Simon Singh

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pages: 492 words: 149,259

Big Bang by Simon Singh

Albert Einstein, Albert Michelson, All science is either physics or stamp collecting, Andrew Wiles, anthropic principle, Arthur Eddington, Astronomia nova, Brownian motion, carbon-based life, Cepheid variable, Chance favours the prepared mind, Commentariolus, Copley Medal, cosmic abundance, cosmic microwave background, cosmological constant, cosmological principle, dark matter, Dava Sobel, Defenestration of Prague, discovery of penicillin, Dmitri Mendeleev, Edmond Halley, Edward Charles Pickering, Eratosthenes, Ernest Rutherford, Erwin Freundlich, Fellow of the Royal Society, fudge factor, Hans Lippershey, Harlow Shapley and Heber Curtis, Harvard Computers: women astronomers, Henri Poincaré, horn antenna, if you see hoof prints, think horses—not zebras, Index librorum prohibitorum, invention of the telescope, Isaac Newton, Johannes Kepler, John von Neumann, Karl Jansky, Kickstarter, Louis Daguerre, Louis Pasteur, luminiferous ether, Magellanic Cloud, Murray Gell-Mann, music of the spheres, Olbers’ paradox, On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres, Paul Erdős, retrograde motion, Richard Feynman, scientific mainstream, Simon Singh, Solar eclipse in 1919, Stephen Hawking, the scientific method, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, unbiased observer, Wilhelm Olbers, William of Occam

Anybody who wants to understand this wonderful achievement will not do better than start with Singh’s book’ Mail on Sunday ‘An excellent introduction to the way modern science works’ The Times Higher Education Supplement By the same author Fermat’s Last Theorem The Code Book Copyright Harper Perennial An imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers 77-85 Fulham Palace Road Hammersmith London W6 8JB www.harperperennial.co.uk This edition published by Harper Perennial 2005 FIRST EDITION First published by Fourth Estate 2004 Copyright © Simon Singh 2004 Diagrams copyright © Raymond Turvey 2004 PS section copyright © Louise Tucker 2005, except ‘The Missing Pages’ by Simon Singh © Simon Singh 2005 PS™ is a trademark of HarperCollinsPublishers Ltd Simon Singh asserts the moral right to be identified as the author of this work A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library All rights reserved under International and Pan-American Copyright Conventions. By payment of the required fees, you have been granted the non-exclusive, non-transferable right to access and read the text of this e-book on screen.

He provides me with frank comments on my work and is always there during times of crisis, and I cannot imagine there are many literary agents who would accompany their authors to Zambia to witness a solar eclipse. In short, Patrick has been the best friend that any author could wish for. Simon Singh London June 2004 About the Author Simon Singh received his PhD in particle physics from the University of Cambridge. A former BBC producer, he directed the BAFTA award-winning documentary film Fermat’s Last Theorem and wrote the bestselling book of the same name, followed by The Code Book, also a bestseller, which was the basis for the Channel 4 series, The Science of Secrecy. For automatic updates on Simon Singh visit harperperennial.co.uk and register for AuthorTracker. Visit www.AuthorTracker.com for exclusive information on your favorite HarperCollins author. From the reviews of Big Bang: ‘Singh is a very gifted storyteller who never misses the chance to make his subject clearer or more entertaining’ SCARLETT THOMAS, Independent on Sunday ‘This very well-written book conveys the ideas underpinning cosmological theory with great clarity’ Nature ‘Singh uses beautifully simple analogies and clearly explained dia grams to enable even the most mathematically hobbled of us to recapitulate the history of man’s intellectual engagement with the dark spaces around him’ Sunday Telegraph ‘If you are intrigued by the story but wary of mathematics, do not worry; Simon Singh spares us most of the maths, and he juggles big ideas with tact and care’ Daily Mail A model of clarity’ Economist ‘Singh tells his tale well, with chatty anecdotes leavening the astro physics’ Guardian ‘An epic tale brilliantly told, packed with courage and tragedy, heroes and martyrs’ Daily Telegraph ‘Even if the cosmologists don’t know where the universe is going, at least they have found out where it has come from.

And many of these interests still relate to communicating science and mathematics, so to a large extent my answer to the previous question still holds true. TOP TEN Simon Singh’s Top Ten Favourite Books: Surely You’re Joking, Mr Feynman! Richard Feynman The Making of the Atomic Bomb Richard Rhodes Chaos James Gleick Flatland Edwin A. Abbott A Mathematician’s Apology G.H. Hardy Our Final Century Martin Rees The Surgeon of Crowthorne Simon Winchester Dr Tatiana’s Sex Advice to All Creation Olivia Judson Interpreter of Maladies Jhumpa Lahiri The Phantom Tollbooth Norton Juster LIFE at a Glance Simon Singh was born in Somerset in 1964. He studied physics at Imperial College, London, and then completed his PhD in particle physics at Cambridge University and CERN, Geneva.


pages: 289 words: 85,315

Fermat’s Last Theorem by Simon Singh

Albert Einstein, Andrew Wiles, Antoine Gombaud: Chevalier de Méré, Arthur Eddington, Augustin-Louis Cauchy, Fellow of the Royal Society, Georg Cantor, Henri Poincaré, Isaac Newton, John Conway, John von Neumann, kremlinology, probability theory / Blaise Pascal / Pierre de Fermat, RAND corporation, Rubik’s Cube, Simon Singh, Wolfskehl Prize

C. 166 Tokyo, international symposium (1955) 203 translational symmetry 196–7 trichotomy, law of 148 truels 167, 343 Turing, Alan Mathison 167–176 uncertainty principle 161–2 undecidability theorems 159–63 von Neumann, John 159, 167 Wagstaff, Samuel S. 176 Wallis, John 38, 42, 64 weighing problem 61, 337–8 Weil, André 160, 210 Weil conjecture see Taniyama–Shimura conjecture Weyl, Hermann 149 Whitehead, Alfred North 156 whole numbers 11 Wiener Kreis (Viennese Circle) 157 Wiles, Andrew xviii, 181, 224, 276, 302 adolescence and Fermat’s Last Theorem 5–6, 33, 77–8 graduate student days 180–81, 183 tackles elliptic equations 183, 184–5, 188, 189 and Taniyama–Shimura conjecture 215, 223, 225–31, 232, 258–61, 263–5, 274 uses Galois’s groups 251–3, 258, 296 announces proof of Fermat’s Last Theorem 1–2, 5, 33–5, 34, 266–72 reaction of media 272–4 mathematical celebrity 274, 290–91 submits proof for verification 277–9 proof flawed 279–91, 293, 296 proof revised 296–300 proof published 304–5 wins Wolf Prize 308 collects Wolfskehl Prize 308 and the future 309 Wiles, Nada 230, 265, 281, 298–9 Wolf Prize 306 Wolfskehl, Paul 132, 133–5 Wolfskehl Prize 135–7, 143–6, 268 Zagier, Don 254 zero, function of 58–9 About the Author FERMAT’S LAST THEOREM Simon Singh received his PhD from the University of Cambridge. A former BBC producer, he directed the BAFTA award-winning documentary film Fermat’s Last Theorem and wrote the best selling book of the same name. He is also the author of The Code Book and Big Bang. Also by the Author The Code Book Big Bang Copyright Fourth Estate An imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers 77–85 Fulham Palace Road Hammersmith London W6 8JB www.harpercollins.co.uk First published in paperback by Fourth Estate in 2002 (reprinted 4 times) First published in Great Britain in 1997 by Fourth Estate Copyright © 1997 by Simon Singh Foreword copyright © 1997 by John Lynch Line illustrations by Jed Mugford The right of Simon Singh to be identified as the author of this work has been asserted by him in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.

SIMON SINGH Fermat’s Last Theorem THE STORY OF A RIDDLE THAT CONFOUNDED THE WORLD’S GREATEST MINDS FOR 358 YEARS In memory of Pakhar Singh Birring CONTENTS Cover Title Page Dedication Foreword Preface 1 ‘I Think I’ll Stop Here’ 2 The Riddler 3 A Mathematical Disgrace 4 Into Abstraction 5 Proof by Contradiction 6 The Secret Calculation 7 A Slight Problem Epilogue Grand Unified Mathematics Appendices Suggestions for Further Reading Index About the Author Also by the Author Copyright About the Publisher Foreword We finally met across a room, not crowded, but large enough to hold the entire Mathematics Department at Princeton on their occasions of great celebration. On that particular afternoon, there were not so very many people around, but enough for me to be uncertain as to which one was Andrew Wiles.

History was littered with false claims, and much as I wished that he would be the exception, it was hard to imagine Andrew as anything but another headstone in that mathematical graveyard. A year later I received the call. After an extraordinary mathematical twist, and a flash of true insight and inspiration, Andrew had finally brought an end to Fermat in his professional life. A year after that, we found the time for him to devote to filming. By this time I had invited Simon Singh to join me in making the film, and together we spent time with Andrew, learning from the man himself the full story of those seven years of isolated study, and his year of hell that followed. As we filmed, Andrew told us, as he had told no one before, of his innermost feelings about what he had done; how for thirty years he had hung on to a childhood dream; how so much of the maths he had ever studied had been, without his really knowing it at the time, really a gathering of tools for the Fermat challenge that had dominated his career; how nothing would ever be the same; of his sense of loss for the problem that would no longer be his constant companion; and of the uplifting sense of release that he now felt.


The Code Book: The Science of Secrecy From Ancient Egypt to Quantum Cryptography by Simon Singh

Donald Davies, friendly fire, Mikhail Gorbachev, old-boy network, Ronald Reagan, Schrödinger's Cat, Simon Singh, Turing machine, unbiased observer, undersea cable, Zimmermann PGP

—Mail on Sunday (London) “Singh has created an authoritative and engrossing read which both explains and humanizes the subject.… This intelligent, exciting book takes its drive from a simple premise-that nothing is as exciting as a secret.” —Scotland on Sunday SIMON SINGH The Code Book Simon Singh received his Ph.D. in physics from Cambridge University. A former BBC producer, he directed an award-winning documentary film on Fermat’s Last Theorem that aired on PBS’s Nova series and wrote the bestselling book, Fermat’s Enigma. He lives in London, England. Also by Simon Singh Fermat’s Enigma FIRST ANCHOR BOOKS EDITION, SEPTEMBER 2000 Copyright © 1999 by Simon Singh All rights reserved under International and Pan-American Copyright Conventions. Published in the United States by Anchor Books, a division of Random House, Inc., New York, and simultaneously in Canada by Random House of Canada Limited, Toronto.

PRAISE FOR SIMON SINGH AND The Code Book “Singh spins tales of cryptic intrigue in every chapter.” —The Wall Street Journal “Brings together … the geniuses who have secured communications, saved lives, and influenced the fate of nations. A pleasure to read.” —Chicago Tribune “Singh pursues the fascinating story [of codes] through the centuries, always providing plenty of detailed examples of ciphers for those who appreciate the intricacies of the medium.” —Los Angeles Times “Especially effective at putting the reader in the codebreaker’s shoes, facing each new, apparently unbreakable code.… Singh does a fine job.” —The New York Times Book Review “Entertaining.… Singh has a flair for narrative.” —San Francisco Chronicle “Singh is an interesting mix of scientist and storyteller, and this subject is the perfect mix of true fact and tall tales.”

