4 July 2016

What is the EU?

The Brits voted in the referendum whose question was clear: should the UK stay in the EU or leave?

After they voted, many went to the Internet and typed on Google:
"What it the EU?" 
That is to say, they had no clue what they were voting for. And then they typed: "What will happen if we leave the EU?"

Are we surprised? No. Many voters, far more than the small margin between the leave/stay outcome, have no clue what they're voting for. They're just following, like sheep, someone who's shouting. They listen to the one who's shouting louder. They only thing they don't do is think.

So, whoever says that the people of the UK decided that UK should leave the EU is wrong. Many of them didn't decide. They just voted at random, influenced by demagogues. Nothing special with the UK, of course. It would have been the same in many countries. Many people vote for reasons unrelated to what the actual vote is for. Unless we take into account these random, uninformed, votes, the result is not correct. We need to allow for the probability that a voter acted under the influence, some influence.

Searches for "what is the eu" and "what is brexit" spiked in the U.K. after polls closed [Google Trends via NPR]


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