8 June 2015

Guns laws: from bad to worse

Back in the 90's when Dubya (George W Bush) was running for governor of Texas he promised to pass a law stating that people can carry guns as long as they were hidden inside their jacket or trousers or skirts. It was the so-called concealed weapons law. Soon after he became governor, the law was passed and everybody rejoiced. Now you could have a pistol or two as long as you kept it out of sight.

My ex-colleague Gary Wise, for instance, had a dozen or more guns so well-concealed that the police failed to find them when we reported that he was threatening to shoot us (faculty members at the University of Texas, Austin). Perhaps they did not want to find them because he was a man of faith: he was conducting Bible study classes and, according to the Texas mentality, this automatically meant that everything he said was true. When he used his guns against University administrators he was arrested and put to prison.

And then there was the following debate: Should guns be allowed in churches or not? It was soon decided that, yes, guns should be allowed in churches, as long as the church is ok with it, because, guns protect against the Satan.

And recently, a new law was proposed and is about to be signed: anyone can now carry guns openly and in full view. In fact, the ex-governor of Texas (successor of Dubya), Rick Perry, has been exhibiting guns for long time now:
The current law will prohibit police for stopping anyone carrying guns openly. Now Texas will be added to the list of the worst and most intimidating gun states. Congratulations Texas!

Over the last 30 years or so, guns have been spreading fast in the US. It looks like the US is going back to that it was 200 years ago, when  Lucky Luke was roaming...  The following animated gif map shows the spread of the epidemic.

And let's see an incident of guns use by the police: yesterday, police raided a teens party and stopped the loud teens by the use of guns. Sweet, isn't it?

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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