Blog Contents: May 2014

metablog old fashion typewriter


May 2014

(5/1) Putting the brakes on the breakthrough: An informal look at the argument for the Likelihood Principle

(5/3) You can only become coherent by ‘converting’ non-Bayesianly

(5/6) Winner of April Palindrome contest: Lori Wike

(5/7) A. Spanos: Talking back to the critics using error statistics (Phil6334)

(5/10) Who ya gonna call for statistical Fraudbusting? R.A. Fisher, P-values, and error statistics (again)

(5/15) Scientism and Statisticism: a conference* (i) Continue reading

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Self-referential blogpost (conditionally accepted*)

This is a blogpost on a talk (by Jeremy Fox) on blogging that will be live tweeted here at Virginia Tech on Monday April 7, and the moment I post this blog on “Blogging as a Mode of Scientific Communication” it will be tweeted. Live.

Jeremy’s upcoming talk on blogging will be live-tweeted by @FisheriesBlog, 1 pm EDT Apr. 7

Posted on April 3, 2014 by Jeremy Fox

If you like to follow live tweets of talks, you’re in luck: my upcoming Virginia Tech talk on blogging will be live tweeted by Brandon Peoples, a grad student there who co-authors The Fisheries Blog. Follow @FisheriesBlog at 1 pm US Eastern Daylight Time on Monday, April 7 for the live tweets.

Jeremy Fox’s excellent blog, “Dynamic Ecology,” often discusses matters statistical from a perspective in sync with error statistics.

I’ve never been invited to talk about blogging or even to blog about blogging, maybe this is a new trend. I look forward to meeting him (live!).


* Posts that don’t directly pertain to philosophy of science/statistics are placed under “rejected posts” but since this is a metablogpost on a talk on a blog pertaining to statistics it has been “conditionally accepted”, unconditionally, i.e., without conditions.

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January Blog Table of Contents


January, and the blogging was easy

BLOG Contents: January 2014
Compiled by Jean Miller and Nicole Jinn

(1/2) Winner of the December 2013 Palindrome Book Contest (Rejected Post)
(1/3) Error Statistics Philosophy: 2013
(1/4) Your 2014 wishing well. …
(1/7) “Philosophy of Statistical Inference and Modeling” New Course: Spring 2014: Mayo and Spanos: (Virginia Tech)
(1/11) Two Severities? (PhilSci and PhilStat)
(1/14) Statistical Science meets Philosophy of Science: blog beginnings
(1/16) Objective/subjective, dirty hands and all that: Gelman/Wasserman blogolog (ii)
(1/18) Sir Harold Jeffreys’ (tail area) one-liner: Sat night comedy [draft ii]
(1/22) Phil6334: “Philosophy of Statistical Inference and Modeling” New Course: Spring 2014: Mayo and Spanos (Virginia Tech) UPDATE: JAN 21
(1/24) Phil 6334: Slides from Day #1: Four Waves in Philosophy of Statistics
(1/25) U-Phil (Phil 6334) How should “prior information” enter in statistical inference?
(1/27) Winner of the January 2014 palindrome contest (rejected post)
(1/29) BOSTON COLLOQUIUM FOR PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE: Revisiting the Foundations of Statistics
(1/31) Phil 6334: Day #2 Slides

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Blog Contents: September 2013


a tough month in exile

(9/2) Is Bayesian Inference a Religion?

(9/3) Gelman’s response to my comment on Jaynes

(9/5) Stephen Senn: Open Season (guest post)

(9/7) First blog: “Did you hear the one about the frequentist…”? and “Frequentists in Exile”

(9/10) Peircean Induction and the Error-Correcting Thesis (Part I)

(9/10) (Part 2) Peircean Induction and the Error-Correcting Thesis

(9/12) (Part 3) Peircean Induction and the Error-Correcting Thesis

(9/14) “When Bayesian Inference Shatters” Owhadi, Scovel, and Sullivan (guest post)

(9/18) PhilStock: Bad news is good news on Wall St.

