Category Archives: Questions Rarely Asked

“Same stats, different graphs”

Do you know what “stimulated annealing” is? If not, then check out this cool project by Justin Matejka and George Fitzmaurice. The full title of their excellent work is “Same Stats, Different Graphs: Generating Datasets with Varied Appearance and Identical … Continue reading

Posted in Mathematics, Questions Rarely Asked | Leave a comment

Little Data

You  may already be familiar with the term Big Data, datasets that are so gigantic that special computational methods are required to analyze them. But how about some “little data” for your pleasure? The frequency analysis pictured above, for example, … Continue reading

Posted in Bayesian Reasoning, Culture, Mathematics, Probability, Questions Rarely Asked | 1 Comment

Follow the money

Posted in Bayesian Reasoning, Economics, Law, Politics, Questions Rarely Asked | Leave a comment

The Empirical Economics Debate

In the 1930s and 1940s, academic economists were engaged in the so-called “socialist calculation debate,” a theoretical quarrel that was not fully resolved until the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. (Until then, some economists seriously believed that a … Continue reading

Posted in Academia, Economics, History, Questions Rarely Asked | 3 Comments

Which occupations are “robot-proof”?

Take the quiz here. (Hat tip: the amazing Tyler Cowen.)

Posted in Bayesian Reasoning, Questions Rarely Asked, Web/Tech | Leave a comment

How do you eat your chocolate bunny?

Ears first? The tail? Or feet first? According to this scientific report titled “Seasonality of auricular amputations in rabbits,” which was published in the latest issue of the journal Laryngoscope, most people prefer to start with the ears: “New research carried out online … Continue reading

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Do we really need a supreme court? (In praise of judicial federalism: our final reply to Solum, for now.)

We will conclude our critique of public meaning originalism by posing the following judicial thought-experiment: What if we were to let the Supreme Court whither away? That is, what if the Senate simply stopped confirming any more new nominees to … Continue reading

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Type I or Type II error?

Was this situation a false positive or a false negative?

Posted in Bayesian Reasoning, Questions Rarely Asked | 2 Comments

Infinite 3D printer regress

Posted in Questions Rarely Asked, Science Fiction | Leave a comment

What was your first computer?

Anil Dash put this nostalgic question up on Twitter, a question that has been posed many times before. (See here and here, by way of example.) Ours was a Macintosh SE, like the one pictured below, which our parents purchased for us as a graduation gift during … Continue reading

Posted in History, Questions Rarely Asked, Web/Tech | 6 Comments