—San Francisco Chronicle “Singh is an interesting mix of scientist and storyteller, and this subject is the perfect mix of true fact and tall tales.” —The San Diego Union-Tribune “Where would we Information Age ignoramuses be without smart guys like Stephen Jay Gould, the late Carl Sagan, or Simon Singh? They are the troubadours of our time, making complicated subjects understandable and entertaining.” —The Plain Dealer “In this entertaining survey, the evolution of cryptography is driven by the ongoing struggle between code-makers and codebreakers.” —The New Yorker “[Singh] is well-equipped to describe all the arcane mathematics in layman’s language.” —Forbes “Wonderful stories.… Close reading is rewarded with the flash of logical insight that the codebreakers must enjoy.” —Hartford Advocate “An illuminating and entertaining account.… From the first page, Singh shows his knack both for explaining complex areas of science and telling rip-roaring stories.”


pages: 357 words: 110,072

Trick or Treatment: The Undeniable Facts About Alternative Medicine by Edzard Ernst, Simon Singh

animal electricity, Barry Marshall: ulcers, Berlin Wall, correlation does not imply causation, false memory syndrome, Florence Nightingale: pie chart, germ theory of disease, John Snow's cholera map, Louis Pasteur, meta analysis, meta-analysis, placebo effect, profit motive, publication bias, randomized controlled trial, Ronald Reagan, Simon Singh, The Design of Experiments, the scientific method

Trick or Treatment Trick or Treatment The Undeniable Facts About Alternative Medicine Simon Singh & Edzard Ernst, MD W. W. NORTON & COMPANY New York • London Copyright © 2008 by Simon Singh and Edzard Ernst First published in Great Britain in 2008 by Bantam Press, an imprint of Transworld Publishers, under the title Trick or Treatment? Alternative Medicine on Trial All rights reserved For information about permission to reproduce selections from this book, write to Permissions, W. W. Norton & Company, Inc., 500 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10110 Production manager: Anna Oler Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Singh, Simon. Trick or treatment: the undeniable facts about alternative medicine/ Simon Singh & Edzard Ernst.—1st American ed. p. cm. Includes bibliographical references.

Moreover, neither of us has ever been employed by a pharmaceutical company, and nor have we ever personally profited from the ‘natural health’ sector – we can honestly say that our only motive is to get to the truth. And our partnership brings balance to the book. One of us, Edzard Ernst, is an insider who practised medicine for many years, including some alternative therapies. He is the world’s first professor of alternative medicine, and his research group has spent fifteen years trying to work out which treatments work and which do not. The other of us, Simon Singh, is an outsider who has spent almost two decades as a science journalist, working in print, television and radio, always striving to explain complicated ideas in a way that the general public can grasp. Together we think that we can get closer to the truth than anybody else and, equally importantly, we will endeavour to explain it to you in a clear, vivid and comprehensible manner. Our mission is to reveal the truth about the potions, lotions, pills, needles, pummelling and energizing that lie beyond the realms of conventional medicine, but which are becoming increasingly attractive for many patients.

In one case, a patient being treated for pancreatitis (a life-threatening condition) was given a homeopathic remedy with a label advising that abdominal pain was part of the healing crisis, otherwise known as a homeopathic aggravation. So, just when the pancreatitis might be worsening and the patient ought to be seeking urgent medical attention, the homeopathic advice would be that the patient should relax because everything is progressing as expected. In 2006, Simon Singh, one of the authors of this book, attempted to highlight the extent to which homeopaths give bad advice by finding out what they would offer to a young traveller seeking protection against malaria. Working with Alice Tuff and the charity Sense About Science, Singh developed a storyline in which Tuff would be making a ten-week overland trip through West Africa, where there is a high prevalence of the most dangerous strain of malaria, which can result in death within three days.


pages: 400 words: 94,847

Reinventing Discovery: The New Era of Networked Science by Michael Nielsen

Albert Einstein, augmented reality, barriers to entry, bioinformatics, Cass Sunstein, Climategate, Climatic Research Unit, conceptual framework, dark matter, discovery of DNA, Donald Knuth, double helix, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, fault tolerance, Fellow of the Royal Society, Firefox, Freestyle chess, Galaxy Zoo, Internet Archive, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, Johannes Kepler, Kevin Kelly, Magellanic Cloud, means of production, medical residency, Nicholas Carr, P = NP, publish or perish, Richard Feynman, Richard Stallman, selection bias, semantic web, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Simon Singh, Skype, slashdot, social intelligence, social web, statistical model, Stephen Hawking, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Nature of the Firm, The Wisdom of Crowds, University of East Anglia, Vannevar Bush, Vernor Vinge

And that will bring astonishing benefits, benefits far too great to refuse merely to preserve a few successful businesses. As occurs so often with the introduction of new technologies, we are weighing a great good for society against harm for a few. The traditional publishers who are battling against open access should have our sympathy, but not our support. Science Blogging In April of 2008, author Simon Singh wrote a piece in the Guardian newspaper, where he criticized the British Chiropractic Association (BCA) for claiming “that their members can help treat children with colic, sleeping and feeding problems, frequent ear infections, asthma and prolonged crying, even though there is not a jot of evidence. This organization is the respectable face of the chiropractic profession and yet it happily promotes bogus treatments.”

p 164: The Elsevier revenue and profit figures are based on the 2009 Reed Elsevier Annual Report [181]. p 164: The American Chemical Society’s revenue and profit figures are from [131]. p 164: My account of Eric Dezenhall and the publishers’ trade association (the Association of American Publishers) is based on [70], with additional background from [100]. The quotes from PRISM are from [176]. p 165: Simon Singh’s original article in which he criticized the British Chiropractic Association (BCA) is [199]. The article by Dougans and Green on the Singh case is at [56]. My discussion also benefited from articles by Ben Goldacre [74] and Martin Robbins [185]. The BCA’s description of evidence for the effectiveness of chiropractic treatments is [221]. A similar instance of wiki litigation in the open source software world involved assertions by a company called SCO that code it owned had been incorporated into Linux, as a result of which SCO sued companies such as Novell and IBM.

p 179: The final report on Nature’s trial of open peer review: [167]. p 180: Although the user-contributed comment sites for science are failing, scientists aren’t always unwilling to comment online about other scientists’ work. We saw an example along these lines starting on page 259, with science bloggers investigating the evidence for chiropractic offered by the British Chiropractic Association in their dispute with Simon Singh. Other examples include (1) a Polymath-style collaboration [173] in 2010, in which a group of mathematicians, computer scientists, and physicists worked together online to analyze a claimed solution to one of the biggest open problems in computer science; (2) a blog-based online discussion [180] analyzing NASA’s 2010 announcement [242] that they’d discovered lifeforms that incorporate arsenic; (3) Faculty of 1000 (http://f1000.com/), a site that actively recruits a limited number of high-profile researchers to write reviews of biomedical papers; and (4) MathSciNet (http://www.ams.org/mathscinet/), a similar site for mathematics.


pages: 467 words: 116,094

I Think You'll Find It's a Bit More Complicated Than That by Ben Goldacre

call centre, conceptual framework, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, death of newspapers, Desert Island Discs, en.wikipedia.org, experimental subject, Firefox, Flynn Effect, jimmy wales, John Snow's cholera map, Loebner Prize, meta analysis, meta-analysis, moral panic, placebo effect, publication bias, selection bias, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), Simon Singh, statistical model, stem cell, the scientific method, Turing test, WikiLeaks

This suggests that even if Dr Wilmshurst successfully defends himself, he may never get his £100,000 back. I’m not convinced that a libel law which allows a company like NMT to do this to one man is in society’s best interests. ‘We Are More Possible Than You Can Powerfully Imagine’ Guardian, 29 July 2009 Today the Australian magazine Cosmos, along with a vast number of other blogs and publications, reprinted an article by Simon Singh, in slightly tweaked form, as an act of solidarity. The British Chiropractic Association has been suing Singh personally for the past fifteen months, over a piece in the Guardian in which he criticised the BCA for claiming that its members could treat children for colic, ear infections, asthma, prolonged crying, and sleeping and feeding conditions, by manipulating their spines. The BCA maintains that the efficacy of these treatments is well documented.

Let’s Look at Its Website … NMT is Suing: http://www.badscience.net/2010/12/nmt-are-suing-dr-wilmshurst-so-how-trustworthy-are-they/ MIST trial was funded: http://circ.ahajournals.org/cgi/reprint/CIRCULATIONAHA.107.727271v1 go to its website: http://www.nmtmedical.com/ outcome of MIST trial: http://circ.ahajournals.org/cgi/reprint/CIRCULATIONAHA.107.727271v1 really was negative: http://circ.ahajournals.org/cgi/content/short/CIRCULATIONAHA.107.727271v1 a lengthy correction: http://circ.ahajournals.org/cgi/content/full/120/9/e71 2005 NMT report: http://www.snl.com/IRWebLinkX/GenPage.aspx?IID=4148066&GKP=202513 restricted by GMC: http://webcache.gmc-uk.org/minutesfiles/2063.html fallen from $20: http://www.nasdaq.com/aspx/dynamic_charting.aspx?selected=NMTI&symbol=NMTI ‘We Are More Possible Than You Can Powerfully Imagine’ Guardian: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/libertycentral/2009/jul/29/simon-singh-science-chiropractic-litigation intending to do good: http://ebn.bmj.com/cgi/content/full/10/1/4 British Medical Journal: http://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&source= web&ct=res&cd=1&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.bmj.com%2F&ei=VURwSp3tMMahjAfo282hBQ&usg=AFQjCNFrgA5ACj4Qwf7dYRivBOSsYx2Hrg&sig2=2-JerEf-4W8otKp9mO4J7A The Times: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/article6426195.ece Daily Mail: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-1196696/Back-cures-brave-scientist-epic-court-battle-How-Britains-libel-laws-threatening-free-speech.html Daily Telegraph: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/science-news/5442522/Stephen-Fry-and-Ricky-Gervais-defend-science-writer-sued-for-libel.html Independent: http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/features/jeremy-laurance-the-libel-laws-that-threaten-to-stifle-scientific-debate-1744810.html Nature: http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v459/n7248/full/459751a.html Economist: http://www.economist.com/displaystory.cfm?

story_id=13809291 Times Higher Education: http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/story.asp?sectioncode=26&storycode=406872&c=1 Sunday Times: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/article6493564.ece Channel 4: http://www.channel4.com/news/articles/uk/ouch+dr+singh+hits+back/3194057 Wall Street Journal: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124406714025182743.html Observer: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/may/31/simon-singh-science British Medical Journal: http://www.bmj.com/cgi/content/full/339/jul08_4/b2783 international petition: http://www.senseaboutscience.org.uk/index.php/site/project/333 Professor David Colquhorn: http://www.dcscience.net/?p=1775 BCA selectively quoting: http://layscience.net/node/598 Every stone was turned: http://www.layscience.net/node/598 Quackometer: http://www.quackometer.net/ APGaylard: http://apgaylard.wordpress.com/2009/06/18/plethora-or-paucity-the-bca-and-bedwetting/ Gimplyblog: http://gimpyblog.wordpress.com/2009/06/18/the-bca-have-no-evidence-that-chiropractic-can-help-with-ear-infections/ EvidenceMatters: http://evidencematters.org/2009/06/18/british-chiropractic-association-and-the-plethora-of-evidence-for-paediatric-asthma/ Dr Petra Boynton: http://www.drpetra.co.uk/blog/?


