January 29, 2015

10:30 PM | Suggested readings for PhD students?
Earlier this month, at the usually highly admirable The Philosopher’s Stone, Robert Paul Wolff posted a list of “twenty-five books by great philosophers that every grad student should read by the time he or she gets the PhD”. The list was … Continue reading →

January 28, 2015

9:00 PM | Animated Logical Graphs : 5
Re: Peirce List Discussion • Howard Pattee A computational problem is defined as a set of problem instances with specified characteristics.  An algorithm solves a problem if it computes the correct answer to every problem instance in that set. The use … Continue reading →
3:47 PM | Information, search, and causes – Workshop in Turin
MONTHLY MEMORY LANE: 3 years ago: January 2012. I mark in red three posts that seem most apt for general background on key issues in this blog. January 2012 (1/3) Model Validation and the LLP-(Long Playing Vinyl Record) (1/8) Don’t Birnbaumize that Experiment my Friend* (1/10) Bad-Faith Assertions of Conflicts of Interest?* (1/13) U-PHIL: “So you want to do a philosophical analysis?” (1/14) “You May Believe You […]

January 27, 2015

6:00 PM | Animated Logical Graphs : 4
Re: Peirce List Discussion • Helmut Raulien Although it’s fair to say that most of my university coursework leaned to the theoretical side of things, I did cobble together a respectable enough background in computing, statistics, and industrial-organizational styles of … Continue reading →
2:15 PM | Spam, spam, spam, spam ….
There are only two options for any blog. Allow no comments at all; or have a spam-filter. No way can you moderate by hand all the comments that arrive. For example, in the last six months — reports the plug-in … Continue reading →
4:36 AM | Poe’s cosmology
A post from John Horgan with the title Did Edgar Allan Poe Foresee Modern Physics and Cosmology? quickly got my attention. Horgan writes in response to an essay by Marilynne Robinson in the February 5 New York Review of Books where Poe’s book-length prose poem Eureka was brought to his attention. Eureka was written by [...]
4:27 AM | Trial on Anil Potti Trial Scandal Postponed Because Lawyers Get the Sniffles (Rejected Post)
Trial in Medical Research Scandal Postponed By Jay Price DURHAM, N.C. — A judge in Durham County Superior Court has postponed the first civil trial against Duke University by the estate of a patient who had enrolled in one of a trio of clinical cancer studies that were based on bogus science. The case is […]

January 26, 2015

2:30 PM | Animated Logical Graphs : 3
Re: Peirce List Discussion • Helmut Raulien I have a little more leisure now to begin the process of climbing back into the saddle, so let me see where we left off … Try looking into the article I linked … Continue reading →

January 25, 2015

9:58 PM | Be smart by being systematic?
I’ve just got this notice of tomorrow’s Trinity Maths Society meeting (details of when/where at that link, if you are in Cambridge). Sounds as if it should be fascinating … Prof Tim Gowers FRS (DPMMS): “Can interesting mathematics problems be solved … Continue reading →
7:49 PM | Being smart, being judged smart
There’s recently been a lot of fuss (including on some philosophy blogs) about a short paper by Sarah-Jane Leslie et al., that purports to show that  “women are under-represented in fields whose practitioners believe that raw, innate talent is the main … Continue reading →
1:08 AM | What do these share in common: m&ms, limbo stick, ovulation, Dale Carnegie? Sat night potpourri
Here’s the follow-up to my last (reblogged) post. initially here. My take hasn’t changed much from 2013. Should we be labeling some pursuits “for entertainment only”? Why not? ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ I had said I would label as pseudoscience or questionable science any enterprise that regularly permits the kind of ‘verification biases’ in the statistical dirty laundry list.  How regularly? (I’ve been asked) […]
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January 23, 2015

