A second round of
Bitcoin founder unmasked! Sort of. Read the
Newsweek article for more . Bitcoin: where breaking code costs you a fortune (literally).
The cryptographic hash has wreaked havoc before. This was part of the Adobe data breach of November 2013 [2, 3]. Bitcoin: where the cryptographic hash is the highest form of flattery (and security).
 McGrath Goodman, L.
The Face Behind Bitcoin. Newsweek, March 6 (2014).
 Ducklin, P.
Anatomy of a password disaster: Adobe’s giant-sized cryptographic blunder. Naked Security blog, Novermer 4 (2013).
Encryptic. xkcd Webcomic (2013).
Here is a
news feature in by Regina Nuzzo that discusses the shortcomings of the Nature NHST approach and the p-value (statistical significance). Historical context of the frequentist approach  is provided, and the consequences for experimental replication are discussed. Solutions include the use of Bayesian techniques  and assessments of statistical power.
 Fox, J.
Frequentist vs. Bayesian Statistics: resources to help you choose. Oikos blog, October 11 (2011).
 Gelman, A.
So-called Bayesian hypothesis testing is just as bad as regular hypothesis testing. Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science blog, April 2 (2011).
angrily leaves public life. He’s a dramatic actor, of course, so one never knows if it isn’t all a publicity stunt, despite the apparent kiss-off quality to the letter. Reminds me of a recent faux- but plausible incident involving the “ most interesting man in the world”. Consistent with the resistance structures hypothesis of cultural interaction.
Evolution of a visual meme (in this case, the video screen of a sunrise in Tiannamen Square). From evocative juxtaposition to thoughtful discussion in a month. Here are the highlights:
TOP: Liljas, P. Finally, a better way to catch a sunrise in smog-filled Beijing. Time Magazine, January 17 (2014).
MIDDLE: Bischoff, P. No, Beijing residents are NOT watching fake sunrises on giant TVs because of pollution. TechInAsia, January 20 (2014). BOTTOM: Qiu, J. Fight against smog ramps up. Nature News and Views, February 18 (2014).
Carnival of Evolution, #69, now live at Scientific American’s Lab Rat blog. Thanks go to S.E. Gould for her Darwin Day-themed contribution. Also featuring a Synthetic Daisies post on the art of Darwin and legacy of his ideas.
Pictures courtesy of “
Darwin and Photography" at Introduction to the History of Photography blog, which highlights Darwin’s photograph-based work on understanding human (primarily facial) movement.
Here are graphs from the work of
Carl Bergstrom  and a Social Dimension blog post  on interdisciplinarity. This discussion focuses on the cultural evolution and network topologies of cross- and intra-disciplinary interactions. A cultural evolutionary perspective is further advanced by an arXiv paper which provides examples from Physics research .
 Bergstrom, C.T. and Rosvall, M.
Maps of random walks on complex networks reveal community structure. PNAS, 105(4), 1118-1123 (2008).
 Arbesman, S.
Measuring and Visualizing Interdisciplinarity. Social Dimension blog, June 26 (2012).
 Kumar Pan, R., Sinha, S., Kaski, K., and Saramaki, J.
The evolution of interdisciplinarity in physics research. Scientific Reports, 2, 551 (2012).
Here is an art-let of mine with readings [1,2]. I’m calling it “A Systems Approach to Abstract Ideas”.
LESSON: sometimes the messiest ideas conspire with failure to give you the best answer , while the self-consistent approach gives you the most ridiculous one .
 Weiss, K.
Godel’s principle and respect for failure. The Mermaid’s Tale, February 26 (2014).
 Koerth-Baker, M.
What do Christian fundamentalists have against set theory? Boing Boing, August 7 (2012).
Here is a follow-up on
a previous post that compared the PredictWise 2013 World Series preseason predictions to the season’s final standings. I came up with a hypothesis that the worst performances are those that are most often predicted correctly. The performance of teams that are not perennial losers are much harder to predict a priori.
Now I have analyzed data from the NFL’s 2013 season: preseason odds for winning the Super Bowl
vs. the final standings. The graphs can be seen above, and more detailed information about both analyses can be found in the latest Synthetic Daisies post “Are the Worst Performers the Best Predictors?”.
Awhile back, I
posted some critiques of and modifications to the conventional approach to logical fallacies to Synthetic Daisies blog. It seems as though every debate of the issues is said to arise from some sort of “fallacy” or another. Now it appears that I’m not alone in my concern. Big Think has a theme “The Fallacy Fallacy” on the fallacies of logical fallacies, with contributions from Alex Berezow, Julia Galef, Daniel Honan, and James Lawrence Powell.
In this collection of essays and interviews, the overuse of logical fallacies itself is cited as
a fallacy of composition, along with better ways to construct arguments. These include joint attempts at finding a correct answer, being mindful of cognitive biases, and the recognition of ignorance as a starting point.
Capture, stretch, and consume. The simulation discussed in this NY Times article  shows that the gas cloud G2  is about to collide with the massive black hole that forms the center of the Milky Way galaxy ( Sagittarius A* ). Read and discuss.
 Cowen, R.
It’s snack time in the cosmos. NY Times, February 17 (2014).
 Montet, B.
Seeing black holes with a gas cloud. Astrobites blog, June 28 (2013).