Bruce Charlton: Doubt As Null Hypothesis

I just ran across this and it — and its comments — caught my eye. I know nothing about Bruce Charlton.

As to Null Hypothesis . . . statistics, hoo-boy.



2 comments on “Bruce Charlton: Doubt As Null Hypothesis

  1. Bert says:

    What I am about to describe is not formal, accepted reasoning. But it is reasoning nonetheless. A man may suspend doubt when convinced that he has observed enough of a pattern to suggest the profit of acceptance or belief and when convinced that due to his natural inclination, doubt will return if the acceptance turns out to be unprofitable. I believe women can do this too. (How about that for avoiding the he-or-she-or-one-or-they politically correct structure?) I am not refuting or disagreeing with what Bruce Charlton said. I am saying something related but different.

  2. mustardnine says:

    Bert: for fun, how about this:

    “I doubt whether doubt works well as a null hypothesis; and I further doubt whether it should have been suggested that it ever ought to have been assigned that status in the first place.”

    It may be similar to the problem of making a question mark — or even an exclamation point — as a null hypothesis. Can it rise to the level of “hypothesis” at all? Or would that be an — ahem — “understatement”?

    Thinking about Douglas Hofstadter, Achilles, and Tortoise . . .

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