## Jaynes’ seminar cancelled!

The reading seminar on Jaynes’ Probability Theory that was planned to start on next Monday at CREST. is cancelled for lack of enough registered students. I am thus alas forced to cancel it, although I had now reached the most interesting sections of the book. I think I will finish reading it and writing my slides in preparation for next year when I plan to propose the reading seminar in conjunction with Massimiliano Gubinelli from Dauphine who would then provide a probabilist look at the book. The slides will thus get updated as I proceed through:

I am obviously sorry this seminar did not attract more students but neither this is a major disaster—especially when considering the dire events that took place this week in Japan—as it led me to read Jaynes’ Probability Theory carefully.

### 6 Responses to “Jaynes’ seminar cancelled!”

1. […] the cancellation of my reading seminar on Jaynes’ Probability Theory, and requests from several […]

2. Below I note some minor edits. I make no promises about the completeness of this list.

Typo on slide 8: “speficic” should be “specific”.

Copyright symbol on slides 16, 24, 40, 46, 55, 77, 79, 83, 154.

Quote on slide 17 is missing a few words. Not sure of the reason for the sic. One possible explanation: you read “may become” as “might or might not become”. If so, this is a misreading. Jaynes is using “may become” in a sense close to “is permitted to become”; the idea of the sentence is that the likelihood function is not a probability, but there exists a process by which it is able to become one.

Quote on slide 21 has “decision theory per se” where Jaynes wrote “probability theory per se“.

Typo on slide 26: “Akward” should be “awkward”.

Typo in quote on slide 31: “sae” should be “saw”.

Typo in quote on slide 34: “Bayesin” should be… well, you know.

Typo in title of slide 73: “hid” should be “hide”.

Typo on slide 98: “&tc.” should be “&c.” or “etc.”.

Typo on slide 115: “ackward” should be “awkward”.

Typo in title of slide 169: “Dualty” should be “Duality”.

• Thank you very much Corey for those typos! They usually become apparent only at the time one gives the lecture… Incidentally, the copyright symbol is intended! The slides have been updated, even though there presumably remains many of them.

3. I read over your slides — I was especially interested to discover your views on Jaynes’s approach to non-informative priors, but without hearing your presentation, I wasn’t able to really get a sense of them.

It’s worth pointing out that the moral expectation “solution” Jaynes describes to the St. Petersburg paradox (slides 143-144) fails on the standard modification to the paradox, viz, one in which the payout is in utilons (a made-up name for the units of utility, just as dollars are a unit of money) directly.

• I must acknowledge I was actually expecting a bit more from Jaynes on the continuous version of the maxent principle… His defence of a particular version of the dominating measure is not that convincing. (My overall impressions about the book will be posted in a few days, it is already written!)

4. I’m a PhD candidate at political Science in Brazil and would like to participate in your seminar If I had the opporrtunity to do so. Sad news. Better lucky next year.

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