03 MAR 2014 by ideonexus

 Correlation != Causation; However, It is Often All We Have

> correlation doesn't mean causation. As a statistician, I guess I should be happy that more people are aware of this. But I also think too many people are taking "correlation != causation" superficially. I mean, almost all of science is based on significant correlational findings, especially when the traditional way to prove causation (i.e. via randomized trial) is unethical (i.e. we can't randomly assign people to be insured vs. uninsured). Along these lines, I often find people who sa...
  1  notes

Examples of when correlation should be taken seriously.

29 NOV 2013 by ideonexus

 The Actuarial Math of Altruism

I have talked in elemental terms of suicidal genes for saving the lives of particular numbers of kin of exactly known relatedness. Obviously, in real life, animals cannot be expected to count exactly how many relatives they are saving, nor to perform Hamilton's calculations in their heads even if they had some way of knowing exactly who their brothers and cousins were. In real life, certain suicide and absolute 'saving' of life must be replaced by statistical risks of death, one's own and oth...
Folksonomies: evolution altruism hamilton
Folksonomies: evolution altruism hamilton
  1  notes

It's not just intra-species, but the closer the relative the more altruism. Also the potential to reproduce affects the relationship as well.

08 AUG 2013 by ideonexus

 What's Good for a Business Can be Bad for Society

Every bit in a computer is a wannabe Maxwell’s Demon, separating the state of “one” from the state of “zero” for a while, at a cost. A computer on a network can also act like a wannabe demon if it tries to sort data from networked people into one or the other side of some imaginary door, while pretending there is no cost or risk involved. For instance, a Siren Server might allow only those who would be cheap to insure through a doorway (to become insured) in order to make a supernat...
  1  notes

Businesses that refuse to insure high-risk individuals leave the burden of those individuals on the whole community.

01 JAN 2012 by ideonexus

 Stanley Kubrick Sought Insurance Against the Discovery of...

During the filming of 2001, Kubrick, who obviously has a grasp for detail, became concerned that extraterrestrial intelligence might be discovered before the $10.5 million film was released, rendering the plot line obsolete, if not erroneous. Lloyd's of London was approached to underwrite an insurance policy protecting against losses should extraterrestrial intelligence be discovered. Lloyd's of London, which insures against the most implausible contingencies, declined to write such a policy....
  1  notes

Because it would ruin the premise of his film 2001.