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Archive of posts filed under the Decision Theory category.

Judy Garland (4) vs. Al Sharpton; Derrida advances

WB calls yesterday‘s contest in the comments: Among French intellectuals, I’d rather hear from a corpse than an active public figure. My vote goes to Derrida. And, today, the woman who defined Hollywood stardom, up against a religious leader who dabbles in slander. How fabulous is that?? P.S. As always, here’s the background, and here […]

Bernard-Henry Levy (3) vs. Jacques Derrida; Carlin advances

There wasn’t much enthusiasm yesterday, but I do have to pick a winner, so I’ll go with Zbicylist’s comment: “Carlin. Are there 7 words you can’t say in a seminar? Let’s find out.” And today we have two more modern French intellectuals! I don’t have much of anything to say about either of these guys […]

George Carlin (2) vs. Barbara Kruger

To decide yesterday‘s contest, I’ll have to point to Jeremy’s comment: Rembrandt in a walk: -He believes that “God is in every leaf on every tree”. Most of his greatest paintings are portraits of himself or regular people (as opposed to portraits of kings or Popes, or mythical battles, or etc.) Same for his etchings. […]

Rembrandt van Rijn (2) vs. Bertrand Russell

For yesterday, the most perceptive comment came from Slugger: Rabbit Angstrom is a perfect example of the life that the Buddha warns against. He is a creature of animal passions who never gains any enlightenment. In any case, I think we can all agree that Buddha is a far more interesting person than Updike. But, […]

What hypothesis testing is all about. (Hint: It’s not what you think.)

I’ve said it before but it’s worth saying again. The conventional view: Hyp testing is all about rejection. The idea is that if you reject the null hyp at the 5% level, you have a win, you have learned that a certain null model is false and science has progressed, either in the glamorous “scientific […]

On deck this week

Mon: What hypothesis testing is all about. (Hint: It’s not what you think.) Rembrandt van Rijn (2) vs. Betrand Russell Tues: One simple trick to make Stan run faster George Carlin (2) vs. Barbara Kruger Wed: I actually think this infographic is ok Bernard-Henry Levy (3) vs. Jacques Derrida Thurs: Defaults, once set, are hard […]

Buddha (3) vs. John Updike

Yesterday‘s winner is Friedrich Nietzsche. I don’t really have much to say here: there was lots of enthusiasm about the philosopher and none at all for the cozy comedian. Maybe Jonathan Miller would’ve been a better choice. Now for today’s battle. Buddha is seeded #3 among founders of religions. Updike is the unseeded author of […]

Friedrich Nietzsche (4) vs. Alan Bennett

William Shakespeare had the most support yesterday; for example, from David: “I vote for Shakespeare just to see who actually shows up.” The best argument of the serious variety came from Babar, who wrote, “I would vote for WS. Very little is known about the man. I care very little about Marx’s mannerisms but I’d […]

William Shakespeare (1) vs. Karl Marx

For yesterday‘s winner, I’ll follow the reasoning of Manuel in comments: Popper. We would learn more from falsifying the hypothesis that Popper’s talk is boring than what we would learn from falsifying the hypothesis that Richard Pryor’s talk is uninteresting. And today we have the consensus choice for greatest writer vs. the notorious political philosopher. […]

“The harm done by tests of significance” (article from 1994 in the journal, “Accident Analysis and Prevention”)

Ezra Hauer writes: In your January 2013 Commentary (Epidemiology) you say that “…misunderstanding persists even in high-stakes settings.” Attached is an older paper illustrating some such. “It is like trying to sink a battleship by firing lead shot at it for a long time”—well put!