Four Parameters and an Elephant

With four parameters I can fit an elephant, and with five I can make him wiggle his trunk.

Attributed to von Neumann by Enrico Fermi, as quoted by Freeman Dyson in “A meeting with Enrico Fermi” in Nature 427 22 January 2004 p. 297

via John von Neumann – Wikiquote.

Related posts:

  1. Ergodicity & the Merits of a Good Kick in the Ass
  2. AEA Econoblogging Forum
  3. The “Oh Shit” Board Meeting
  4. Hiding the Elephant
  5. Fun with Fermi Problems


  1. Make sure you look at this for a simple software implementation: