Print Story I was, perhaps, too hard on them
By gzt (Tue Oct 16, 2012 at 09:09:42 PM EST) gzt, esperanto, science, agriculture (all tags)
I mentioned how the lesswrong folks talk big about being "Bayesians", but if that doesn't involve integrals of ugly prior distributions and whatevs, it doesn't mean anything. However, I noticed that, in a couple of their posts, they do, in fact, have ugly Bayes integrals.

Well, fine, okay, whatevs, one of your posters isn't a wanker.

I had a test today in methods, which blew. I know this stuff is important, because the contents of the course are how we're able to feed the population of the world. You can stuff that in your pipe and smoke it, lesswrong Bayes folks. Not to be hard on Bayesians, you know, but the way they talk, it's like RA Fisher wasn't the most important scientist of the 20th century, which he was.

Despite what the Daily Mail says, there has been substantial warming over the last 16 years. They are, as they say, lying liars who tell lies.

I got my flu shot on Saturday. Despite the hype, I did not get AIDS and die.

I don't know what's so hard about this: I believe in global warming, vaccination, the axiom of choice, evolution, and the germ theory of disease (though I do admit a little fondness in my heart for predicative arithmetic and bristle a bit at the Scientism of certain popular proponents of evolution - I don't believe the ideology at all). I believe smoking causes cancer, HIV causes AIDS. We landed on the moon and planes knocked down the Twin Towers.

I got pointed to this web-log the other day and it is great: It's a friend-of-a-friend, he translates poems in about a dozen different languages and they are quite good translations. Alas, he does not read Sanskrit. He had some very good web-log posts on other stuff, some stuff about Palestine and whatever and the best article that exists about Esperanto (

It almost made me want to take up Esperanto - why not, I have to do something on my ten minute bus rides to work?

Agriculture is destiny. People forget this at their peril. They forget because grain is cheap. For them. And for now.

O'Bama's hair is turning a little more grey.

Okay, crap, I need to get back to work.

< LHuSi drinks | Now we are sixteen and eleven >
I was, perhaps, too hard on them | 10 comments (10 topical, 0 hidden)
axiom of choice by the mariner (2.00 / 0) #1 Tue Oct 16, 2012 at 09:36:31 PM EST
i'm not an axiom of choice skeptic or anything, but are there actual physical consequences of the axiom of choice? i don't think there are.

do statisticians have a perspective on this? 

of course not by gzt (2.00 / 0) #2 Tue Oct 16, 2012 at 09:49:57 PM EST
on both counts.

well, probabilists (ie, the sort of people who might have joint appointments with math departments) might care because they're basically just doing functional analysis all day, and since functional analysis is real math it depends on the axiom of choice, but, you know, i can't think of any physical consequences.

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really? no position at all? by the mariner (2.00 / 0) #3 Tue Oct 16, 2012 at 10:43:11 PM EST
are they value-neutral about integration theories? 

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they like integration by gzt (2.00 / 0) #4 Tue Oct 16, 2012 at 10:45:05 PM EST
but don't think too heavily about it. apart from those aforementioned probabilists. just like engineers, you know.

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huh, by the mariner (2.00 / 0) #5 Tue Oct 16, 2012 at 10:47:07 PM EST
i guess i always suspected the measure theory neurosis was a strictly mathematical phenomenon, but for some reason i thought statisticians actually had a real preference for measure theoretic integration. 

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they do! by gzt (2.00 / 0) #6 Tue Oct 16, 2012 at 10:49:15 PM EST
the probabilists do, that's what i was trying to get at. the probabilists are all about that. sorry if I'm not being overly clear, I'm depressed from the political debate. the other guys, the ones who aren't probabilists, they don't think about the math enough to realize there are problems. they try to forget the measure theory as quickly as possible after they take it.

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well, they're right not to worry about it. by the mariner (2.00 / 0) #7 Tue Oct 16, 2012 at 10:54:51 PM EST
the problems have to do with the axiom of choice and completeness that almost surely never come up in anything of practical interest.

on the debate, what's not to like? i'd say romney got dunked on. 

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both apparently like "clean coal" by gzt (2.00 / 0) #8 Tue Oct 16, 2012 at 11:10:08 PM EST
No discussion of global warming. The last 8 presidents have promised energy independence to no avail. And I think this is a "both sides energizing their bases" debate rather than a dunking debate.

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ya, we're looking at a world without beaches. by the mariner (2.00 / 0) #9 Tue Oct 16, 2012 at 11:15:30 PM EST
nothing to be done about it. they needed to address education 8 presidents ago. 

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Depends on how you measure by lm (2.00 / 0) #10 Wed Oct 17, 2012 at 06:17:15 AM EST
On the "debating points" metric, I think Romney won.

On the "told fewer falsehoods" metric, I think Obama won but not by a whole lot.

On the "people who agree with me will think I won" metric, I think both won.

Kindness is an act of rebellion.
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I was, perhaps, too hard on them | 10 comments (10 topical, 0 hidden)