Everything you wanted to know about data mining but were afraid to ask

April 4, 2012

The Atlantic has published a guide to what data mining is, how it works, and why it’s important.

This article is an attempt to explain how data mining works and why you should care about it. Because when we think about how our data is being used, it is crucial to understand the power of this practice. Without data mining, when you give someone access to information about you, all they know is what you have told them. With data mining, they know what you have told them and can guess a great deal more. Put another way, data mining allows companies and governments to use the information you provide to reveal more than you think.

[HT Moshe Vardi].

Does Fitelson Have an Ace up His Sleeve?

April 4, 2012

Branden Fitelson, Associate Professor of Philosophy at Rutgers University, will deliver a colloquium lecture, “Accuracy, Coherence, and Evidence,” on Thursday, April 5, 2012, at Carnegie Mellon University. Having studied mathematics and physics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Fitelson continued his studies at the same university to pursue a Ph.D. in philosophy under the supervision of Malcom Forster, earning his doctorate in 2001 for his thesis, Studies in Bayesian Confirmation Theory.  What follows is an abstract of his lecture.

I will begin by rehearsing the traditional story about the relationship between accuracy norms (i.e., the truth norm), coherence norms (i.e., the deductive consistency norm), and evidential norms (i.e., a weak Lockean evidentialist thesis) for full belief. Then, I will discuss Ramsey-style reasons for being skeptical about an analogous story about partial belief (viz., credence). Next, I will describe an alternative story about the relationship between accuracy norms and coherence norms for credences (due to de Finetti, Joyce, and others). Finally, I will explain how an analogous story about full belief leads to an interesting new coherence norm that is weaker than deductive consistency, but much more intimately connected with evidential norms. Time permitting, various implications and applications of this new approach will be discussed. This is joint work with Kenny Easwaran.


Philosophy Colloquium
Department of Philosophy
Carnegie Mellon University

Thursday, April 5, 2012

4:00-4:35 pm   Doherty Hall 4301

4:45-6:00 pm   Baker Hall A53

As usual, all are invited to attend.