William M. Briggs

Statistician to the Stars!

The Great Day Is Here! Uncertainty Meets The World

uncertainty2

The Great Day—the Day yearned for by all humanity, or at least weakly anticipated by you, Dear Reader—has arrived! Let the trumpet sound and celebration begin! The release of Uncertainty: The Soul of Modeling, Probability & Statistics is official!

The cover above is not the approved version, but one graciously and unexpectedly provided by the one and only Wrath of Gnon. Has more soul than the Springer yellow.

You’ll want to buy a copy for yourself, of course. But in doing so don’t neglect thinking of copies for your loved ones, too. There is no better way to demonstrate filial piety than buying your mother her very own copy. And if that sainted woman is no longer with us, then buying the neighbor’s mother a copy works just as well.

Act now. Supplies are unlimited.

The Big Gist

  1. All probability is conditional;
  2. Probability is not decision.

From those simple and proved truths flows these consequences:

  • Probability cannot discern cause;
  • Therefore no hypothesis test, by wee p-value or Bayes factor, should ever be used;
  • Therefore parameters are of no interest to man or beast;
  • Therefore verified probability models should be used in a predictive sense only;
  • Therefore to understand cause and provide explanation we must look to nature, essence, and power.

Therefore buy the book and be the first on your block to come to a wondrous, penetrating understanding of probability & statistics. Out with the new and in with the old! The older, better, and true understanding of cause and probability, that is. Eschew mathematics for the sake of mathematics, flee ad hocery in all its forms and wiles, and put probability to its intended real use!

This includes you, too, computer scientists, with your big deep data neural net machine “learning” fuzzy algorithms which are all probability models by (admittedly) cuter and more precious names.

Buy the book. Only $64.82, an exceptional bargain.

I see, too, some sellers list used copies, which are, of course, an impossibility. For two reasons. One, the book is only out today. Two, once in possession of this mighty work, none would let it go. Caveat emptor.

18 Comments

  1. Amazon tells me my copy is due to arrive on July 15th.

  2. “Used” has very specific meanings in retail. The book may have been read or looked through by the seller and now has to be sold as used.

    What a variety of prices. It always amazes me the range of prices on Amazon.

    Ordering today.

  3. Fantastic, congratulations. God bless.

  4. How do we get autographed copies? If I have a signed edition of the world famous first printing, my grandchildren will rejoice!

  5. I especially like how they’ve left lots of space for margin notes in between the letters of ‘Briggs’.

  6. You’re right—your cover here is much better than the yellow one on the book.

  7. Sadly still unavailable on amazon.co.uk

    Prof Briggs any idea when it might be available outside the US?

  8. The Great Day—the Day yearned for by all humanity, or at least weakly anticipated by you, Dear Reader—has arrived!

    At first I thought you meant Bastille Day but I see you mean the book release.
    I’ll have to put it on my Christmas wishlist.

  9. Acricket

    Did you notice

    UN
    Certainty?

    UN
    Fortunately
    the real book doesn’t have that

  10. Yeah, but it it’s UN——————
    Certainty.
    A shame.

  11. Just ordered it here in Germany…

  12. Congratulations Briggs! I ordered my copy will take a while to get to Aussie, looking forward to it.

  13. Briggs

    July 14, 2016 at 6:24 pm

    Chinahand,

    I’ll ask my editor.

  14. I ordered a copy this morning. Free two day shipping! Where can I meet you for an autograph?

  15. Congratulations Doctor Briggs,
    I pledge to forego five six-packs of Sierra Nevada Torpedo ale to afford your tome. (And in this heat, that’s something.) But what is mere beer, however delicious, and cool, and hoppy, and fizzy – and during a summer heat wave no less – weighed against a pure, cool, refreshing chugg of the philosophy of knowledge itself?

    Jersey McJones – can you afford your own copy or would you like us to take up a collection for your benefit? I’m sure we could get the good Doctor to autograph it for you.

  16. I have been reading the book this morning and I have a suggestion:

    Some of the most useful and fun books in computer science (in my view at least) were Donald Knuth’s Art of Computer Programming Series: Vol. 1 Fundamental Algorithms, Vol. 2 Seminumerical Algorithms, Vol. 3 Sorting and Searching, etc. Knuth offered a monetary reward for anyone sending him a mistake or suggestion that he incorporates into future editions and he honored that by sending out “Knuth reward checks” in the amount of US$2.56 each, which he called a hexadecimal dollar since it was 256 cents. Few of them were cashed; most were framed and kept on the walls of computer geeks as a measure of bragging rights. You could think of a variety of ways to send the checks out and ways to fix the amounts that keyed on the notions within the book, perhaps variably. (Knuth later changed the checks to be drawn on a virtual bank instead of a real one for reasons having to do with check fraud.)

    For my check, I offer the following correction. On page 145, line 11 (not counting equation 8.7 as a line, the following sentence appears:

    “But then there is no arguments over where the prior for ‘theta’ came from.”

    Either the ‘s’ in arguments should be deleted or the ‘is’ should be changed to ‘are’.

    I like the reference to Jack Aubrey. As he would say concerning your sending me my check “There is not a moment to lose.”

  17. Fah – hah!
    You encourage careful reading.

  18. Briggs–I am elbow-deep in chapter 1.3 section on Epistomogy, and drinking a Corona.

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