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Monday, 23 January 2017
TO BARRON TRUMP
by Thomas Hoskyns Leonard
Handsome, innocent son of Nazi-esque oligarch and Babylonian matron,
Youngest son of family where upstart siblings rule the roost
And stern, smiling Absalom commands the presence;
Reared and raised where the rich's false rules project your life.
How can you, first son of America, balance on the knife?
To be derided from without or scorned from within;
That is the sad choice of potential Gods,
But find your own way against the fast enjoining tides,
And you may yet lead like no foul Trump before has lead.
Until then, play it cool, sleepy head!
THE GIANT CHOCAHOLIC BEETLE
I spilt a glass of chocolate milk-shake over
My bedside drawers.
I failed to clear up the mess,
Imagine my surprise,
A few months later
When I woke up to find
A giant chocaholic beetle
On a glass of chocolate milk-shake
Sitting on my bedside drawers.
It had sampled the drink on my carpet
At once, I snapped the brittle miscreant into pieces,
With a tissue.
But now I regret killing a fellow creature
So tenacious, so persistent, so obsessional.
Copyright James L.S.Carter January 2017
Sunday, 22 January 2017
NEW WIKI PAGE
Leonard has published on the Bayesian approach to categorical data analysis, as well as on function smoothing and prior informative density estimation, conditional Laplacian approximations for marginal inference and prediction, and the statistical modelling of log covariance matrices. He is also known for his work concerning the applications of Bayesian methodology in geophysics, medicine, psychometrics and the provision of statistical expertise in legal cases. He was one of the founders, in 1992, of the International Society for Bayesian Analysis, alongside Arnold Zellner and Gordon Kaufman, and has published a history of the Bayesian approach.
Leonard is the co- author of Bayesian Methods: An analysis for Statisticians and Interdisciplinary Researchers with John S. J. Hsu and author of the sci-fi socio-political satire 'The Grand Oligarchs of Qinsatorix'.During December 2016, Leonard's interview by Diego Andres Peres Ruiz was published by the Bulletin of the International Society for Bayesian Analysis. 
Thursday, 19 January 2017
Diego, Tom, and Thomas, South Queensferry, September 2016
DECEMBER 2016 Issue of ISBA Bulletin
Me, Arnold Zellner, Gordon Kaufmann, Wes Johnson, Carl Morris, and Shanti Gupta, First ISBA CONFERENCE, Hotel Nikko, San Francisco, 1993.
FROM THE EDITOR
Did you miss the email about the ISBA election results? We have them in this issue. Wonder how ISBA@NIPS went? Also in this issue! A final highlight is the interview with one of the ISBA founders, Thomas Leonard. He was also the first editor of this publication, then called the ISBA Newsletter. This follows on from last issue’s interview with another of our former editors, Manuel Mendoza.... I’ll start making notes for when I am interviewed in 25 years time! But in all seriousness, these interviews are an important way of preserving the history of our society. This was sadly driven home, as this final issue for 2016 was being put together, by the passing of two ISBA fellows, Hajime Wago and Stephen Fienberg. We have included brief obituaries, and hope to have some longer reflections on the impact of these important Bayesians in the March issue. In the meantime, while we did not have an ISBA interview with Stephen Fienberg, there is a fascinating interview with him from Statistical Science in 2013, which you can find here: https://arxiv.org/pdf/1310.2442.pdf. Both he, and Thomas Leonard in this issue, have thoughts about how our expertise and professionalism as statisticians can make the world a better place–a fitting topic to contemplate as we enter a new year. With my best wishes for the year to come, your Bulletin editor, Beatrix Jones
IN MEMORIUM, STEVE FIENBERG
Stephen E. Fienberg, a fellow of ISBA and friend to many members, passed away December 14, 2016, in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. He was born in Toronto, Ontario, in 1942. After completing a Bachelor’s degree at the University of Toronto he went on to obtain a Masters and PhD from Harvard under the supervision of Frederick Mosteller. He worked at the University of Chicago and University of Minnesota before taking a position at Carnegie Mellon University in 1980, where he spent the remainder of his career. By that time he was well know for his work on categorical data, but also for interdisciplinary work in the Social Sciences.
