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February 12, 2005

Leibniz on Perfection

"God has chosen the most perfect world, that is, the one which is at the same time the simplest in hypotheses and the richest in phenomena…"

Thus wrote Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz, in his Discours de métaphysique (Discourse on Metaphysics), published in 1686. I encountered the quote in Neal Stephenson's The Confusion and had to look it up to be sure the words were in fact written by Leibniz and not by Stephenson (Leibniz is a character in Stephenson's historical adventures). Leibniz certain did write them, but in French, as "Dieu a choisi celuy qui est le plus parfait, c'est à dire celuy qui est en même temps le plus simple en hypotheses et le plus riche en phenomenes…"

February 11, 2005

Unsafe at Any Speed

Working our way down Seventh Avenue yesterday afternoon my wife and I walked around a woman pushing a baby stroller. As we continued down the street this woman managed to run the stroller into both of us, one after the other. I turned around to look and sure enough, she was on her cell phone.

February 07, 2005

Twenty Days to the Oscars

You've only got twenty days left to register your predictions in the Songdog.net Oscar Contest!

February 04, 2005

On the Road

Driving near our home last night we pulled up behind a VW Beetle with a sign on the back clearly reading "Jersey Student Driver."

You might have to be from the northeastern United States to find that funny, but we certainly did.

February 02, 2005

Groundhog Day

It's Groundhog Day and the groundhog has officially issued his proclamation. We don't live all that far from Punxsutawney and thought about attending last year, but it was not to be. This year's festivities stretch over six days and would be a little much for our nine month old son. I guess we'll be watching the movie again instead.