Fitting an elephant
A general goal of modeling and statistics (or perhaps, even, science more generally) is to find an equation or set of parameters that fits one’s data.
As reported by Enrico Fermi, von Neumann once quipped, “With four parameters I can fit an elephant, and with five I can make him wiggle his trunk.”
And lo, it was done: Drawing an Elephant with Four Complex Parameters
I like ellipses and question marks far too much.
When I was a child, it was believed that animals became extinct because they were too specialized. My father used to tell us about the saber-tooth tiger’s teeth — how they got too big and the tiger couldn’t eat because he couldn’t take game anymore. And I remember my father saying, with my brother sitting there, ‘I wonder what it will be with the human beings that will be so overspecialized that they’ll kill themselves off?’
My father never found out that my brother was working on the bomb. Richard Feynman’s sister, Joan (via historical-nonfiction)
Well, then.(via jtotheizzoe)
*tugs at collar awkwardly*