Monthly Archives: December 2012

Rejected Post: 3 Msc. Kvetches on the Blog Bagel Circuit

mayo-at-deskIn the past week, I’ve kvetched over at 3 of the blogs on my blog bagel (instead of using the time to work). Here are the main ones, you can follow up on their blogs if you wish:

I.  I made a brief comment on a blatant error in Mark Chang’s treatment of my Birnbaum disproof on  Xi’an’s Og. Chang is responding to Christian Robert’s critical review of his book, Paradoxes in Scientific Inference (2013)

Mayo Says: December 27, 2012 at 9:08 am (actually posted Dec.26,~1:30 a.m.)

I have only gotten to look at Mark Chang’s book a few days ago. I have many concerns regarding his treatment of points from Mayo and Spanos (2010), in particular the chapters by Cox and Mayo (2010) and Mayo (2010). Notably, having set out, nearly verbatim (but without quotes), my first variation of Birnbaum’s argument (Mayo 2010, 309), Chang takes, as evidence that “Mayo’s disproof is faulty”, assertions that I make only concerning the second variation of the Birnbaum argument (310-11).  Chang has written (Chang, 138) the first version in detail, but obviously doesn’t understand it. The problem with the first version is that the two premises cannot both be true at the same time (the crucial term shifts its meaning in the two premises). The second formulation, by contrast, allows both premises to be true. I label the two premises of the second variation as (1) and (2)’.  The problem in the second formulation is: “The antecedent of premise (1) is the denial of the antecedent of premise (2)’.”(Mayo 2010, 311). (Note the prime on (2)’. )These are both conditional claims, hence they have antecedents. Chang gives this quote, but has missed its reference. I might mention that I don’t see the relevance of Chang’s point about sufficiency to either variations of Birnbaum’s proof (bottom para, Chang 138).

A less informal and clearer treatment of my Birnbaum argument may be found in a recent paper: On the Birnbaum Argument for the Strong Likelihood Principle. Continue reading

Categories: danger, Misc Kvetching, phil stat | 2 Comments

Msc kvetch: unfair but lawful discrimination (vs the irresistibly attractive)

Photo on 12-22-12 at 12.31 PMIs it really “a victory for family values” when it is ruled that a male boss may fire a female employee solely because it is claimed she posed an “irresistible attraction” to him (and thus a threat to his marriage)?  Maybe it would be better to do something to enable this man to acquire the free will to “resist” starting an affair with a female employee of 10 years who had no interest in an affair with him. I guess she could have put a bag over herself… What do you think?

Iowa court rules boss can fire employee he considers an ‘irresistible attraction’

Published December 22, 2012

Associated Press

A dentist acted legally when he fired an assistant that he found attractive simply because he and his wife viewed the woman as a threat to their marriage, the all-male Iowa Supreme Court ruled Friday.

The court ruled 7-0 that bosses can fire employees they see as an “irresistible attraction,” even if the employees have not engaged in flirtatious behavior or otherwise done anything wrong. Such firings may be unfair, but they are not unlawful discrimination under the Iowa Civil Rights Act because they are motivated by feelings and emotions, not gender, Justice Edward Mansfield wrote. Continue reading

Categories: Misc Kvetching, rejected posts | 8 Comments

Clinical Trial Statistics Doomed by Mayan Apocalypse?

I don’t know what kind of adjustment of p-values might be required in a case like this, but here’s an excerpt from “LiveScience”:17923-7DayForecast

Mayan Apocalypse Dooms Medical Research: By Stephanie Pappas, LiveScience Senior Writer

….As part of the Canadian Medical Association Journal’s lighthearted Christmas issue, oncologist Paul Wheatley-Price and his colleagues wrote about a “study” considering the effect of a world-ending doomsday on medical clinical trials, which are research studies with strict guidelines meant to test the safety and effectiveness of a treatment or device on humans.

The conclusion? Mayan Doomsday “is bad,” say the authors. The obliteration of the human race is going to make it very tough to see a difference in survival in people recieving experimental treatments versus those who aren’t. [2012 Mayan Apocalypse (Not): Full News & Coverage]

“If the world’s going to come to an end, you won’t have time to see the difference, ’cause it will all just fall apart,” Wheatley-Price told LiveScience. Continue reading

Categories: rejected posts | Leave a comment

November palindrome winner! Kepler

IMAG0008WINNER OF THE NOVEMBER PALINDROME CONTEST:

PROFESSOR THOMAS B. KEPLER*

Are pot-lucks ample? Hon’s a bled-raw otiose doctor to trot code-soi toward Elba’s no-help-mask cult opera.

The minimum requirement was to  include Elba plus any two of: code, luck, predict.

*Department of Microbiology, Boston University School of Medicine

KEPLERIAN STATEMENT: “I’m thrilled to capitalize at last on my orthographic obsession. Today, palindromes, tomorrow, wise commentary on the philosophy of statistical inference. Thank you, Deborah.” Continue reading

Categories: palindrome | 3 Comments

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