiply it by 3 and add 1 (x = 3x + 1) The Collatz Conjecture states that no matter what value of x you start with, the sequence will always reach x = 1....

October 15, 2015 · 2 min · Thiago Araujo
Dilbert cartoon about Bureaucracy

Two Quotes About Bureaucracy

I’ve been reading the book “The Utopia of Rules: On Technology, Stupidity, and the Secret Joys of Bureaucracy”, from David Graeber, and I want to share two interesting quotes about Bureaucracy: The body of officials actively engaged in a ‘public’ office, along with the respective apparatus of material implements and the files, make up a ‘bureau.’ In private enterprise, ‘the bureau’ is often called ‘the office.’ (…) The idea that the bureau activities of the state are intrinsically different in character from the management of private economic offices is a continental European notion and, by way of contrast, is totally foreign to the American way....

April 22, 2015 · 2 min · Thiago Araujo