Steve Fienberg was my academic friend, I first met him in 1977 during a conference on Categorical Data Analysis in Newcastle, which was organised by Robin Plackett, He will be surely missed,
EXCERPTS FROM MY ISBA INTERVIEW (from page 11)
. I tend to receive lots of ridicule whenever I cite my Technometrics1975 paper, often out of the blue. In fact, Steve Fienberg made a meal of it during his after dinner speech at Valencia 6, just before I played Rev Thomas Bayes returning from Heaven in the comedy skit. As a special case, my probability model reduces to a time series model which represents a sort of stochastic volatility, though at least one worthy Bayesian has laughed his head off at this suggestion, and another firmly denied it when I suggested a touch of d´eja vu.
EUGENICS AT UCL
That takes us to the polymath Sir Francis Galton. He was a very great man. He may have been the first person to do the conjugate analysis for the normal distribution with specified variance. He also invented a very strange sort of machine; which tried to calculated posterior probabilities from prior probabilities via a simulation process. That reminds me of modern day MCMC. However, because of recent protests by students, minority students in UCL, I’ve come to realize that in 1883 that Galton coined the name for the subject of Eugenics, while planning to improve the quality of the human race. Now he may well have had good motives, of course, but what happened because of his work is really quite traumatizing. Florence Nightingale, was instrumental in setting up the Department of Applied Statistics at UCL in 1911. She died in 1910, but she was instrumental in appointing Karl Pearson, to the chair rather than a more theoretical statistician of the Galton school. When I was at UCL, I was taught to revere Karl Pearson and Ronald Fisher. Fisher was professor of Eugenics at UCL and so like Pearson and of course Galton before him, was associated with the Galton Laboratory. A lot of Fisher’s work in Genetics concerned Eugenics. A lot of Pearson’s work in Statistics which was published in Biometrika concerned Eugenics. In other words, comparisons were made of the attributes of different ethnic groups. I don’t know whether their motives were good or not but what came out of the subsequent Eugenics movement around the western world during the 20th century is absolutely terrifying, for example, forced sterilizations, racial discrimination, the CIA mind control program MK Ultra, and genocide. Karl Pearson’s son Egon continued the collaboration with the eugenicists in the Galton Lab after his father’s death. When I was at UCL there was still a professor of Eugenics called C.A.B Smith, and there was a mysterious lady who walked between the Lab and the Statistics Department every day. And the University archivist was a statistician who’d published several joint papers in Eugenics! All of those terrible consequences! They originated from Galton’s conception and the work of the two Pearsons and Fisher. I find it quite disturbing to think this.
PERSPECTIVES FOR THE FUTURE
Diego We are arriving to the last part of this interview. How would you advise young academic statisticians who are just starting their career?
