3 in blog years: Sept 3 is 3rd anniversary of errorstatistics.com

Where did you hear this?  “Join me, if you will, for a little deep-water drilling, as I cast about on my isle of Elba.” Remember this and this? And this philosophical treatise on “moving blog day”? Oy, did I really write all this stuff?


cake baked by blog staff for 3 year anniversary of errorstatistics.com

I still see this as my rag-tag amateur blog. I never learned html and don’t have time to now. But the blog enterprise was more jocund and easy-going then–just an experiment, really, and a place to discuss our RMM papers. (And, of course, a home for error statistical philosophers-in-exile).

A blog table of contents for all three years will appear tomorrow.

Anyway, 2 representatives from Elba flew into NYC and  baked this cake in my never-used Chef’s oven (based on the cover/table of contents of EGEK 1996). We’ll be celebrating at A Different Place tonight[i]–so if you’re in the neighborhood, stop by after 8pm for an Elba Grease (on me).

Do you want a free signed copy of EGEK? Say why in 25 words or less (to error@vt.edu), and the Fund for E.R.R.O.R.* will send them to the top 3 submissions (by 9/10/14).**

Acknowledgments: I want to thank the many commentators for their frequent insights and for keeping things interesting and lively. Among the regulars, and semi-regulars (but with impact) off the top of my head, and in no order: Senn, Yanofsky, Byrd, Gelman, Schachtman, Kepler, McKinney, S. Young, Matloff, O’Rourke, Gandenberger, Wasserman, E. Berk, Spanos, Glymour, Rohde, Greenland, Omaclaren,someone named Mark, assorted guests, original guests, and anons, and mysterious visitors, related twitterers (who would rather tweet from afar). I’m sure I’ve left some people out. Thanks to students and participants in the spring 2014 seminar with Aris Spanos (slides and lecture notes are still up).

I’m especially grateful to my regular guest bloggers: Stephen Senn and Aris Spanos, and to those who were subjected to deconstructions and to U-Phils in years past. (I may return to that some time.) Other guest posters for 2014 will be acknowledged in the year round up.

I thank blog compilers, Jean Miler and Nicole Jinn, and give special thanks for the tireless efforts of Jean Miller who has slogged through html, or whatever it is, when necessary, has scanned and put up dozens of articles to make them easy for readers to access, taken slow ferries back and forth to the island of Elba, and fixed gazillions of glitches on a daily basis. Last, but not least, to the palindromists who have been winning lots of books recently (1 day left for August submissions).

*Experimental Reasoning, Reliability, Objectivity and Rationality.

** Accompany submissions with an e-mail address and regular address. All submissions remain private. Elba judges decisions are final. Void in any places where prohibited by laws, be they laws of likelihood or Napoleanic laws-in-exile. But seriously, we’re giving away 3 books.

[i]email for directions.

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12 thoughts on “3 in blog years: Sept 3 is 3rd anniversary of errorstatistics.com

  1. E.Berk

    Congratulations on three years of unusually thought provoking blogging!

  2. omaclaren

    Congrats! I’ve learned, or at least been exposed to, a lot via your blog. Haven’t commented that much but have been a frequent(ist?) reader.

    • Omaclaren: True, and it’s hard to properly acknowledge the steady readers who are all important. I’ve added you, thanks for reminding me.

  3. Reblogged this on prior probability and commented:
    prior probability is sending a belated “Happy Blog Birthday” to Deborah G. Mayo’s excellent blog Error Statistics Philosophy. Although we reside in opposing philosophical camps–Dr Mayo takes a frequentist approach to science, while we aspire to be good Bayesians–we admire Dr Mayo’s work and follow her blog very closely. Her “rag-tag amateur blog” (see below) always has something important AND non-trivial to say. What more could you ask of an academic colleague?

    • Well said!

    • Enrique: I thank you for your Happy blog Birthday greetings and appreciative comment–all too rare. I just wanted to say, for clarification, that I do not take “a frequentist approach to science” whatever that means. My philosophy of science does involve learning from error and my philosophy of evidence and inference are based on severe testing. (If I had to name a “great philosopher” whose views are closest to mine, it would be C.S Peirce). This account of evidence and inference revolves around the control and assessment of the capabilities of methods to detect and avoid errors–where errors are understood as general mistakes in interpreting data, not just of the statistical variety. In the (relatively small) subset of contexts in which formal statistical methods serve to characterize canonical types of mistaken interpretations, “frequentist” error statistical methods enter insofar as they enable controlling and assessing the capabilities of methods to identify and avoid serious mistakes of data interpretation. This is the basis for a reinterpretation and new foundation for sampling (and resampling) statistics. Bayesian and other methods can also be scrutinized (and maybe utilized) toward achieving the goal of learning from error, and in so doing, may also obtain a philosophical foundation that it now lacks.
      Even in contexts that do not involve formal statistical models and methods, the statistical strategies for generating, modeling, and learning from data arise as powerful analogues for avoiding what I call blatant deceptions and building strong arguments from coincidence. Well, there’s much more in my general philosophy of science papers. (If you don’t have my EGEK (1996), the free signed copy offer is still on (25 words or less).)

      • Thanks for the clarification … I see need to dust off my old copy of “Error and the Growth of Experimental Knowledge”!

  4. Steven McKinney

    Thank you Mayo for persevering with your blog, by now at three years old a treasure trove of thoughtful and valuable statistical materials that will continue to yield insight for many more years. I appreciate your reference to C. S. Peirce – Googling the man I came across the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy entry for Charles Sanders Peirce which references your paper “Peircean Induction and the Error-Correcting Thesis”, which will be my reading for the weekend as I continue to develop my understanding of severe testing concepts and methodologies.

    I look forward to many more years of interesting and engaging discussion of statistical philosophy by the many considered visitors and commentors to your site. Now off for some Friday evening Elbar Grease!

    • Thank you Steven for showing such heartfelt appreciation—I’m very grateful really. Once I finish my book, I hope to transform this enterprise into something else, maybe an intellectual “cruise ship” for exiled, error probing, scholars and severity-seeking graduate students, starting with a big conference, and semi-annual workshops (I’ve run quite a few already). I’m interested to hear my paper on Peirce’s “self-correcting thesis” was cited in the Stanford Ency for Phil (should check who wrote it). I don’t consider myself a Peirce scholar, so I felt pretty brazen defending Peirce on a topic that so many have taken Peirce to task on over the years. Here we get nothing less than the solution to the age-old problem of induction.
      Only around a year ago, to my surprise, I was reading some small footnotes in Popper’s LSD (Logic of Sci Discovery) and lo and behold, I found him describing Peirce as one of the greatest philosophical thinkers ever! If only Popper had learned a bit more from Peirce, or not been so constrained by the reigning logical empiricism. (Peirce was a true exile, scarcely ever holding a real academic position.)
      Sante! I hope you have some properly prepared Elba Grease up there in Canada.

  5. Christian Hennig

    Congratulations from me as well! I have pointed a number of statisticians to various postings on this blogs over the years and they all felt that what is discussed here is extremely relevant to modern statistics. Given to what extent statisticians know (or don’t know) about contemporary philosophy and what their (often ill-informed) impression of its relevance is, this is an achievement that can hardly be underrated.
    Many happy returns!

    • Christian: Thanks so much! Of course, being able to rely on your statistically and philosophically informed comments and contributed posts has helped the blog immensely. I hope that many more philosophers will reenter an arena that cries out for philosophical ministrations. Most important, the result of such interdisciplinary efforts would greatly enrich current philosophical work on theories of knowledge, evidence, reliabilism, probabilistic inference, modeling, as well as evidence-based policy.

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