WM Briggs, the Statistician to the Stars!

Dear reader, a full-on spacesuit equipped with oxygen tanks, or with filters down below the viron level, will protect you from inhaling a respiratory virus. As long as you have it on. And don't have to change the filter.

And you don't eat. Or drink. Or use the facilities.

So it can be said "masks work" in blocking the spread of bugs.

But the flimsy plastic cheesy gappy snot-filled breath-soaked "surgical masks" the panicked hand-wringing shaking fear-filled hersterics made it a CRIME NOT to wear?

Those are crap. So that below when I say "masks", these and their cloth cousins are the kind I mean, always acknowledging that spacesuit-like masks will work, but only for the time they are worn.

This was always obvious. Obvious, that is, if you weren't judging the evidence from the "I'MGOINGTODIE!I'MGOINGTODIE!I'MGOINGTODIE!" mindset. Which, to be fair, was the only mindset to have if you watched any TV in 2020, or listened to almost any American ruler.

Comment and more at https://www.wmbriggs.com/post/45114/

Our title comes from a famous book by Lester Dubbins and Leonard Savage, which appeared at the beginning of the Bayesian Theoretical Resurgence (late 1970s), a movement which has by now infiltrated nearly all of academia. The next logical step (a pun!) on this road to a complete understanding of uncertainty is full-on logical probability. Academia is now far too distracted to venture down that road, so this trip will be some time coming.

Games of chance are always logical. Prove this by picking up any undergraduate text in statistics and find the chapter on probability. You will see examples like this: "A die has probability 1/6 of showing a 6; therefore, the probability of two die (or one die thrown twice) showing two 6s is 1/6 x 1/6 = 1/36."

Valid answer, but an invalid, or at least incomplete, argument.

Comment at more at : https://www.wmbriggs.com/post/44928/

Michael Anton in The Asylum has a semi-imaginary dialogue between himself (he calls himself Tom) and a woke man named Malcolm. Subject: separation of Red and Blue. Trigger warning: there are a lot! of exclamation points!

Anton argues the case for a dissolution of Empire as best as he can, but is never convincing. We on the Reality side of the debate will agree with Anton on all symptoms of our declining culture, and even on the desirability that we go our own way, and let the Woke fend for themselves.

But they will never let us go.

Comment and more at : https://www.wmbriggs.com/post/44888/

Who needs "random" numbers"? Well, it depends on what "random" means. "Random" means unknown, unpredictable, lack of knowledge of cause.

So where might we need numbers which are unknown, unpredictable, and where the lack of knowledge of their cause is important?

I can think of only three: casinos, cryptography, and conjuring.

But NOT simulation.

Comment and more at https://www.wmbriggs.com/post/44867

Modern medical science has settled on this idea: if a man who pretends to be a woman is denied use of the lady's shower or restroom, he will feel bad about himself, and perhaps kill himself. Thus we ought to let him in the showers with the women, and make the ladies inside go along with his delusion.

Naturally, this idea is also so if we swap male and female in the description, but it is tiresome to write that way, so we'll use only the male delusion as an exemplar.

It is a separate question how mandating delusion-agreement came to be the preferred treatment for delusion---it is like mandating liposuction for anorexics, or mandating free flights to Epstein Island for pedophiles. Here we are interested in the idea that proposing non-agreement will cause suicides in the delusional.

Enter the peer-reviewed paper "Anti-transgender rights legislation and internet searches pertaining to depression and suicide" by George Cunningham and others in PLOS One.

Comment and more at https://www.wmbriggs.com/post/44445/

Anon asks:

"How is Antony Flew's problem of identifying miracles resolved? Namely the problem of determining that an act or event is (caused strictly or exclusively from) above and beyond nature (is divine) in the sense that no future or complete human knowledge or understanding of nature (or order of nature) can disprove it being so?

"I would much appreciate your input on this."

An event occurs. It is witnessed to occur, and there is no ambiguity in the observation. All agree the event has happened.

What caused the event? Could it have been God?

