22 January 2009

Lennox vs Hitchens

Some time ago (August 2008), someone came up with the idea to have a debate between Christopher Hitchens and John Lennox on the (silly) question whether Europe should prefer the new atheism (whatever the latter means and whatever the verb "to prefer" means), as part of the Edinburgh International Festival. Well, the debate took place, Hitchens "lost", and Lennox pulled from his usual bag of naive arguments (based on pseud-science) to defend his faith. I was there, I asked some questions to Lennox, I received silly answers, I was interviewed by the BBC, and made some "friends" who tried to proselytize me by sending me several emails afterwards. I wrote about it on the blog wet lenses and so here's the link for the record of it.

As for Lennox, I've written about him before, for example, here and here.

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What measure theory is about

It's about counting, but when things get too large.
Put otherwise, it's about addition of positive numbers, but when these numbers are far too many.

The principle of dynamic programming

max_{x,y} [f(x) + g(x,y)] = max_x [f(x) + max_y g(x,y)]

The bottom line

Nuestras horas son minutos cuando esperamos saber y siglos cuando sabemos lo que se puede aprender.
(Our hours are minutes when we wait to learn and centuries when we know what is to be learnt.) --António Machado

Αγεωμέτρητος μηδείς εισίτω.
(Those who do not know geometry may not enter.) --Plato

Sapere Aude! Habe Muth, dich deines eigenen Verstandes zu bedienen!
(Dare to know! Have courage to use your own reason!) --Kant