Archive for Og


Posted in Statistics with tags , , , , on December 2, 2012 by xi'an

Last week, the ‘Og reached 2000 posts, 4000 comments, and 600,000 views. These are the most popular entries

In{s}a(ne)!! 8,277
“simply start over and build something better” 7,069
George Casella 5,757
Julien on R shortcomings 3,226
Sudoku via simulated annealing 2,995
#2 blog for the statistics geek?! 2,676
Bayesian p-values 2,395
Solution manual to Bayesian Core on-line 2,111
Of black swans and bleak prospects 2,009
Solution manual for Introducing Monte Carlo Methods with R 1,996
Parallel processing of independent Metropolis-Hastings algorithms 1,862
Bayes’ Theorem 1,721
Bayes on the Beach 2010 [2] 1,718
Do we need an integrated Bayesian/likelihood inference? 1,585
Coincidence in lotteries 1,486
Julian Besag 1945-2010 1,407

As noted earlier this year, the posts on the future of R remain the top visited posts. Sadly and comfortingly, the entry I wrote for mourning George passing away was the most visited this year. Bayes on the Beach 2010 [2] gets traffic for the wrong reason, simply for mentioning Surfers’ Paradise… As a coincidence, I also reached the 4000 level on Stack Exchange – Cross Validation, but this is so completely anecdotal…

>500,000 (views)

Posted in Statistics with tags , on May 22, 2012 by xi'an

On principle, by the time this post appears (prediction from the 21st!), the ‘Og will have accumulated more than 500,000 views all-time since its very first post. Thank you, readers!

the ‘Og on Okp’s phone

Posted in pictures with tags , , on February 4, 2012 by xi'an

the ‘Og from Bina’s iPad

Posted in pictures with tags , , on December 21, 2011 by xi'an

Amazon associates links

Posted in Books, pictures with tags , , , , on December 3, 2011 by xi'an

Following a now established tradition, I give here my yearly warning that the links to and on this blog are actually susceptible to earn me a monetary gain [of 4% to 7%] if a purchase is made in the 24 hours following the entry on Amazon through this link, thanks to the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to As with last year, some of the items purchased through the links and contributing to my bookoholic addiction (and indirectly to the above picture) are rather unrelated with the purpose of the ‘Og, but then, anything can happen within 24 hours! Apart from a purchase I cannot decently mention here (!), here are the weirdest ones:

plus of course many more purchases of books I actually reviewed along the past months… Like six copies of Principles of uncertainty. And a dozen of the theory that would not die.

[stack] overloaded, crossed and invalidated

Posted in Books, Kids, Statistics, University life with tags , , , , , , on November 21, 2011 by xi'an

For the few past days, I have been monitoring Cross Validated, a forum on statistics that is part of StackExchange (“a fast-growing network of 71 question and answer sites on diverse topics from software programming to cooking to photography and gaming“…) for questions of interest, but I think (hope?) I will stop there my involvement. First, I fear this type of forum is too addictive (at least for me, and I already have my share of web-related addictions, witness this very blog!). Of course, Cross Validated is an interesting site for questions related with statistics and machine learning, with a great LATEX interface that allows to type math formulas in a natural way; however I also find the exercise rather frustrating and to some extend futile, which is another reason why I do not wish pursuing the experience any further. For one thing, some of the questions found there are of the “please do my homework for me” type and I am plagued with enough emails of this sort (connected with my own exercises) to look for further hassle. They are however easy to spot and thus eliminate. For another, I suspect a majority of questions, while honest and deep enough, are often asked at the spur of the moment, i.e. without a preliminary search on a paper or online source, like Wikipedia or a textbook. E.g., a question about Bayes theorem that brought decent answers but not further than the Wikipedia entry on the topic. At one level, I would like to give in to temptation and to answer questions I feel I have a valid and informative answer. However, it does not seem like an efficient use of my time (read my books instead!) And also I am not completely convinced this fundamentally helps the persons who ask the questions in the first place. What may lie at the bottom of my unease with being involved in such forums is the sad fact that most questioners want answers without getting through the necessary steps of learning the bases and the background theory surrounding the question. While not being a teacher at heart, this approach gets against my views on learning (“Give a man a fish, &tc.”). Observations towards this view are that (a) many questioners are “one-shot” occurrences, i.e. are never seen again on the forum and (b) such questioners often fail to acknowledge answers that are not posted immediately, i.e. are not really interested in the debate surrounding the question they asked in the first place, only in someone solving their problem for them…

Anyway, this post is my very personal opinion on why I should not get involved with Q&A sites: it does not aim at criticising people asking or answering questions on Cross Validated, quite clearly, as some questions may lead to interesting research developments and as some answers are well-though, helpful, and informative. Just not my ballpark!

Happy B’day, ‘Og!

Posted in Books with tags , , , on October 3, 2011 by xi'an

Being late by a few days, a short entry to celebrate (?!) or at least mention 3 years of blogging on the ‘Og. I am now past 1350 entries, 2775 comments, and 350,000 views, with currently above 500 views per day… Thanks to all ‘Og readers! (And further thanks to those readers using the links to and to this month, I received advertising fees on 73 sales! Including 14 copies of the theory that would not die!)