Tag Archives: Science

Foxes versus hedgehogs

Have you heard the ancient proverb: The hedgehog knows one big thing; the fox, many little things …? Nate Silver sure has. Mr Silver is relaunching his FiveThirtyEight blog this Monday, 17 March 2014, with this old proverb in mind. For … Continue reading

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“You and Your Research”

That is the title of this thought-provoking talk given by Richard Hamming at Bell Labs on 7 March 1986. Among my favorite sentences from Dr. Hamming’s great talk is this one: “If you don’t work on an important problem, it’s unlikely you’ll … Continue reading

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Poetic Turing Test

Last week, we brought to your attention arXiv vs. snarXiv, a kind of Turing Test for people into theoretical physics.  This week, again via Tyler Cowen (Master of the Internet), we discovered a fun website that specializes in computer-generated poetry.  The website, botpoet.com, presents … Continue reading

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Ocean Currents Map

Credit: NASA Visualization Explorer

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What common law rule or general legal principle would you retire?

Res ipsa loquitur? The rule against perpetuities? Sovereign immunity? Also, what criteria or decision rule would you use in determining which legal rule or principle is ready for retirement? FYI, these questions are inspired by this year’s Annual Question at … Continue reading

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Earth Wind Map

prior probability enjoys collecting maps of various kinds, especially during our foreign travels. Our quirky and eclectic collection includes maps of the Amazon, the Moscow Metro, and the Berlin Wall, among many others. But we recently discovered (through digg.com) the most beautiful … Continue reading

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Is economics a science?

Economists Noah Smith (“A few words about math”) and Bryan Caplan (“Economath fails the cost benefit test”) have recently presented powerful and persuasive critiques of the over-use of mathematics in economics, but prior probability thinks they both miss the larger question, … Continue reading

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What would Wittgenstein say?

Philosopher Colin McGinn may not be the most popular professor in the academy these days,  but his recent thoughts on “The Science of Philosophy” (which might just qualify as one of the shortest academic papers ever) have left me pondering … Continue reading

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