10:58 PM | CfP: 2015 Logic Colloquium in Helsinki
First Announcement & Call for AbstractsLogic Colloquium 2015European Summer Meeting of the Association for Symbolic LogicHelsinki, Finland, 3-8 August 2015http://www.helsinki.fi/lc2015The annual European Summer Meeting of the Association for Symbolic Logic, the Logic Colloquium 2015 (LC 2015), will be organized in Helsinki, Finland, 3-8 August 2015. Logic Colloquium 2015 is co-located with the 15th Conference of Logic, Methodology and Philosophy of Science,CLMPS 2015, and with […]
5:00 PM | The Friday Wrap-up
This Week's Grab-bag: 1)  An overview of the recent JMM meetings in San Antonio from Jordan Ellenberg:  http://tinyurl.com/oyh9lq4 2)  This is a bit involved, but if set theory, logic, and paradoxes are your things than this post from Matt Baker may keep you occupied for awhile: http://tinyurl.com/pw24nxg 3)  Another convert/enthusiast to the "flipped classroom": http://
10:24 AM | Review of Williamson's Tetralogue
By Catarina Dutilh Novaes(Cross-posted at NewAPPS)I've been asked to write a review of Williamson's brand new book Tetralogue for the Times Higher Education. Here is what I've come up with so far. Comments are very welcome, as I still have some time before submitting the final version. (For more background on the book, here is a short video where Williamson explains the project.)============================Disagreement in debates and discussions is an interesting […]
8:36 AM | What’s so great about sets?
Here’s something I wrote a while back to answer a question on math.stackexchange about why sets and set theory should (or shouldn’t) be thought to have a special place in maths. Following a link on a related matter I found … Continue reading →

January 22, 2015

3:56 AM | Some statistical dirty laundry
It’s an apt time to reblog the “statistical dirty laundry” post from 2013 here. I hope we can take up the recommendations from Simmons, Nelson and Simonsohn at the end (Note [5], which we didn’t last time around. ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ I finally had a chance to fully read the 2012 Tilberg Report* on “Flawed Science” last night. Here are […]
Editor's Pick

January 20, 2015

4:00 PM | Pragmatism About Theoretical Entities : 1
By theoretical entities I mean things like classes, properties, qualities, sets, situations, or states of affairs, in general, the putative denotations of theoretical concepts, formulas, sentences, in brief, the ostensible objects of signs. A conventional statement of Ockham’s Razor is, … Continue reading →

January 19, 2015

11:27 PM | Thinking Machines?
The (2015) annual Edge question (which essentially asks if you believe machines will ever be able to think) and responses have been posted; a lot of good reading here, though I've only scanned a handful of responses thus far:http://edge.org/contributors/q2015Very few mathematicians included, but I do especially like Keith Devlin's answer (apologies if readers are sick of hearing me say that
4:56 AM | Power Analysis and Non-Replicability: If bad statistics is prevalent in your field, does it follow you can’t be guilty of scientific fraud?
If questionable research practices (QRPs) are prevalent in your field, then apparently you can’t be guilty of scientific misconduct or fraud (by mere QRP finagling), or so some suggest. Isn’t that an incentive for making QRPs the norm?  The following is a recent blog discussion (by  Ulrich Schimmack) on the Jens Förster scandal: I thank Richard Gill for […]

January 18, 2015

3:25 PM | CfP: 2015 Logic Colloquium in Helsinki
First Announcement & Call for Abstracts Logic Colloquium 2015European Summer Meeting of the Association for Symbolic Logic Helsinki, Finland, 3-8 August 2015http://www.helsinki.fi/lc2015 The annual European Summer Meeting of the Association for Symbolic Logic, the Logic Colloquium 2015 (LC 2015), will be organized in Helsinki, Finland, 3-8 August 2015. Logic Colloquium 2015 is co-located with the 15th Conference of Logic, Methodology and Philosophy of Science, CLMPS 2015, and with the SLS […]