(9/18) How to hire a fraudster chauffeur

(9/22) Statistical Theater of the Absurd: “Stat on a Hot Tin Roof”

(9/23) Barnard’s Birthday: background, likelihood principle, intentions

(9/24) Gelman est efffectivement une erreur statistician

(9/26) Blog Contents: August 2013

(9/29) Highly probable vs highly probed: Bayesian/ error statistical differences

Compiled by Nicole Jinn

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Blog Contents: mid-year

Error Statistics Philosophy BLOG: Table of Contents 2013 (January-June)*

img_02443January 2013

(1/2) Severity as a ‘Metastatistical’ Assessment
(1/4) Severity Calculator
(1/6) Guest post: Bad Pharma? (S. Senn)
(1/9) RCTs, skeptics, and evidence-based policy
(1/10) James M. Buchanan
(1/11) Aris Spanos: James M. Buchanan: a scholar, teacher and friend
(1/12) Error Statistics Blog: Table of Contents
(1/15) Ontology & Methodology: Second call for Abstracts, Papers
(1/18) New Kvetch/PhilStock
(1/19) Saturday Night Brainstorming and Task Forces: (2013) TFSI on NHST
(1/22) New PhilStock
(1/23) P-values as posterior odds?
(1/26) Coming up: December U-Phil Contributions….
(1/27) U-Phil: S. Fletcher & N. Jinn
(1/30) U-Phil: J. A. Miller: Blogging the SLP Continue reading

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Blog Contents 2013 (March)

metablog old fashion typewriterError Statistics Philosophy Blog: March 2013* (Frequentists in Exile-the blog)**:

(3/1) capitalizing on chance
(3/4) Big Data or Pig Data?
(3/7) Stephen Senn: Casting Stones
(3/10) Blog Contents 2013 (Jan & Feb)
(3/11) S. Stanley Young: Scientific Integrity and Transparency
(3/13) Risk-Based Security: Knives and Axes
(3/15) Normal Deviate: Double Misunderstandings About p-values
(3/17) Update on Higgs data analysis: statistical flukes (1)
(3/21) Telling the public why the Higgs particle matters
(3/23) Is NASA suspending public education and outreach?
(3/27) Higgs analysis and statistical flukes (part 2)
(3/31) possible progress on the comedy hour circuit?

*March was incredibly busy here; I’m saving up several partially-baked posts on draft. Also, while I love this old typewriter, I’ve had to have special keys made for common statistical symbols, and that has delayed me some. I hope people will scan the previous contents starting from the beginning (e.g., with “prionvac“): it’s philosophy, remember, and philosophy has to be reread many times over.  January and February 2013 contents are here.

**compiled by Jean Miller and Nicole Jinn.

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Blog Contents 2013 (Jan & Feb)

Error Statistics Philosophy BLOG:Table of Contents 2013 (Jan & Feb)metablog old fashion typewriter
Organized by  Nicole Jinn & Jean Miller 

January 2013

(1/2) Severity as a ‘Metastatistical’ Assessment
(1/4) Severity Calculator
(1/6) Guest post: Bad Pharma? (S. Senn)
(1/9) RCTs, skeptics, and evidence-based policy
(1/10) James M. Buchanan
(1/11) Aris Spanos: James M. Buchanan: a scholar, teacher and friend
(1/12) Error Statistics Blog: Table of Contents
(1/15) Ontology & Methodology: Second call for Abstracts, Papers Continue reading

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Error Statistics Blog: Table of Contents

Organized by Jean Miller, Nicole Jinn

September 2011

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3 msc kvetches on the blog bagel circuit

Mayo elbow

In the past week, I’ve kvetched over at 3 of the blogs on my blog bagel:

  • I.  On an error in Mark Chang’s treatment of my Birnbaum disproof on  Xi’an’s Og.
  • II. On Normal Deviant’s post offering “New Names For Statistical Methods”
  • III. On a statistics chapter in Nate Silver’s book, discussed over at Gelman’s blog.

You may find some of them, with links, on Rejected Posts.

Categories: Metablog, Rejected Posts, Statistics | 2 Comments

continuing the comments….

I’m sure I’m not alone in finding it tedious and confusing to search down through 40+ comments to follow the thread of a discussion, as in the last post (“Bad news bears“), especially while traveling as I am (to the 2012 meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association in San Diego–more on that later in the week). So I’m taking a portion of the last round between a reader and I, and placing it here, opening up a new space for comments. (For the full statements, please see the comments).

