The ‘Pot Lid’ hypothesis

I have posted my essay, “The ‘Pot Lid’ Hypothesis: Where Does The Air Go?” in the section on climate change. I’ve also posted a brief explanation of why I wrote the essay, and how it relates to my work on the maximum entropy principle. Anyone who cares about the fate of the planet should read […]

Recent news (all good)

I’ve let April and May go by without putting up new posts, but I have a good reason. With help from various collaborators and advisors, I’ve made progress in the past few weeks both on finding a publisher, and on developing the first commercial applications of the decline effect. In the meantime there has been […]

Decline Effect is now on Twitter

Putting up the second part of the lottery analysis turned out to take longer than expected, but I do have some news. There is now a Twitter account to go with this blog! Follow me at

Lottery repeats

This is partly a story about lotteries, and partly a story about how math puzzles get discussed in academia and the blogosphere. Back in 2003, as part of my research for The Decline Effect, I looked for declines in all kinds of random-number generators, or what an earlier generation called ‘chance machines’. I found so many […]

A recent news story about decline in politics

In the Dec 28, 2010 issue of the National Post newspaper, there was an article by Megan O’Toole about the shortening ‘shelf life’ of Canadian provincial governments, and in particular the shortening reigns of individual premiers. The story is available at: National Post: The year in ideas: Shrinking tenures Political scientists have noted this trend […]

At last, some serious discussion about decline

It is perhaps still too soon to say — since the New Yorker came out on Monday and this is just Thursday — but I think that the zeitgeist is finally turning to serious consideration of the decline effect. Which is great news for me, and for people like Jonathan Schooler. First, let me explain […]

New Yorker article

I’ve had a number of friends tell me about the article in the New Yorker by Jonah Lehrer, ‘The Truth Wears Off,’ about declines in a number of scientific fields. I’m in a mad rush today so I can’t do much more than note that I’ve seen it, and that yes, he’s talking about many […]

JSM 2010 paper is available for download

See the page under Probability.

Fixed the sample chapter again . . .

There were some problems with the security settings. Also I updated some graphs with the latest Web traffic data for my main example. This should be the last time I tinker with the chapter. Coming soon, the completed papers on nonlinear probability and global warming.

Fixed a problem

. . . with the sample chapter download. It was missing the last few paragraphs, now it isn’t.