March 29, 2015

3:14 AM | Your (very own) personalized genomic prediction varies depending on who else was around?
As if I wasn’t skeptical enough about personalized predictions based on genomic signatures, Jeff Leek recently had a surprising post about a “A surprisingly tricky issue when using genomic signatures for personalized medicine“.  Leek (on his blog Simply Statistics) writes: My student Prasad Patil has a really nice paper that just came out in Bioinformatics (preprint in case paywalled). […]

March 27, 2015

3:45 PM | Math From the Week-Gone-By
Some of the things I DIDN'T cover at Math-Frolic: 1)  For any hard-core statistics readers out there, a thoughtful, longish re-post from Deborah Mayo (on objectivity in stats): http://errorstatistics.com/2015/03/21/objectivity-in-statistics-arguments-from-discretion-and-3-reactions/ 2)  And from Andrew Gelman, more interesting p-value stuff: http://andrewgelman.com/2015/03/27/imagining-p/ 3)
12:00 PM | On Quine's Arguments Against QML, Part 2: The problem of "quantifying in"
Read part 1. The first of the two problems we look at is related to the problem of ‘quantifying in’. Versions of this argument can be found in [1,2,3]. Quine points out that modal contexts are intensional, by which he means simply that they are non-truth-functional [1, p. 122]; this is why the class of analytic truths is larger than the class of merely logical truths. Intensional contexts are opaque, and they “do not admit pronouns which refer to quantifiers anterior to the context” […]

March 24, 2015

8:39 PM | You've missed a post!
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7:48 PM | Burgess, Rigor and Structure — 1
Modern pure mathematics is characterized by the rigour of its methods, and by its special subject matter, i.e. abstract structures. Or so the story goes. But exactly what is meant by rigour here? What, exactly, is meant by saying that modern mathematics … Continue reading →
MONTHLY MEMORY LANE: 3 years ago: March 2012. I mark in red three posts that seem most apt for general background on key issues in this blog. (Posts that are part of a “unit” or a group of “U-Phils” count as one.) This new feature, appearing the last week of each month, began at the blog’s 3-year anniversary in Sept, 2014. Since the 3/14 and 3/18 […]

March 22, 2015

4:36 PM | Relations & Their Relatives : 8
Re: Peirce List Discussion • Howard Pattee At this point we can distinguish two forms of decomposability or reducibility — along with their corresponding negations, indecomposability or irreducibility – that commonly arise. Reducibility under relational composition All triadic relations are … Continue reading →
4:16 PM | The LogBlog is Moving!
I've decided to move the blog to WordPress. It now lives at richardzach.org. Please update your feed reader subscriptions. The feed URL is http://richardzach.org/feed/
11:00 AM | Samantha Oestreicher... "Social" Mathematician
Math-Frolic Interview #29    "Math is everywhere. Sometimes we choose to obsess over it (Bills) or ignore it (Debt) but I believe we should not obsess or ignore. Fruit and Vegetables should be a part of everyone’s diet. So too should Math." -- Samantha Oestreicher (from her blog) Evelyn Lamb introduced me to Samantha Oestreicher's "Social Mathematics" blog awhile back; a blog about the "

March 21, 2015

10:57 AM | Objectivity in Statistics: “Arguments From Discretion and 3 Reactions”
We constantly hear that procedures of inference are inescapably subjective because of the latitude of human judgment as it bears on the collection, modeling, and interpretation of data. But this is seriously equivocal: Being the product of a human subject is hardly the same as being subjective, at least not in the sense we are […]

March 20, 2015

4:09 PM | Representation, action, and mathematics
Today, I involved myself in a debate that hasn’t gotten very loud yet and, perhaps for that reason, I felt like I was going around in circles a bit. The questions I began trying to answer were sparked by a Mind Hacks post entitled Radical embodied cognition: an interview with Andrew Wilson. Wilson’s ideas challenge [...]
11:59 AM | More March Mathiness....
This week's BIG, bouncing collection of mathy goodness: 1)  You're likely all sick of hearing about pi by now, but I feel bad that so many of the best pi posts came out too late for my last Fri. potpourri, so will note a few of the plenitude: a)  Steven Strogatz's New Yorker article on pi: http://www.newyorker.com/tech/elements/pi-day-why-pi-matters b)  from The Aperiodical: http://
10:26 AM | On Quine's Arguments Against QML, Part 1: Modality and Analyticity
When teaching philosophical logic to undergraduates, I feel I have two responsibilities: (a) To teach them logic and (b) To teach them something of the historical development of the field. (Alas, given constraints arising from not enough time, (b) generally means saying something about 20th C developments, rather than what I'd really like to tell them about, namely, 13th and 14th C developments!) This means that when the part of the module where I teach quantified modal logic (QML) came […]

March 19, 2015

10:00 PM | Relations & Their Relatives : 7
Re: Peirce List Discussion • Howard Pattee We use this or that species of diagrams to represent some of the properties, hardly ever all of the properties, of the objects in some object domain.  The diagrams that Peirce devised to … Continue reading →

March 18, 2015

4:05 PM | Blue Monica
Monica Vitti — for those who still end up at Logic Matters because of that little flurry of pictures of that icon of the Italian films of my youth which I posted a few years ago.

