Category: quotes

  • On “true” models

    On “true” models

    Before starting the description of the probability distributions, we want to impose on the reader the essential feature that a model is an interpretation of a real phenomenon that fits its characteristics to some degree of approximation rather than an explanation that would require the model to be “true”. In short, there is no such […]

  • Preamble to the instructions on how to wind a watch

    Preamble to the instructions on how to wind a watch

    Think of this: when they present you with a watch, they are gifting you with a tiny flowering hell, a wreath of roses, a dungeon of air. They aren’t simply wishing the watch on you, and many more, and we hope it will last you, it’s a good grand, Swiss, seventeen rubies; they aren’t just […]

  • The art of losing

    The art of losing

    Very few things last forever. Forever used to mean a hundred or a thousand years—even the universe had a beginning and will have an end; today it could mean three, five years. One of the reasons things last so long (or so little) is the need for self-consistency. Consistency can be good when we are […]

  • Idea fishing, idea growing

    This month I started working for the School of Forestry, University of Canterbury, where I am supposed to teach, supervise and research all sort of nifty things. One of the things with research is that one needs constant change and permanent challenges. For a while I stepped outside research because I was feeling tired, but […]