The Corner

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Re: Practical Math


About a trillion readers (slight exaggeration) wrote in to complain about the story I linked to in this post. The gist, mathematicians have figured out why traffic jams seem to start and stop for no reason. Call it the accordion effect. Anyway, engineers said everyone knew this already. Army logistics types said this covered in their Intro To Moving Lots of Stuff classes. And lots of people who’ve been stuck in traffic before said they figured this out on their own while waiting in traffic. I confess I thought my headline would come across more sarcastic than it did. But I can see I was wrong. Anyway, I just wanted to acknowledge the traffic jam email and perhaps curtail further inflow.