Archive for the pictures Category

today 7.7 millions French voters voted for a xenophobic populist, leader of an extreme-right party

Posted in Kids, pictures with tags , , on April 24, 2017 by xi'an

tactical vote against extreme right Le Pen

Posted in Kids, pictures with tags , , , , , , , on April 23, 2017 by xi'an

Today is the first round of the French presidential elections, which readers could guess were coming from the flurry of anti-Le Pen posts in the past weeks. While I am not particularly close to any candidate’s program and find the flow of unrealistic promises that keeps coming as The Day comes closer both embarrassing and pathetic, or maybe because of this, I decided to vote in a minimax manner, trying to minimise the maximum damage, i.e., casting a vote for the candidate the most likely to stop Le Pen and her xenophobic and economically nonsensical programme if she reaches the second round of the election. As it seems likely she will. This means voting for Emmanuel Macron, who stands at the centre of the political spectrum, is fairly liberal on societal issues may be the most pro-European of all candidates, and managed to gather  a wide range of supports. And will stand a fair chance to win the second round if he reaches it, contrary to the radical Mélanchon. Everything being chaotic about this election, this remains a big if until tonight… Go vote, if you can!

Powys [jatp]

Posted in pictures, Running, Travel, University life with tags , , , , , , on April 22, 2017 by xi'an

Barbie’s Z scores

Posted in Kids, pictures with tags , , , on April 21, 2017 by xi'an

I came upon this terrible (pink) graph the other day, that was composed by Rehabs.com to point out the physiological extremes of a Barbie doll (along with the possibly fatal impact this “ideal” may have on young girls). As for the many statistical flaws of that graphs, pick your favourite between turning the control group into its mean without a spread, the use of histogram bars to translate a distance from the mean with the added (tail) probability, the confusion between the probability to be even more extreme and to be “equivalent”…

God save the Queen, the fascist Marine

Posted in Kids, pictures with tags , , , , on April 18, 2017 by xi'an

«”Je déciderai d’un moratoire sur toute l’immigration légale pour arrêter ce délire (…) Moi présidente, le rétablissement des frontières sera mis en place dès le lendemain de ma prise de fonctions. » 17 Avril 2017

“…si par malheur il était élu président de la République, M. Macron accélèrerait encore davantage la dérive multiculturelle dans laquelle s’enfonce la société française, et aggraverait un communautarisme déjà malheureusement en pleine progression” 15 Avril 2017

RSS Read Paper

Posted in Books, pictures, Statistics, Travel, University life with tags , , , , , , , , on April 17, 2017 by xi'an

I had not attended a Read Paper session at the Royal Statistical Society in Errol Street for quite a while and hence it was quite a treat to be back there, especially as a seconder of the vote of thanks for the paper of Andrew Gelman and Christian Hennig. (I realised at this occasion that I had always been invited as a seconder, who in the tradition of the Read Papers is expected to be more critical of the paper. When I mentioned that to a friend, he replied they knew me well!) Listening to Andrew (with no slide) and Christian made me think further about the foundations of statistics and the reasons why we proceed as we do. In particular about the meaning and usages of a statistical model. Which is only useful (in the all models are wrong meme) if the purpose of the statistical analysis is completely defined. Searching for the truth does not sound good enough. And this brings us back full circle to decision theory in my opinion, which should be part of the whole picture and the virtues of openness, transparency and communication.

During his talk, Christian mentioned outliers as a delicate issue in modelling and I found this was a great example of a notion with no objective meaning, in that it is only defined in terms of or against a model, in that it addresses the case of observations not fitting a model instead of a model not fitting some observations, hence as much a case of incomplete (lazy?) modelling as an issue of difficult inference. And a discussant (whose Flemish name I alas do not remember) came with the slide below of an etymological reminder that originally (as in Aristotle) the meaning of objectivity and subjectivity were inverted, in that the later meant about the intrinsic nature of the object, while the former was about the perception of this object. It is only in the modern (?) era that Immanuel Kant reverted the meanings…Last thing, I plan to arXiv my discussions, so feel free to send me yours to add to the arXiv document. And make sure to spread the word about this discussion paper to all O-Bayesians as they should feel concerned about this debate!

16 avril 1917

Posted in Books, Kids, pictures with tags , , , , , on April 16, 2017 by xi'an

Today is the Centenary of the battle of Le Chemin des Dames (April 16-25, 2017) during WW I, which ended up as a slaughter (271,000 French casualties and 163,000 Germans casualties) and a complete military disaster. Which led to a significant rise in mutinies (pretty much disconnected from the starting Russian revolution) and to British divisions taking over this district. While there are many other examples of an insane disregard of infantry troops by the war commanders, this place stuck in the French collective memory. I remember as a kid listening to my neighbour telling me about this place as his worst experience during the war. (While never mentioning the mutinies, which remained somewhat shameful for most of the Century.)