July 4th, 2012

beartato phd

(no subject)

Woo ~5σ evidence of a Higgs-like particle! That's cool. I keep hearing people say that this means "there's a 99.999whatever% chance that it's really a new particle!", which is just flat-out wrong, though I sympathize, because I used to be really, deeply, face-palmingly confused about posterior probabilities vs. frequentist confidence intervals/p-scores/significance testing etc. too. Like, as recently as 2009, when I totally fucked up a phone interview question about it. Now, however, thanks in part to the differential privacy stuff I worked on at Penn, (the definition of differential privacy has an essentially frequentist idea at its core, and resists bayesian interpretations) I am moderately less confused. I think this xkcd is the best, most punchy explanation I've ever read, but The earth is round (p < 0.05) is a fun read, too.

Went over to Dannel's for some good independence day grillin' times. Played some Johann Sebastian Joust for the first time. I think it's a neat idea and I'm glad it was invented, but for me personally it perfectly combines the things that make me feel like I'm Bad At Sports and Bad At Videogames.