Robert Hamill

Pattern-Matching and Invariance

Seawall with waves crashing against it

In neuroscience, the process I call pattern-matching is often called invariance. Yohan John in Quora raises the question and suggests the form of the answer: How does your brain discover similarity in the midst of so much dissimilarity? The answer is that the brain somehow creates invariant representations of objects and patterns. What is invariance?…

Calculating with Numbers

Colorful Integers

The pleasure of calculation first came to me in the second grade. Sister Madonna had just taught the class multiplication with the number 2. That night before dinner and then after dinner, I was thick in a calculation frenzy. Starting with 1 times 2, then 2 times the result, then 2 times the result, and…

Distance. Insight into Show, Don’t Tell

John Gardner in The Art of Fiction described a very useful addition to the discussion about point of view (POV). He called it distance. Distance is a measure of emotional nearness presented to the reader. Understanding distance gives more insight into the constraint that all writers know: “Show. Don’t tell.” Gardner focused on distance with…

Evaluating Trump – A Baker Dozen Questions

Economics Do you care that his economic proposals will increase the national debt by trillions? Do you believe that his proposed change in trade policies will restore manufacturing jobs lost in prior decades rather than start a tariff war hurting all countries? Temperament Do his habit of grade school verbal insults, instead of answering questions,…