Thomas: The first thing is to feel confident in your own ideas and not to be pushed over by anybody else’s preconceptions. When talking to your Ph.D. supervisor or your senior colleagues, you should always be prepared to assert that you think this might be a better way to do it and to discuss it rather than just be told what to do. That’s what is very important; you’re responsible for your own originality. The other thing, I might sound very traditional on this but it’s very important to develop the relevant mathematical expertise to the subject. Dare I emphasise that you need to develop the ability to do the algebra and advanced calculus yourself, rather than using Mathematica to do it, so that you can manipulate and play with it, and that includes using Laplacian approximations or Taylor series expansions, completing the square, and whatever. Certainly, in America it is important to have expertise which I never really possessed, but it is good to be able to prove asymptotic theorems for yourself. It’s the American tradition. But please remember that even saddle-point accuracy is an asymptotic criterion; it doesn’t imply finite n accuracy. Don’t get lost in the asymptotics as many have who have gone before! Asymptopia isn’t the Utopia which the Berkeley school make it out to be. Computational skills are also important. You should be prepared to do your own computer programming. I think that it is important to veer away from Bayesian computer packages since you never know what is really going on inside them. You are totally responsible for the numerical results which you publish, and you should develop your own talents while producing them. It’s also important to take time out to get acquainted with basic statistical principles. You could start off with the latest edition of the book by Box, Hunter and Hunter, Statistics for Experimenters. It is important to realize that the quality of the data helps determine the quality of the conclusions. It is important to avoid small, unreplicated studies which yield apparently significant conclusions. You should try to replicate your results as many times as possible. Please do not selectively report results or fudge or shuffle your data in order to please your superiors, or to get a paper published. Give due, even slightly overgenerous, credit to others when credit is due even when this affects the apparent originality of your work. You get back what you give out. I believe that there are people in the higher echelons of Society who attempt to control Statistics while trying to control ordinary people everywhere. It is important that you try to assert yourself while attempting to report the most honest conclusions which you can from the data. The same data set can yield entire different conclusions (e.g. about outliers) depending on where it’s coming from. Think how the data was collected when you analyze it. You might decide to be interdisciplinary like me or you could decide to focus on one or two areas of application. So it’s essential to maintain the honesty and integrity of the statistical paradigm. If done badly, Statistics can be used to confuse the population. Bad statistics can used to control ordinary people with misinformation. I fear that it may already be like that. One thing happening is that there is a huge expansion of Statistics in Big Data analysis. Lots, lots more people from different disciplines are regarding themselves as statisticians. This is in a sense quite tricky because they then have different objectives. Please don’t clean the data before you’ve scrutinized it in relation to its real-life background. You may be ridding yourself of the key messages in the data.
I very much fear the current strangely indecisive situation in the world today. I believe that good Statistics can be used to help change the world for the better. It can for example substantiate suspicion as to what is actually going on. Please be sure to use your expertise in Statistics fairly and wisely.
Diego: Thank you Thomas that’s an inspiration for all of us. Many thanks for this interview.
We would like to thank Diane Ruiz and Thomas Tallis for helping us with this interview.
Diego and Diane Ruiz
Monday, 16 January 2017
My friend Broderick, who is suffering severely from the long term side effects of depixol, recently visited his fast talking shrink with an advocate, and asked him to enable him to withdraw from his nasty psych med, so that he could be treated by psychoanalysis instead, The crafty shrink instead offered Broderick a 'new drug' aripiprazole with the promise of very limited side effects,
However, aripiprazole is just another name for the well-worn highly toxic anti-typical anti-psychotic Abilify. with a whole list of dangerous side effects, All these medications poison the enzymes, and most atypical anti-psychotics cause debilitating side effects to around 70% of patients with 15 months of treatment, The long term effects are far too dreadful to contemplate
Talking to a shrink is like talking to a Nazi. There's no reason to believe a word that they say.
LIST OF SIDE EFFECTS
Side effects include neuroleptic malignant syndrome, a movement disorder known as tardive dyskinesia, and high blood sugar in those with diabetes. In the elderly there is an increased risk of death. It is thus not recommended for use in those with psychosis due to dementia. It is pregnancy category C in the United States and category C in Australia, meaning there is possible evidence of harm to the fetus. It is not recommended for women who are breastfeeding. It is unclear whether it is safe or effective in people less than 18 years old.
See also: List of side effects of aripiprazole
In adults side effects with greater than 10% incidence include weight gain, headache, agitation or anxiety, insomnia, and gastro-intestinal effects like nausea and constipation, and lightheadedness. Side effects in children are similar, and include sleepiness, increased appetite, and stuffy nose. A strong desire to gamble, binge eat, shop, and have sex may also occur.
Uncontrolled movement such as restlessness, tremors, and muscle stiffness have been reported in children and adults, but they are rare.
