Browsing All Posts filed under »Yer Thing«


December 18, 2010


Jenny: “Professor, I need some help. I don’t know what’s happening but one day I feel great and the next I feel lousy. One day I’m full of beans, rarin to go, and the next I’m down in the dumps. What’s going on?” Peter: ” Oh that’s just a girl thing – women are naturally […]

A simple model of decision making…

November 19, 2010


Professor Wiggly: “As you can guess there’s no ‘right’ amount of confidence for dealing with uncertainty. If you have too much confidence – bigot – you don’t learn from experience. If you have too little you can’t make decisions – you procrastinate or depend on booze or popular ‘leaders’ to make your decisions for you. […]

Bigots, whimps, and you…

November 15, 2010


    Professor Wiggly: “As we’ve already noted we start with the idea that there are two kinds of belief: 1)  beliefs about simple here and now events, like ‘the president’s speech lasted 37 minutes’, a belief about which both Republicans and Democrats can agree, and 2) beliefs about what he said, for instance whether […]

The past, the future and Probabilities…

November 12, 2010


Professor Wiggly: “Faith based reasoning is the name of the game whenever we base our conclusions on incomplete or unreliable evidence – which is most of the time. Which is the case whenever we make predictions or bets about the future. We make those predictions on the basis of past experience, on the assumption – […]

Faith based reasoning

November 11, 2010


Jenny: “But I’m not very religious…. I’m too young to worry about dying… I don’t pray or anything. Where do I get my bridges to cross into the future. I keep going there … what do I travel on?” Peter: “You travel on hope, the dumb hope or naive faith that some movie producer will […]

Religion and the uncertaint future

November 10, 2010


Professor Wiggly: ” Whereas science builds imaginary bridges into the future with trusted theories – scientific promissory notes – Religion builds its bridges on trusted articles of faith – religious promissory notes. So, as far the future is concerned both science and religion rely on faith-based reasoning – on trusted assumptions, premises, axioms, biases.” Peter: […]

Safe places

November 10, 2010


Jenny: ” Professor you’re saying we can’t predict the future nevertheless humans have survived for thousands of years. We must be doing something right?” Peter: “So have cockroaches – maybe it’s just dumb luck?” Professor Wiggly: ”  There are several answers and dumb luck is one of them – except Darwin called it evolution. By […]