pages: 476 words: 134,735

The Unpersuadables: Adventures With the Enemies of Science by Will Storr

Albert Einstein, Atul Gawande, battle of ideas, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, British Empire, call centre, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, Credit Default Swap, David Attenborough, David Brooks, death of newspapers, full employment, George Santayana, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), meta analysis, meta-analysis, Milgram experiment, placebo effect, randomized controlled trial, Simon Singh, Stanford prison experiment, Steven Pinker, the scientific method, theory of mind, twin studies

Lin, Lee Ross, ‘The Bias Blind Spot: Perceptions of Bias in Self Versus Others’, Personal and Social Psychology Bulletin, March 2002. 7: ‘Quack’ page 94 four million pounds a year: ‘NHS money “wasted” on homeopathy’, BBC News, 22 February 2010. 94 billions in … the US: ‘The Use of Complementary and Alternative Medicine in the United States’, National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, December 2008. 94 Over fifteen thousand NHS prescriptions: Martin Beckford, ‘NHS spending on homeopathy prescriptions falls to £122,000’, Daily Telegraph, 30 August 2011. 94 score above 70 per cent: ‘NHS money “wasted”’ on homeopathy’, BBC News, 22 February 2010. 94 Questions have been asked in Parliament: http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201011/cmhansrd/cm100629/debtext/100629-0003.htm. 94 the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee recommended: ‘NHS money “wasted” on homeopathy’, BBC News, 22 February 2010. 94 Even ex-Prime Minister Tony Blair has become involved: ‘Blair downplays creationism fears’, BBC News, 2 November 2006. 94 an eightfold drop in NHS prescriptions: Martin Beckford, ‘NHS spending on homeopathy prescriptions falls to £122,000’, Daily Telegraph, 30 August 2011. 94–95 just 0.001 per cent of the NHS’s annual drug budget: Martin Beckford, ‘NHS spending on homeopathy prescriptions falls to £122,000’, Daily Telegraph, 30 August 2011. 96 which began in 1790: (The birth of homeopathy is sometimes placed at 1792, but 1790 apparently represents the start of Hahnemann’s experiments.) Simon Singh and Edzard Ernst, Trick or Treatment, Corgi, 2008, p. 119. 97 one molecule … in your pill is one in a billion billion billion billion: Simon Singh and Edzard Ernst, Trick or Treatment, Corgi, 2008, p. 124. 97 a sphere of water that stretches from the earth to the sun: Ben Goldacre, Bad Science, 4th Estate, 2008, p. 33. 99 It is said that Vithoulkas dodged his judgement day: ‘George Vithoulkas Makes a Fool of Himself’, The Quackometer, 24 February 2010. 99 typically merciless statement that was published on Randi’s personal blog: James Randi, ‘A Correction’, Swift blog, 30 December 2008. 102 Written by Dr Michael Shermer: Michael Shermer, Why People Believe Weird Things, Souvenir Press, 2007, pp. 309–331. 107 The American rationalist-celebrity Rebecca Watson: Rebecca Watson interview, YouTube, uploaded 7 July 2008. 107 This is why James Randi frequently rejects the title ‘debunker’: ‘The $18,000 question’, Straits Times, 30 May 1991. 108 the man Professor Chris French calls ‘the patron saint of the Skeptics’: Interview, Chris French and James Randi, YouTube, April 2008, on behalf of The Skeptic magazine. 109 Randi himself has said that ‘any definitive tests … have been negative’: Interview [AP] St.

., ‘Human basophil degranulation triggered by very dilute antiserum against IgE’, Nature 333, June 1988. 110 Benveniste was initially sceptical of homeopathy: Heretics of Science, episode one, BBC2, 1994. 110 his best researcher, Dr Elisabeth Davenas: Heretics of Science, episode one, BBC2, 1994. 110 the results were reportedly replicated by four laboratories: Maddox, Stewart, Randi, ‘“High-dilution” experiments a delusion’, Nature, 28 July 1988. (Description of Nature replication that follows is sourced from the BBC documentary, the Nature articles and Trick or Treatment, by Simon Singh and Edzard Ernst). 110 Dr Elisabeth Davenas – a homeopathy proponent: Simon Singh and Edzard Ernst, Trick or Treatment, Corgi, 2008, p. 151. 111 When the result was revealed, some of Benveniste’s scientists wept: Heretics of Science, episode one, BBC2, 1994. 111 Their report was published in Nature in July 1988: Maddox, Stewart, Randi, ‘“High-dilution” experiments a delusion’, Nature, 28 July 1988. 111 Benveniste fought back: ‘Dr Jacques Benveniste replies’, Nature, 28 July 1988. 111 He described the investigation as a ‘pantomime’: Heretics of Science, episode one, BBC2, 1994. 111 Benveniste finished his grand defence: ‘Dr Jacques Benveniste replies’, Nature, 28 July 1988. 112 Two years later, he was fired: Heretics of Science, episode one, BBC2, 1994. 112 ‘Shang et al.’: Aijing Shang et al., ‘Are the clinical effects of homoeopathy placebo effects?


pages: 262 words: 65,959

The Simpsons and Their Mathematical Secrets by Simon Singh

Albert Einstein, Andrew Wiles, Benoit Mandelbrot, cognitive dissonance, Donald Knuth, Erdős number, Georg Cantor, Grace Hopper, Isaac Newton, John Nash: game theory, Kickstarter, mandelbrot fractal, Menlo Park, Norbert Wiener, Norman Mailer, P = NP, Paul Erdős, probability theory / Blaise Pascal / Pierre de Fermat, Richard Feynman, Rubik’s Cube, Schrödinger's Cat, Simon Singh, Stephen Hawking, Wolfskehl Prize, women in the workforce

The episode’s title is a twist on Two-Lane Blacktop, a cult 1971 movie about two street racers. 25. Wash Bucket is a robotic mop bucket who has appeared in four episodes. 26. Emperor Nikolai is the robot emperor of Robo-Hungary. 27. The Wronskian is used in the study of differential equations and is named after the nineteenth-century French-Polish mathematician Józef Maria Hoene-Wroński. Note on the Author SIMON SINGH received his PhD in particle physics from the University of Cambridge. A former BBC producer, he directed a BAFTA Award–winning documentary about Fermat’s last theorem and wrote a bestselling book on the same subject. His best seller The Code Book was the basis for the Channel Four series The Science of Secrecy. His third book, Big Bang, was also a best seller, and Trick or Treatment: The Undeniable Facts About Alternative Medicine, written with Edzard Ernst, did not sell very well at all, but it did cause quite a fuss.

BY THE SAME AUTHOR Fermat’s Enigma: The Epic Quest to Solve the World’s Greatest Mathematical Problem (US edition) Fermat’s Last Theorem: The Story of a Riddle that Confounded the World’s Greatest Minds for 358 Years (UK edition) The Code Book: The Science of Secrecy from Ancient Egypt to Quantum Cryptography Big Bang: The Origin of the Universe Trick or Treatment: The Undeniable Facts about Alternative Medicine First published in Great Britain 2013 This electronic edition published in 2013 by Bloomsbury Publishing Plc Copyright © 2013 by Simon Singh The moral right of the author has been asserted All rights reserved You may not copy, distribute, transmit, reproduce or otherwise make available this publication (or any part of it) in any form, or by any means (including without limitation electronic, digital, optical, mechanical, photocopying, printing, recording or otherwise), without the prior written permission of the publisher. Any person who does any unauthorised act in relation to this publication may be liable to criminal prosecution and civil claims for damages This book has not been approved, licensed, or sponsored by any entity or person involved in creating or producing The Simpsons™, the film, or the TV series.


pages: 254 words: 76,064

Whiplash: How to Survive Our Faster Future by Joi Ito, Jeff Howe

3D printing, Albert Michelson, Amazon Web Services, artificial general intelligence, basic income, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, Burning Man, buy low sell high, Claude Shannon: information theory, cloud computing, Computer Numeric Control, conceptual framework, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, data acquisition, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, double helix, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Ferguson, Missouri, fiat currency, financial innovation, Flash crash, frictionless, game design, Gerolamo Cardano, informal economy, interchangeable parts, Internet Archive, Internet of things, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, John Harrison: Longitude, Joi Ito, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, Mark Zuckerberg, microbiome, Nate Silver, Network effects, neurotypical, Oculus Rift, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, pirate software, pre–internet, prisoner's dilemma, Productivity paradox, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, Ronald Coase, Ross Ulbricht, Satoshi Nakamoto, self-driving car, SETI@home, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Simon Singh, Singularitarianism, Skype, slashdot, smart contracts, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Stuxnet, supply-chain management, technological singularity, technoutopianism, The Nature of the Firm, the scientific method, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, There's no reason for any individual to have a computer in his home - Ken Olsen, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, universal basic income, unpaid internship, uranium enrichment, urban planning, WikiLeaks

“Prisoner’s Dilemma,” Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, revised August 29, 2014, http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/prisoner-dilemma/. 20 Austin Hill, “On Your Permanent Record: Anonymity, Pseudonymity, Ephemerality & Bears Omfg!,” Medium, March 17, 2014, https://medium.com/@austinhill/on-your-permanent-record-f5ab81f9f654#.ak8ith7gu. 21 Felix Martin, Money: The Unauthorized Biography (New York: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, 2015). 22 Ibid., 43. 23 Ibid., 55–60. 24 Simon Singh, The Code Book: The Science of Secrecy from Ancient Egypt to Quantum Cryptography (New York: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, 2011). Kindle Edition, chapter 1: “The Cipher of Mary, Queen of Scots.” 25 Ibid. 26 Pierre Berloquin, Hidden Codes & Grand Designs: Secret Languages from Ancient Times to Modern Day (New York: Sterling Publishing Company, Inc., 2008). 27 Singh, The Code Book. 28 Ibid. 29 Singh, The Code Book, chapter 2: “Le Chiffre Indéchiffrable”; Richard A.