January 17, 2015

4:07 AM | Winners of the December 2014 Palindrome Contest: TWO!
I am pleased to announce that there were two (returning) winners for the December Palindrome contest. The requirement was: In addition to Elba, one word: Math (or maths; mathematics, for anyone brave enough). The winners in alphabetical order are:   Karthik Durvasula Visiting Assistant Professor in Phonology & Phonetics at Michigan State University Palindrome: Ha! Am I at natal […]

January 16, 2015

5:36 PM | John Shepherdson, 1926-2015
Sad news from Philip Welch at Bristol:  John Shepherdson has died. I deeply regret having to impart the very sad news that John Shepherdson died in Bristol on Thursday of an inoperable sarcoma. John was a founder of the BLC (together with Robin Gandy if I remember rightly). His own work was in many areas, starting with set theory, then recursion theory (inventing the register machine in a paper with Sturgis), models of arithmetic, incompleteness phenomena, and towards the end of his career […]
3:35 PM | Brilliance and Other Causes of Academic Gender Gaps
Every mathematician and philosopher should watch this video by Sarah-Jane Leslie (Philosophy, Princeton) on her study with Andrei Cimpian (Psych, Illinois). Takes just 11 minutes. Then you can go and read the original study in Science or any of the writeups in, e.g., the Science news blog, Chronicle, Daily Nous, etc.
1:43 PM | What meaning can and cannot be: Lessons from real life, Part 2
The problem of fictional discourse -- do statements involving fictional objects have truth-values or are they truth-valueless; if the former, how are these truth values determined? -- is one that goes back at least to Frege (his views on the compositionality of language and what the referent of a sentence is entail that sentences which have non-referring parts have no truth-value) and for which no adequate solution has yet been found, given, e.g., the publication of books such as Time Crane's […]
12:06 PM | Bountiful Potpourri + a Special Note
Another very mathy week gone by... some things that caught my attention, AND a special note below: 1)  This was different... from Futility Closet a post about math, poetry, the Fibonacci sequence, and Zeckendorf’s theorem:http://www.futilitycloset.com/2015/01/11/math-and-poetry/2)  Jason Rosenhouse offers up an "especially clever and elegant proof" of the Pythagorean Theorem":http://tinyurl.com/
5:22 AM | Call for Papers: LORI-V (Deadline May 18)
Call for PapersThe Fifth International Conference on Logic, Rationality and Interaction (LORI-V)October 28-31, 2015Taipei, TaiwanThe International Conference on Logic, Rationality and Interaction (LORI) conference series aims at bringing together researchers working on a wide variety of logic-related fields that concern the understanding of rationality and interaction (http://golori.org). The series aims at fostering a view of Logic as an interdisciplinary endeavor, and supports the creation of […]

January 14, 2015

5:48 PM | Animated Logical Graphs : 2
Re: Peirce List Discussion • Jim Willgoose It’s almost 50 years now since I first encountered the volumes of Peirce’s Collected Papers in the math library at Michigan State, and shortly afterwards a friend called my attention to the entry … Continue reading →

January 13, 2015

7:40 PM | Letters From a Mathematician
Several years ago I skimmed through Ian Stewart's little book, "Letters To A Young Mathematician," and it didn't register much with me, not really being a fan of "Letters to..." sorts of books. But I just re-read it, with the benefit of a few more years immersion in mathematical debates, and especially Keith Devlin's notion of "mathematical thinking," and suddenly enjoyed it immensely! Indeed,
5:16 AM | “Only those samples which fit the model best in cross validation were included” (whistleblower) “I suspect that we likely disagree with what constitutes validation” (Potti and Nevins)
So it turns out there was an internal whistleblower in the Potti scandal at Duke after all (despite denials by the Duke researchers involved ). It was a medical student Brad Perez. It’s in the Jan. 9, 2015 Cancer Letter. Ever since my first post on Potti last May (part 1), I’ve received various e-mails and phone calls from people wishing to confide their inside […]
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