(Mayo to Corey*) Cyanabear: … Here’s a query for you: 
Suppose you have your dreamt of probabilistic plausibility measure, and think H is a plausible hypothesis and yet a given analysis has done a terrible job in probing H. Maybe they ignore contrary info, use imprecise tools or what have you. How do you use your probabilistic measure to convey you think H is plausible but this evidence is poor grounds for H? Sorry to be dashing…use any example.

*He also goes by Cyan.

(Corey to Mayo): .….Ideally, if I “think H is plausible but this evidence is poor grounds for H,” it’s because I have information warranting that belief. The word “convey” is a bit tricky here. If I’m to communicate the brute fact that I think H is plausible, I’d just state my prior probability for H; likewise, to communicate that I think that the evidence is poor grounds for claiming H, I’d say that the likelihood ratio is 1. But if I’m to *convince* someone of my plausibility assessments, I have to communicate the information that warrants them. (Under certain restrictive assumptions that never hold in practice, other Bayesian agents can treat my posterior distribution as direct evidence. This is Aumann’s agreement theorem.)

New: Mayo to Corey: I’m happy to put aside the agent talk as well as the business of trying to convince.  I take it that reporting “the likelihood ratio is 1” conveys roughly that the data  have supplied no information as regards H, and one of my big points on this blog is that this does not capture being “a bad test” or “poor evidence”.  Recall some of the problems that arose in our recent discussions of ESP experiments (e.g., multiple end points, trying and trying again, ignoring or explaining away disagreements with H, confusing statistical and substantive significance, etc.)

Categories: Metablog, poor tests | Tags: | 21 Comments

Bad news bears: ‘Bayesian bear’ rejoinder- reblog

To my dismay, I’ve been sent, once again, that silly, snarky, adolescent, clip of those naughty “what the p-value” bears (see Aug 5 post),, who cannot seem to get a proper understanding of significance tests into their little bear brains. So apparently some people haven’t  seen my rejoinder which, as I said then, practically wrote itself. So since it’s Saturday night here at the Elbar Room, let’s listen in to a reblog of my rejoinder (replacing p-value bears with hypothetical Bayesian bears)–but you can’t get it without first watching the Aug 5 post, since I’m mimicking them.  [My idea for the rejoinder was never polished up for actually making a clip.  In fact the original post had 16 comments where several reader improvements were suggested. Maybe someone will want to follow through*.] I just noticed a funny cartoon on Bayesian intervals on Normal Deviate’s post from Nov. 9.

This continues yesterday’s post: I checked out the the” xtranormal” website. Turns out there are other figures aside from the bears that one may hire out, but they pronounce “Bayesian” as an unrecognizable, foreign-sounding word with around five syllables. Anyway, before taking the plunge, here is my first attempt, just off the top of my head. Please send corrections and additions.

Bear #1: Do you have the results of the study?

Bear #2:Yes. The good news is there is a .996 probability of a positive difference in the main comparison.

Bear #1: Great. So I can be well assured that there is just a .004 probability that such positive results would occur if they were merely due to chance.

Bear #2: Not really, that would be an incorrect interpretation. Continue reading

Categories: Comedy, Metablog, significance tests, Statistics | Tags: , , | 42 Comments

Metablog: Rejected posts (blog within a blog)

I’ve been speculating for awhile on the idea of creating a blog within a blog, and now it exists. From now on items under “rejected posts” (on any topic including phil stat), “msc kvetches”, “phil stock” and assorted other irrelevant, irreverent, absurd, or dangerous meanderings that I feel like writing, will all be banished to:

I am not recommending it, and in all likelihood will only announce additions to it under the “rejected posts” page on this blog, if that.  I’m guessing that readers haven’t even noticed that all the entries under the pages Msc Kvetchs, Rejected posts, and others, have been stripped from this blog. Most, but not all, made it over the very low hurdle of the official “rejected posts” blog (others were rejected, by me, from even that).
Of course, it’s just like a regular wordpress blog with its usual features.
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Metablog: One-Year Anniversary