In one sense, yes, it must have been...

Comment and more at https://www.wmbriggs.com/post/44314/

Three papers on the All Holy Vex---praise it!

Before we get to it, do you know of any college, university or other indoctrination center that still <em>mandates</em> the coronadoom vex for students, the group of adults least likely to suffer from the doom itself?

Comment and more at https://www.wmbriggs.com/post/44330/

The American Medical Association (AMA) naturally weighed in on the end of Roe v Wade. They said the AMA itself was "deeply disturbed" by the court's decision.

They used these odd terms: "patients’ right to critical reproductive health care", "evidence-based reproductive health services", and "States that end legal abortion will not end abortion—they will end safe abortion".

Killing the lives inside would-be mothers is not "health care", and anyway is by definition not reproductive health care, and there is no "evidence" on earth that says so. Whatever the killing is, whether or not you agree with it, it is the opposite of reproductive. That is a medical, and not a legal or moral, judgement. Meaning we are dealing with a medical organization that does not understand medicine.

Comment and more at https://www.wmbriggs.com/post/40307/

The reason I like to say there is too much Science because Science is now too easy to do, is because---and here I note I say this with great resignation---is because it is true.

Any grant-holding tenure-posturing peer-reviewing midwit professor with a computer can pump out papers faster than even the hardest hardcore bureaucrat can issue regulations. This is not a good thing.

I don't know how many tens of thousands---or was it <em>hundreds</em> of thousands?---of coronadoom papers there were during the course of the panic, most of which could not possibly have been of any value. But now that the panic has cooled, and reached its farcical phase, a stage where you'd expect the flow to abate, it has only risen.

Here are two bad post-panic papers. The first we learned of from friend of the blog Kip Hansen. The second made the publicity rounds last week.

The Science One: Exposure To Conservatism causes coronadoom death!

The Science Two: Vaccine Hesitancy Causes Car Crashes!

Comment and more at : https://www.wmbriggs.com/post/44227/

"See that man? He has the most discriminating tastes."

"I'll call the DIE police and have him arrested!"

Equality is the mind killer: nothing is more corrosive than egalitarianism. The belief in Equality, as I often say, led to the first sin. The first human sin. And ye shall be as gods. Eve desired Equality.

And why should we not be the equal of God! Think of the mighty disparity between him and us. I ask you: is that fair? This unbalanced power dynamic can only be because of discrimination.

What used to be a lovely useful, positive word has been transmogrified and blackened by Equality into its opposite. It is now ugly, poisonous and entirely negative. It is used as a weapon, to remind the hearer that the blessed state of Equity has not yet been reached, and that you should feel guilty about it. Once your awareness has been raised about a disparity, you are morally obligated to act to remove it.

Don't think so? Then read this headline: "New Zealand [Supreme] court rules voting age of 18 is discriminatory."


Comment and more at https://www.wmbriggs.com/post/44218/

I used to believe in global warming, the story of which I put in How I Became A Renegade Scientist. I won't repeat any of that here. But I do want to emphasize certain other points of science from the old days that are going to arise.

Nobody can, or should, believe in "climate change". The reason is simple: "global warming" had a definite meaning; "climate change" doesn't mean anything. Rather, it means whatever each listener wants to mean each time they hear it. It functions like "racism" does outside science.

That global warming became "climate change" is one reason, but not the most important reason, that I lost, and why you should lose, confidence in global warming. Let's discuss that before the review.

Comment and more at : https://www.wmbriggs.com/post/43718/

Press 1 to continue reading this post in English. Presione 9 para continuar en español.

That little speech, which all of you have heard, is AI. Not a sophisticated or fascinating piece of AI, and easy to break, but it's AI nonetheless. It comprised of "If this, then that" statements, and so in our terminology is a model.

You're sick of hearing it, just as I'm not thrilled about repeating it, but here we go anyway: All models, and AI is a model, only say what they are told to say.

The model output "Press 1..." when an input is a certain way. If 1 was pressed, the AI went on to say other things it was told. If another number was pressed, again the AI did what it was told. And so on.

