25 MAY 2015 by ideonexus

 Oliver Scott Curry: Associationism

In communication theory, information is the reduction of prior uncertainty. Organisms are 'uncertain' because they are composed of conditional adaptations that adopt different states under different conditions. These mechanisms can be described in terms of the decision rules that they embody—'if A, then B', or 'If you detect light, then move towards it'. Uncertainty about which state to adopt (to B or not to B), is resolved by attending to the specified conditions (A). The reduction of unce...
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20 FEB 2014 by ideonexus

 Defining "Uncertainty"

‘Uncertainty’ is a complex and multifaceted property, sometimes originating in a lack of information, and at other times from quite fundamental disagreements about what is known or even knowable (Moss and Schneider, 2000). Furthermore, scientists often disagree about the best or most appropriate way to characterize these uncertainties: some can be quantified easily while others cannot. Moreover, appropriate characterization is dependent on the intended use of the information and the parti...
Folksonomies: uncertainty definitions
Folksonomies: uncertainty definitions
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From the IPCC report. Interesting for including different definitions of terms in its description.

13 APR 2013 by ideonexus

 The Problem with Occam's Razor

In climate forecasting, the situation is more equivocal: the theory about the greenhouse effect is strong, which supports more complicated models. However, temperature data is very noisy, which argues against them. Which consideration wins out? We can address this question empirically, by evaluating the success and failure of different predictive approaches in climate science. What matters most, as always, is how well the predictions do in the real world. I would urge caution against reducin...
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Not all models can be simple.

07 MAY 2012 by ideonexus

 Scientists Must Always Stand at the Drawing Board

Do I believe in UFOs or extraterrestrial visitors? Where shall I begin? There's a fascinating frailty of the human mind that psychologists know all about, called "argument from ignorance." This is how it goes. Remember what the "U" stands for in "UFO"? You see lights flashing in the sky. You've never seen anything like this before and don't understand what it is. You say, "It's a UFO!" The "U" stands for "unidentified." But then you say, "I don't know what it is; it must be aliens from ou...
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Ready to revise hyptheses and embrace uncertainty.