Barkley_Rosser

Should We Ban Physics?

"Yes," if Schrodinger's Cat is found to be dead; "no" if it is found to be alive.

Probability is Subjectively Objective

Gotta have that continuous support too, which is the real key to converging on a cycle rather than a point.

In the fuzzier world of not a definite for-real underlying distribution, I note that multiple equilibria or basins in dynamical systems can give the multi-modality that within a herding framework can lead to some sort of cycle in bouncing back and forth between the dominant states.

Probability is Subjectively Objective

Diaconis and Freedman.

Probability is Subjectively Objective

Cyan,

Why should there be convergence to some such point when there is no underlying "true" distribution, either subjective or objective? Are you counting on herding by people? It is useful to keep in mind the conditions under which even in classical stats, Bayes' Theorem does not hold, for example when the underlying distribution is not continuous or if it is infinite dimensional. In the former case convergence can be to a cycle of bouncing back and forth between the various disconnected portions of the distribution. This can happen, presumably in a looser purely subjective world, with even a multi-modal distribution.

Probability is Subjectively Objective

Cyan,

OK, I grant your point. However, assuming that there is some "subjectively real" probability distribution that the Bayes' Theorem process will converge is a mighty strong assumption.

Einstein's Superpowers

As someone whose parents knew Einstein as well as some other major "geniuses," such as Godel and von Neumann, I have long heard about the personal flaws of these people and their human foibles. Einstein was notoriously wrong about a number of things, most famously, quantum mechanics, although there is still research being done based on questions that he raised about it. It is also a fact that a number of other people had many of the insights into both special and general relativity, with him engaging in a virtual race with Hilbert for general relativity that he barely won. Quite a few had the basic ideas for special relativity, including Poincare, but just never quite put it all together.

What is actually more amazing about Einstein's genuine achievements, is that not only was he a patent clerk in 1905, his "miracle year," when he was unable to get an academic position, but for some period of time before that he could not even get any sort of job at all. Continuing to work creatively and innovatively in such an environment did take a special degree of ingenuity, insight, and sheer self-confidence, not to mention good luck. Of course, it can be argued, as some have, that it was precisely this outsider position that allowed him to make his conceptual breakthroughs, that he was at his best when he was a patent clerk in Berne, and that once he found general relativity and achieved fame and prominent professorships, his productivity and innovativess fell way off, although perhaps it was the overly comfortable existence he was provided with by his second wife, who also was more willing to overlook some of his peccadilloes, such as his constant pursuit of other women, although apparently she could not abide a certain Austrian princess who used to leave her underwear behind on the family boat.

Classic Sichuan in Millbrae, Thu Feb 21, 7pm

Eliezer,

Absolutely. Check out his ethnic dining guide of Washington (available on his website). His recommendations for Sichuan in Northern Virginia are indeed top notch, although I have heard it from some of his colleagues, who will remain nameless, that some of them are getting tired of getting dragged to some of these joints over and over with guest speakers... :-).

You might find my spoof of his guide amusing: "The Latest Washingtoon Ethnic Dining Guide," up on my website at http://cob.jmu.edu/rosserjb.

Classic Sichuan in Millbrae, Thu Feb 21, 7pm

Eliezer,

Are you angling to become the new Tyler Cowen?

But I am deeply dishonored, having turned out to be the dead Schrodinger's Cat.