Improvements were made to the early telephone interfaces, and you can now speak, but it's the same thing. Just more layers of "If this, then that", with a touch more cleverness on both inputs and outputs.

The latest chatter concerns an evolving algorithm called ChatGPT, which, many say, does a decent job mimicking simple conversations, and even creating "stories." But it is no different in essence than the simplest AI we started with.

Comment and more at https://www.wmbriggs.com/post/44115/

Many doctors, perhaps tiring of the old ways of medicine with its frustrating disappointments and frequent heartbreaks, are moving into an exciting new and growing field. Killing their patients. On purpose. For a fee.

I'm not sure what the going rate per scalp is. Maybe a reader in the insurance industry can help us out.

Surely it has to be indexed by the pound and age, though. Just think. Kill a kid, who can't weigh more than thirty, forty pounds, and you can with one arm cart the corpse to the organ processing lab. Just think what you can sell a kid's kidney for.

But slay geezer with a BMI north of 40 and it's going to take at least three guys to get him on the gurney and wheel the meat to the morgue. You're not going to get any kind of premium on his liver, and it may cost more than you can recover to cut him up.

So you charge less to kill the kid, and charge more to slaughter the senile. Economics 101.

Comment and more at https://www.wmbriggs.com/post/44005/

A reader asks:

Let's say I want to investigate the usefulness of wearing masks. So, I will measure the relevant factors concerning the virus. Then, I will implement the intervention, in this case, the wearing of masks. After that, I will do a measurement again. Would such research not provide the usefulness of the masks (assuming that the research design is correct)?

The answer is the key to all research -- and yet another proof p-values, hypothesis tests, and Bayes factors should be abandoned.

Comment and more at https://www.wmbriggs.com/post/43994/

Our culture is saturated in scientism. Scientism comes in various forms. One is the belief that all knowledge is scientific — which is a proposition that is itself not scientific, and therefore self-refuting. Which is to say, it is false.

That embarrassing correction has been pointed out many times. There’s more to say about it, but we’ll leave it for another time.

The proposition still fails if we swap most for all. Putting knowledge—provable truths only and not likelihoods—on the scale, science on one side, and all other knowledge on the other, science loses the battle, too. Which I take to be obvious, given science deals more in probabilities than necessary truths.

our next example, the worst form of scientism.

A collection (a.k.a. a hubris) of researchers, ...

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Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to introduce to you proof that "climate change" has completed its transformation from Science into yet another foolish global panic grift, a grift embodied in this young lady, twenty year old Sophia Kianni.


This is the first tweet in a thread in which that young lady describes her duties.

One is to "Attend meetings with UN officers and country ambassadors to exchange ideas on how the United Nations can drive climate ambition and action to steer the planet to a path of sustainability by keeping global warming under 1.5C".

I want to be both hyper-precise and perfectly accurate here. Sophia, like Great Thunberg before her, is ignorant on these matters. She knows almost nothing about them. The bulk of what little she does know is hyperbolic propaganda.

There is nothing this woman has to offer on this subject. Not one thing. Can she suggest better cloud parameterizations in GCMs? Does she know the amounts governments should force companies to pay in "carbon" taxes?

Comment and more at : https://www.wmbriggs.com/post/43784/

We know all about models by now, do we not, dear readers? A model, also known as a theory, can be made about any contingent thing. Say, your 401-K, or the fate of a currency, or the weather, or of the growth of academics researching "climate change".

Because the model is of something contingent, also known as an observable, and because of things like limitations in data and, even more important, limitations in thought, there will always be, or should be always, uncertainty in the model's predictions.

This is in no way a limitation or a fault. It is the nature of models.

But what kind of mistake would you be making if you took the output of your model and input it into another stripped of all uncertainty?

And what kind of mistake would the owner of the second model be making if he supplied his output, also stripped of uncertainty, to the creator of a third model?

It's a trick question. The answer is:...

