Thursday, January 5, 2012

Articles Elsewhere

For anyone still following this blog with baited breath, I have a couple recent posts at Hemorrhaging Sanity:

Thursday, October 27, 2011


Thinking about the last post on my dad's now defunct blog led to an interesting realization. I put it here:

Saturday, October 22, 2011


My friend Tony had the idea of combining forces into one super-duper blogging team. That should at least double the chances of me writing something, right? And triple our non-readers at the same time! So it sounded good to me. Well, anyway, I've written my first post for his blog: (permalink: Bayes: not just a good idea...). Add it to your google reader or your bookmarks. I probably won't announce it here every time I write something over there.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Death, be not proud

The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. ... then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? -St. Paul
One short sleepe past, wee wake eternally,
And death shall be no more; death, thou shalt die. -John Donne
On this point, christian theology is absolutely correct. Death is the last enemy. I'm so pedantic that I'll divide this into two things I agree with:

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Evolution: a response

Today we take a break from our regularly scheduled posts. I'll be responding to:

The medium of text doesn't do a good job of transmitting inflections. I do believe what I believe passionately when I have good reasons for believing it. Please don't mistake my passion for intentional offensiveness or disrespect. This post is somewhat long. I'm sorry.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Explaining vs. Explaining Away, redux

Mental entities are just like other entities; they are made of smaller components.

But, says one, my perception of myself is that I'm a single entity, not made of fragments.

Well, of course. It couldn't be any other way. When you look at a brick, do you see the molecules that compose it, or the brick as a whole? There's two reasons that you don't see the molecules. The first is that molecules are too small, your vision can't see them at all without outside assistance. The second is that even if you could physically see them, your vision abstracts away all the detail and just leaves you with the impression of a "brick" unless you're explicitly looking for the details.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

What is rationality, and why should you care

Pretend for a moment you are a 40 year old women who just had a routine mammogram. Your doctor tells you that only 1% of women your age have breast cancer, that 80% of women with breast cancer will get positive mammographies, and that 9.6% of women without breast cancer will also get positive mammographies. Suppose your mammogram was positive. What is the probability that you actually have breast cancer?
Think about it for a moment, and take a guess. Or try to work it out.