Friday, 3 February 2012

Who are The Eggmen?

Dispelling the myth that the walrus was Paul

In my experience there's nothing that can't be represented with the aid of a simple Venn Diagram. From showing the sort of people who use social networking websites to precisely what Meat Loaf would do for love, it can all be demonstrated by drawing a few coloured circles on a piece of paper. And for that we must thank Mr. Venn

John Venn (1834-1923) was born in Kingston-upon-Hull. A philosopher and logician, he studied at Cambridge where he was elected to The Royal Society. He introduced the Venn Diagram in 1881 with the publication of one of his many books, Symbolic Logic. Venn used them to explain set theory, probability, logic and statistics; I prefer to use them in pubs when I'm banging on about beer, music and football. But that's just me.

The University of Hull has a building named after him, where you can see this rather fetching stained glass window.

John Otway: I Am The Walrus


  1. Thanks that has really got that straight in my mind now... :-)

  2. I can appreciate that! Venn diagrams were about the only thing I could get my head around a bit in Maths at school, I think it must simply be because they're visual. I still have to solve all sorts of random things visually now too; drawing diagrams or maps or pictures to figure something out (it makes it more relatable somehow). Abacuses (abaci?) are good too...

  3. If not seen already, you might like Jessica Nagy's Indexed.

    1. On seeing - my kinda thinking! Inspired, thanks.

  4. Thank you to everyone (James!) for telling me, quite rightly, that Meat Loaf's pictorial is, in fact, a Pie Chart and not a Venn Diagram. That's cleared that up then.