Category Archives: Rationality

An Interview with Yisrael (Robert) Aumann

I was privileged to join Menachem Yaari and Sergiu Hart in interviewing Yisrael Aumann.  The interview is in Hebrew. It is an initiative of the Israel Academy of Sciences and the Humanities. For our non Hebrew speakers here is in … Continue reading

Posted in Academics, Combinatorics, Games, Geometry, Rationality | Tagged , , | 1 Comment


This story is implicitly referred to in the 2008 opening post of this blog. ———– It was high time to raise the level of the discussion, I thought. Princeton, Fall 1995. We were a group of mathematicians at the IAS … Continue reading

Posted in Combinatorics, Computer Science and Optimization, Games, Mathematics to the rescue, Philosophy, Rationality, Sport, Taxi-and-other-stories | Tagged , , | 6 Comments

שינוי 2015 – שאלה לנתניהו

בנימין נתניהו, מדוע פרקת את הממשלה ערב מאבק גורלי בנושא קיומי עם נשיא ארצות הברית   זה לא מסתדר העניין הזה: זה הרי חוסר אחריות נוראי לפרק את הממשלה ממש לפני עימות מכריע על נושא קיומי, אז מה הסיבה לכך זה כמו … Continue reading

Posted in Elections 2015, Rationality | Tagged | 12 Comments

Ehud Friedgut: Blissful ignorance and the Kahneman-Tversky paradox

Tversky, Kahneman, and Gili Bar-Hillel (WikiPedia). Taken by Maya Bar-Hillel at Stanford, summer 1979.   The following post was kindly contributed by Ehud Friedgut. During the past week I’ve been reading, and greatly enjoying Daniel Kahneman’s brilliant book “Thinking fast … Continue reading

Posted in Guest blogger, Rationality | Tagged , , | 11 Comments

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 | 4 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 , , | 1 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