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Archive for the ‘LaTeX’ Category

Blog hiatus explanation

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I do not post here very much, do I? In my defense, I have been posting:

So I’ve not been slacking. Oh I’ve also had that whole “thesis” thing I’m supposed to be working on. I’ve nearly finished working on a paper about imprecise probabilities and decision making. It still needs some work, but once it’s out of the way, I hope to spend a little time working on the disagreement thing I mentioned in my last post…


Written by Seamus

August 22, 2011 at 12:13 pm


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Just a quick update to say that I am a contributor to the PhilTeX group blog for philosophers who use LaTeX. If you fit into that (rather niche) category, chances are you’ve already heard of PhilTeX, so this update is almost certainly completely superfluous.

That is all.

Written by Seamus

July 22, 2010 at 11:52 am

Posted in internet, LaTeX, philosophy

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Reverse LaTeX?

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I know LaTeX better than I know how to do accents in word or equivalent. What I’d find useful is a way to type TeX commands and have something automagically replace that command with the unicode character.

For example: I’d type \’a and it would transformify into á. That would be cool. I can’t imagine many people would use it…

I actually quite like how my phone handles it.* You hold down the letter in question and a little menu appear containing a useful symbol, and then various accents you can put on the letter. Could that be implemented on laptops? Could you hold down the “a” key until a menu of accents popped up? I think that might have more appeal than my TeX geekery idea…

*Yeah. I typed this blog post on my phone. Welcome to the twenty first century, baby!

Written by Seamus

May 4, 2010 at 7:08 pm

Posted in LaTeX, linux

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Graduate Conference on Philosophy of Probability

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I am organising this years LSE Philosophy of Probability Graduate Conference. This has been at least one of the reasons I have failed to blog for ages. But fear not! I am pondering some things that could well become blog posts. Here is a list of them:

  • More stuff about a logic of majority
  • Dutch book arguments (what they actually prove, and under what conditions)
  • Pluralism (species concept pluralism, logical pluralism, pluralism about interpretations of probability)
  • More fallibilist realism (following on from reading Kyle Stanford’s book and discussions with some LSE chaps)
  • A couple more awesome headlines
  • Perhaps some stuff about learning emacs, auctex and reftex. (And biblatex, tikz, beamer…)

As and when these posts achieve maturity, I’ll link to them here.

Written by Seamus

February 28, 2010 at 3:52 pm

Backwards compatibility

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A long time ago, I decided to see if I could rewrite an essay I’d written as an undergrad in Open Office in LaTeX. I gave up soon after because (1) it was pointless since I had since then written a better paper (in LaTeX) on the same subject (the conventionality of spacetime geometry, if you must know) and (2) it was really irritating going through doing things like changing “…” into “…”  and so on.

Now, recently I was again recovering old ground and I wanted to write something similar to something I mentioned in an essay I wrote (in LaTeX) as an MA student (About coin flipping and partitioning the space of initial conditions…). I was surprised to discover that even that was laborious to update. I had to do things like go through and replace \citet and \citep with \textcite and \parencite as appropriate. This is because I moved to using biblatex rather than bibtex. I know about the natbib=true compatibility option, but it doesn’t behave properly all the time, particularly with multiple citations… And I had to add signposts to my \labels. That is, write \label{fig:zebra} rather than \label{zebra}. OK, “had to” is probably a bit strong. I wanted to, because I think it’s a good idea to signpost whether it’s a figure or an equation or a section or what have you that you’re referring to.

Today I discovered that it is reccommended that I use \(…\) instead of $…$ for inline maths in LaTeX. This means that even a paper I wrote a couple of months ago (about the principle of indifference) which I now want to work on again has to be updated in a non trivial way before I can use it. (This is a change I can’t just do Find and Replace for… On the other hand, it’s an aesthetic thing rather than a functionality thing. $…$ still works fine, but I like to follow proper practice…)

So I suppose that means I should stick to writing about new stuff rather than recovering old ground if I want to avoid having to laboriously fix minor pseudoproblems with my LaTeX code…

Written by Seamus

September 21, 2009 at 2:05 pm

Posted in LaTeX

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I recently changed from using boring old BibTeX to exciting new BibLaTeX. There have been some slight problems with the transition (aren’t there always!). First, citations started appearing as: “Name, Year” instead of “Name (Year)” like I wanted them to. I got around this by adding the option “natbib=true” to the \usepackage{biblatex} command and replaced all my \cite commands with \citet commands. Not the most elegant solution, I’ll grant you, but it works. So I was casting around for a better solution. I thought I’d try the APA standards packages. They didn’t work at all until I did a “sudo texhash” and after that they didn’t solve the problem. (Though they did fix an annoying bibliography quirk: the biblatex standard authoryear bibliography style writes things as “Author, Year, Paper-title In: Journal” The APA packages do at least get rid of that annoying “In:” Tomorrow I’m going to see if Harvard or Chicago bbx and cbx files can get me out of that mess.

Two other outstanding gripes with biblatex. First is that I can’t have “X et al” appear in the citation while still having “X, Y and Z” appear in the bibliography. This was standard with whatever set-up I was using before (natbib and chicago probably). This is because the “maxnames” option controls both citations and bibliography. Not ideal.

Second gripe, I want my bibliography to be titled “References” rather than “bibliography” I had a work around for this using the memoir class and bibtex, but it no longer works with biblatex. I suppose I will explore this issue further tomorrow.

And why am I spending so much time playing with my bibliography? Well, because it’s a superb displacement activity and I have a huge project due in next week, that’s why!

Written by Seamus

September 2, 2009 at 7:02 pm

Posted in annoying, LaTeX

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Learn the rules! Establishment, establishment…

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Cyclists who ignore traffic lights or otherwise disregard the rules of the road annoy me. As do cyclists who cycle on the pavement. Obviously cyclists are much more vulnerable than people in cars on the road. Does that not give cyclists even more incentive to obey the rules? apparently not. I regularly see cyclists run red lights. To my mind, they deserve to be knocked down. You are on the road and there are rules you should obey. A couple of days ago I saw someone on a bike go through a red light on her bike with no helmet on whilst talking on her mobile phone. You stupid stupid woman.

In other news I have migrated from Texmaker to Kile. I originally avoided Kile because I objected to using programs made for KDE in Gnome. But since then I’ve realised that Kile is significantly better than Texmaker. I can also get Kile on both my main computer and my little Acer Aspire One. Linpus linux that ships with the One doesn’t have texmaker in its repositories. (Check this out for how to get a package manager on Linpus and other cool stuff.)

Written by Seamus

October 14, 2008 at 2:49 pm