Friday, April 7, 2017


There are all sorts of jumbles in our world.  Winds blowing seeds, birds and seas transporting things here and there.  Even visitors of dust on comets and such.  Things get mixed up.

There are some new forces of mixing around.  Of course, Facebook with its billion users, a majority of whom are outside the US, can mix and match in new ways.  Twitter continuously suggests other contacts a user might be interested in.  With words, translating apps such as Google Translate, and pictures, both still and moving, and sounds of all kinds, people can meet and exchange ideas and information in unprecedented ways.

The first big jumble I ran into was the comment by Dr. Spencer Wells that modern humans are intermarrying and traveling about so much that the sort of genographic analysis his project at the National Geographic Society will be impossible at some time in the future.  I think he means that more of us travel individually more often and the genetic trails and geographic markers are getting more mixed up.

The second unlikely jumble I ran into relates to knitting and the blog written by Prof. Cathy O'Neil, author of "Weapons of Math Destruction".  Her book, her blog and her work relate to algorithms used to make decisions like offering a mortgage or performing a surgical operation.  But she is a woman, a wife and a mother and she is interested in aspects of feminism, too.  I subscribe to her blog "Mathbabe", which sometimes features a guest author.  A recent post on her blog related to knitting, both for the Women's March effort and the emerging effort to respect and support science.  I sent the knitting bit on to friends who knit.  What?  Me?  Sending people knitting?  Yep, it happened.

This morning, I read that the Pokemon Go game is affecting the suicide rate in Japan.  "Pokémon Go is a free-to-play, location-based augmented reality game developed by Niantic for iOS and Android devices. Wikipedia"

Because a well-known beautiful spot in Japan has been used as a Pokemon Go location, the spot seems to have lost some of its attraction as a site for committing suicide.  You can see the idea: someone picks the site off a map of famous places to use its coordinates at a place to score a Pokemon sighting and that action affects someone else's suicide.  As a well known politician might say, who knew?

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