The Math of Pandemics is Hard

All the arguments about the right thing to do in a pandemic made me take a step back and wonder why is this so hard for a community to agree on what is to be done. Intelligent people come to wildly different conclusions about the right thing to do. In many cases different sides of an argument cannot even agree on the facts they are arguing over.

This is not going to be an article on a moral philosophy and the ascendance of rights over responsibilities. Instead I ponder a more basic problem:

Is the maths of a pandemic just hard

The dominant mathematics of contagion is that of exponentials. While this is the mathematics that underlies much of finance and physics, it is not the mathematics of the every day.

Exponential processes are both:

  • Poorly handled by our intuition
  • Inherently difficult to calculate

Perhaps this can explain some of the difficulties we have in seeing our way through as a community


3018 Mill

I recently purchased a 3018 Pro mill to learn a bit about CNC milling (ironically its my second mill, I have a tiny Roland mill that I was going to use for PCB milling but ended up having too many software issues with). The intention was to mill some trivial PCBs, a bit of signage and perhaps some laser engraving.

So I purchased a basic 3018 pro with a laser module.

Some key learnings emerged (spoiler alert there is still a long way to go) Read More...

Adding an NFS datastore to VMWare ESXi

VMWare ESXi supports NFS storage. All the VMWare documents talk about managing it from vSphere. Which is a pity if you don't happen to be using vSphere. Fortunately adding your NFS datastore is relatively simple, apart from the lack of documentation. Read More...