Assorted links

by on December 13, 2011 at 12:40 pm in Uncategorized | Permalink

1 Andrew' December 13, 2011 at 1:07 pm

3. It’s funny how we soberly discuss subtle details at the margin, everyone getting their feelings hurt, and then some big guy busts into the room like some Philip Seymour Hoffman character and screams “Everyone get your hands on some cash!!!”

2 Dan Weber December 13, 2011 at 1:07 pm

That XKCD strip is almost exactly the plot of Orson Scott Card’s The Worthing Saga. People can “sleep” for decades and so society proceeds glacially.

3 Andrew' December 13, 2011 at 1:13 pm

Adam Carolla says we are living through the worst period in history. We can’t even sleep through it.

4 Jacob December 13, 2011 at 3:27 pm

The amount of bad statistics going around thanks to this Higgs boson story is mind-boggling. The linked blog post is no exception. What percentage of events with P=0.03 are due to chance? Hint: it’s not 0.3%. The real answer depends on how good you have been at generating correct hypotheses, and on how much data you started off with.

5 Curt F. December 13, 2011 at 8:09 pm

Is the right answer 3 %?

6 Jacob December 14, 2011 at 11:09 am

…oops, but also no 🙂

7 JWatts December 15, 2011 at 12:13 am

That’s precisely what I’ve thought when I’ve seen these articles. The obvious possibility of an even slightly faulty assumption overwhelms the calculated error margins in these cases. What the articles should stress is that this is good evidence of a Boson [i]if[/i] the underlying assumptions are correct. Instead, they ignore the biggest source of fault, poor assumptions, and expound on whether the math indicates a 0.1% or a 0.001% chance of error.

8 Akshay December 13, 2011 at 5:10 pm

For good updates and insight into Higgs boson, Sean Carroll from Caltech has a blog —

9 TravisA December 13, 2011 at 8:59 pm

Karl Whelan again puts the kabosh on the Target2 fear-mongering.

Thank god for the Internet, so that we don’t have to get our information from reporters.

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