HEAVY-TAILED

I’ve added Three-Toed Sloth to the blogroll. It’s written by Cosma Shalizi, a professor at Carnegie Mellon. His research interests don’t at all dovetail with my own; to whit: “Information theory; nonparametric prediction of time series; learning theory and nonlinear dynamics; stochastic automata, state space and hidden Markov models; causation and prediction; large deviations and ergodic theory; neuroscience; statistical mechanics; complex networks; heavy-tailed distributions.”

From November 30, Shalizi wrote:

Science is systematic and cumulative inquiry into what the world is like and how it works, and by and large one that succeeds in producing increasingly reliable and refined knowledge about the world. This is marvelous and inspiring, but it’s still a social process implemented by East African Plains Apes [and some of their tools], and it’s wise to be realistic about the implications of this fact.

Here Dr. Shalizi does dovetail nicely with my anthropological sense. He contributes a pointer to another example of behavior tending to square information processing, interpretation and problem-solving application. I’ve pointed out elsewhere in reply to others’ philosophizing about Intelligent Design and Science how the antecedents to scientific behavior are proto-scientific behaviors. These require no apriori commitment to axiomatic naturalism. They do require cognitive functions and in turn the basis seems to be retention and interpretation, manipulation, response, to retained data.

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