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Archive of posts filed under the Art category.

X spotted in L’Aimant, par Lucas Harari

I have a long post in preparation with lots of B.D. reviews, but in the meantime I wanted to flag this one right now because (a) the book was excellent, with a solid story and beautiful art and design, and (b) one of the characters looks just like Christian Robert, in an appropriate mountainous setting. […]

Request for a cat picture

Could someone please send me a photo (that I’d have permission to share on this blog) that connects a cat to “heuristics and biases” or “behavioral economics”? Thanks. P.S. Javier Benítez points us to this page of free stock photos of cats. Cool! Still, if anyone has anything particularly appropriate to the topic above, just […]

Hey, could somebody please send me a photo of a cat reading a Raymond Carver story?

Thanks in advance! P.S. Jaime Ashander sent in a photo. Thanks, Jaime!

I’m with Errol: On flypaper, photography, science, and storytelling

[image of a cat going after an insect] I’ve been reading this amazing book, Believing is Seeing: Observations on the Mysteries of Photography, by Errol Morris, who, like John Waters, is a pathbreaking filmmaker who is also an excellent writer. I recommend this book, but what I want to talk about here is one particular […]

Scammed by spammers

I received an unsolicited email awhile ago claiming to come from some company, but I went back to it and looked more carefully and realized the links were all to some SEO scam. I’d unfairly criticized this company for spamming me, and it was rally some third party spammer that had been spoofing that company. […]

“There was this prevalent, incestuous, backslapping research culture. The idea that their work should be criticized at all was anathema to them. Let alone that some punk should do it.”

[image of a cat reading a comic book] How did the outsiders upend social psychology? CATRON: We used basic reporting techniques. We’d call up somebody and ask them about thus-and-so, and they’d mention so-and-so, so we’d call so-and-so, and ask about thus-and-so. I’d say, “OK, you’re saying this but the first guy said this other […]

Planet of the hominids? We wanna see this exposition.

It would be interesting if someone were to make an exhibit for a museum showing the timeline of humans and hominids, and under that showing children’s toys and literature, showing how these guys were represented in popular media. It probably already exists, right? P.S. I feel kinda bad that this bumped Dan’s more important, statistically-related […]

The fractal zealots

Paul Alper points to this news report by Ian Sample, which goes: Psychologists believe they can identify progressive changes in work of artists who went on to develop Alzheimer’s disease The first subtle hints of cognitive decline may reveal themselves in an artist’s brush strokes many years before dementia is diagnosed, researchers believe. . . […]

Applying statistics in science will likely remain unreasonably difficult in my life time: but I have no intention of changing careers.

This post is by Keith. image   (Image from deviantart.com) There are a couple posts I have been struggling to put together, one is on what science is or should be (drawing on Charles Peirce). The other is on why a posterior is not a posterior is not a posterior: even if mathematically equivalent – they […]

What’s powdery and comes out of a metallic-green cardboard can?

This (by Jason Torchinsky, from Stay Free magazine, around 1998?) is just hilarious. We used to have both those shake-out-the-powder cans, Comet and that parmesan cheese, in our house when I was growing up.

I’m only adding new posts when they’re important . . . and this one’s really important.

Durf Humphries writes: I’m a fact-checker and digital researcher in Atlanta. Your blog has been quite useful to me this week. Your statistics and explanations are impressive, but the decision to ornament your articles with such handsome cats? That’s divine genius and it’s apparent that these are not random cats, but carefully curated critters that […]

It’s not about the snobbery, it’s all about reality: At last, I finally understand hatred of “middlebrow”

I remember reading Dwight Macdonald and others slamming “middlebrows” and thinking, what’s the point? The classic argument from the 1940s onward was to say that true art (James Joyce etc) was ok, and true mass culture (Mickey Mouse and detective stories) were cool, but anything in the middle (John Marquand, say) was middlebrow and deserved […]

Things that sound good but aren’t quite right: Art and research edition

There are a lot of things you can say that sound very sensible but, upon reflection, are missing something. For example consider this blog comment from Chris G: Years ago I heard someone suggest these three questions for assessing a work of art: 1. What was the artist attempting to do? 2. Were they successful? […]

What makes a mathematical formula beautiful?

Hiro Minato pointed me to this paper (hyped here) by Semir Zeki, John Romaya, Dionigi Benincasa, and Michael Atiyah on “The experience of mathematical beauty and its neural correlates,” who report: We used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to image the activity in the brains of 15 mathematicians when they viewed mathematical formulae which they […]

Top 5 movies about scientists

In this NYT interview, Philip “Stanford Prison Experiment” Zimbardo gives his list: 1. “Madame Curie,” 1943 2. “The Seven-Per-Cent Solution,” 1976 3. “Awakenings,” 1990 4. “The Insider,” 1999 5. “The Imitation Game,” 2014. Not a very impressive list. But that’s the point, I guess: there haven’t been many good movies about scientists. I was racking […]

Plaig! (non-Wegman edition)

Mark Vallen writes (link from here): What initially disturbed me about the art of Shepard Fairey is that it displays none of the line, modeling and other idiosyncrasies that reveal an artist’s unique personal style. His imagery appears as though it’s xeroxed or run through some computer graphics program; that is to say, it is […]

Why couldn’t Breaking Bad find Mexican Mexicans?

Watching “Breaking Bad” . . . I’m told on good authority that may of the actors playing Mexicans are not actually Mexican; some of them can barely speak Spanish at all. Whassup with that? How hard is it to find a Mexican actor in LA or Albuquerque??

Lauryn’s back!

Really, no snark here. She’s got some excellent tracks on the new Nina Simone tribute album. The best part’s the sample from the classic Nina song. But that’s often the case. They wouldn’t sample something if it was no good. P.S. Let me clarify: I prefer Lauryn’s version to Nina’s original. The best parts of […]

Wikipedia is the best

“It is not readily apparent whether Boo-Boo is a juvenile bear with a precocious intellect or simply an adult bear who is short of stature.”

Statistical significance, practical significance, and interactions

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: interaction is one of the key underrated topics in statistics. I thought about this today (OK, a couple months ago, what with our delay) when reading a post by Dan Kopf on the exaggeration of small truths. Or, to put it another way, statistically significant but […]