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Recent Posts
 Next Week in Jerusalem: Special Day on Quantum PCP, Quantum Codes, Simplicial Complexes and Locally Testable Codes
 Happy Birthday Ervin, János, Péter, and Zoli!
 My Mathematical Dialogue with Jürgen Eckhoff
 Test Your Intuition (23): How Many Women?
 Happy Birthday Richard Stanley!
 Influence, Threshold, and Noise
 Erdős Lectures 2014 – Dan Spielman
 Answer to Test Your Intuition (22)
 Test your intuition (22): Selling Two Items in a Bundle.
Top Posts & Pages
 The KadisonSinger Conjecture has beed Proved by Adam Marcus, Dan Spielman, and Nikhil Srivastava
 Answer: Lord Kelvin, The Age of the Earth, and the Age of the Sun
 Test Your Intuition (23): How Many Women?
 Why is Mathematics Possible: Tim Gowers's Take on the Matter
 Believing that the Earth is Round When it Matters
 My Mathematical Dialogue with Jürgen Eckhoff
 Five Open Problems Regarding Convex Polytopes
 New Ramanujan Graphs!
 Why Quantum Computers Cannot Work: The Movie!
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Category Archives: Rationality
Another Forgotten Bet: Is Don Zagier About to Owe Me 1000 Shekels For The Proof of the ABC Conjecture?
Like everybody else I heard with great interest the news about the attempted solution of the ABC conjecture by Shinichi Mochizuki. (See, e.g., here, here, here, and here.) I did not think that this has much to with me … Continue reading
Posted in Number theory, Rationality
Tagged ABC conjecture, Don Zagier, Shinichi Mochizuki
8 Comments
Election Day
Vox populi, vox dei! Today is the general election day in Israel. This is an exciting day. For me election is about participation much more than it is about influence and I try not to miss it. This is why … Continue reading
Angry Bird Skepticism
Lenore Holditch is a freelance writer. Here is what she wrote to me: “I love learning about new topics, so I am confident that I can provide valuable content for your blog on any topic you wish, else I can … Continue reading
Posted in Games, Rationality
Tagged Angry bird, Lenore Holditch, Too good to be true
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The Privacy Paradox of Rann Smorodinsky
The following paradox was raised by Rann Smorodinsky: Rann Smorodinsky’s Privacy Paradox Suppose that you have the following onetime scenario. You want to buy a sandwich where the options are a roast beef sandwich or an avocado sandwich. Choosing … Continue reading
Test Your Intuition (11): Is it Rational to Insure a Toaster
Here is a question from last year’s exam in the course “Basic Ideas of Mathematics”: You buy a toaster for 200 NIS ($50) and you are offered one year of insurance for 24 NIS ($6). a) Is it … Continue reading
Posted in Probability, Rationality, Teaching, Test your intuition
Tagged Insurance, Test your intuition
18 Comments
What can the Second Prize Possibly be?
You are guaranteed to win one of the following five prizes, the letter says. (And it is completely free! Just 6 dollars shipping and handling.) a) a highdefinition hugescreen TV, b) a video camera, c) a yacht, d) a decorative … Continue reading
Chess can be a Game of Luck
Can chess be a game of luck? Let us consider the following two scenarios: A) We have a chess tournament where each of forty chess players pay 50 dollars entrance fee and the winner takes the prize which is 80% … Continue reading
Posted in Controversies and debates, Economics, Games, Law, Probability, Rationality
Tagged Chess, Gambling, Games of luck, Games of skill, Poker, Robert Aumann
38 Comments
Social Choice Talk
I took part in a workshop celebrating the publication of a new book on Social Choice by Shmuel Nitzan which took place at the Open University. (The book is in Hebrew, and an English version is forthcoming from Cambridge University Press.) … Continue reading
Posted in Economics, Games, Rationality
Tagged Arrow's theorem, Condorcet Paradox, Condorcet's jury theorem, Social choice
2 Comments
Do Politicians Act Rationally?
Well, I wrote an article (in Hebrew) about it in the Newspaper Haaretz. An English translation appeared in the English edition. Here is an appetizer: During World War II, many fighter planes returned from bombing missions in Japan full of bullet holes. The … Continue reading
The Mystery Beeping Riddle
We came back from the airport with our daughter who has just landed after a fourmonth trip to India. The car was making a strange beep every so often. Maybe it is an indicator signal that should have … Continue reading
Posted in Mathematics to the rescue, Rationality, Riddles
12 Comments