To math explanations and beyond!

Wow, it’s been a while since our last up­date! A lot of things have hap­pened since. In April @5 has offi­cially be­come a co-founder of Ar­bital, and @76 joined as our first en­g­ineer. To­gether we’ve been su­per busy im­prov­ing Ar­bital so it can grow into the best plat­form for math ex­pla­na­tions.

Writ­ing party

We hosted one writ­ing party, where we in­vited sev­eral peo­ple we deeply ad­mire, who can cre­ate re­ally good math ex­pla­na­tions and con­tent. There were snacks, math jokes, and lots of typ­ing! Thanks goes out to @32, @16g, @3s9, @3sp, and a few other folks for show­ing up and seed­ing Ar­bital with ini­tial con­tent.

Since the party, Nate is con­tin­u­ing to write his ex­pla­na­tion of in­for­ma­tion the­ory noteIf you are cu­ri­ous to read the work-in-progress pages, check out log as gen­er­al­ized length and ex­change rates be­tween digits, Tsvi is wring a guide on Bayes net­works, and mul­ti­ple other au­thors are con­tribut­ing in­di­vi­d­ual pages.

We’ll be host­ing more such par­ties in the fu­ture! If you are in­ter­ested in par­ti­ci­pat­ing (in per­son or re­motely), signup for the newslet­ter (check the “ex­plain­ing math top­ics” box).

Grow­ing math domain

Our goal for the next few months is to cre­ate and pub­lish ex­pla­na­tions that you can’t get any­where else. We want to grow a com­mu­nity of ex­plain­ers who can work with each other, build on each other’s con­tent, and come up with brilli­ant, in­tu­itive, and in­sight­ful math ex­pla­na­tions.

You can help! We’ve made it very easy to con­tribute: go to the home page and check out the “Write” panel. Any­one can write and sub­mit a page to math do­main. Try it out, and let us know what you think!

We are go­ing to con­tinue our tra­di­tion of se­lect­ing one page to be show­cased in our up­date. This time it’s the page ex­plain­ing un­countabil­ity. It has two very nice lenses, which make the con­cept ac­cessible to most peo­ple.


Here is the non-ex­haus­tive list of things we’ve been work­ing on since the last up­date:

Over­all pol­ish: we’ve got­ten a lot of feed­back from our writ­ers. Lots of bugs have been found and squashed, and lots of sharp edges have been smoothed over.

Bet­ter math ren­der­ing: the ed­i­tor was pretty hard to use with pages that had a lot of math, but now the ex­pe­rience is sig­nifi­cantly bet­ter.

Notes: we con­tinue to ex­pand our Mark­down syn­tax to in­clude fea­tures like notes: noteNotes al­low the au­thor to ex­pand on what they are say­ing with­out both­er­ing the read­ers who are happy with the short ver­sion..

Marks: any­one can se­lect text, and click “spel­ling/​gram­mar” but­ton to quickly send feed­back to the au­thors of the page.

Queries: any­one can se­lect text, and click “ques­tion” but­ton to type their query. This will help au­thors im­prove the page, and over time the plat­form will ac­cu­mu­late a col­lec­tion of canon­i­cal ques­tions and an­swers, so peo­ple with similar ques­tions can get their an­swer im­me­di­ately.

Ex­plore view: you can now look at the page hi­er­ar­chy for any given page. For ex­am­ple, here is all our math con­tent.

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