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December 18, 2005



Wired editor Chris Anderson offers a spirited defense of internet "systems" like Wikipedia, Google, and the blogosphere. Criticism of these systems, he argues, stems largely from our incapacity to comprehend their "alien logic." Built on the mathematic...




I don't buy the "not wired" argument, that seems more a matter of how we're trained to think. Many people are quite good at figuring out things intuitively, and I'd be inclined to guess that what we call intuition is an innate capacity for sorting out imprecise probabilities without consciously working out special algorithms.https://damen.big-teens.com/



Joseph Dunphy

So dismayed was I, as somebody who actually has studied Probability at the PhD level, to learn that the logic of Probability and Statistics was inaccessible to the Mammalian brain! It was all that I could do to not look up a certain Biostatistician with whom I have had many interesting discussions and other meaningful moments and ask her for clarity. "Honey, are we mammals?" But it was all too easy to picture her opening her blouse and asking "what do you think, Joe", and there was no way I'd be able to focus on work after that, so I had to learn to live with my self-doubt, if only for the moment.

But pray, do tell which branch of the animal kingdom claims those of us who have pursued studies in and contributed to the building of this field, which mere Mammalian brains can't take in. On witnessing the pallor of a measure theorist of my acquaintence, I imagined that we might be fish, raising disturbing questions about those midautumn clambakes some of us spoke of, for that is surely no way to treat one's kin. But then I remembered how much I enjoyed my strolls up out of the Sonoran Desert, and thought "I must surely not be a fish, or even an amphibian. Perhaps a reptile?"

But as I remembered climbing higher and higher, I started remembering how pleasant the crisp air atop the Santa Catalinas felt, and I was sure that no lizard could possibly find such pleasure at the sight of snow, no matter how hot he had been hours before. No, I thought, I must surely be a bird. But then I got one look over the side of the cliff I had just gotten done hiking along, and about four bowel loosening minutes later, I was fairly sure that I couldn't fly. Though I was sure that some of my ex-students, in their scientific zeal, would have urged me to test that hypothesis by experiment, I decided to accept my flightless status, and as I am decidely too short to be an emu or an ostrich, and decidedly too tall to be a penguin, the whole avian lineage was lost to me and mine.

So as you can see, our entire department, graduate students and faculty alike, is now left in crisis, with no biological sense of itself, all hoping that you might help us find resolution. I can only pray that you can find time in your busy schedule in which to do so.

Your humble servant,

Joseph Dunphy



jeu en ligne

I find it amusing that you are endorsing so strongly an article that says that creationists are people whose brain aren't able to grasp the truth about evolution.

This must be an example of the liberal media bias I've been hearing about.

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The Long Tail by Chris Anderson

Notes and sources for the book

FREE was available in all digital forms--ebook, web book, and audiobook--for free shortly after the hardcover was published on July 7th. The ebook and web book were free for a limited time and limited to certain geographic regions as determined by each national publisher; the unabridged MP3 audiobook (get zip file here) will remain free forever, available in all regions.

Order the hardcover now!