Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Coercive continuous functions

Did you know that a coercive, continuous function on a closed set has a global minimum? Neither did I until today. It's a good theorem. Just what I needed.

I made a list and mostly stuck to it today. Productive day.

Here's my Spanish verb spreadsheet. Definitely good practice. It's slow going right now, but my hope is to develop a bit of an instinct for conjugation:

I continued reading Factfulness today. The lesson for today is that people tend to be biased towards pessimism when it comes to human progress. Though the data supporting an improving world over the past two centuries is overwhelming, we nevertheless think that the world is getting worse. Rosling attributes this to a natural tendency to pay attention to negative things and to ignore positive things because negative things are threats to our existence and positive things aren't. From an evolutionary perspective, we are selected to pay attention to negative things because that improves our chances of survival. As such, we consume media that is predominantly bad news, choose politicians that campaign on fear, and talk to each other mostly about negative things. We're not built to see the positive things--especially on timescales of centuries, but the data is undeniable.

I walked another 5 miles today. I'm putting off running for another couple of days. I need to ease back into it. It's amazing how many electric scooters there are in Sevilla: