About

Paul Mitchinson is a part-time writer and a full-time father of two. He writes when he can. » more about me

Archive for September, 2005

Seth Roberts and Freakonomics Revisited

Tuesday, September 27th, 2005

I received a gently critical remark from a reader, and an entirely reasonable objection from Seth Roberts himself, in response to my feverish rant against Freakonomics from a couple weeks ago. A brief response. First of all, Seth Roberts’ research is fascinating and often illuminating. But the language used by the Freakonomics authors was (typically) […]

Read the rest of this entry »

Why He Runs

Sunday, September 25th, 2005

Ed Whitlock is a marvel. At 74, he will be running in today’s Toronto Waterfront Marathon, attempting to shatter his own world record for 70+ runners. The time to beat? 2:54:49. As any amateur competitive runner will tell you, this is a crushingly fast pace. It will almost certainly place you in the very first […]

Read the rest of this entry »

On Second Thought …

Wednesday, September 14th, 2005

I hesitate to call Alex Ross wrong on anything. But upon closer examination, it appears that he has seriously erred in his description of the “presidential chord,” which I referred to below. Perhaps he was misled by the otherwise excellent posting of J.D. Considine. But consider the image at your left, which has been cropped, […]

Read the rest of this entry »

George Bush and Pitch-Class Set Theory

Wednesday, September 14th, 2005

The always essential Alex Ross decodes the mysterious presidential chord. It seems we were all wrong in assuming that Bush was simply being a jackass, cluelessly strumming a guitar while New Orleans descended into chaos. It seems to be a strongly dissonant sonority consisting of the notes G, G#, A, B, C, and D . […]

Read the rest of this entry »

Putting the “Freak” in “Freakonomics”

Sunday, September 11th, 2005

Am I the only one who found Stephen J. Dubner and Steven D. Levitt’s Freakonomics the most ridiculously overhyped book in years? For a small book with big margins, Freakonomics certainly got a lot of exposure. It tells cute, entertaining stories more likely to be overheard in your local pub than in a faculty lounge. […]

Read the rest of this entry »

Style over Substance

Friday, September 9th, 2005

Blogging has been nonexistent the past week as I tinkered with the site’s inner workings. Small jobs — such as getting text to wrap around an image, or getting paragraphs to show up in my pages — turned into Herculean labours. Such is the fate of slow learners. I won’t bore you with the details, […]

Read the rest of this entry »