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 , , | 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

Posted in Rationality, Updates | Tagged | 3 Comments

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 , , | Leave a comment

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 one-time scenario. You want to buy a sandwich where the options are a roast beef sandwich or an avocado sandwich. Choosing … Continue reading

Posted in Games, Philosophy, Rationality | Tagged , , | 17 Comments

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 , | 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 high-definition huge-screen TV, b) a video camera, c) a yacht, d) a decorative … Continue reading

Posted in Mathematics to the rescue, Rationality | Tagged , , | 7 Comments

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 , , , , , | 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 , , , | 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

Posted in Games, Rationality | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

The Mystery Beeping Riddle

    We came back from the airport with our daughter who has just landed after a four-month 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