Episode 163 – 23rd November 2012

Internet freedom around the world – an exclusive report from Azerbaijan, the gamification of war, Bayes Theorem, former Labour MP Chris Mullin on “A Very British Coup” 30 years on, Peter Tatchell getting arrested and some American atheists take on the American tax man. What more could you want?!

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Freedom of Tweet Around The World (2:15) by Kate Russell
Gamification of War (19:59) by David Eastman
Bayes is the Wayes (25:40) by Liz Lutgendorff (ft Richard Carrier)
Chris Mullin Interview (36:17) by Cory Hazelhurst (ft Chris Mullin!)
Peter Tatchell’s Arresting Experience (49:30) by Adam Knowles and Richard Unwin (ft Peter Tatchell)
FFRF vs The IRS (57:00) by Salim Fadhley (ft Annie Laurie Gaylor)
The sketch at the end is by David Lovesy and Brian Two

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2 thoughts on “Episode 163 – 23rd November 2012

  1. James, It’s not just Bayesian stats that’s trending now, it’s all of statistical science that’s having a make-over. A couple of years ago Hal Varian, Google’s Chief Economist, said that “in the next 10 years the sexiest job will be statistician”. Some people are trying to re-label it ‘data science’ because stats has a bad rep, but the truth is, it’s really interesting. Carrier isn’t the first person to apply Bayes to history, either. In 1964 Fred Mosteller and David Wallace tackled the Federalist Papers. These were documents written just prior to the US Declaration of Independence, discussing what sort of state should be set up. Anyone convicted of writing such material could be hanged for treason, so they were written anonymously. Historians had a good idea who wrote some of them but Mosteller and Wallace did a Bayesian statistical analysis of the word patterns used by all the likely candidates and compared them to words used in the papers. They were able to confidently assign the papers to their authors.


  2. I’ve not seen “Secret State” yet. Is there a specific reason why one of the principle characters is called Dawkins? But “A Very British Coup” is available to watch online and it’s very chilling.

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