The British National Formulary recommends a gradual withdrawal when discontinuing anti-psychotic treatment to avoid acute withdrawal syndrome or rapid relapse.Joanne Moncrieff has suggested that the withdrawal process might itself be schizo-mimetic, producing schizophrenia-like symptoms even in previously healthy patients, indicating a possible pharmacological origin of mental illness in a yet unknown percentage of patients currently and previously treated with antipsychotics, but the limited evidence was found to support this hypothesis for antipsychotics other than clozapine.
Children or adults who ingested acute overdoses have usually manifested central nervous system depression ranging from mild sedation to coma; serum concentrations of aripiprazole and dehydroaripiprazole in these patients were elevated by up to 3-4 fold over normal therapeutic levels, yet to date no deaths have been recorded.
Sunday, 15 January 2017
Saturday, 14 January 2017
Sunday, 8 January 2017
Plymouth Argyle's Record versus Liverpool
I watched Argyle when they lost 2:3 against Liverpool at Home Park during April 1962 in the last game of Liverpool's promotion season to Division 1, and when Argyle came 5th in Division 2 after their promotion hopes faded, Centre forward George Kirby was carried off injured for Argyle
Today the two teams drew 0.0 at Anfield, during their next fixture, almost 55 years on, I listened to the excitement on BBC Radio
AS IT HAPPENED
Saturday, 7 January 2017
I am writing this short article following an impassioned debate in my writers group, as the Trump-Brexit era approaches.
It is essential for us to protect and defend our multi-cultural Society, since without this our vibrancy and future creativity will be lost. Over harsh immigration measures, and demands that immigrants should be forced to speak English all the time or over-conform to some stupid sense of Britishness, would lead us into a desperate vacuum where we are left to further machinations by the manipulative politicians and Faragians,
Ethnic minorities should be enabled to develop and enhance their own cultures, while interacting in positive ways with everybody, They should not, I personally believe, be permitted to rule themselves according to their own legal systems or to coerce their women or young people in socially unacceptable ways.
I believe that their is too much brainwashing of our children by religion, in particular Christianity, in many parts of our Society, I believe that our children should be taught human values instead, and I have recently resigned my membership of St, Andrews and St, George's West Church in Edinburgh, for this and related reasons, (Please see my on-line Google Two Star Review for more details) Maybe only adults should be taught about religion, and then in a comparative manner which brings out the best, common factors from all religions e.g, mutual empathy and support for the whole of humankind,
How should we treat people who we regard to the right of us? We should of course accommodate and seek to influence them for the betterment of human kind, unless of course they are arch-Tory politicians, raving Ukippers, T-party Republicans and the like, I would regard House Speaker Paul Ryan from Wisconsin as falling somewhat beyond the acceptable borderline, since he wishes to abolish food stamps. If we were ever to achieve a Utopian democracy, then the key test of its credibility would be as to whether it would tolerate a diversity of views within it.
Would we need frontiers between countries or communes within a Utopian democracy? Unfortunately, we would probably need them for our World Society to be able to function efficiently in practical terms, Meanwhile the teachings of the Anarchists gain more and more credibility. Many scholars think that Christ himself was an Anarchist, and that the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke) were composed as liturgies by a Jewish grass roots group who vehemently opposed the Establishment of the day.
Sunday, 1 January 2017
NEWS FROM INTEGRATED TISSUE DYNAMICS
Now, a breakthrough discovery by scientists at Integrated Tissue Dynamics LLC (Intidyn), as part of a fibromyalgia study based at Albany Medical College, has provided a biological rationale for this enigmatic disease. The small biotechnology research company, founded by neuroscientists Dr. Frank L. Rice and Dr. Phillip J. Albrecht, reports on a unique peripheral neurovascular pathology consistently present in the skin of female fibromyalgia patients which may be a driving source of the reported symptoms.
“Instead of being in the brain, the pathology consists of excessive sensory nerve fibers around specialized blood vessel structures located in the palms of the hands,” said Dr. Rice, President of Intidyn and the senior researcher on the study. “This discovery provides concrete evidence of a fibromyalgia-specific pathology which can now be used for diagnosing the disease, and as a novel starting point for developing more effective therapeutics.