key[ed/nes] in!

Great news in the mail today: my revision of Keynes’ A Treatise on Probability has been accepted by the International Statistical Review! With a very nice message from the editor:

It is an excellent revision and has addressed all the important points and more. I must also compliment you on your fluid and interesting writing style. It makes for very nice reading.

(In fact, this review of Keynes’ book is my first publication in this journal. This irrelevant point of information reminds me of an equally unimportant but enjoyable discussion Andrew Gelman and I had in the IHP cafeteria last year about the merits of publishing in new journals… )

Incidentally, I needed a caption for the picture of Keynes I had included in the paper (a public domain picture taken at the inaugural meeting of the IMF’s board of governors in 1946). Since I had used the picins LaTeX package to obtain pictures within the text rather than figures, I tried the \piccaption command but kept getting the text of the caption interfering with the image. After trying for half an hour to calibrate \parpic multiple parameters, to use all options of \piccaptionoutside, &tc., I resorted to basics by adding via gimp a white  band at the bottom of the original picture. I wish I could have included the other pictures of Keynes I had found on the Internet, especially the paintings by Duncan Grant, but getting the permissions proved impossible….

9 Responses to “key[ed/nes] in!”

  1. […] average, ending up with the normal distribution (page 338). (This result was to be extended by J.M. Keynes to different types of estimators.) The chapter concludes with a defense of the arithmetic mean as a […]

  2. […] interpretations of probability in a simulation book. (I am even uncertain it should be done for Bayesian statistics books.) This first chapter also includes a section on the ratio-of-uniforms method (which always […]

  3. Keynes’ Treatise is more about probability than statistics, and hence more about the interpretation of statistics than their methodology.

    In your research, did you come across an explanation of Keynes’ influence from or of Whitehead, or of Knox, Turing or Good at Bletchley Park?

    • There is very little about probability theory in Keynes’ book. The whole exercise is more at a philosophical level than at a methodological level, however it seems to me and this was the core of my review that Keynes was looking back in time rather than forward. I never looked at the Bletchley Park group (so far!)…

    • Xi’an, Keynes’ book is more about probability in the sense of Boole rather than the modern sense. My involvement in analysis of various kinds has mostly been when there has been a problem. This has almost always because a concept or method was being applied well out of its proper range. For probability the assumption of comparability is most often wrong. For statistics it is the assumption of stationarity. Keynes and Whitehead (and later Prigogine) give the most useful accounts that I have come across. I am putting some of my notes on my blog. I am working my way around to Jack Good, who builds on Keynes in connection with ‘stuttering’ mechanisms. Anecdotally, these are still a challenge for conventional statistics, but I haven’t gone into it in detail.

  4. […] not truly exist and were clearly mixed in most researchers’ mind (as shown by the titles of Keynes‘ and Jeffreys‘ […]

  5. […] readings made me think afresh about the nature of probability, a debate that put me off so much in Keynes (1921) and even in Jeffreys (1939). From a mathematical perspective, there is only one “kind” […]

  6. […] on lectures from the past years, from those on the diverse notions of probability (Jeffreys, Keynes, von Mises, and Burdzy) to those on scientific discovery (mostly Seber‘s, and the promising […]

  7. […] week, I received a box of books from the International Statistical Review, for reviewing them. I thus grabbed the one whose title was most appealing to me, namely Bayesian […]

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