A Mathemagical Puzzle

If the settling-down phenomenon underpins the definition of probability, why is it that the universe tends towards chaos?

You know, as in entropy: a gradual decline into disorder (googled definition). How does ‘settling-down’, i.e. becoming more predictable, become disorder? My dad’s doctorate focused on applying the idea of entropy and increasing disorder to economics (and this was before computers). Maybe I should ask him. But if any of my readers would care to enlighten me I’d be most grateful, bearing in mind my woeful lack of education (I missed a lot of school as a child due to illness). I am currently studying Data Analysis as part of my degree  – this is fairly basic stuff, you understand. I am not really a mathematician, just someone who likes patterns and playing games with numbers.

Is it because the model is only a model and not the real world? But that doesn’t make sense either because if the model doesn’t resemble the real world it’s not much of a model.

I was feeling really anxious this morning and then I settled down to some studying and it again struck me how meditative mathematics can be. For someone who has a head that just ain’t right, mathematics is such a relief. My therapist told me that trauma changes the brain, and repeated trauma actually makes significant changes, possibly (likely) irreversible. So that’s me screwed, although actually EMDR did make an enormous difference.Thank God for medication. I hate days like this. But I’d still like to know the answer, if there are any mathematically-minded folk among my readership.


Stoopid is Stoopid Does


Image courtesy of idpinthat.com

I hate this illness. First I miss years of school because of it and now as I begin studying (again) at the age of 39, I find it’s taken me about five goes to get right something I would otherwise think of as basic algebra. Every time I am making really, really stupid mistakes, basic mistakes like copying the wrong number into an equation. Repeatedly. I could cry. But I guess a better thing to do would be to get a good night’s sleep and try again tomorrow. Patience is indeed a virtue.


Not to be confused with Lambada

Probability and statistics can get a little dry (according to some people – personally, I don’t see it, I find it fascinating). Today I have learned a new symbol, lambda:

The lower-case Greek letter ‘lambda’

In probability theory lambda, in the words of wikipedia, ‘represents the density of occurrences within a time interval, as modeled by the Poisson distribution.’

The page helpfully instructs ‘Not to be confused with lambada‘. At once I was imagining brown corduroy-clad male Maths teachers whipping their mustard-yellow ties above their heads in time to raunchy Latin rhythms, with a feisty lady teacher (because the female science and Maths teachers were always rather lively) standing at the side launching haddock at the whirling dervishes and shouting “Poisson distribution! Poisson distribution!” with each fishy missile.

This mad image had me in fits of giggles. I seem to have been alone in my mirth, however. Much like Sheldon. Frank just raised his eyebrows. He’s a very placid fellow. That’s why we complement one another so well.


I start EMDR in earnest next week. From what I understand, it’s like going through the trauma all over again, only this time the brain processes it all properly, so that it doesn’t keep leaping out at you like ghosts from the past that you have no control over. I have to make a ‘comfort box’ filled with things that help me feel ok. I think humour is definitely going in that box, one way or another.