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Posts

August 02, 2015

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6:00 PM | All Liar, No Paradox • Comment 1
A statement asserts that a statement is a statement that is false. The statement violates an axiom of logic, so it doesn’t really matter whether the ostensible statement the so-called liar, really is a statement or has a truth value. … Continue reading →
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11:27 AM | Performing truth
The title of this blog entry could be yet another proposed synonym for mathematics, one that hints at an alternative to the sterile but persistent opposition between discovery and invention.  Or it could be an allusion to the practice of mathematicians by which what corresponds to our intuition is made to be true by a […]

August 01, 2015

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5:39 PM | Lenguajes internos
This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 Spain license. Para celebrar la publicación en línea de las notas de mi curso sobre las curvas de Shimura, para la escuela AGRA 2015 en Cusco, Perú, sobre aritmética, grupos, y análisis, he decidido escribir este post sobre los lenguajes internos en castellano.  Si […]
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2:30 PM | All Liar, No Paradox
A statement asserts that a statement is a statement that is false. The statement violates an axiom of logic and it doesn’t really matter whether the ostensible statement the so-called liar, really is a statement or has a truth value.

July 31, 2015

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8:00 PM | Zeroth Law Of Semiotics • Comment 2
Re: Peirce List Discussion • Edwina Taborsky My old avatar (Zero-Aster) does incline to laconic verses, but I hope to address a class of concrete applications that will serve to unpack their sense. The main thing I’d like to communicate … Continue reading →
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2:00 PM | Zeroth Law Of Semiotics • Comment 1
New discussions of the so-called “Liar Paradox” have broken out at several places on the web in recent weeks (1) (2) and these always bring to my mind at least a number of critical ways in which the Peircean paradigm … Continue reading →
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1:00 PM | Friday's Big Grab Bag
LOTSA links to ponder!: 1)  Fun Evelyn Lamb post that predicts your personality: http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/roots-of-unity/kisrhombile-tiling-rorschach-test/ (next week, watch for her new horoscope column for Scientific American.... kidding!) 2)  A new "Math Teachers At Play" blog carnival here: http://blog.ifem.co.uk/maths-teachers-at-play-88/ 3)  Just a few of the many wrap-ups
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5:33 AM | 175 words, approximately
In the middle of May, although I had just sent Nature my review of Siobhan Roberts’s biography of John Conway, Nature wrote back to me asking whether I might consider writing a short review of approximately 175 words on your pick of the science books published within the last year or so for the Summer […]

July 30, 2015

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2:00 PM | Zeroth Law Of Semiotics
Meaning is a privilege not a right. Not all pictures depict. Not all signs denote. Never confuse a property of a sign, just for instance, existence, with a sign of a property, for instance, existence. Taking a property of a … Continue reading →

July 29, 2015

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6:14 PM | Telling What’s True About Power, if practicing within the error-statistical tribe
Suppose you are reading about a statistically significant result x from a one-sided test T+ of the mean of a Normal distribution with n iid samples, and (for simplicity) known σ:   H0: µ ≤  0 against H1: µ >  0. I have heard some people say: A. If the power to detect alternative µ’ is very low, then the statistically significant x is poor evidence of […]
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2:13 AM | Physics, Plato and epistemology
In a recent Scientific American article, the late physicist Victor Stenger, along with authors James A. Lindsay and Peter Boghossian argue that, while not acknowledged as such, some interpretations of quantum mechanics are implicitly platonic (with a lower-case p). We will use platonism with a lower-case “p” here to refer to the belief that the [...]

July 27, 2015

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7:31 PM | Women in Logic: two new initiatives
For those who haven't yet come across these, I have two new initiatives relating to women in logic to advertise:Women in Logic group on Facebook: "A group for women in Logic, philosophical, mathematical or computational. or any other kind of formal logic that you care about." Membership is not restricted to women.Female Professors of Logic, an editable google spreadsheet. One outcome of this will be to give a list of people who should have wikipedia pages if they don't already.Please share […]

July 24, 2015

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9:47 PM | Never minds!
As if adjective-deficiency were not already a nightmare for those of us who try to write about mathematics, the problem is about to be compounded by the new trend of characterizing prominent mathematicians by their kinds of minds, specified by choosing from an inevitably shrinking stock of acceptable adjectives.  John Nash’s Beautiful Mind now has […]
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4:52 PM | Stephen Senn: Randomization, ratios and rationality: rescuing the randomized clinical trial from its critics
Stephen Senn Head of Competence Center for Methodology and Statistics (CCMS) Luxembourg Institute of Health This post first appeared here. An issue sometimes raised about randomized clinical trials is the problem of indefinitely many confounders. This, for example is what John Worrall has to say: Even if there is only a small probability that an individual factor is […]
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11:44 AM | Another Friday Potpourri
ICYM any of these: 1)  The latest (124th) "Carnival of Mathematics": http://gonitsora.com/carnival-of-mathematics-124/ 2)  Rewriting (shortening) the proof of the classification of finite groups: https://plus.maths.org/content/rewriting-enormous-theorem 3)  This NPR report from the World Rubik's Cube Championship: http://www.npr.org/2015/07/20/424465069/
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8:03 AM | Too much personality, not enough adjectives
My Nature review of the Siobhan Roberts biography of John Conway suggested that His ways of being in the world, in Roberts’s telling, amount to a class of adjectives yet to be invented, to join his mathematical innovations. Since I didn’t have time to invent the new adjectives before Nature‘s deadline, I resorted to a […]

July 23, 2015

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2:16 AM | 3 YEARS AGO (JULY 2012): MEMORY LANE
3 years ago… MONTHLY MEMORY LANE: 3 years ago: July 2012. I mark in red three posts that seem most apt for general background on key issues in this blog.[1]  This new feature, appearing the last week of each month, began at the blog’s 3-year anniversary in Sept, 2014. (Once again it was tough to pick just 3; please check out others which might […]

