ChatGPT’s essay on Quentin’s watch

Right before this thought, I wrote a thought on how Quentin’s watch in Faulkner’s The Sound and The Fury allows us to forget time every now and then. As an experiment, I thought it would also be interesting to see what ChatGPT thinks of Quentin’s watch. This post is a verbatim copy of ChatGPT’s responseContinue reading “ChatGPT’s essay on Quentin’s watch”

The Books of Jacob, and Trumpism

In her phenomenal work The Books of Jacob, on the life of Jacob Frank, Olga Tokarczuk captures the obscure twists and turns of Frankism. The Frankist movement started in Poland in the 18th century and passed through the Ottoman world and eastern Europe only to end with the death of Jacob Frank in 1791 inContinue reading “The Books of Jacob, and Trumpism”

The genius of Jonathan Franzen

When reading any work of Jonathan Franzen after The Corrections (2001), take special note of the way he shapes characters: Alfred and Enid, an older couple, and Chip, Denise, and Gary, their adult children. They feel real as if they are more than just personalities. They are people you could recognise on the street, they could shareContinue reading “The genius of Jonathan Franzen”

Radical isogenies on (twisted) Edwards curves

In this short note we try to find radical isogenies on twisted Edwards curves. We will do so by first looking at what radical isogenies are, and then look at how radical isogenies should work on twisted Edwards curves. Finally, by firing up a computer algebra system, we find the concrete radical isogeny formula forContinue reading “Radical isogenies on (twisted) Edwards curves”

Deepfakes and digital signatures

Our concept of trust is about to change. The recent rise of deepfakes, highly convincing fake audio or video files that are manipulated using machine learning techniques, is deeply disturbing and will have a high impact on what is meant by trust in the near future. How do we decide what is real and what is fake? WillContinue reading “Deepfakes and digital signatures”

How Kendrick Lamar and W.B. Yeats are connected through Chinua Achebe’s yams

One of the main themes in Kendrick Lamar’s tour de force King Kunta is ‘the yam’. If you are wondering what the yam is, and what it represents, you don’t have to look far for an answer: we find both the question and the answer in the lyrics. What’s the yams? The yam is theContinue reading “How Kendrick Lamar and W.B. Yeats are connected through Chinua Achebe’s yams”

Pythagorean Arithmetic

I’ve recently learned the possible name of a subject that I’ve always been interested in: Pythagorean Arithmetic. In short, this involves ‘proving’ theorems in number theory using mathematical thinking from approximately the 6th century BC, involving for the most very visual proofs, which can be explained using pebbles on a sandy beach. I write ‘proving’Continue reading “Pythagorean Arithmetic”