Archive for the ‘statistics’ Category
[ by Charles Cameron — a man vs machine contest, with the betting shops favoring.. ]
The semi-finals have been conducted, contested and concluded, with judges Elon Musk:
— Motherboard (@motherboard) March 30, 2015
and The Republicans:
Republicans see Obama as more imminent threat than Putin: Reuters/Ipsos poll – Reuters http://t.co/QLUajZ4SCP
— Blogs of War (@BlogsofWar) March 30, 2015
The final round is upon us.
In a definitive Man vs Machine match to be adjudicated by The Turn of Events, we shall see whether artifical intelligence, slouching towards Bethlehem, is more dangerous than the sitting President, suffering under — or perhaps liberated by — the two-term limit on his office..
Who or what will win the Most Dangerous of All belt, and end-of-the world cash prize that goes with it?
According to noted statistician Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight..
[ by Charles Cameron — where paradox begets form in phrasing, redux ]
Here for your entertainment and entrainment are some further instances where the tweet doubles back on itself, bites its tail, or otherwise embodies some form of “form” that’s noteworthy in its own right, and possibly indicative of the heart of a problem — think of these tweets as eddies in the flow of things, knots in the wood…
Two arms crossed as in that MC Escher hand-draws-hand piece:
Microeconomics successfully describes situations that never occur. Macroeconomics unsuccessfully describes situations that occur constantly.
— Zach Weinersmith (@ZachWeiner) September 1, 2013
And a net version of the same, aka “tit for tat”:
— Zach Novetsky (@ZNovetsky) September 6, 2013
Speaking of economics, here’s a bit of spiral logic — the economics of spiralling out of control?
Bokassa logic: "those caught misappropriating public funds were promoted on the grounds that higher salaries would help them pay it back."
— Louisa Lombard (@louisalombard) September 10, 2013
And here’s an example of “endless” recursion, as featured in two tweets about “end” times from Barth’s Notes:
— Richard Bartholomew (@Barthsnotes) September 6, 2013
and its 2013 equivalent:
— Richard Bartholomew (@Barthsnotes) September 5, 2013
Okay, here are some simple sample opposites. First, the weather forecast for Syria:
How intensely dark to see Syrian state media tweeting about their sunny weather forecast.
— Hannah Armstrong (@HannahHaniya) September 14, 2013
— spelled our explicitly by Andrew Stroehlein, who tweeted “Sunny with a chance of cluster bombs…” in response.
Pete King 8/27: Obama shd consult Congress! Pete King 8/31: "Obama abdicating responsibility as commander-in-chief." http://t.co/x6Mrx89vhl
— Molly Ball (@mollyesque) September 3, 2013
That one seems fairly fair, but click on the links yourself to see the nuances in King‘s actual statements.
Now for some regular serpents’ tails, from the reasonably light-hearted to the heavier end of the scales:
Taking pics of yourself you share with no one. #selfie-hatred
— Elizabeth Pearson (@lizzypearson) September 9, 2013
You should always dance when you're sober enough not to miss a step and not sober enough to caer anout a ttypo.
— Nandini Krishnan (@k_nandini) September 2, 2013
Where's the motivational coach for the motivational coach?
— Patrick C Marks (@PatrickCMarks) September 5, 2013
@tweetsintheME But it's kind of on the brink of being on the brink, right? I can only understand foreign countries relative to brinkiness.
— J.M. Berger (@intelwire) September 4, 2013
Read this today: Self-inflicted complexity. Narrow focus fails to grasp detail complexity & inter-domain complexity http://t.co/K1usG50xSx
— Peter J. Munson (@peterjmunson) September 9, 2013
New study: 85% of all polling statistics are bullshit.
— Josh Rogin (@joshrogin) September 4, 2013
To all the women who are actually in labor on Labor Day, I promise this is going to seem funnier in retrospect.
— S C (@danteandfriends) September 2, 2013
This vision is self-realized, seeing itself. It is not a looking upon the realization, the seeing, but that very seeing awareness. MOK 188
— Ogmin (@Ogmin) September 10, 2013
— Reg Saddler (@zaibatsu) August 24, 2013
Okay, here are two from Mikko Hypponen, the first of which is frankly outdated, but still fun:
Skynet begins to learn at a geometric rate. It becomes self-aware at 2:14AM eastern time, August 29th. In a panic, they try to pull the plug
— Mikko Hypponen ‹??› (@mikko) September 14, 2013
— Angela Watercutter caught the tide at just the right moment with her Wired piece, Skynet Becomes Self-Aware: How to Welcome Our AI Overlords:
The time has come. According to the Terminator clock, at 8:11 p.m. Tuesday, Skynet will become self-aware. And humanity will be screwed. Going by canon set out in the Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles TV series, Judgment Day should hit Thursday.
