The Black Box Brain Problem

If I found a black box with a number keypad and a printer tape, I could make tables of all the inputs I tested and the outputs.  I put in a 1 and get a 3.  A  7 gets me 127.  Non-integers return 'ERROR.'  Depending on what ends up in my table, I might be able to make some reasonably confident guesses about what was going on inside the box.  Provided I had been careful to watch out for positive bias.  (Go ahead, read the linked article, it's really good and I'll be here when you get back). … [Read more...]

Tuesday is Science Section Day

Sorry for the delay in posting.  I've been wrapped up finishing the final exams/programming assignments for the distance learning classes I've been taking from Stanford on Machine Learning and AI.  If you want to register to take any of the Spring offerings, you can check the listings here (scroll to the bottom).  Anyway, it's left me in a mood for some science sniping.I'm coming down on the side of Marc from Bad Catholic when he complains about the overhyped claims of scientists (but mostly … [Read more...]