Bookmarks for September 14th through September 22nd

These are my links for September 14th through September 22nd:

  • Philosophy Now | Daniel Dennett: Autobiography (Part 1) – What makes a philosopher? In the first of a two-part mini-epic, Daniel C. Dennett contemplates a life of the mind – his own. Part 1: The pre-professional years.
  • Philosopher’s Annual – Our goal is to select the ten best articles published in philosophy each year—an attempt as simple to state as it is admittedly impossible to fulfill. Against a background of twenty-four volumes in hard copy, the Annual is now available entirely online.
  • Revolutions: Interactive stock visualizations with R – Jeroen Ooms, who recently completed his Masters in Statistics at Utrech University, has created an outstanding web-based drag-and-drop application for visualizing financial data. With his “StockPlot” t application, you can select any stock from a number of world exchanges (including NASDAQ, DAX, FTSE), and drag it to a worksheet to see a time-series of the stock price. You can arrange up to four charts on the same worksheet for comparison purposes, and control the timeframe and appearance of each chart.
  • Revolutions: Machine Learning in R, in a nutshell – Josh Reich has created a concise R script demonstrating various machine-learning techniques in R with simple, self-contained examples.
  • Information Processing and Thermodynamic Entropy (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy) – Are principles of information processing necessary to demonstrate the consistency of statistical mechanics? Does the physical implementation of a computational operation have a fundamental thermodynamic cost, purely by virtue of its logical properties? These two questions lie at the centre of a large body of literature concerned with the Szilard engine (a variant of the Maxwell’s demon thought experiment), Landauer’s principle (supposed to embody the fundamental principle of the thermodynamics of computation) and possible connections between the two. A variety of attempts to answer these questions have illustrated many open questions in the foundations of statistical mechanics.
  • Christopher J. G. Meacham, Two Mistakes Regarding The Principal Principle | PhilPapers – This paper examines two mistakes regarding David Lewis’ Principal Principle that have appeared in the recent literature. These particular mistakes are worth looking at for several reasons: the thoughts that lead to these mistakes are natural ones, the principles that result from these mistakes are untenable, and these mistakes have led to significant misconceptions regarding the role of admissibility and time. After correcting these mistakes, the paper discusses the correct roles of time and admissibility. With these results in hand, the paper concludes by showing that one way of formulating the chance-credence relation has a distinct advantage over its rivals.
  • José Luis Bermúdez – Decision Theory and Rationality – Reviewed by Lara Buchak, UC Berkeley – Philosophical Reviews – University of Notre Dame – Decision theory is used for a variety of purposes: decision makers use it to guide their own actions, and theorists use it both normatively to assess decision makers and to predict and explain their decisions. This book investigates whether the theory can fulfill all three of these purposes. In particular, Bermúdez explores three questions that decision theory must answer under any guise: How should we understand utility and preference? How finely should we individuate the possible outcomes in a decision problem? And how should choice be constrained over time? He argues that there are no answers to these questions that allow decision theory to serve all three purposes.

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