<< Chapter < Page Chapter >> Page >
I.J. Good's introduction to the collection of essays, The Good Book: Thirty Years of Comments, Conjectures and Conclusions by I.J. Good, edited by David Banks and Eric P. Smith. The book is available in print from Rice University Press (http://ricepress.rice.edu).

(This module helps introduce The Good Book: Thirty Years of Comments, Conjectures and Conclusions, by I.J. Good . The book is available for purchase from the Rice University Press Store . You can also visit the Rice University Press web site .)

I greatly welcomed David Banks's proposal for him to edit a book of my CCCs (Comments, Conjectures and Conclusions; a few writtenjointly with other authors), which appeared in my column in JSCS ( Journal of Statistical Computation and Simulation ). David Banks has invited me to write an introduction and to explain also how this column originated. I'll do the latter first.

Ever since my youth, I have believed that Brevity is the Soul of Wit,

Quoted from Polonius (Lord Chamberlain) In Hamlet , Act I, Science II.
as exemplified in The Scientist Speculates, An Anthology of Partly BakedIdeas
German translation, Phantasie in der Wissenschaft: eine Anthologie unausgegorener Ideen (Econ Verlag,1965). French translation Quand les Savants laissent libre Cours ˆ leur Imagination (Dunod, Paris, 1967). The French version omits thechapter on the paranormal.
(the Preface was the brevity: “The intention of this anthology is to raise more questions than itanswers”) and in the twenty-eight columns of pbis (partially baked ideas) in the Mensa Bulletin and Journal . These were assembled in a Technical Report.
The Technical Report appeared as # 2166 in my complete publication list.
After discussion with Richard G. Krutchkoff, the editor of JSCS , he invited me to edit columns of CCCs. They began in 1977 and contained many items byother authors which are not represented in the present book.

I greatly liked also the three extremely well-written and kind appreciations of my work by Stephen Fienberg, Nozer Singpurwalla,and James R. Thompson&David W. Scott, which they had prepared largely for my ninetieth birthday party. Those appreciations andthis introduction are not especially related to my brevities. The brevities in this book speak for themselves, and the brevity of this introductionis therefore appropriate.

Because I was once regarded as a statistical dissident, let me discuss establishment and dissident views in general.

Thomas Kuhn, who is well known by philosophers of science, defined a period of normal science as one in which a specific paradigm is usually adopted. Call it the Establishment view and assume there is one for each named science. But there are dissidents whoare at first ignored by the Establishment, but who eventually form a new Establishment and another “normal” period. This process isn'trestricted to scientific topics; compare the one-volume (abridged) edition (1932) of The Golden Bough by J.G. Frazer (originally published in twelve volumes in 1922). Frazer mentions variousplaces, especially in parts of Africa, where priests and kings were killed after a fixed period or after a public calamity such as adrought. Or consider the sixteenth-century aphorism by John Harington, “ Treason doth never prosper: what's the reason? For if it prosper, none dare call it treason .” Paradigm changes can be regarded as revolutions , but they are not necessarily sudden and there can be a period in which there are two or moreparadigms. For example, there is a mixture of the caloric theory and its explanation, Statistical Mechanics; and a mixture betweenprerelativity and relativity. (It is said that von Newman told a policeman that a house had struck von Newman's car, thus wittilyapplying the principle of relativity to an inappropriate situation.) In Statistics we have a mixture of frequentism and Bayesianism . Frequentism is based on the use of P-values for the acceptance and refutation of hypotheses where refutation can be called inexactification as I expressed it in a lecture at Berkeley some years ago. Bayesianism in its turn canbe objective (impersonal) or subjective (personal). These depend respectively on impersonal and personal probabilities.(One application of impersonal probabilities is to the metaphysical problem of why there should be something rather than nothing.Nothingness is simpler than somethingness.) Sometimes it is convenient to use one methodology and sometimes another. Iexperienced this phenomenon during World War II, when working as a cryptanalyst in Bletchley Park. (See, for example, my chapter“Enigma and Fish” in Codebreakers: The Inside Story of Bletchley Park , edited by F.H. Hinsley and Allan Stripp, Oxford University Press, 1994. Or see my work in the book edited byCopeland mentioned in Note 4.) To give an example: in one procedure of many ( setting wheels 1 and 2 of a German enciphering machine SZ42, which we called Fish or Tunny), there were 31 × 41 = 1271 hypotheses, each with prior probability 1 / 1271 . But if a score of a setting, after a Colossus

Colossus was a large electronic cryptanalytic machine built in England duringWWII. Its purpose was to enable the regular breaking of the SZ42enciphered messages. It was close to being general purpose and was thus of much historical significance, apart from its enormous valuefor the defeat of Hitler. See, for example, Colossus: the Secrets of Bletchley Park's Codebreaking Computers , edited by B. Jack Copeland (Oxford University Press, 2006). I showed after thewar that Colossus could be used for another purpose. (See page 327 of the book.) Colossus should not be confused with the Bombe, whichwas very large, but very different, being a special-purpose electromagnetic cryptanalytic machine used against the Enigma. Later,there was an American electronic form of the Bombe designed by Joseph Desch.
run, was close to four standard deviations above the mean, then the posterior odds were not 30 (as we sometimes inferredincorrectly from a P-value of 1 / 30 , 000 ) but only about 1 ( evens ) from a Bayesian point of view. But we would also refer to the sigma-age or sigmage of a bulge above the mean.

In a discussion at the Second Valencia meeting on Statistics in 1983, Lindley predicted that the 21stcentury would be Bayesian, and I predicted it would be a century of the Bayes/non-Bayes compromise .

“The Bayes/non-Bayes compromise: a brief revue,” JASA 87 (Sept. 1992), 597-606. A Presidential Invited Paper, Atlanta, Georgia, August 20, 1991.
Mixture might be a better term than compromise . There are children now who will judge, at the end of the century, who wasmore correct. This statement is conditional on there being anyone alive at that time!

This book is about statistical brevity and about the views of one of the early dissidents. Some readers might wish to expand some itemsinto full-length dissertations.

For getting this book into suitable electronic form, I am most grateful to Eric P. Smith, the present head of the StatisticsDepartment at Virginia Tech, Linda Breeding, and Byron Smith.

I. J. Good, January 12, 2008

Questions & Answers

Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
sciencedirect big data base
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
characteristics of micro business
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
is Bucky paper clear?
carbon nanotubes has various application in fuel cells membrane, current research on cancer drug,and in electronics MEMS and NEMS etc
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
for screen printed electrodes ?
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
or in general
in general
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
what is biological synthesis of nanoparticles
Sanket Reply
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
Privacy Information Security Software Version 1.1a
Got questions? Join the online conversation and get instant answers!
Jobilize.com Reply

Get the best Algebra and trigonometry course in your pocket!

Source:  OpenStax, Introductory material to the good book: thirty years of comments, conjectures and conclusions. OpenStax CNX. Sep 12, 2008 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10572/1.1
Google Play and the Google Play logo are trademarks of Google Inc.

Notification Switch

Would you like to follow the 'Introductory material to the good book: thirty years of comments, conjectures and conclusions' conversation and receive update notifications?