Nicole Eagan, “What the Human Body Teaches Us about Cyber Security,” World Economic Forum, August 20, 2015, https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2015/08/good-immune-system-wards-off-cyber-threats/; Shelly Fan, “How Artificial Immune Systems May Be the Future of Cybersecurity,” Singularity HUB, December 27, 2015, http://singularityhub.com/2015/12/27/cyberimmunity-ai-based-artificial-immune-systems-may-be-cybersecurity-of-the-future/; “Workshop on Bio-Inspired Security, Trust, Assurance and Resilience (BioSTAR 2016)” (37th IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy, IEEE S&P 2016 Workshop), San Jose, CA, May 26, 2016), http://biostar.cybersecurity.bio/. 7 In The Code Book, Simon Singh gives an example in which Alice and Bob each start with a bucket of yellow paint. Alice adds a liter of purple to hers, Bob adds a liter of red, and then they swap buckets. Alice now adds another liter of purple to Bob’s bucket, while Bob adds a liter of red to Alice’s. Now Bob and Alice each have an identical bucket of murky brown paint, but Eve (the eavesdropper) won’t be able to reproduce the color, even if she has access to the pigments they used.


pages: 345 words: 84,847

The Runaway Species: How Human Creativity Remakes the World by David Eagleman, Anthony Brandt

active measures, Ada Lovelace, agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, Andrew Wiles, Burning Man, cloud computing, computer age, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, Dava Sobel, delayed gratification, Donald Trump, Douglas Hofstadter, en.wikipedia.org, Frank Gehry, Google Glasses, haute couture, informal economy, interchangeable parts, Isaac Newton, James Dyson, John Harrison: Longitude, John Markoff, lone genius, longitudinal study, Menlo Park, microbiome, Netflix Prize, new economy, New Journalism, pets.com, QWERTY keyboard, Ray Kurzweil, reversible computing, Richard Feynman, risk tolerance, self-driving car, Simon Singh, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, the scientific method, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, wikimedia commons, X Prize

Hall, Michelangelo’s Last Judgment. 7 Richard Steinitz, György Ligeti: Music of the Imagination (Boston: Northeastern University Press, 2003). 8 T.J. Pinch and Karin Bijsterveld, The Oxford Handbook of Sound Studies (New York: Oxford University Press, 2012). 9 NOVA, “Andrew Wiles on Solving Fermat,” PBS, November 1, 2000, accessed May 11, 2016, <http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/physics/andrew-wiles-fermat.html> 10 Simon Singh, Fermat’s Enigma: The Epic Quest to Solve the World’s Greatest Mathematical Problem (New York: Walker, 1997). 11 Michael J. Gelb, How to Think like Leonardo Da Vinci (New York: Dell, 2000). 12 Dean Keith Simonton, “Creative Productivity: A Predictive and Explanatory Model of Career Trajectories and Landmarks,” Psychological Review 104 no. 1 (1997): p. 66–89, <http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/0033-295X.104.1.66> 13 Yasuyuki Kowatari et al., “Neural Networks Involved in Artistic Creativity,” Human Brain Mapping 30 no. 5 (2009): pp. 1678-90, <http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/hbm.20633> 14 Suzan-Lori Parks, 365 Days/365 Plays (New York: Theater Communications Group, Inc., 2006). 11.

Hall, Michelangelo’s Last Judgment. 7 Richard Steinitz, György Ligeti: Music of the Imagination (Boston: Northeastern University Press, 2003). 8 T.J. Pinch and Karin Bijsterveld, The Oxford Handbook of Sound Studies (New York: Oxford University Press, 2012). 9 NOVA, “Andrew Wiles on Solving Fermat,” PBS, November 1, 2000, accessed May 11, 2016, <http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/physics/andrew-wiles-fermat.html> 10 Simon Singh, Fermat’s Enigma: The Epic Quest to Solve the World’s Greatest Mathematical Problem (New York: Walker, 1997). 11 Michael J. Gelb, How to Think like Leonardo Da Vinci (New York: Dell, 2000). 12 Dean Keith Simonton, “Creative Productivity: A Predictive and Explanatory Model of Career Trajectories and Landmarks,” Psychological Review 104 no. 1 (1997): p. 66–89, <http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/0033-295X.104.1.66> 13 Yasuyuki Kowatari et al., “Neural Networks Involved in Artistic Creativity,” Human Brain Mapping 30 no. 5 (2009): pp. 1678-90, <http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/hbm.20633> 14 Suzan-Lori Parks, 365 Days/365 Plays (New York: Theater Communications Group, Inc., 2006). 11.


pages: 416 words: 106,532

Cryptoassets: The Innovative Investor's Guide to Bitcoin and Beyond: The Innovative Investor's Guide to Bitcoin and Beyond by Chris Burniske, Jack Tatar

Airbnb, altcoin, asset allocation, asset-backed security, autonomous vehicles, bitcoin, blockchain, Blythe Masters, business cycle, business process, buy and hold, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, commoditize, correlation coefficient, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, cryptocurrency, disintermediation, distributed ledger, diversification, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, fiat currency, financial innovation, fixed income, George Gilder, Google Hangouts, high net worth, Jeff Bezos, Kenneth Rogoff, Kickstarter, Leonard Kleinrock, litecoin, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, money market fund, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, moral hazard, Network effects, packet switching, passive investing, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer lending, Peter Thiel, pets.com, Ponzi scheme, prediction markets, quantitative easing, RAND corporation, random walk, Renaissance Technologies, risk tolerance, risk-adjusted returns, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ross Ulbricht, Satoshi Nakamoto, Sharpe ratio, Silicon Valley, Simon Singh, Skype, smart contracts, social web, South Sea Bubble, Steve Jobs, transaction costs, tulip mania, Turing complete, Uber for X, Vanguard fund, WikiLeaks, Y2K

We will go deeper into the specifics of the process in the proof-of-work section that follows, but for now here’s the takeaway: cryptography allows the computers building Bitcoin’s blockchain to collaborate in an automated system of mathematical trust. There is no subjectivity as to whether a transaction is confirmed in Bitcoin’s blockchain: it’s just math. For a deep dive on cryptography, we highly recommend The Code Book: The Science of Secrecy from Ancient Egypt to Quantum Cryptography by Simon Singh. Immutable The combination of globally distributed computers that can cryptographically verify transactions and the building of Bitcoin’s blockchain leads to an immutable database, meaning the computers building Bitcoin’s blockchain can only do so in an append only fashion. Append only means that information can only be added to Bitcoin’s blockchain over time but cannot be deleted—an audit trail etched in digital granite.

_r=1&hp&oref=slogin; http://old.seattletimes.com/html/businesstechnology/2008171076_weblehman10.html. 17. http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB123051066413538349. 18. http://som.yale.edu/sites/default/files/files/001-2014-3A-V1-LehmanBrothers-A-REVA.pdf. 19. https://www.stlouisfed.org/financial-crisis/full-timeline. 20. https://bitcoin.org/bitcoin.pdf. 21. http://www.mail-archive.com/cryptography@metzdowd.com/msg09980.html. 22. https://www.fdic.gov/news/news/press/2006/pr06086b.pdf. 23. http://www.mail-archive.com/cryptography@metzdowd.com/msg09959.html. 24. http://www.mail-archive.com/cryptography@metzdowd.com/msg09971.html. 25. http://www.mail-archive.com/cryptography@metzdowd.com/msg10006.html. 26. http://www.nytimes.com/packages/html/national/200904_CREDITCRISIS/recipients.html. 27. https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Genesis_block. 28. http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/business/industries/banking/article2160028.ece. 29. http://historyofbitcoin.org/. 30. http://p2pfoundation.ning.com/forum/topics/bitcoin-open-source?xg_source=activity. 31. http://archive.is/Gvonb#selection-3137.0-3145.230. 32. http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2009/02/04/business/20090205-bailout-totals-graphic.html?_r=0. Chapter 2 1. https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2808762. 2. https://99bitcoins.com/bitcoinobituaries/. 3. Simon Singh, The Code Book (Anchor, 2000). 4. This quote (or maxim) is often credited to the great Mark Twain, but as with many great quotes the actual author of it is unclear. See http://quoteinvestigator.com/2014/01/12/history-rhymes/. 5. https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2016-09-01/maybe-blockchain-really-does-have-magical-powers. 6. https://www.cbinsights.com/blog/industries-disrupted-blockchain/. 7. http://www.washington.edu/news/2015/09/17/a-q-a-with-pedro-domingos-author-of-the-master-algorithm/.


pages: 434 words: 135,226

The Music of the Primes by Marcus Du Sautoy

Ada Lovelace, Andrew Wiles, Arthur Eddington, Augustin-Louis Cauchy, computer age, Dava Sobel, Dmitri Mendeleev, Eratosthenes, Erdős number, Georg Cantor, German hyperinflation, global village, Henri Poincaré, Isaac Newton, Jacquard loom, lateral thinking, music of the spheres, New Journalism, P = NP, Paul Erdős, Richard Feynman, Rubik’s Cube, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, Simon Singh, Solar eclipse in 1919, Stephen Hawking, Turing machine, William of Occam, Wolfskehl Prize, Y2K

Find Out More http://www.maths.ox.ac.uk/∼dusautoy/ Marcus du Sautoy’s own website has a full list of his publications and lots of biographical information, as well as links to other useful sites and several of his articles archived on the internet. http://www.musicoftheprimes.com/ The website for this book contains a regularly updated news section and a huge amount of fascinating information related to prime numbers. BOOKSHOP Now you can buy any of these great paperbacks from Harper Perennial at 10% off recommended retail price. FREE postage and packing in the UK. Fermat’s Last Theorem Simon Singh 1 84115 791 0 £8.99 The Code Book Simon Singh 1 85702 889 9 £9.99 Longitude Dava Sobel 1 85702 5717 £6.99 Isaac Newton James GleickO 00 716318 5 £7.99 Nature via Nurture Matt Ridley 1 84115 746 5 £8.99 The Curious Life of Robert Hooke Lisajardine0007151756 £8.99 Total cost———— 10% discount———— Final total———— To purchase by Visa/Mastercard/Switch simply call08707871724orfaxon08707871725 To pay by cheque, send a copy of this form with a cheque made payable to ‘HarperCollins Publishers’ to: Mail Order Dept (Ref: BOM), HarperCollins Publishers, Westerhill Road, Bishopbriggs, G64 2QT, making sure to include your full name, postal address and phone number.


pages: 237 words: 50,758

Obliquity: Why Our Goals Are Best Achieved Indirectly by John Kay

Andrew Wiles, Asian financial crisis, Berlin Wall, bonus culture, British Empire, business process, Cass Sunstein, computer age, corporate raider, credit crunch, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, discounted cash flows, discovery of penicillin, diversification, Donald Trump, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial innovation, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, invention of the telephone, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, lateral thinking, Long Term Capital Management, Louis Pasteur, market fundamentalism, Myron Scholes, Nash equilibrium, pattern recognition, Paul Samuelson, purchasing power parity, RAND corporation, regulatory arbitrage, shareholder value, Simon Singh, Steve Jobs, Thales of Miletus, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Predators' Ball, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, ultimatum game, urban planning, value at risk

Chapter 6: The Ubiquity of Obliquity—How Obliquity Is Relevant to Many Aspects of Our Lives 1 Giorgio Vasari, Lives of the Painters, Sculptors, and Architects (London, George Bell & Sons, 1878), vol. I, p. 431. 2 Ernst H. Gombrich, The Story of Art (Oxford, Phaidon Press, 1978), p. 8. 3 Pablo Picasso to Marius de Zaya in Arts, May 1923, reproduced in Alfred H. Barr, Picasso: Fifty Years of His Art (New York, Museum of Modern Art, 1946), p. 270. 4 Simon Singh, Fermat’s Last Theorem (London, Fourth Estate, 1997). 5 U.S. National Park Service, “The Yellowstone Fires of 1988,” 2008. 6 B. M. Kilgore, “Origin and History of Wildland Fire Use in the U.S. National Park System,” George Wright Forum 24, no. 3 (2007). 7 Le Corbusier, The Radiant City (London, Faber & Faber, 1964), p.154. 8 Robert A. Caro, The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York (New York, Vintage Books, 1975), p. 11. 9 Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities (Harmondsworth, UK: Penguin, 1965), p. 350. 10 Louis Pasteur, 1854, quoted in Maurice B.


