Found an interview with the lead author of the #Cochrane review. He is a good example of someone engaging in default thinking:
"[...] it's a complete subversion of the ‘precautionary principle’ which states that you should do nothing unless you have reasonable evidence that benefits outweigh the harms."
In the summer 2021, I collected a lot of literature on this and wrote up some thoughts. Much of it applies to the reception of the latest #Cochrane's summary too.
Based on what I have seen during the pandemic, many people poorly equipped to interpret this sort of selective summary because they rely on a type of default thinking:
Pick a hypothesis that wins by default (e.g. a specific physical intervention is harmful/non-beneficial). Then once new studies become available, check if they give a strong and rigorous enough reason to reject the default; if not, keep the default. (Similar to how, in a court of law, the accused is by default innocent until proven beyond reasonable doubt to be guilty.)
This can be contrasted with a more Bayesian way of thinking:
No hypothesis wins by default. Decide on some initial degree of belief in a hypothesis and its negation. Carefully weigh new evidence for an against and incrementally update the degrees of belief. (2/n)
A new #Cochrane Review on physical interventions against respiratory viruses is making the rounds. The review focuses exclusively on #RCTs and finds that in the entire scientific literature, there are 78 studies with a bearing on the various questions asked. (1/n)
Check out our intervention in @univlararen outlining the ways in which the corporate publisher-friendly Open Access model represents a drain on public resources, and argues for time, energy, and support for ethical, non-profit Open Access.
Fauci's Inductive Risk:
“When he downplayed mask efficacy to prevent hoarding, Fauci arguably manipulated the public.” But can his position be defended using an argument from inductive risk - using different levels of evidence depending on whether hypotheses align with political or other extra-epistemic goals? Eli Lichtenstein argues "no."
Does a uniformly accelerated charge radiate? One would say yes, but there has been a debate in the context of relativity. Uniform acceleration should be the same as a uniform gravitational field, and then you would not expect an observer who is co-accelerated to be able to detect any radiation field.
Turns out, there are no contradictions in the end!
Here is the electric field intensity in the (x,z) plane, with the charge coming in from infinity and accelerated back towards infinity.
Idag snögubbe med yngsta barnet.
At PREreview we offer a platform that allows authors to post a preprint and request a review, so long as the preprint has a DOI. Reviewers sign up using their unique
@ORCID_Org credentials and are able to select a public or anonymous persona for their reviews.
When a review is submitted it is assigned a DOI which enables reviewers to cite the work in their portfolios when applying for jobs, promotions, or grants.
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LaTeX formatting often becomes unreadable on #qoto. Often a single character is resized to enormous size compared to the rectangular box a typical toot fits into, and this hides a lot of the containing toot. This happens frequently with posts from mathstodon.xyz. @freemo, if others have this problem too, would it be possible to turn off LaTeX formatting until it's fixed? Seeing the raw, unformatted LaTeX code would be an improvement.
A disturbing (and beautifully done) graphic and story by #Reuters on #insects. Makes you wonder... https://www.reuters.com/graphics/GLOBAL-ENVIRONMENT/INSECT-APOCALYPSE/egpbykdxjvq/ via @joostvkasteren
Expose of the weak man fallacy, meaning selecting (for refutation) the weakest argument for a position.
It is useful with a standard name for this one as it is committed by nearly everyone in public debates.
Just 600 years ago, nine species of enormous, flightless birds called moas wandered around New Zealand. Some of these magnificent big birds grew up to 12 feet tall, which would tower over Sesame Street’s most famous resident.
Moas had thrived for millions of years. And suddenly - shortly after humans arrived on the islands - they went extinct.
Coincidence? #Science says no. https://www.science.org/content/article/why-did-new-zealands-moas-go-extinct #nature
Wow! Today I learned this:
You may have heard of the 'central limit theorem', where you take the mean of 𝑛 identical independently distributed random variables, the result approaches a Gaussian as 𝑛 → ∞ (if each random variable has finite standard deviation).
But what if instead you take the *maximum* of these random variables? Then there are 3 choices for what can happen!
The 'Fisher–Tippett–Gnedenko theorem' tells you what these 3 choices are:
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