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IVORY-BILLS  LiVE???!  ...

=> THE blog devoted to news and commentary on the most iconic bird in American ornithology, the Ivory-billed Woodpecker (IBWO)... and... sometimes other schtuff.
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"....The truth is out there."

-- Dr. Jerome Jackson, 2002 (... & Agent Fox Mulder)

“There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”

-- Hamlet

"All truth passes through 3 stages: First it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as self-evident."

-- Arthur Schopenhauer






Monday, June 16, 2008

 

-- More Goodly Summer Readin' --

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This weekend someone directed me to a hysterical little volume by Thomas Cathcart and Daniel Klein:

"Plato and a Platypus Walk Into a Bar..."
(Understanding Philosophy Through Jokes)

If this book doesn't make you chuckle, or actually laugh-out-loud, you require a major comedy tune-up.
The book deals with various philosophical logical fallacies and paradoxes, but by using great jokes (mostly ones I'd not heard before) as illustrations --- clever (and instructive) concept.
This volume especially made a nice follow-up to Nassim Taleb's much 'heftier' book, "The Black Swan" which I'd recently finished. Even though Taleb's work is a NY Times bestseller, and entertaining in many passages, it is also a bit of a slog, as his ideas, thought-provoking as they are, are more difficult to follow. I'd recommend it to folks here (or more especially to IBWO skeptics), except that I suspect most would find it boring, and not perceive its relevance to the IBWO debate. Taleb's background is in finance, and he draws most of his examples from political, social, and economic realms, though I believe his views on NON-Gaussian and Bayesian approaches to analysis (and specifically, the relevance and even 'frequency' of 'improbable' events) have a lot of application to the life sciences as well. (Taleb's earlier work, "Fooled By Randomness," is also good.) It might almost be a better idea to read these books in the reverse order from what I did.

And happily, all these authors are working on new volumes due for release next year.
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