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Message to Booleans: It’s an additive world, we just live in it

Boolean models (“it’s either A or (B and C)”) seem to be the natural way that we think, but additive models (“10 points if you have A, 3 points if you have B, 2 points if you have C”) seem to describe reality better—at least, the aspects of reality that I study in my research. […]

Hey, I just wrote my April Fool’s post!

(scheduled to appear in a few months, of course). I think you’ll like it. Or hate it. Depending on who you are.

Wegman Frey Hauser Weick Fischer Dr. Anil Potti Stapel comes clean

Thomas Leeper points me to Diederik Stapel’s memoir, “Faking Science: A True Story of Academic Fraud,” translated by Nick Brown and available online for free download.

I’d like to see a preregistered replication on this one

Under the heading, “Results too good to be true,” Lee Sechrest points me to this discussion by “Neuroskeptic” of a discussion by psychology researcher Greg Francis of a published (and publicized) claim by biologists Brian Dias and Kerry Ressler that “Parental olfactory experience [in mice] influences behavior and neural structure in subsequent generations.” That’s a […]

Expectation propagation as a way of life

Aki Vehtari, Pasi Jylänki, Christian Robert, Nicolas Chopin, John Cunningham, and I write: We revisit expectation propagation (EP) as a prototype for scalable algorithms that partition big datasets into many parts and analyze each part in parallel to perform inference of shared parameters. The algorithm should be particularly efficient for hierarchical models, for which the […]

Damn, I was off by a factor of 2!

I hate when that happens. Demography is tricky. Oh well, as they say in astronomy, who cares, it was less than an order of magnitude!

“Now the company appears to have screwed up badly, and they’ve done it in pretty much exactly the way you would expect a company to screw up when it doesn’t drill down into the data.”

Palko tells a good story: One of the accepted truths of the Netflix narrative is that CEO Reed Hastings is obsessed with data and everything the company does is data driven . . . Of course, all 21st century corporations are relatively data-driven. The fact that Netflix has large data sets on customer behavior does […]

On deck this week

Mon: “Now the company appears to have screwed up badly, and they’ve done it in pretty much exactly the way you would expect a company to screw up when it doesn’t drill down into the data.” Tues: Expectation propagation as a way of life Wed: I’d like to see a preregistered replication on this one […]

The latest episode in my continuing effort to use non-sports analogies

In a unit about the law of large numbers, sample size, and margins of error, I used the notorious beauty, sex, and power example: A researcher, working with a sample of size 3000, found that the children of beautiful parents were more likely to be girls, compared to the children of less-attractive parents. Can such […]

I like the clever way they tell the story. It’s a straightforward series of graphs but the reader has to figure out where to click and what to do, which makes the experience feel more like a voyage of discovery.

Jonathan Falk asks what I think of this animated slideshow by Matthew Klein on “How Americans Die”: Please click on the above to see the actual slideshow, as this static image does not do it justice. What do I think? Here was my reaction: It is good, but I was thrown off by the very […]