Comment and more at https://www.wmbriggs.com/post/43692/

Before we describe what models are in science, it's best to know, and to never forget, that all models only say what they are told to say.

Models are lists of statements of the form "If this, then that". No matter how large they grow, or how sophisticated, or how mathematical, or how computerized, or how much data that is put into them, or from what sources, their natures are not altered. They are always lists of "If this, then that."

This applies to all models. It does not matter what names those models are given: artificial intelligence, statistical, probability, physical, meteorological, air transport, crop production, chemical, sociological, psychological, genetic, quantum mechanical, machine learning, and on and on. All are the same in essence: all models in every field have the same nature. And all say just what they are told to say---and nothing more.

This is not a limitation or a flaw. It is the way things are.

Here is a simple, common, and most useful model, used by ...

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It's happening. The Dutch Regime will begin seizing private property because of the tyranny of models.

One story's summary:

"The Dutch government plans to buy and close down up to 3,000 farms near environmentally sensitive areas to comply with EU nature preservation rules.

“There is no better offer coming,” Christianne van der Wal, nitrogen minister, told MPs on Friday. She said compulsory purchases would be made with “pain in the heart”, if necessary.

Is there a better real-life example of the cry bully? Christianne cries out in pain as she strikes you.

There is no nitrogen crisis. It does not exist. The idea one exists come predominately in the form of models, which were generated by Experts. The models, following the usual process, become The Science. Which only "deniers" question.

Back in August I posted this: "The Model That Dutch Rulers Rely On To Claim There Is A Nitrogen 'Crisis' Has No Skill". Please read that. That post links to a paper Jaap Hanekamp and I did, which is "Criticizing AERIUS/OPS Model Performance."

Comment and all details an link at https://www.wmbriggs.com/post/43807/

Thing that always cracks me up about anti-free will arguments is the contradictions. Too many of those arguments take this shape: if only people knew they couldn't make choices, they'd make better choices.

I had no choice but to say that. And you have no choice but to laugh. And a few of you had no choice but to pass on that rollicking joke to somebody else (use the share buttons below).

That second paragraph is a joke, too, of course, but more on the amusing side than a do-you-get-it elbow poke guffaw. But it's also an argument.

We met it last time discussing Sabine Hossenfelder's failed attempt to disprove free will. What's even funnier---today is filled with good humor---is that when she was confronted with the I Have No Choice, she scoffed and dismissed it. She went on instead to other arguments she mistakenly thought proved her point.

My dears, it really is an unanswerable argument. If nobody has a choice, then nobody has a choice. Even those people who dispute that nobody has a choice.

That means those who punish wrongdoers have no choice but to punish wrongdoers, even if wrongdoers have no choice but to commit wrongs.

Comment and more at https://www.wmbriggs.com/post/43695/

Aella Girl tweeted this:

"Imagine a circle laid flat on a table, with a little spinner on it that you can flick. The circle is 80% red and 20% yellow, like a yellow pie slice.
You flick the spinner. It spins, and slowwwly stops.
Where did it land?"

About 80% voted red, the remaining voting yellow.

One commenter said, "The poll results pretty closely matches the 80/20 probability of each result. Super cool kinda a wisdom of crowds moment."

Is this close match the wisdom of the crowd, or something else?

Let's see.

Comment and more at https://www.wmbriggs.com/post/43708/

In what is now a tradition, we present for Thanksgiving the death prayer of Old Lodge Skins, which comes at the close of "Little Big M" by Thomas Berger (who himself died in 2014).

Then he commenced to pray to the Everywhere Spirit in the same stentorian voice, never sniveling but bold and free.

"Thank you for making me a Human Being! Thank you for helping me become a warrior! Thank you for all my victories and for all my defeats. Thank you for my vision, and for the blindness in which I saw further.

"I have killed many men and loved many women and eaten much meat. I have also been hungry, and I thank you for that and for the added sweetness that food has when you receive it after such a time.

