Google Docs: A New Hope

I suspect the Google Docs grammar bot is the least useful bot there is. After hundreds of suggestions, I can think of only one instance in which it was right. Is its failure rate so high because it learns from how other people use English, instead of drawing from a basic ruleset? I’m not saying … Read more

Making sense of quantum annealing

One of the tougher things about writing and reading about quantum mechanics is keeping up with how the meaning of some words change as they graduate from being used in the realm of classical mechanics – where things are what they look like – to that of the quantum – where we have no idea … Read more

The unclosed clause and other things about commas

The Baffler carried a fantastic critique of The New Yorker‘s use of commas by Kyle Paoletta on August 23. Excerpt: The magazine’s paper subscription slips have long carried a tagline: “The best writing, anywhere.” It follows that the source of the best writing, anywhere, must also be the finest available authority on grammar, usage, and … Read more

An experiment in propositional calculus

Q: Are truths simply objective reasons whose truth-values may or may not be verifiable? A: This question seems to possess a native paradox, but that simply arises from a logical error in the semantics: we can’t address unverifiable statements as “truths”. Instead, they are logically contingent statements. Even so: As Wittgenstein says in the preface … Read more