Returning to Turing Test Methodology

ITT sample size

I'm a little disappointed in the commentariat for not bitching me out when I showed you the winners and losers in the Christian and Atheist rounds of the Turing Test without ponying up sample size numbers.  This year, each entry had its own survey link, so the number of respondents was not constant across a round.  A fairly predictable trend emerged.Note: This isn't the total number of respondents, it's the N for the number of self-declared atheists judging the first round and self-declared C … [Read more...]

Leah Libresco, please write, and write faster…

No one's thrown a leg of lamb at my head yet, but I'm getting a little nervous.In all seriousness, it's been a week since the internet found out I'm converting.  I gave an overview in my "why I'm converting" post that I plan to flesh out, and I'm ok with the pace I'm going at.  I do have a day job, and a New Yorker subscription I don't want to fall behind on, and a lot of reading recommendations from everyone on the internet ever (and, I'll confess, all of those will get bumped to the back o … [Read more...]

Too Simple Skepticism

Over at Bitchspot, a blogger named Cephus has been fisking my About Me section (which I'll get around to updating soon) to try to spot the roots of my errors.  I'm not really interested in counter-fisking, but right near the end, Cephus cogently summarized an argument I've seen elsewhere, that I'd quite like to address.  I'm the double-indent, Cephus follows.So welcome to the conversation. Play nice, but play to win. And don’t be afraid to show your hand. If you’re doing someone a service by … [Read more...]

Happy Birthday, Mr. Turing

1 It's Alan Turing's birthday!  Google has a nice outline of his life and work for you to check out, and a ribbon-style Turing machine on the homepage that lets you get an idea for how to do read/write instructions.  (I got sloppy (I've only got so much time in theis Starbucks) and accidentally programmed an infinite loop, but luckily Google made sure to include a break).  10 The definite highlight of my first CS class at college was finding out we would write a r … [Read more...]


downed tree

This is the view from my porch:This isn't an Andrew Sullivan game to guess where I live.  This is the reason I have no power or internet and probably won't until Monday.  So be extra-specially patient if your comments get stuck in the spam filter.  Also, please understand that even when my power comes back on, I won't be responding directly to emails and comments that ask things like "Why Catholicism of all religions?"  I know everyone is interested in that question, so I'll eventually be pos … [Read more...]

A little about the queer stuff

I had some major qualms about talking to a writer for the Blaze, but I remembered the byline from a pretty good interview with Todd Stiefel (a major atheist philanthopist), and I liked the questions that Billy Hallowell sent over.Now seems like a pretty good time to mention that talking to someone doesn't mean I'm endorsing them.  I generally find it easier to thrash out and clarify my ideas when I've got an interlocutor to play off of, so I've done some chatting with people who seem like … [Read more...]

7 Quick Takes (6/22/12)

bread sunflower seeds

--- 1 --- All things considered, it hasn't been that rough a week.  But if I decide I need a break, I know what I'm going to do instead: How does the US Army know if its less-than-lethal armaments are effective without being deadly? Live fire training exercises employing a mob of volunteers, of course.That's right, if you are over 18 and live in the greater New Jersey area, you too can get $20/hour to be whacked with batons and shot with rubber balls! The testing takes place in a … [Read more...]