Daily Archives: February 12, 2019

Major Union Boss UNLOADS on AOC’s New Green Deal: “Will Destroy Workers’ Livelihoods”


By Paul Homewood

AOC’s Green New Deal has not gone down well with her party’s union backers:



As in the UK, there is an increasing disconnect between left wing parties and their traditional working class supporters.

AOC, Corbyn and co seem to care more about their metropolitan ideas than the interests of their voters they are supposed to represent.

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Good set of book review links

Notes On Liberty

  1. Intellectuals and a century of political hero worship William Anthony Hay, Modern Age
  2. John Stuart Mill: a not so secular saint James Smith, Los Angeles Review of Books
  3. Irving Babbitt’s history of ideas Simon Brown, JHIBlog
  4. Classical knowledge, lost & found: a history in seven cities David Abulafia, Literary Review

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The Half-life of Facts

Unknown Blogger Mathematica

The Half-Life of Facts

I enjoyed this book and I believe it provides an important insight. It fits well with Thinking, fast and slow (Kahneman) The  author starts with a deliberately fuzzy/loose pragmatic definition of  “fact” and proceeds to explore the quantitative aspects of evolution (or temporal characteristics) of knowledge and information. He uses mathematical and statistical tools to explore patterns, suggesting common or universal mechanisms. In addition, the pitfalls and biases of  dissemination of knowledge, the persistence of misinformation and the inertia for “changing our minds, when the facts change” are also explored.

I learned a lot from this book. However, I found the repetition of the statement  underlying regularity not an argument.  I felt that the underlying potential mechanisms that lead to these regularities were tantalizingly suggested but not explored. The patterns, which I agree we do not usually consider for information/knowledge, are important but I would have liked more…

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The Garden of Forking Paths

Stephen Stigler on the seven pillars of statistical wisdom

Unknown Blogger Mathematica

The post title relates to a phrase (from Andrew Gelman) quoted  in “The Seven Pillars of Statistical Wisdom” by  Stephen Stigler. It refers to the frequently hidden, frequently unrecognized (or recognized) decisions in the path from hypothesis to conclusion.

I enjoyed and learned a lot from this book.  It provides a historical framework under-pinning the authors construction of a framework to understand statistical science. This naturally includes misconceptions, personalities and unintended sources of progress or innovation.

The seven pillars are:

  • aggregation
  • information
  • likelihood
  • intercomparison
  • regression
  • design
  • residual

Professor Stigler also hints at an emerging eighth pillar.

I particularly enjoyed this excerpt (quote from Alfred Marshall 1885):

the most reckless and treacherous of all theorists is he who professes to let facts and figures speak for themselves, who keeps in the background the part he has played, perhaps unconsciously, in selecting and grouping them and in suggesting the argument post hoc…

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Students Love the Green New Deal… Until Hearing What’s In It