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Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - Hunting Man

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I am prepared to read your emails on how I don't know how to pronounce 'pho.'

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Last full day to get in a proposal for BAHFest West!

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plewis
19 hours ago
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rosskarchner
16 hours ago
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I would watch Friend or Pho
DC-ish

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - AAAAH

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Of course, in real life that guy would be clawing his eyes out.

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plewis
4 days ago
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drchuck
5 days ago
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http://uncyclopedia.wikia.com/wiki/AAAAAAAAA!
Long Island, NY

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - Nanobots

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BUT WHERE ELSE AM I SUPPOSED TO PUT MY TI-83?!

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plewis
20 days ago
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I was wrong. You were wrong too. Admit it.

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I thought that anti-vaxxers are a US-phenomenon, certainly not to be found among the dutiful Germans. Well, I was wrong. The WHO estimates only 93% of children in Germany receive both measles shots. I thought that genes determine sex. I was wrong. For certain species of fish and reptiles that’s not the case. I thought that ultrasound may be a promising way to wirelessly transfer energy. That
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plewis
20 days ago
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The Pandora Principle in statistics — and its malign converse, the ostrich

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The Pandora Principle is that once you’ve considered a possible interaction or bias or confounder, you can’t un-think it. The malign converse is when people realize this and then design their studies to avoid putting themselves in a position where they have to consider some potentially important factor. For example, suppose you’re considering some policy intervention that can be done in several different ways, or conducted in several different contexts. The recommended approach is, if possible, to try out different realistic versions of the treatments in various realistic scenarios; you can then estimate an average treatment effect and also do your best to estimate variation in the effect (recognizing the difficulties inherent in that famous 1/16 efficiency ratio). An alternative, which one might call the reverse-Pandora approach, is to do a large study with just a single precise version of the treatment. This can give a cleaner estimate of the effect in that particular scenario, but to extend it to the real world will require some modeling or assumption about how the effect might vary. Going full ostrich here, one could simply carry over the estimated treatment effect from the simple experiment and not consider any variation at all. The idea would be that if you’d considered two or more flavors of treatment, you’re really have to consider the possibility of variation in effect, and propagate that into your decision making. But if you only consider one possibility, you could ostrich it and keep Pandora at bay. The ostrich approach might get you a publication and even some policy inference but it’s bad science and, I think, bad policy.

That said, there’s no easy answer, as there will always be additional possible confounding factors that you will not have be able to explore. That is, among all the scary contents of Pandora’s box, one thing that flies out is another box, and really you should open that one too . . . that’s the Cantor principle, which we encounter in so many places in statistics.

tl;dr: You can’t put Pandora back in the box. But really she shouldn’t’ve been trapped in there in the first place.

The post The Pandora Principle in statistics — and its malign converse, the ostrich appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.

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plewis
20 days ago
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The Westlake Review

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I came across this site one day:

The Westlake Review is a blog dedicated to doing a detailed review and analysis of every novel Donald Westlake published under his own name, as well as under a variety of pseudonyms. These reviews will reveal major plot elements, though they will not be full synopses. People who have not read a book being reviewed here should bear that in mind before proceeding. Some articles will be more general in their focus, analyzing aspects of Westlake’s writing, and in some cases of authors he was influenced by, or has influenced in turn. There will also be reviews of film adaptations of his work.

It’s been going since 2014! Westlake wrote a lot of books, so I guess they can keep going for awhile.

My favorite Westlake is Killing Time, but I also like Memory. And then there’s The Axe. And Slayground’s pretty good too. And Ordo, even if it’s kind of a very long extended joke on the idea of murder.

Overall, I do think there’s a black hole at the center of Westlake’s writing: as I wrote a few years ago, he has great plots and settings and charming characters, but nothing I’ve ever read of his has the emotional punch of, say, Scott Smith’s A Simple Plan (to choose a book whose plot would fit well into the Westlake canon).

But, hey, nobody can do everything. And I’m glad the Westlake Review is still going strong.

The post The Westlake Review appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.

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plewis
20 days ago
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