## Saturday, May 22, 2010

### Is there such a thing as Conditional Probability?

Andrew Gelman says "no". I have been using conditional probability for ever and even teaching it. Now this individual alleges that taking a measurement mixes up everything, that there is some kind of uncertainty principle (Heisenfeld? Eisenburg? Eygenfuck? I am not certain), so conditional probability is false.

In another place he proposes that a large number of measurements do not arrange themselves in a gaussian distribution, so a probability calculation operates as an attractor that destroys information, ergo, the results are false.

Should we be in the Soviet Union in 1938 and I was Stalin in my current mood, he would find himself mining coal in Vorkuta (pic). People who puts in doubt the established believes of an old man should be punished. Next somebody will write that the vodka I am drinking is no good for the circulation.

Anonymous said...

The vodka s probably now your man source of calories and is keepng you alve. You should not stop it at all.

Vorkuta- the next Club Med?

Anon.

J said...

One mililiter of alcohol = 9 kCalories, vodka 40% alcohol. I need to drink almost a quart per day to survive. I am talking much but in fact I drink that much in a month, maybe.

Anonymous said...

In Vorkuta, the drinks are free.

Anon.

J said...

You will be surprised, but basically, yes. Vorkuta is no more a GULAG camp but a small mining town, and people living there enjoy many privileges, such as free heating and extra salaries. Vodka is very cheap in Russia so it should not be a problem.

Anonymous said...

Have they taken down the machine gun tower? It looks like the principal attraction.

You are right, most of the world associates Russians with vodka. I was recently in an Arab country with an international group that included some Russians, who spoke poor English. The waiter asked a Russian next to me what he wanted to drink. Aiming high, he said, "Vot kind drink you hef?" All the waiter heard was, "Votkind" and kept on bringing him vodka, and the rest of us the wine the Russian really wanted to try.

Anon.

Anonymous said...

Jews are generally lousy drinkers. I worked in a liquor store in my youth. The "best" customers would stop in for a case of beer (24 375ml cans) every day or two. If liquor stores had to depend on customers like you to buy one bottle a month, they'd be out of business.

Note: in most US states, as a legacy of Prohibition, liquor (and sometimes beer and wine) cannot be sold in ordinary grocery stores but only in special stores that sell only this (in my state, the stores are owned by the State, which puts Pennsylvania "ahead" of Communist China and in league only with N. Korea and Cuba.

K

J said...

Ir is well known that Nordic people like Irish, Russians, Swedes, have an inclination toward drink in excess. There are also plenty of Jewish shiker (drunkards) but I hope I am not one of them. No doubt I like to drink.

Anonymous said...

I did not have the impression that alcoholism was such a big problem amongst Jews, but it certainly is in the Celtic Fringe (Scots-Irish).

Almost certainly genetic.

Anon.

J said...

What about Russians, Swedes, Finns, Lapps?

Anonymous said...

Russians, yes, but in the Soviet era, perhaps aggravated by boredom and futility, and thereby engraved in the culture.

WE will soon learn a lot about the genetics of alcoholism; I suspect it will not be so simple.

Anon.

Anonymous said...

Drink was a problem for the Russians before, during AND after the Soviet era. There is a famous story (probably not true) that when an early Russian czar wanted to give up paganism and went shopping for a religion, he rejected Islam because "drink is the joy of the Rus".

K

Anonymous said...

Did we dodge a bullet?

Anon.