Never mind Mikko, this one’s funny too — if and only if one’s also familiar with Wikipedia, which seems plausible in all cases for those who follow twitter — it wins double-honors in fact, hitting it out of the self-reference ball-park and into parallelism as satire:
This Tweet has multiple issues. This Tweet needs additional citations for verification. This Tweet may need to be rewritten entirely.
— Mikko Hypponen ‹??› (@mikko) September 13, 2013
Namarupa, or “name and form”, has to do with parallelisms between a name and its referent — or what zen might call the “finger pointing” and the moon — always fun:
Wow. The spokesperson for nightmare meatpacker Hormel is named Julie Craven. I guess Jane Evil couldn't be lured away from BP.
— JeffSharlet (@JeffSharlet) September 9, 2013
The next one depends on your knowing that the Greek mythological creature known as a Naiad refers to “any of the nymphs in classical mythology living in and giving life to lakes, rivers, springs, and fountains”:
— Diana Nyad (@diananyad) September 2, 2013
— aptly named indeed.
We’re almost done — here’s one with a built in time-factor:
Data Protection: This Tweet Will Self-Destruct In… | iRevolution http://t.co/02IJQeT8VJ
— Adam Elkus (@Aelkus) September 6, 2013
It it still there? Aha!
Finally, this isn’t a serpent eating its tail by itself:
— Adil Najam (@AdilNajam) September 5, 2013
— but it becomes one, I’d suggest, when Husain Haqqani, Pakistan’s Ambassador to the US from 2008 to 2011, retweets it!
Until next time…
[ by Charles Cameron — the four goats go with the woman, the cow called Bessie belongs with Hiyakawa’s Ladder of Abstraction ]
My friend the anthropologist Peter van der Werff recently wrote this paragraph about a woman he met in India:
The very poor woman explained me she and her four goats needed the shadow of a tree to escape from the blistering afternoon sun in their semi-arid part of India. There was a tree at the edge of the village, but the owner did not allow her to come near that tree. Therefore, she and her goats suffered from the heat, at the cost of her health and the productivity of the goats.
I was reminded of SI Hayakawa‘s Ladder of Abstraction.
Caution: you really do need, as it says, to “read” this image from the bottom up…
See Bessie, the Cow, in SI and AR Hayakawa, Language in Thought and Action, pp. 83-85, 5th ed..
Why did I think of Hayakawa’s ladder?
Here are two other things m’friend Peter had to say about the woman and her goats, the merciless sun, and that tree with its abundance of merciful shade:
As long as economists don’t include oppression and exploitation in their models, they cannot understand poverty.
Such cruel relationships occur in many of the 750,000 villages of India. Without including those oppressive and exploitative realities, real poverty is not captured. We may invite economists to fit this reality in the computer.
We humans can do it. But how do we configure models that can hold those levels of granularity and abstraction — of individual human concern and global decision-making necessity — close enough together to give our grand plans humane flexibility?
I suspect writers such as Lawrence Wright know more about this than the number crunchers — and that the well-selected anecdote must become as significant as the well-chosen statistic …
[ by Charles Cameron — nota bene: numbers are my piano, words are my forte ]
The New Scientist in its feature Charting Syria’s civil war http://syria.newscientistapps.com/index.html claims that it “crunched the numbers on violent events in Syria” and then says “the resulting view suggests that the violence has subsided in recent months”.
Jay Ulfelder in Challenges in Measuring Violent Conflict, Syria Edition at Dart Throwing Chimp suggests “That inference is almost certainly wrong” — and proceeds to say why. Here’s the broad strokes short form:
As Deborah Gerner and Phil Schrodt describe in a paper from the late 1990s, press coverage of a sustained and intense conflicts is often high when hostilities first break out but then declines steadily thereafter. That decline can happen because editors and readers get bored, burned out, or distracted. It can also happen because the conflict gets so intense that it becomes, in a sense, too dangerous to cover.
I’m interested in close reading versus sloppy writing, and from my POV the likelihood of that sort of almost axiomatic decline not being factored into New Scientist‘s conclusions slides in when they write that they “crunched the numbers on violent events in Syria”.
If instead they’d written that they’d “crunched the numbers on reports of violent events in Syria” — wouldn’t it have been a little harder to then write, “the resulting view suggests that the violence has subsided in recent months”?
Wouldn’t it have made more sense to write, “the resulting view suggests that the reports of violence have subsided in recent months”?
I’m sorry, but from where I sit it’s not the numbers, it’s the sloppy language that seems problematic.