pages: 184 words: 13,957

Programming in Haskell by Graham Hutton

Eratosthenes, John Conway, Simon Singh, type inference

Also available on the web from www.haskell.org/definition. 26. Simon Peyton Jones and David Lester. Implementing Functional Languages: A Tutorial. Prentice Hall, 1992. 27. V.J. Rayward-Smith. A First Course in Formal Language Theory, vol. 234 of Pitman Research Notes in Math. Blackwell Scientific Publications, 1983. 28. John C. Reynolds. Theories of Programming Languages. Cambridge University Press, 1998. 29. Simon Singh. The Code Book: The Secret History of Codes and Code Breaking. Fourth Estate, 1999. 30. Philip Wadler. The Concatenate Vanishes. University of Glasgow, 1989. 31. Philip Wadler. Monads for Functional Programming. In Manfred Broy, ed., Proceedings of the Marktoberdorf Summer School on Program Design Calculi. Springer–Verlag, 1992. Index (), 20, 81, 88, 160 [ ], 20, 75, 118, 160 $!, 134, 164 ⇒, 23, 166 , 32, 39, 50, 57, 59 > >=, 77, 89, 113, 157, 166 ≥, 25, 156, 166 λ, 35, 68, 76, 127, 166 ←, 38, 77, 90, 166 ≤, 25, 156, 166 ∗, 10, 27, 157 +, 10, 27, 157 −, 10, 27, 157 /, 28, 44, 157 ::, 17 :, 33, 160 <, 25, 156 >, 25, 156 ◦, 68, 164, 166 ↑, 10, 159, 166 ==, 24, 156 ∨, 157, 166 ∧, 32, 157, 166 |, 31, 38, 100 ¬, 32, 157, 166 =, 24, 156, 166 ++, 12, 51, 66, 67, 163, 166 !!


pages: 855 words: 178,507

The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood by James Gleick

Ada Lovelace, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Albert Einstein, AltaVista, bank run, bioinformatics, Brownian motion, butterfly effect, citation needed, Claude Shannon: information theory, clockwork universe, computer age, conceptual framework, crowdsourcing, death of newspapers, discovery of DNA, Donald Knuth, double helix, Douglas Hofstadter, en.wikipedia.org, Eratosthenes, Fellow of the Royal Society, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Henri Poincaré, Honoré de Balzac, index card, informal economy, information retrieval, invention of the printing press, invention of writing, Isaac Newton, Jacquard loom, Jaron Lanier, jimmy wales, Johannes Kepler, John von Neumann, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, lifelogging, Louis Daguerre, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, microbiome, Milgram experiment, Network effects, New Journalism, Norbert Wiener, Norman Macrae, On the Economy of Machinery and Manufactures, PageRank, pattern recognition, phenotype, Pierre-Simon Laplace, pre–internet, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, reversible computing, Richard Feynman, Rubik’s Cube, Simon Singh, Socratic dialogue, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, stochastic process, talking drums, the High Line, The Wisdom of Crowds, transcontinental railway, Turing machine, Turing test, women in the workforce

Friedman, “Edgar Allan Poe, Cryptographer,” American Literature 8, no. 3 (1936): 266–80; Joseph Wood Krutch, Edgar Allan Poe: A Study in Genius (New York: Knopf, 1926). ♦ A “KEY-ALPHABET” AND A “MESSAGE-ALPHABET”: Lewis Carroll, “The Telegraph-Cipher,” printed card 8 x 12 cm., Berol Collection, New York University Library. ♦ “ONE OF THE MOST SINGULAR CHARACTERISTICS”: Charles Babbage, Passages from the Life of a Philosopher (London: Longman, Green, Longman, Roberts, & Green, 1864), 235. ♦ POLYALPHABETIC CIPHER KNOWN AS THE VIGENÈRE: Simon Singh, The Code Book: The Secret History of Codes and Code-breaking (London: Fourth Estate, 1999), 63 ff. ♦ “THE VARIOUS PARTS OF THE MACHINERY”: Dionysius Lardner, “Babbage’s Calculating Engines,” Edinburgh Review 59, no. 120 (1834): 315–17. ♦ “NAME OF EVERYTHING WHICH IS BOTH X AND Y”: De Morgan to Boole, 28 November 1847, in G. C. Smith, ed., The Boole–De Morgan Correspondence 1842–1864 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1982), 25

♦ BENNETT AND HIS RESEARCH ASSISTANT: J. A. Smolin, “The Early Days of Experimental Quantum Cryptography,” IBM Journal of Research and Development 48 (2004): 47–52. ♦ “WE SAY THINGS SUCH AS ‘ALICE SENDS BOB’ ”: Barbara M. Terhal, “Is Entanglement Monogamous?” IBM Journal of Research and Development 48, no. 1 (2004): 71–78. ♦ FOLLOWING AN INTRICATE AND COMPLEX PROTOCOL: A detailed explanation can be found in Simon Singh, The Code Book: The Secret History of Codes and Codebreaking (London: Fourth Estate, 1999); it takes ten pages of exquisite prose, beginning at 339. ♦ “STAND BY: I’LL TELEPORT YOU SOME GOULASH”: IBM advertisement, Scientific American (February 1996), 0–1; Anthony H. G. Hey, ed., Feynman and Computation, xiii; Tom Siegfried, The Bit and the Pendulum, 13. ♦ “UNFORTUNATELY THE PREPOSTEROUS SPELLING QUBIT”: N.


pages: 250 words: 73,574

Nine Algorithms That Changed the Future: The Ingenious Ideas That Drive Today's Computers by John MacCormick, Chris Bishop

Ada Lovelace, AltaVista, Claude Shannon: information theory, fault tolerance, information retrieval, Menlo Park, PageRank, pattern recognition, Richard Feynman, Silicon Valley, Simon Singh, sorting algorithm, speech recognition, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, traveling salesman, Turing machine, Turing test, Vannevar Bush

A much more technical, wide-ranging analysis appears in Langville and Meyer's Google's PageRank and Beyond—but this book requires college-level linear algebra. John Battelle's The Search begins with an accessible and interesting history of the web search industry, including the rise of Google. The web spam mentioned on page 36 is discussed in “Spam, Damn Spam, and Statistics: Using Statistical Analysis to Locate Spam Web Pages,” by Fetterly, Manasse, and Najork, and published in the 2004 WebDB conference. Public key cryptography (chapter 4). Simon Singh's The Code Book contains superb, accessible descriptions of many aspects of cryptography, including public key. It also recounts in detail the story of the secret discovery of public key cryptography at GCHQin Britain. Bishop's lectures (see above) contain a clever practical demonstration of the paint-mixing analogy for public key crypto. Error correcting codes (chapter 5). The anecdotes about Hamming are documented in Thomas M.


pages: 297 words: 77,362

The Nature of Technology by W. Brian Arthur

Andrew Wiles, business process, cognitive dissonance, computer age, creative destruction, double helix, endogenous growth, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, haute cuisine, James Watt: steam engine, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, locking in a profit, Mars Rover, means of production, Myron Scholes, railway mania, Silicon Valley, Simon Singh, sorting algorithm, speech recognition, technological singularity, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions

Lane and Maxfield, “Foresight, Complexity, and Strategy,” in The Economy as an Evolving Complex System, W. B. Arthur, S. Durlauf, and D. A. Lane, eds., Addison-Wesley, Reading, MA, 1997. Aitken (1985, p. 547) says that “[t]o understand the process [of invention] it is essential to understand the previously separate flows of information and stocks of knowledge that came together to produce something new” 129 says mathematician Kenneth Ribet: Quoted in Simon Singh, Fermat’s Last Theorem, Fourth Estate, London, 1997, p. 304. Chapter 7: Structural Deepening 131 path of development: Economists call this a technological trajectory. See Richard Nelson and Sidney Winter, “In Search of a Useful Theory of Innovation,” Research Policy 6, 36–76, 1977; G. Dosi, “Technological Paradigms and Technological Trajectories,” Research Policy 11, 146–62, 1982; and Dosi, Innovation, Organization, and Economic Dynamics, Edward Elgar, Aldershot, UK, 2000, p. 53.


pages: 491 words: 77,650

Humans as a Service: The Promise and Perils of Work in the Gig Economy by Jeremias Prassl

3D printing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Andrei Shleifer, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, call centre, cashless society, Clayton Christensen, collaborative consumption, collaborative economy, collective bargaining, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, Erik Brynjolfsson, full employment, future of work, George Akerlof, gig economy, global supply chain, hiring and firing, income inequality, information asymmetry, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Kickstarter, low skilled workers, Lyft, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, market friction, means of production, moral hazard, Network effects, new economy, obamacare, pattern recognition, platform as a service, Productivity paradox, race to the bottom, regulatory arbitrage, remote working, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Gordon, Ronald Coase, Rosa Parks, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Simon Singh, software as a service, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, The Future of Employment, The Market for Lemons, The Nature of the Firm, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, transaction costs, transportation-network company, Travis Kalanick, two tier labour market, two-sided market, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, union organizing, working-age population

As we move towards a labour market in which growing numbers of workers share the challenges faced by their gig-economy colleagues, there is a real need for creative approaches to new models of worker protection. It’s a daunting task—but one we cannot afford to ignore. * * * Notes introduction 1. Tom Standage, The Mechanical Turk: The True Story of the Chess-playing Machine that Fooled the World (Allen Lane 2002). For entertaining reviews, see Simon Singh, ‘Turk’s gambit’, The Guardian (20 April 2002), http://www.theguardian.com/ books/2002/apr/20/scienceandnature.highereducation, archived at https:// perma.cc/T9XK-W7N4; Dick Teresi, ‘Turkish gambit’, The New York Times (2 June 2002), http://www.nytimes.com/2002/06/02/books/turkish-gambit.html, archived at https://perma.cc/77YA-9U5K. If you are interested in watching the Turk in action, a replica can be seen here: ‘Meet the Mechanical Turk, an 18th century chess machine’, BBC News (22 March 2013), http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/ magazine-21882456/meet-the-mechanical-turk-an-18th-century-chess-machine, archived at https://perma.cc/77JK-G8JC 2.


pages: 743 words: 201,651

Free Speech: Ten Principles for a Connected World by Timothy Garton Ash

A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, activist lawyer, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Andrew Keen, Apple II, Ayatollah Khomeini, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, British Empire, Cass Sunstein, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, Clapham omnibus, colonial rule, crowdsourcing, David Attenborough, don't be evil, Donald Davies, Douglas Engelbart, Edward Snowden, Etonian, European colonialism, eurozone crisis, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Ferguson, Missouri, Filter Bubble, financial independence, Firefox, Galaxy Zoo, George Santayana, global village, index card, Internet Archive, invention of movable type, invention of writing, Jaron Lanier, jimmy wales, John Markoff, Julian Assange, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, mass immigration, megacity, mutually assured destruction, national security letter, Nelson Mandela, Netflix Prize, Nicholas Carr, obamacare, Peace of Westphalia, Peter Thiel, pre–internet, profit motive, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, Ronald Reagan, semantic web, Silicon Valley, Simon Singh, Snapchat, social graph, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Wisdom of Crowds, Turing test, We are Anonymous. We are Legion, WikiLeaks, World Values Survey, Yom Kippur War

When they finally succeeded, with the aid of a journalistic campaign led by the British Medical Journal, it turned out that Roche’s claims about cutting down serious illness and reducing the burden on hospitals were unfounded. They were mainly based on a single research paper, using company statisticians. Out of such experiences emerged a movement, animated by the science writer Ben Goldacre, calling for all past and present clinical trials to be registered and their methods and results reported.3 Another British science writer, Simon Singh, was sued for libel by the British Chiropractic Association because he wrote that the organisation ‘happily promotes bogus treatments’ based on ‘not a jot of evidence’.4 Although Singh eventually won his case on appeal, he had to persevere through years of expensive and stressful litigation. Outrage at the chiropractors’ manipulation of Britain’s libel law contributed to its subsequent reform.