"You make all things and direct them in their ways, O Grandfather, and now you have decided that the Human Beings will soon have to walk a new road. Thank you for letting us win once before that happened. Even if my people must eventually pass from the face of the earth, they will live on in whatever men are fierce and strong. So that when women see a man who is proud and brave and vengeful, even if he has a white face, they will cry: 'That is a Human Being!'..."

I stood there in awe and Old Lodge Skins started to sing, and...

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One thing we should know about models by now is that those that make good, skillful predictions should be trusted at least more than those that make predictions that never come true.


Here are two models making predictions about the same thing. Let's look at both and see which one should be accorded more trust.

Model A: Equality. All people are really equal in capability and potential, but differ in material and cultural circumstance. These differences lead to inequalities in outcome, particularly in the outcomes of Diversity, which is variously defined as all "minorities" to mostly "minorities" in some area, and Equity, in which all but rulers and elites are made equal in material circumstance.

Equality predicts that if inequalities in circumstance and culture are removed or eliminated early, Equity and Diversity will obtain, and social harmony will result.

Model B: Inequality. No two people are equal in capability and potentiality, and that even if material and cultural circumstances are made perfectly equal, inequity would still result because of innate differences which can be never be removed.

Inequality predicts that if people come to understand their own always-limited-by-circumstance-and-cultural strengths and weaknesses, we will come closer to, but never achieve, social harmony.

Comment and more at https://www.wmbriggs.com/post/43659/

There is a fascinating exchange on the principle of Experts Decide All Things vs. what we might call subsidiarity from the Manhattan Contrarian, Francis Menton.

Menton attended a conference at which they were “debating the merits of recent Supreme Court cases that have articulated something called the Major Questions Doctrine as a limit on administrative agency power to promulgate regulations of sweeping import without clear statutory basis.”

An academic lawyer named Sally Katzen defended the side of Experts and the EPA.

Recall first Experts at EPA decided your breath was a pollutant—yes, they did. Carbon dioxide, the very stuff of your breath, the very food of plants, is, Experts at EPA insist, a pollutant. And they were set to shut down all coal and gas because of this Expert ruling.

(Bitchute's keyword is very limited.)

Comment and more at https://www.wmbriggs.com/?p=43484

You remember the basics of chaos theory, I'm sure. Like how a drunken women getting a butterfly-flapping-its-wings tattoo in Ibiza sets off an unpredictable chain of connected causal events that eventually leads to Uncle Joe Biden giving another $50 billion or so to Ukraine---through certain intermediaries, of course.

The key with chaos is extreme sensitivity to initial conditions. Alter just one thing in the tiniest degree at the beginning---say the woman opts for Margaritas instead of Watermelon Stoli---and the money instead goes to a pharmaceutical instead.

The thing is this: if you were a Pfizer rep boozing it up with that broad, you wouldn't know which drinks to fetch. The string of events leading to the payoff is too huge and unknowable. Prediction is out of the question.

Unless you renamed that unpredictable causal chain "stochastic terrorism".

Comment and more at https://www.wmbriggs.com/post/43509/


Created 3 years, 6 months ago.

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Category Science & Technology

See https://wmbriggs.com for a complete description. I am a wholly independent vagabond writer, statistician, scientist and consultant. Previously a Professor at the Cornell Medical School, a Statistician at DoubleClick in its infancy, a Meteorologist with the National Weather Service, and a sort of Cryptologist with the US Air Force (the only title I ever cared for was Staff Sergeant Briggs).

My PhD is in Mathematical Statistics, though I am now a Data Philosopher (I made that up), Epistemologist, Probability Puzzler, Unmasker of Over-Certainty, and (self-awarded) Bioethicist. My MS is in Atmospheric Physics, and Bachelors is in Meteorology & Math.

Author of Uncertainty: The Soul of Modeling, Probability & Statistics, a book which calls for a complete and fundamental change in the philosophy and practice of probability & statistics; author of two other books and dozens of works in fields of statistics, medicine, philosophy, meteorology and climatology, solar physics, and energy use appearing in both professional and popular outlets.