Four short links: 12 September 2019
Bayesian Philosophy, Combining Features, Quantum INTERCAL, and Universal Decay of Memory
- The Philosophy and Practice of Bayesian Statistics — A substantial school in the philosophy of science identifies Bayesian inference with inductive inference and even rationality as such, and seems to be strengthened by the rise and practical success of Bayesian statistics. We argue that the most successful forms of Bayesian statistics do not actually support that particular philosophy but rather accord much better with sophisticated forms of hypothetico-deductivism […] Clarity about these matters should benefit not just philosophy of science, but also statistical practice. At best, the inductivist view has encouraged researchers to fit and compare models without checking them; at worst, theorists have actively discouraged practitioners from performing model checking because it does not fit into their framework.
- Erlang, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let Things Fail (John Daily) — talk from 2014 that highlights how it’s not just one killer feature that makes Erlang work so well for its problem domain, but rather it’s how features work so well together. A thought for language and product designers everywhere.
- Quantum INTERCAL — INTERCAL is a parody programming language (The full name of the compiler is “Compiler Language With No Pronounceable Acronym,” which is, for obvious reasons, abbreviated “INTERCAL.”), and this page proposes quantum computing extensions for it. I love this kind of whimsy, and hope our industry doesn’t lose it.
- The Universal Decay of Memory and Attention (Nature) — Our results reveal that biographies remain in our communicative memory the longest (20–30 years) and music the shortest (about 5.6 years). These findings show that the average attention received by cultural products decays following a universal biexponential function. Mysteriously fails to cover the incredible vanishing act of new people’s names in my brain. (And previously-known people’s names)