March 16, 2015

11:55 PM | Stephen Senn: The pathetic P-value (Guest Post)
Stephen Senn Head, Methodology and Statistics Group, Competence Center for Methodology and Statistics (CCMS), Luxembourg The pathetic P-value This is the way the story is now often told. RA Fisher is the villain. Scientists were virtuously treading the Bayesian path, when along came Fisher and gave them P-values, which they gladly accepted, because they could get […]
11:14 AM | A nice problem in high school geometry
Let E be the midpoint of the side AD of a square ABCD. Problem: Determine which has the greater perimeter, the square ABCD or the circle through E, B, C?  (You can assume you know the value of π. Otherwise … Continue reading →

March 15, 2015

11:30 AM | Natalie Wolchover... From Tiger Zoologist to Physics Writer
Math-Frolic Interview #28 "Distrust of scientists and fear of global cataclysm are both on the rise, and that’s partly attributable to how much scary and conflicting information there is on the Internet. In my opinion, the best way to earn readers’ trust is to slow down a bit: to spend more time learning the science we’re explaining in our articles and write more in-depth (but still

March 13, 2015

10:00 PM | Animated Logical Graphs : 6
Re: Peirce List Discussion • Jim Willgoose At root we are dealing with a genre of very abstract formal systems.  They have grammars that determine their well-formed expressions and rules that determine the permissible transformations among expressions, but they lack … Continue reading →
1:00 PM | This Week's Math Potpourri Serving
Things catching my attention this week: 1)  This is actually pretty fascinating from a mathematical standpoint (water-saving faucet); h/t Tim Skellett: http://www.sciencealert.com/this-tap-saves-water-by-creating-incredible-patterns 2)  Congratulations in order for Ian Stewart and Steven Strogatz for sharing the 2015 Lewis Thomas Prize for Writing about Science: http://

March 12, 2015

6:00 PM | Peirce’s 1880 “Algebra Of Logic” Chapter 3 • Selection 8
Chapter 3. The Logic of Relatives (cont.) §4. Classification of Relatives (cont.) 227.   These different classes have the following relations.  Every negative of a concurrent and every alio-relative is both an opponent and the negative of a self-relative.  Every … Continue reading →
11:21 AM | All She Wrote (so far): Error Statistics Philosophy Contents: 3.5 years on
  Error Statistics Philosophy: Blog Contents By: D. G. Mayo[i] September 2011 (9/3) Frequentists in Exile: The Purpose of this Blog (9/3) Overheard at the comedy hour at the Bayesian retreat (9/4) Drilling Rule #1 (9/9) Kuru (9/13) In Exile, Clinging to Old Ideas? (9/15) SF conferences & E. Lehmann (9/16) Getting It Right But for the Wrong Reason (9/20) A Highly Anomalous Event (9/23) LUCKY 13 (Critcisms) (9/26)  Whipping […]
12:25 AM | A Strange Thing about the Brier Score
This post was co-written by Brian Knab and Miriam Schoenfield.In the literature on epistemic utility theory, the Brier Score is offered as a paradigmatically reasonable measure of epistemic utility, or epistemic accuracy. We offer a case meant to put pressure on the claim that the Brier score in fact reasonably captures epistemic utility or epistemic accuracy.1. A Simple CaseConsider two people contemplating the origin of the universe.The simple deist is confident that a being exists that […]

March 11, 2015

8:53 PM | Category theory: status report
It is an irksome habit, and I wish I could break it and plough on regardless. But I always find when writing anything lengthy that there comes a point by which I’ve accumulated enough little niggling worries about things I’ve already said that … Continue reading →

March 10, 2015

2:24 PM | Scientific Attitude : 1
There is an outlook on the world that I call the Scientific Attitude (SA).  There are times when the “A” is better served by apperception, approach, or attunement, but attitude will do for a start. The scientific attitude accepts appearances, … Continue reading →

March 09, 2015

11:19 AM | 893 posts later …
The Logic Matters blog started, back in the olden days, on March 9, 2006. It’s our ninth birthday. Will there be cake? So here we are, at post number 894. The two stats packages which monitor Logic Matters give very disparate results, but a thousand … Continue reading →
11:15 AM | Single Digits... and Much, Much More
"Single Digits: In Praise of Small Numbers"  by Marc Chamberland Several books in recent times have been comprised of "biographical" sketches of numbers... listing interesting tidbits/stories/facts about various integers or other significant numbers. So when a review copy of Marc Chamberland's "Single Digits: In Praise of Small Numbers" appeared in my mailbox, I thought to myself, "...seen this

March 06, 2015

3:53 PM | Weekly Selections
Some of the stuff I've been reading this week: 1)  Cedric Villani and his new volume, "Birth of a Theorem," covered in The Guardian: http://tinyurl.com/n7m57z4 2)  Something for the musically-inclined: http://tinyurl.com/knz2tvr 3)  Yet another interesting interview with Ed Frenkel, this time on mathematics and our financial system (and crises): http://www.thinkadvisor.com/2015/03/02/
4:31 AM | A puzzle about the latest test ban (or ‘don’t ask don’t tell’)
A large number of people have sent me articles on the “test ban” of statistical hypotheses tests and confidence intervals at a journal called Basic and Applied Social Psychology (BASP)[i]. Enough. One person suggested that since it came so close to my recent “Task force post, that I either had advance knowledge or some kind of […]

March 05, 2015

8:40 PM | Relations & Their Relatives : 6
Re: Howard Pattee In the best mathematical terms, a triadic relation is a cartesian product of three sets together with a specified subset of that cartesian product. Alternatively, one may think of a triadic relation as a set of 3-tuples … Continue reading →
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