Sunday, January 10, 2010
Disappearing Corpses and Statistical Method
In Stanislaw Lem's The Investigation (Adele Milch, trans., 1992; first Polish ed., 1959) corpses mysteriously begin disappearing from mortuaries in and near London. A statistician is brought in to help with the investigation. The statistician concludes that the solution to the riddle of the disappearing corpses lies in the fact that the product of the time and distance between any two consecutive incidents multiplied by the difference in temperature at any two sites of consecutive incidents of disappearing corpses yields a constant.