Some of you may remember when I first began experimenting with a “frequentists in exile” blog on Google “blogspot” a year ago. That was a pretty rag-tag blog, but knowing there was just a teeny-tiny handful of readers also made it more informal and slightly less self-conscious. I even posted a picture of the wheelchair I needed to use for a short time when, a couple of weeks in, I injured my knee at an airport rescuing my computer bag from potential theft.  Amazingly enough, some of the posts with the highest hits of the year are the ones where I shared misadventures with the TSA (and the European equivalent) while traveling with the knee brace over a few months.*  For the past several months, anything but fairly direct discussions of matters philo-statistical are banished into semi-hidden pages, which now make up a blog within a blog of “rejected posts” (soon to be public). But surely the current, more professional blog represents progress, and reviewing the blog over this past week—wow, I see where my time went!  Anyway, I will revisit some posts from time to time, especially where they link to ongoing and new issues that have cropped up in my work, and/or where they deal with unresolved issues. Continue reading

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Metablog: Up and Coming

Dear Reader: Over the next week, in addition to a regularly scheduled post by Professor Stephen Senn, we will be taking up two papers[i] from the contributions to the special topic: “Statistical Science and Philosophy of Science: Where Do (Should) They Meet in 2011 and Beyond?” in Rationality, Markets and Morals: Studies at the Intersection of Philosophy and Economics.

I will attempt a (daring) deconstruction of Professor Wasserman’s paper[ii] and at that time will invite your “U-Phils” for posting around a week after (<1000 words).  I will be posting comments by Clark Glymour on Sir David Hendry’s paper later in the week. So you may want to study those papers in advance.

The first “deconstruction” (“Irony and Bad Faith, Deconstructing Bayesians 1”) may be found here /; for a selection of both U-Phils and Deconstructions, see

D. Mayo

P.S. Those who had laughed at me for using this old trusty typewriter were asking to borrow it last week when we lost power for 6 days and their computers were down.

[i] *L. Wasserman, “Low Assumptions, High Dimensions”. RMM Vol. 2, 2011, 201–209;

D. Hendry, “Empirical Economic Model Discovery and Theory Evaluation”. RMM Vol. 2, 2011, 115–145.

[ii] Assuming I don’t chicken out.

Categories: Metablog, Philosophy of Statistics, U-Phil | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Promissory Note

Dear Reader:
After a month of traveling, I’m soon to return to home port; then it’s just a ferry back to Elba. I promise to post (hopefully by Monday) some philosophical reflections on the past few days at the Ockham’s Razor conference, here at CMU (see post from June 12, 2012), and catch up on your comments/e-mails. I am to present Sunday (tomorrow) at 9 a.m.

Categories: Metablog | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Metablog: May 31, 2012

Dear Reader: I will be traveling a lot in the next few weeks, and may not get to post much; we’ll see. If I do not reply to comments, I’m not ignoring them—they’re a lot more fun than some of the things I must do now to complete my book, but need to resist, especially while traveling and giving seminars.* The  rule we’ve followed is for comments to shut after 10 days, but we wanted to allow them still to appear. The blogpeople on Elba forward comments for 10 days, so beyond that it’s just haphazard if I notice them. It’s impossible otherwise to keep this blog up at all, and I would like to. Feel free to call any to my attention (use “can we talk” page or If there’s a burning issue,  interested readers might wish to poke around (or scour) the multiple layers of goodies on the left hand side of this web page, wherein all manner of foundational/statistical controversies are considered from many years of working in this area. In a recent attempt by Aris Spanos and I to address the age-old criticisms from the perspective of the “error statistical philosophy,” we delineate  13 criticisms.  I list them below. Continue reading

Categories: Metablog, Philosophy of Statistics, Statistics | Tags: , , | 10 Comments

MetaBlog: March 2, 2012

old blogspot typewriterDear Reader: I’ll be traveling, mostly to London, for a couple of weeks, but plan to keep up the blog as usual (semi-irratically regular*); I will mostly keep msc meanderings under the wraps of “pages” (I don’t know if anyone ever reads them, I’m still trying to figure them out actually.)

I will be giving a Popper Lecture at the LSE on Tuesday March 6**.  It’s on the philosophy of experiment, no direct discussion of PhilStat; however, I’ve reserved a space Wednesday March 7, mid-day, for anyone who wants to meet to talk about recent PhilStat ponderings, the business on the strong LP, and related issues. If you’re in the neighborhood, write and I’ll give particulars,

Continue reading

Categories: Metablog | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

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