------------------------------------------------------------START OF COUNTER */ $2.95 a month web hosting -------------------------------------------------------------------END OF COUNTER */

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

The Simpsons and the Artic Oil Drilling Fiasco

So the US Senate finally blocked attempts to permit drilling for oil in the Alaska Wildlife Refuge, following reports that this bill was actually passed yesterday. The ridiculous story here is that the drilling provision was attached onto a must-pass defense spending bill. This underhand technique (which, according to some reports, is pretty frequently carried out) reminded me of an episode of the Simpsons where the family goes to Washington and manages to get a bill passed by simply attaching it to another one with a paper clip. Hah. In a rare moment of sanity, the senate actually saw through this scheme. But, this issue is far from over, as CNN reports. Supposedly, Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska), has spent 25 of his 37 years in the senate campaigning for this bill. 'nuf said.


Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Finally.....a victory!

Good news everyone! (told in Prof. Hubert Farnsworth style)



Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Are you a Fox or a Hedgehog?

Caught up in the whole issue of how generative modeling in complexity science can be used in decision-making, I chanced upon Philip Tetlock's book Expert Political Judgement: How Good Is It? How Can We Know? Tetlock divides thinkers into two categories: hedgehogs and foxes. Of course, this is a simplification, but it offers an interesting insight into how people think. Hedgehogs center their thinking around a single notion, that is the basis for all explanations. Foxes, on the other hand, are more appreciative of the complexity of the world, and see events as arising through multiple causes. Foxes thus offer lesser predictions, and are more cautious, while hedgehogs tend to get trapped in their own intellectual beliefs. However, hedgehogs score big when their predictions turn out to be correct. Hedgehogs are also parsimonius -- in that they would take the simpler explanation over the complex. Somehow, I think society usually tends to prefer a 'hedgehog' kind of explanation over a 'fox' one (lesser brain cells to use?). I would also think that the fox has a harder time to convey his/her reasoning in decision than the hedgehog, which is the essential problem in generative modeling -- if the result is multiple possible scenarios, how can it be useful for most practical purposes?


Blogarama - The Blogs></center>

<!-- End #content -->

<!-- Begin #footer -->
<div id=