See British Medical Journal 2009, http://perma.cc/V6XC-AQND 3. on the Tamiflu saga, the best source are the papers gathered online by the British Medical Journal, ‘Tamiflu Data: Who Saw What When’, http://perma.cc/4SXW-4KT2. See also Goldacre 2009, 82–91. The figure of £424 million comes from page 6 of the report of the House of Commons Committee of Public Accounts, ‘Access to Clinical Trial Information and the Stockpiling of Tamiflu’, http://perma.cc/H7YE-F38D. For the clinical trials movement, see Goldacre 2009, 220–21, Goldacre 2012 and http://perma.cc/TG7L-GPNL 4. Simon Singh, ‘Beware the Spinal Trap’, The Guardian, 19 April 2008, http://perma.cc/92RE-AGN4 5. see Roehr 2011 and Maryam Omidi, ‘Bioterrorism and bird flu’, Free Speech Debate, http://freespeechdebate.com/en/case/bioterrorism-and-bird-flu/ 6. Lawrence H. Summers, ‘Remarks at NBER Conference on Diversifying the Science & Engineering Workforce’, http://perma.cc/9AK7-ZMQD 7. quoted in Post 2012, 61. The best guides to academic freedom with special reference to free speech are Post 2012 and, instructively comparing Britain, the United States and Germany, Barendt 2010 8. my talk to a class at Tsinghua University about John Stuart Mill and free speech was a rare exception, kindly but also informally organised by Daniel Bell 9. in the United States, a whole organisation, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), has been dedicated to challenging such restrictions.


pages: 281 words: 79,958

Denialism: How Irrational Thinking Hinders Scientific Progress, Harms the Planet, and Threatens Our Lives by Michael Specter

23andMe, agricultural Revolution, Anne Wojcicki, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Asilomar, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, clean water, Drosophila, food miles, invention of gunpowder, out of africa, personalized medicine, placebo effect, profit motive, randomized controlled trial, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman: Challenger O-ring, Ronald Reagan, Simon Singh, Skype, stem cell, Ted Kaczynski, the scientific method, Thomas Malthus, twin studies, Upton Sinclair, X Prize

In addition, the National Center for Complementary Medicine, the Harvard School of Public Health, and the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center each offer information on vitamins and supplements at http://nccam.nih.gov, http://www.hsph.harvard.edu, and http://www.mskcc.org/mskcc/html/1979.cfm respectively, as of course do many other in stitutions. The two best recent treatments of alternative health have both been written or edited by Ernst Edzard, who is professor of complementary medicine at the universities of Exeter and Plymouth. The first, written with Simon Singh, is Trick or Treatment: The Undeniable Facts about Alternative Medicine (Norton, 2008). Edzard also edited Healing, Hype or Harm? A Critical Analysis of Complementary or Alternative Medicine (Societas, 2008). For the other side of the story, Andrew Weil is the man to see. He is prolific, but one might begin with Healthy Aging: A Lifelong Guide to Your Physical and Spiritual Well-Being (Knopf, 2005).


pages: 299 words: 92,782

The Success Equation: Untangling Skill and Luck in Business, Sports, and Investing by Michael J. Mauboussin

Amazon Mechanical Turk, Atul Gawande, Benoit Mandelbrot, Black Swan, Checklist Manifesto, Clayton Christensen, cognitive bias, commoditize, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Brooks, deliberate practice, disruptive innovation, Emanuel Derman, fundamental attribution error, Gini coefficient, hindsight bias, hiring and firing, income inequality, Innovator's Dilemma, Long Term Capital Management, loss aversion, Menlo Park, mental accounting, moral hazard, Network effects, prisoner's dilemma, random walk, Richard Thaler, risk-adjusted returns, shareholder value, Simon Singh, six sigma, Steven Pinker, transaction costs, winner-take-all economy, zero-sum game, Zipf's Law

Dealing with quadrant four is far more difficult, and there is a natural and frequently disastrous tendency to apply naively the methods of the first three quadrants to the last. While most of our discussion will dwell on areas where statistics can be helpful, we will also discuss ways to cope with activities in the fourth quadrant. CHAPTER 2 WHY WE'RE SO BAD AT DISTINGUISHING SKILL FROM LUCK AS PART OF A LECTURE that he delivers to the general public, Simon Singh, a British author who writes about science and math, plays a short snippet from Led Zeppelin's famous rock song, “Stairway to Heaven.” Most of the people in the audience are familiar with the tune, and some know the lyrics well enough to sing along. He then plays the same song backward. As you would expect, it sounds like gibberish. He follows by earnestly asking how many heard the following lyrics in the backward version: It's my sweet Satan.


pages: 439 words: 104,154

The Clockwork Universe: Saac Newto, Royal Society, and the Birth of the Modern WorldI by Edward Dolnick

Albert Einstein, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, Arthur Eddington, clockwork universe, complexity theory, double helix, Edmond Halley, Isaac Newton, Johannes Kepler, lone genius, music of the spheres, Pierre-Simon Laplace, Richard Feynman, Saturday Night Live, scientific worldview, Simon Singh, Stephen Hawking, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions

., p. 39. 63 The “lust to find out”: William Eamon, Science and the Secrets of Nature, p. 60. 63 “what the Lord keeps secret”: Ecclesiastes 3:22–23, quoted in Eamon, Science and the Secrets of Nature, p. 60. 64 “If the wisest men”: Westfall, Science and Religion in Seventeenth-Century England, p. 22. 64 How could anyone draw: Shapin, The Scientific Revolution, p. 82. 64 “absorbing, classifying, and preserving”: Allan Chapman, England’s Leonardo: Robert Hooke and the Seventeenth-Century Scientific Revolution, p. 40. 65fn Bacon’s zeal for experimentation: John Aubrey, Brief Lives (Woodbridge, Suffolk: Boydell, 1982), entry for “Francis Bacon.” 65 Nature must be “put to the torture”: Ibid., p. 40. 65 dizzy and temporarily deaf: Jardine, Ingenious Pursuits, p. 56. CHAPTER 11. TO THE BARRICADES! 66 “I swear to you by God’s”: David Berlinski, Infinite Ascent, p. 66. 67 “like torches, that in the lighting”: Eamon, Science and the Secrets of Nature, p. 330. 68 “I’ve known since yesterday”: Simon Singh, Big Bang (New York: Harper, 2004), p. 302. Richard Feynman tells the story in its classic, romantic form in his Feynman Lectures on Physics (Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley, 1963), pp. 3–7, almost as soon as he begins. 68 For decades Hooke argued: Eamon, Science and the Secrets of Nature, p. 347. 68 “Nothing considerable in that kind”: Ibid., p. 347. 68 “Do not throw your pearls”: Paolo Rossi, The Birth of Modern Science, p. 18. 69fn The historian Paolo Rossi: Rossi, The Birth of Modern Science, p. 15. 70 “to improve the knowledge”: Eamon, Science and the Secrets of Nature, p. 348. 70 “not by a glorious pomp”: Ibid., p. 25, quoting Sprat, History of the Royal Society, pp. 62–63. 70 “a close, naked, natural way”: Sprat, History of the Royal Society, p. 113. 71 “All that I mean”: Carey, John Donne, p. 58.


pages: 387 words: 112,868

Digital Gold: Bitcoin and the Inside Story of the Misfits and Millionaires Trying to Reinvent Money by Nathaniel Popper

4chan, Airbnb, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, banking crisis, Ben Horowitz, bitcoin, blockchain, Burning Man, buy and hold, capital controls, Colonization of Mars, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, David Graeber, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Extropian, fiat currency, Fractional reserve banking, Jeff Bezos, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, life extension, litecoin, lone genius, M-Pesa, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Occupy movement, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer lending, Peter Thiel, Ponzi scheme, price stability, QR code, Ross Ulbricht, Satoshi Nakamoto, Silicon Valley, Simon Singh, Skype, slashdot, smart contracts, Startup school, stealth mode startup, the payments system, transaction costs, tulip mania, WikiLeaks

The numbers on Bitcoin trading volumes come from www.bitcoinmarkets. com and www.bitcoinity.com/data. For those looking to learn more about the topics covered in this book there are several wonderful books. On the history of the Cypherpunks, there is Andy Greenberg’s This Machine Kills Secrets: How WikiLeakers, Cypherpunks, and Hacktivists Aim to Free the World’s Information. For the history of cryptography I learned a great deal from Simon Singh’s The Code Book. For those eager to learn more about the evolution of money, Felix Martin’s Money: An Authorized Biography and Jack Weatherford’s The History of Money are wonderful reads, and Nigel Dodd’s The Social Life is thought-provoking. Those looking to go into greater depth can try A History of Money by Glyn Davies. I also benefited from Eileen Ormsby’s book Silk Road, the first of what I’m sure will be many fascinating volumes about the online bazaar.


pages: 467 words: 114,570

Pathfinders: The Golden Age of Arabic Science by Jim Al-Khalili

agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, Andrew Wiles, Book of Ingenious Devices, colonial rule, Commentariolus, Dmitri Mendeleev, Eratosthenes, Henri Poincaré, invention of the printing press, invention of the telescope, invention of the wheel, Isaac Newton, Islamic Golden Age, Johannes Kepler, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, liberation theology, retrograde motion, scientific worldview, Silicon Valley, Simon Singh, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, the scientific method, Thomas Malthus, trade route, William of Occam

Nawas, ‘A Reexamination of Three Current Explanations for Al-Ma’mun’s Introduction of the Miḥna’, International Journal of Middle East Studies, 26/4 (1994), pp. 615–29. 2. Peter Adamson, Al-Kindi, Great Medieval Thinkers (Oxford University Press, 2006), p. 4. 3. Socrates did not himself leave any philosophical writings. His ideas reach us only through the writings of his contemporaries and students, most notably Plato. 4. Quoted in Richard Walzer, ‘The Rise of Islamic Philosophy’, Oriens, 3/1 (1950), p. 9. 5. Simon Singh, The Code Book (Fourth Estate, 2000), pp. 14–20. 6. Lynn Thorndike, Arabic Occult Science of the Ninth Century (Kessinger Publishing, 2005), p. 649. 7. Alfred L. Ivry, ‘Al-Kindi and the Mu’tazila: A Philosophical and Political Reevaluation’, Oriens, 25 (1976), p. 82. 8. Adamson, Al-Kindi, p. 5. 9. Seyyed Hossein Nasr and Oliver Leaman (eds.), History of Islamic Philosophy (Routledge, 1996), p. 166.


