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I happened to hear on the radio....

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762228.  Wed Nov 24, 2010 4:15 am Reply with quote

Last night Jamie Cullum played a great song by Bob Dorough, US jazz pianist, composer and vocalese singer: "Harry in the Night".
What a way to start your career - touring with Sugar Ray Robinson's (!) song-and-dance revue.

766117.  Fri Dec 10, 2010 5:27 am Reply with quote

Flanders & Swann with Ill Wind

Those two were brilliant!

897824.  Sun Apr 01, 2012 5:13 am Reply with quote

Yesterday, i listened to Graham Norton's radio programme and he played this song. i guess it has a good tune but the lyrics are a bit dodgy.

Also, it reminded of when i was at secondary school and we had a lab technician called Miss Moss. Some boys who were in my year used to sometimes sing a song about her and it went something like this: If you want to be happy for the rest of your life, you've got to be with Mish Mosh. i don't know why they called her Mish Mosh; maybe they thought it sounded funnier.

Last edited by Strawberry on Tue Oct 15, 2013 6:37 am; edited 1 time in total

897829.  Sun Apr 01, 2012 5:34 am Reply with quote

Good lord - that's a blast from the past. We had a Dutch version (You won't be happy with a beautiful wife). The translation is not as crude as in the English version.

Spud McLaren
899592.  Sat Apr 07, 2012 7:23 am Reply with quote

This week's News Quiz, in which a classic rant from Jeremy Hardy almost causes Sandi Toksvig to wet herself.

903745.  Mon Apr 23, 2012 9:59 am Reply with quote

i listened to Woman's Hour this morning. Johnny Ball was on there and was talking about grandparents. He mentioned that his grandfather sometimes used to say this: That's nothing on a big ship.

Spud McLaren
907035.  Sat May 05, 2012 1:13 pm Reply with quote

Earlier today I heard a R4 play by Dave Sheasby called A Month in the Country (iPlayer link on the page), and I thought how simple a life Tom Birkin's would have been*; very minimalist.

Edit: I find that it was also made into a film which was almost lost, featuring the rather tragic Natasha Richardson.

* apart from the shell-shock and associated horrors.

908229.  Thu May 10, 2012 6:10 am Reply with quote

I was listening to a programme this morning about Game Theory. Thing is though, I'm none the wiser.
As I understood it, the 'theory' is that people sometimes have to make decisions based on what they think another person will do; the dudes on the programme them spent half an hour giving examples of everyday situations in which this may happen.
I don't get it. How is this a theory? What use is this information? Did no-one realise this before the mid-C20th? :-/

908235.  Thu May 10, 2012 6:19 am Reply with quote

Game theory is basically the study of decision making, especially in situations where you are making decisions to attempt to do better in some way than some opponent.

The use is that people in general don't intuitively make the decisions that give them the best chance at winning, but if you study game theory you can learn to do this, in all the situations that were mentioned in the programme.

908257.  Thu May 10, 2012 6:58 am Reply with quote

Game theory is quite interesting, although it is applied in so many different areas that I don't really have a full understanding of it, particularly not with regard to economics or policits.

It is used in biology, particularly behavioural ecology, to give mathematical basis to explanations of how certain traits have occurred, allowing them to be modelled and studied. As game theory has a "conscious" element to strategy choice, an adapted form, evolutionary game theory, is used, which also considers the outcomes in relation to competition between species and within species (through competition of different strategies).

It has been used to explain things like reciprocal alturism, eusociality, ritualized behaviours, predator-prey population dynamics, animal communications and so on.

The Selfish Gene discusses the use of game theory in biology. Might be worth a read, if you haven't already and want to know more?

908263.  Thu May 10, 2012 7:17 am Reply with quote

Just listening to Radio 2 "2Day", with Ken Bruce broadcasting from Orkney with live music from the excellent Saltfishforty and Amy MacDonald. He's just had on a storyteller who I met in Stromness last summer, telling the story of Assipattle and Mester Stoor Worm, and its been really good. Recommend looking out for it on iplayer.

908296.  Thu May 10, 2012 9:44 am Reply with quote

The best introduction to game theory I've ever seen is The Compleat Strategyst by JD Williams. It was written in the 1950s but is still widely available.

It's intended for the interested layman rather than the mathematician, and is reasonably entertaining to read (or at least as entertaining as a maths book can be expected to be). If you take the trouble to work through it properly, you'll end up with a good solid understanding of game theory and how to use it.

908297.  Thu May 10, 2012 9:53 am Reply with quote

Starfish13 wrote:
The Selfish Gene discusses the use of game theory in biology. Might be worth a read, if you haven't already and want to know more?

Seconding that, the three days it took me to get through that book taught me more about game theory than over twenty years of popular science reading before it.



908331.  Thu May 10, 2012 11:06 am Reply with quote

What I mean is, surely it's just common sense that you have to take into account other people's motives before you make a decision involving them, or that some species evolve to be co-operative while others are competitive? The only bit of maths/logical thinking is working out the probability of each possible outcome of your actions, which is just basic decision-making. Unless I'm missing something here? :-/
Like Set Theory, I can't see the big clever bit of that either. Yes, things can be grouped according to characteristics they share; I know. So what?

908348.  Thu May 10, 2012 12:11 pm Reply with quote

NinOfEden wrote:
What I mean is, surely it's just common sense.

When it comes down to it, a lot of mathematics is - on the surface at least - little more than common sense written down in a fancy way. But once you've invented the fancy way to write it down, you discover that it is in some way related to something else which you wrote down in a fancy way earlier.

To most people, that is neither interesting nor useful. But there are people to whom it is one or the other - maybe even both. The "useful" comes when knowledge of fancy mathematics enables us to invent Google and make zillions of dollars. The "interesting" is largely confined to universities, but it keeps people off the streets. (And anyways, who am I to criticise academic work which is not obviously of actual use!)

No, nobody thought it necessary to write game theory down in a fancy way until 1928. But some of its questions had been studied very much earlier, usually in connexion with card games and gambling.

Nin wrote:
Like Set Theory, I can't see the big clever bit of that either. Yes, things can be grouped according to characteristics they share; I know. So what?

Set theory has fewer obvious uses than some other parts of mathematics. Mind you, without it we wouldn't have computers ...


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