September 11

At about this time 10 years ago I walked into my building at the University, unaware of what was happening. The tears and scared faces of everybody in the coffee shop on the ground floor, where the radio was on loud and clear, started cluing me in.

The rest of the morning was spent around a radio, listening to NPR, and soon enough I was on a train back home—classes were canceled. The eerie absence of contrails in the sky was another step up on the surreality feeling scale.

The full horror struck me when in front of the TV. The momentous decisions this attack prompted will still affect the world for many years. The sadness for all these lives lost might be redeemed a little if more and more people draw the lesson of avoiding absolutism of any kind. Here is a very math-nerdy embodiment of this moral injunction, in an article on Bayesian statistical analysis: Cromwell’s_rule

The reason for the name “Cromwell’s rule” is Oliver Cromwell’s plea in 1650 to the synod of the Church of Scotland that read, “I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ, think it possible that you may be mistaken.”