pages: 389 words: 112,319

Think Like a Rocket Scientist by Ozan Varol

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, airport security, Albert Einstein, Amazon Web Services, Andrew Wiles, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, Arthur Eddington, autonomous vehicles, Ben Horowitz, Cal Newport, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, Colonization of Mars, dark matter, delayed gratification, different worldview, discovery of DNA, double helix, Elon Musk, fear of failure, functional fixedness, Gary Taubes, George Santayana, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Inbox Zero, index fund, Isaac Newton, James Dyson, Jeff Bezos, job satisfaction, Johannes Kepler, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, late fees, lateral thinking, lone genius, longitudinal study, Louis Pasteur, low earth orbit, Marc Andreessen, Mars Rover, meta analysis, meta-analysis, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, multiplanetary species, obamacare, Occam's razor, out of africa, Peter Thiel, Pluto: dwarf planet, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman: Challenger O-ring, Ronald Reagan, Sam Altman, Schrödinger's Cat, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Simon Singh, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas Malthus, Upton Sinclair, Vilfredo Pareto, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, Whole Earth Catalog, women in the workforce, Yogi Berra

Cargill Hall, “The Ranger Legacy,” in Lunar Impact: A History of Project Ranger, NASA History Series (Washington, DC: NASA, 1977; website updated 2006), https://history.nasa.gov/SP-4210/pages/Ch_19.htm. 10. Steve W. Squyres, Roving Mars: Spirit, Opportunity, and the Exploration of the Red Planet (New York: Hyperion, 2005), 239–243, 289. 11. Yuval Noah Harari, 21 Lessons for the 21st Century (New York: Spiegel & Grau, 2018). 12. The section on Fermat’s Last Theorem draws on the following sources: Stuart Firestein, Ignorance: How It Drives Science (New York: Oxford University Press, 2012); Simon Singh, Fermat’s Last Theorem: The Story of a Riddle That Confounded the World’s Greatest Minds for 358 Years (London: Fourth Estate, 1997); NOVA, “Solving Fermat: Andrew Wiles,” interview with Andrew Wiles, PBS, October 31, 2000, www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/proof/wiles.html; Gina Kolata, “At Last, Shout of ‘Eureka!’ in Age-Old Math Mystery,” New York Times, June 24, 1993, www.nytimes.com/1993/06/24/us/at-last-shout-of-eureka-in-age-old-math-mystery.html; Gina Kolata, “A Year Later, Snag Persists in Math Proof,” New York Times, June 28, 1994, www.nytimes.com/1994/06/28/science/a-year-later-snag-persists-in-math-proof.html; John J.


pages: 402 words: 129,876

Bad Pharma: How Medicine Is Broken, and How We Can Fix It by Ben Goldacre

data acquisition, framing effect, if you build it, they will come, illegal immigration, income per capita, meta analysis, meta-analysis, placebo effect, publication bias, randomized controlled trial, Ronald Reagan, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), Simon Singh, WikiLeaks

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS, FURTHER READING AND A NOTE ON ERRORS I have been taught, corrected, calibrated, cajoled, entertained, encouraged and informed by a very large number of people, including John King, Liz Parratt, Steve Rolles, Mark Pilkington, Shalinee Singh, Alex Lomas, Liam Smeeth, Josie Long, Ian Roberts, Tim Minchin, Ian Sample, Carl Heneghan, Richard Lehman, Dara Ó Briain, Paul Glasziou, Hilda Bastian, Simon Wessely, Cicely Marston, Archie Cochrane, William Lee, Brian Cox, Sreeram Ramagopalan, Hind Khalifeh, Martin McKee, Cory Doctorow, Evan Harris, Muir Gray, Amanda Burls, Rob Manuel, Tobias Sargent, Anna Powell-Smith, Tjeerd van Staa, Robin Ince, Roddy Mansfield, Rami Tzabar, Phil Baker, George Davey-Smith, David Pescovitz, Charlotte Wattebot-O’Brien, Patrick Matthews, Giles Wakely, Claire Gerada, Andy Lewis, Suzie Whitwell, Harry Metcalfe, Gimpy, David Colquhoun, Louise Burton, Simon Singh, Vaughan Bell, Richard Peto, Louise Crow, Julian Peto, Nick Mailer, Rob Aldridge, Milly Marston, Tom Steinberg, Mike Jay, Amber Marks, Reg, Mum, Dad, Josh, Raph, Allie, and Lou. I’m hugely indebted to the late Pat Kavanagh, Rosemary Scoular, Lara Hughes-Young, and especially Sarah Ballard, who is amazing. Robert Lacey has copy-edited my last two books, he is gentle. Louise Haines has been mighty.


pages: 509 words: 132,327

Rise of the Machines: A Cybernetic History by Thomas Rid

1960s counterculture, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, Alistair Cooke, Apple II, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, back-to-the-land, Berlin Wall, British Empire, Brownian motion, Buckminster Fuller, business intelligence, Charles Lindbergh, Claude Shannon: information theory, conceptual framework, connected car, domain-specific language, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, dumpster diving, Extropian, full employment, game design, global village, Haight Ashbury, Howard Rheingold, Jaron Lanier, job automation, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, Kubernetes, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, Mitch Kapor, Mother of all demos, new economy, New Journalism, Norbert Wiener, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, pattern recognition, RAND corporation, Silicon Valley, Simon Singh, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, Telecommunications Act of 1996, telepresence, The Hackers Conference, Vernor Vinge, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, Y2K, Yom Kippur War, Zimmermann PGP

ANARCHY 1.James Ellis, The Story of Non-secret Encryption (Cheltenham, UK: GCHQ/CESG, 1987), para. 4. 2.Walter Koenig, Final Report on Project C-43: Continuation of Decoding Speech Codes, NDRC contract no. OEMsr-435 (New York: Bell Telephone Laboratories, 1944). 3.James Ellis, The Possibility of Secure Non-Secret Digital Encryption, research report no. 3006 (Cheltenham, UK: GCHQ/CESG, 1970). 4.Quoted in Steven Levy, Crypto (New York: Penguin, 2000), 396. 5.Clifford Cocks, quoted in Simon Singh, The Code Book (London: Fourth Estate, 1999), 285. 6.Ellis, Possibility. 7.“You did more with it than we did,” Ellis once told fellow cryptographer Whitfield Diffie, but he refused to say more. See the last paragraph of Steven Levy’s Crypto. 8.Whitfield Diffie and Martin Hellman, “New Directions in Cryptography,” IEEE Transactions on Information Theory 22, no. 6 (November 1976): 644–54. 9.For an excellent and more detailed description, see Levy, Crypto, 90–124. 10.Martin Gardner, “A New Kind of Cipher That Would Take Millions of Years to Break,” Scientific American 237, no. 2 (August 1977): 120–24. 11.Singh mentions three thousand letters; Levy, seven thousand.


Crypto: How the Code Rebels Beat the Government Saving Privacy in the Digital Age by Steven Levy

Albert Einstein, Claude Shannon: information theory, cognitive dissonance, computer age, Donald Knuth, Eratosthenes, Extropian, invention of the telegraph, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, knapsack problem, Marc Andreessen, Mitch Kapor, MITM: man-in-the-middle, Network effects, new economy, NP-complete, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, Simon Singh, Stephen Hawking, Steven Levy, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, web of trust, Whole Earth Catalog, zero-sum game, Zimmermann PGP, éminence grise

Cylink Corporation and Caro-Kann Corporation are public. 311 expiration date In fact, two of the Stanford patents, covering Diffie-Hellman key exchange and knapsacks (and arguably the concept of public key itself) had expired in 1997. The MIT patent covering RSA expired September 20, 2000. Epilogue: The Open Secret Some of the information here first appeared in Wired, April 1999, “The Open Secret,” which was the first complete account of the Communications-Electronics Security Group (CESG) advances. (Simon Singh’s account in The Code Book was to follow.) Ellis’s paper “The Story of Non-Secret Encryption” lays the outline for the discoveries and, like the other CESG papers, is available on its Web site. Some of Clifford Cocks’s remarks here were drawn from “The Invention of Non-Secret Encryption,” a talk given at Bletchley Park on June 20, 1998, at a “History of Cryptography” seminar hosted by the British Society for the History of Mathematics.


Beautiful Data: The Stories Behind Elegant Data Solutions by Toby Segaran, Jeff Hammerbacher

23andMe, airport security, Amazon Mechanical Turk, bioinformatics, Black Swan, business intelligence, card file, cloud computing, computer vision, correlation coefficient, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, DARPA: Urban Challenge, data acquisition, database schema, double helix, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, fault tolerance, Firefox, Hans Rosling, housing crisis, information retrieval, lake wobegon effect, longitudinal study, Mars Rover, natural language processing, openstreetmap, prediction markets, profit motive, semantic web, sentiment analysis, Simon Singh, social graph, SPARQL, speech recognition, statistical model, supply-chain management, text mining, Vernor Vinge, web application

.' >>> decode_shift2(shift2(msg)) 'general kenobi years ago you served my father in the clone wars now he begs you to help him in his struggle against the empire' Still way too easy. Let’s move on to a general substitution cipher, in which any letter can be substituted for any other. Now we can no longer enumerate the possibilities, because there are 26! keys (about 4 × 1026), rather than just 26. The Code Book by Simon Singh (Anchor) offers five strategies (and we’ll mention a sixth) for breaking ciphers: 1. Letter unigram frequencies. Match common letters in the message to common letters in English (like “e”) and uncommon to uncommon (like “z”). 2. Double letter analysis. A double in the coded message is still double in the decoded message. Consider the least and most common double letters. 3. Look for common words like “the,” “and,” and “of.”


pages: 449 words: 123,459

The Infinity Puzzle by Frank Close

Albert Einstein, Andrew Wiles, Arthur Eddington, dark matter, El Camino Real, en.wikipedia.org, Ernest Rutherford, Isaac Newton, Murray Gell-Mann, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, Simon Singh

Unless otherwise specified, quotes from ’t Hooft are from interview with the author on April 11, 2000 and e-mails of September 10 and September 13, 2010. 2. This is a statement of the perception when the problem remained unsolved, exemplified by the startled reactions when the news of ’t Hooft’s work became known (see page 12). However, remarkable though ’t Hooft and Veltman’s work was, the technical achievement cannot really be compared to that of Wiles, who had to build whole new lines of mathematics, and alone. See Simon Singh’s book Fermat’s Last Theorem for the story of Wiles’s triumph. 3. M. Veltman, Nobel Lecture, http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/physics /laureates/1999/veltman-lecture.html, 384. 4. M. Veltman, Facts and Mysteries in Elementary Particle Physics, 299. 5. Veltman, Nobel Lecture, 384. 6. Quotes are from Veltman’s Nobel Lecture in 1999. In 1971 he rewarded Lee with a warm-up role on the occasion of Veltman’s triumphant launch of his student Gerard ’t Hooft (see page 222). 7.


