Tuesday, September 22, 2009


In today's New York Times Op-ed, David Brooks' column was a eulogy to Irving Kristol. You might find it interesting to consider vis-a-vis our class regarding those characteristics in Kristol that Brooks champions. I was especially pleased to read that Kristol, the first of the neocons, was skeptical even of his comrades in arms. That takes some intellectual independence. If you are interested in Kristol himself and what he thinks neocon means, this essay in the Weekly Standard from a few years ago is quite readable and revealing. I'm sure you can find more of his writing on the Internet. He was quite prolific.

For the record I'm neither neo, though I liked the Matrix, nor con, though I disliked Paul Krugman's book, The Conscience of a Liberal. I am more in Krugman's corner on his recent columns that analyze the Health Care proposals in Congress.

Switching gears, I liked today's quote of the day, which is:

It is a profitable thing, if one is wise, to seem foolish.
- Aeschylus

Inspired by that, here is some silliness on intuition. Take a look. You are supposed to determine whether there is one large inward spiraling circle or if instead there are a bunch of concentric circles. The fun thing here (though be careful, it made me dizzy) is that you do have an intuition about this. And the intuition is wrong.

Perhaps one of you science whizzes can explain why optical illusions exist. I understand neither the biology nor the physics with optical illusions. Its enough for me to know, they create intrigue.


  1. For those of you who weren't "fooled" by the optical illusion prof Arvan posted, here is a link to what I consider to be a "better" version of the same illusion.

  2. If the goal is to make me dizzy, this one succeeded spectacularly.