July 22, 2015

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6:35 PM | House style
My review of Genius at Play: the Curious Mind of John Horton Conway, by Toronto-based writer Siobhan Roberts, was published today in Nature, under the title The mercurial mathematician and also under the above photo of Conway.  I include a link to the image because Nature is behind a paywall.  If you have access, you […]

July 21, 2015

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12:05 AM | Reductio arguments from a dialogical perspective: final considerations
By Catarina Dutilh Novaes(Cross-posted at NewAPPS)This is the final post in my series on reductio ad absurdum from a dialogical perspective. Here is Part I, here is Part II, here is Part III, here is Part IV, and here is Part V. I now return to the issues raised in the earlier posts equipped with the dialogical account of deduction, and of reductio ad absurdum in particular.===========================================A general dialogical schema for reductio ad absurdum, […]

July 20, 2015

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5:41 PM | Conference on Belief, Rationality, and Action over Time
University of Wisconsin-Madison, September 5-7The goal is to get action theorists and epistemologists (especially formal epistemologists) together to think about topics related to diachronic rationality and belief.  All are welcome, but attendees are expected to have read the papers beforehand.  Register for free here.Organizers:  Mike Titelbaum, Sergio Tenenbaum, Chrisoula Andreou, and Sarah PaulFunded by the Canadian Journal of Philosophy, the University of […]
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1:00 PM | Author-At-Play... Siobhan Roberts Reports on Life with John Conway
Genius At Play: The Curious Mind of John Horton Conway "Above all he loves knowledge, and he seeks to know everything about the universe... For his own part, he calls himself a professional nonunderstander. The pursuit is what counts, and chasing after Conway's promiscuous curiosity and probing his ebullient intellect is this book's modus operandi." (...from the Prologue to the book) I

July 17, 2015

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2:01 PM | Dialectical refutations and reductio ad absurdum
By Catarina Dutilh Novaes(Cross-posted at NewAPPS)This is the fifth installment of my series of posts on reductio ad absurdum from a dialogical perspective. Here is Part I, here is Part II, here is Part III, and here is Part IV. In this post I discuss a closely related argumentative strategy, namely dialectical refutation, and argue that it can be viewed as a genealogical antecedent of reductio ad absurdum.========================Those familiar with Plato’s Socratic […]
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1:00 PM | Grab Bag From the Week
The week gone by: 1)  enjoyed this tweet from last weekend: What would you do??  pic.twitter.com/tkt7gQvCXA — Chris Volinsky (@statpumpkin) July 10, 2015 ...and Presh Talwalkar tackled the above problem here: http://tinyurl.com/o9e7z9g 2)  A profile of 6 Indians following in the "footsteps" of Ramanujan:http://mintonsunday.livemint.com/news/meet-the-heirs-to-ramanujan%E2%80%99s-genius/
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4:35 AM | “Statistical Significance” According to the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services (i)
Someone linked this to me on Twitter. I thought it was someone’s home blog at first. Surely the U.S. Dept of Health and Human Services can give a better definition than this. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Effective Health Care Program Glossary of Terms We know that many of the concepts used on […]

July 16, 2015

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9:28 PM | If Wikipedia says so…
The Wikipedia page Mathematician has a section devoted to Mathematical autobiographies and Mathematics without Apologies is on the list.  Although it’s not an autobiography!  And it’s in good company:  Littlewood’s A Mathematician’s Miscellany, although it includes a chapter on the author’s mathematical education, is not an autobiography either; this doesn’t stop it from being listed […]
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3:35 PM | A precis of the dialogical account of deduction
By Catarina Dutilh Novaes(Cross-posted at NewAPPS)This is the fourth installment of my series of posts on reductio ad absurdum arguments from a dialogical perspective. Here is Part I, here is Part II, and here is Part III. In this post I offer a précis of the dialogical account of deduction which I have been developing over the last years, which will then allow me to return to the issue of reductio arguments equipped with a new perspective in the next installments. I have presented the basics […]
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12:54 PM | In fairness to economists
By reprinting Joseph Stiglitz’s joke that economics is really a religion I did not mean to cast aspersions on the economic profession as a whole.  This article by Simon Wren-Lewis in the London Review of Books introduces the helpful term mediamacro to refer to the phenomenon captured by Stiglitz’s joke. ‘Mediamacro’ is the term I […]

July 15, 2015

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12:05 PM | Problems with reductio proofs: "jumping to conclusions"
By Catarina Dutilh Novaes(Cross-posted at NewAPPS)This is the third installment of my series of posts on reductio ad absurdum arguments from a dialogical perspective. Here is Part I, and here is Part II. In this post I discuss issues pertaining specifically to the last step in a reductio argument, namely that of going from reaching absurdity to concluding the contradictory of the initial hypothesis.============================One worry we may have concerning reductio arguments is what could be […]
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12:08 AM | Spot the power howler: α = ß?
Spot the fallacy! The power of a test is the probability of correctly rejecting the null hypothesis. Write it as 1 – β. So, the probability of incorrectly rejecting the null hypothesis is β. But the probability of incorrectly rejecting the null is α (the type 1 error probability). So α = β. I’ve actually […]

July 14, 2015

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6:36 PM | Problems with reductio proofs: assuming the impossible
By Catarina Dutilh Novaes(Cross-posted at NewAPPS)This is a series of posts with sections of the paper on reductio ad absurdum from a dialogical perspective that I am working on right now. This is Part II, here is Part I. In this post I discuss issues in connection with the first step in a reductio argument, that of assuming the impossible.=====================We can think of a reductio ad absurdum as having three main components, following Proclus’ description: (i) Assuming the initial […]
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