pages: 523 words: 148,929

Physics of the Future: How Science Will Shape Human Destiny and Our Daily Lives by the Year 2100 by Michio Kaku

agricultural Revolution, AI winter, Albert Einstein, Asilomar, augmented reality, Bill Joy: nanobots, bioinformatics, blue-collar work, British Empire, Brownian motion, cloud computing, Colonization of Mars, DARPA: Urban Challenge, delayed gratification, double helix, Douglas Hofstadter, en.wikipedia.org, friendly AI, Gödel, Escher, Bach, hydrogen economy, I think there is a world market for maybe five computers, industrial robot, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of movable type, invention of the telescope, Isaac Newton, John Markoff, John von Neumann, life extension, Louis Pasteur, Mahatma Gandhi, Mars Rover, mass immigration, megacity, Mitch Kapor, Murray Gell-Mann, new economy, oil shale / tar sands, optical character recognition, pattern recognition, planetary scale, postindustrial economy, Ray Kurzweil, refrigerator car, Richard Feynman, Rodney Brooks, Ronald Reagan, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, Silicon Valley, Simon Singh, social intelligence, speech recognition, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, telepresence, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, Thomas Malthus, trade route, Turing machine, uranium enrichment, Vernor Vinge, Wall-E, Walter Mischel, Whole Earth Review, X Prize

Michael Salamon, NASA’s Beyond Einstein program Adam Savage, host of MythBusters Peter Schwartz, futurist, cofounder of Global Business Network, author of The Long View Michael Shermer, founder of the Skeptics Society and Skeptic magazine Donna Shirley, former manager, NASA Mars Exploration Program Seth Shostak, SETI Institute Neil Shubin, professor of organismal biology and anatomy, University of Chicago, author of Your Inner Fish Paul Shuch, executive director emeritus, SETI League Peter Singer, author of Wired for War, Brookings Institute Simon Singh, author of Big Bang Gary Small, coauthor of iBrain Paul Spudis, Planetary Geology Program of the NASA Office of Space Science, Solar System Division Steven Squyres, professor of astronomy, Cornell University Paul Steinhardt, professor of physics, Princeton University, coauthor of Endless Universe Gregory Stock, UCLA, author of Redesigning Humans Richard Stone, The Last Great Impact on Earth, Discover Magazine Brian Sullivan, formerly with the Hayden Planetarium Leonard Susskind, professor of physics, Stanford University Daniel Tammet, autistic savant, author of Born on a Blue Day Geoffrey Taylor, physicist, University of Melbourne the late Ted Taylor, designer of U.S. nuclear warheads Max Tegmark, physicist, MIT Alvin Toffler, author of The Third Wave Patrick Tucker, World Future Society Admiral Stansfield M.


pages: 470 words: 144,455

Secrets and Lies: Digital Security in a Networked World by Bruce Schneier

Ayatollah Khomeini, barriers to entry, business process, butterfly effect, cashless society, Columbine, defense in depth, double entry bookkeeping, fault tolerance, game design, IFF: identification friend or foe, John von Neumann, knapsack problem, MITM: man-in-the-middle, moral panic, mutually assured destruction, pez dispenser, pirate software, profit motive, Richard Feynman, risk tolerance, Silicon Valley, Simon Singh, slashdot, statistical model, Steve Ballmer, Steven Levy, the payments system, Y2K, Yogi Berra

And I would like to thank Michael Angelo, Ken Ayer, Steve Bass, David Dyer-Bennet, Ed Bennett, Russell Brand, Karen Cooper, David Cowan, Walt Curtis, Dorothy Denning, Carl Ellison, Andrew Fernandez, Gordon Force, Amy Forsyth, Dean Gahlon, Drew Gross, Gregory Guerin, Peter Gutmann, Mark Hardy, Dave Ihnat, Chris Johnston, James Jorasch, Arjen Lenstra, Stuart McClure, Gary McGraw, Doug Merrill, Jeff Moss, Simona Nass, Artimage Nelson, Peter Neumann, Andrew Odlyzko, Doug Price, James Riordan, Bernard Roussely, Tom Rowley, Avi Rubin, Ryan Russell, Adam Shostack, Simon Singh, Jim Wallner, and Elizabeth Zwicky, who read and commented on all or part of the book in its almost-final form. These people did a lot to make the book complete, accurate, and interesting. Any remaining omissions, lingering errors, or residual prolixity are solely my own fault. Open source pundit Eric Raymond has said: “Given enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow.” We’ll see if this holds true for books, too.


pages: 786 words: 195,810

NeuroTribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity by Steve Silberman

Albert Einstein, animal electricity, Asperger Syndrome, assortative mating, crowdsourcing, Douglas Engelbart, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, experimental subject, Golden Gate Park, Haight Ashbury, hypertext link, IBM and the Holocaust, index card, Isaac Newton, John Markoff, Kickstarter, Larry Wall, megacity, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Mother of all demos, neurotypical, New Journalism, pattern recognition, placebo effect, scientific mainstream, side project, Silicon Valley, Simon Singh, Skype, slashdot, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, the scientific method, twin studies, union organizing, Whole Earth Catalog, women in the workforce, Yom Kippur War

the virtues of having an “autistic cognitive style”: Create Your Own Economy, Tyler Cowen. Dutton, 2009. coming out in midlife about her diagnosis: “Daryl Hannah Breaks Her Silence about Her Autism Struggle,” Rebecca Macatee. E! Online, Sept. 27, 2013. http://www.eonline.com/news/464173/daryl-hannah-breaks-her-silence-on-autism-struggle musing about his autistic traits: “Interview with Richard Borcherds,” Simon Singh. Guardian, Aug. 28, 1998. “On a very drawn-out scale, I think I’m on the spectrum”: “Jerry Seinfeld to Brian Williams: ‘I Think I’m on the Spectrum.’” NBC News, Nov. 6, 2014. After a storm of media attention, Seinfeld would eventually walk those comments back, saying that he “related” to a dramatized account of the lives of people on the spectrum. http://www.nbcnews.com/nightly-news/jerry-seinfeld-brian-williams-i-think-im-spectrum-n242941 CHAPTER 2.


pages: 998 words: 211,235

A Beautiful Mind by Sylvia Nasar

"Robert Solow", Al Roth, Albert Einstein, Andrew Wiles, Brownian motion, business cycle, cognitive dissonance, Columbine, experimental economics, fear of failure, Gunnar Myrdal, Henri Poincaré, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, John Conway, John Nash: game theory, John von Neumann, Kenneth Arrow, Kenneth Rogoff, linear programming, lone genius, longitudinal study, market design, medical residency, Nash equilibrium, Norbert Wiener, Paul Erdős, Paul Samuelson, prisoner's dilemma, RAND corporation, Ronald Coase, second-price auction, Silicon Valley, Simon Singh, spectrum auction, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, upwardly mobile, zero-sum game

” — David Goodstein, The New York Times “Powerfully affecting … a three-handkerchief read.” — Charles C. Mann, The Wall Street Journal “A triumph of intellectual biography.” — Robert Boynton, Newsday “Might be compared to a Rembrandt portrait, filled with somber shadows and radiant light effects… simply a beautiful book.” — Marcia Bartusiak, The Boston Globe “A remarkable look into the arcane world of mathematics and the tragedy of madness.” — Simon Singh, The New York Times Book Review “A narrative of compelling power.” — John Allen Paulos, Los Angeles Times “A wonderfully absorbing puzzle.” — Claire Douglas, Washington Post Book World “A poetical love and coming-of-age story.” — Ted Anton, Chicago Tribune “The stuff of classic tragedy.” — Robert A. Burton, San Jose Mercun News “A powerful story brilliantly told.” — Will St.


pages: 1,396 words: 245,647

The Strangest Man: The Hidden Life of Paul Dirac, Mystic of the Atom by Graham Farmelo

Albert Einstein, anti-communist, Arthur Eddington, Berlin Wall, cuban missile crisis, double helix, Ernest Rutherford, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Fellow of the Royal Society, financial independence, gravity well, Henri Poincaré, invention of radio, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, Murray Gell-Mann, period drama, Richard Feynman, Simon Singh, Solar eclipse in 1919, Stephen Hawking, strikebreaker, University of East Anglia

Others who have been extremely helpful in responding to my enquiries: Sir Michael Atiyah, Tom Baldwin, John Barnes, Herman Batelaan, Steve Batterson, John Bendall, Giovanna Blackett, Margaret Booth (née Hartree), Gustav Born, Olaf Breidbach, Andrew Brown, Nicholas Capaldi, David Cassidy, Brian Cathcart, Martin Clark, Paul Clark, Chris Cockcroft, Thea Cockcroft, Flurin Condrau, Beverley Cook, Peter Cooper, Tam Dalyell, Dick Dalitz, Olivier Darrigol, Richard Davies, Stanley Deser, David Edgerton, John Ellis, Joyce Farmelo, Michael Frayn, Igor Gamow, Joshua Goldman, Jeffrey Goldstone, Jeremy Gray, Karl Hall, Richard Hartree, Peter Harvey, Steve Henderson, Chris Hicks, John Holt, Jeff Hughes, Lane Hughston, Bob Jaffe, Edgar Jenkins, Allan Jones, Bob Ketchum, Anne Kox, Charles Kuper, Peter Lamarque, Willis Lamb, Dominique Lambert, Ellen and Leon Lederman, Sabine Lee, John Maddox, Philip Mannheim, Robin Marshall, Dennis McCormick, Arthur I. Miller, Andrew Nahum, Michael Noakes, Mary Jo Nye, Susan Oakes, James Overduin, Bob Parkinson, John Partington, Sir Roger Penrose, Trevor Powell, Roger Philips, Chris Redmond, Tony Scarr, Robert Schulmann, Bernard Shultz, Simon Singh, John Skorupski, Ulrica Söderlind, Alistair Sponsel, Henry King Stanford, Simon Stevens, George Sudashan, Colleen Taylor-Sen, Laura Thorne, Claire Tomalin, Martin Veltman, Andrew Warwick, John Watson, Russell Webb, Nina Wedderburn, John Wheeler, the late David Whitehead, Oliver Whitehead, Frank Wilczek, Michael Worboys, Nigel Wrench, Sir Denys Wilkinson and Abe Yoffe. Special thanks to Alexei Kojevnikov, who has been unstinting in the guidance and help he has given to me concerning the development of Russian physics in the past century.


pages: 1,535 words: 337,071

Networks, Crowds, and Markets: Reasoning About a Highly Connected World by David Easley, Jon Kleinberg

Albert Einstein, AltaVista, clean water, conceptual framework, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Douglas Hofstadter, Erdős number, experimental subject, first-price auction, fudge factor, George Akerlof, Gerard Salton, Gerard Salton, Gödel, Escher, Bach, incomplete markets, information asymmetry, information retrieval, John Nash: game theory, Kenneth Arrow, longitudinal study, market clearing, market microstructure, moral hazard, Nash equilibrium, Network effects, Pareto efficiency, Paul Erdős, planetary scale, prediction markets, price anchoring, price mechanism, prisoner's dilemma, random walk, recommendation engine, Richard Thaler, Ronald Coase, sealed-bid auction, search engine result page, second-price auction, second-price sealed-bid, Simon Singh, slashdot, social web, Steve Jobs, stochastic process, Ted Nelson, The Market for Lemons, The Wisdom of Crowds, trade route, transaction costs, ultimatum game, Vannevar Bush, Vickrey auction, Vilfredo Pareto, Yogi Berra, zero-sum game

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