What’s New at WMBriggs.com

Guest posts

There are a couple of guest posts in the queue, and more would be welcome. Since our readership is, by definition, highly intelligent, perceptive, and learned anything they write will be read with great interest by a grateful audience. Previous guest posts we have had prove this.

So send in suggestions (matt@wmbriggs.com), or send in your own. Anonymity, if desired, is fine. You can use your screen name or any other nom de plume.

Articles should be in the 750- to 800-word range and HTML encoded if you can, though text is fine. Your rate of pay for these submissions will exactly equal my per-article reward.

Readership currently is about 11,000 per week, which is the length of time an article stays on the front page. After that, it disappears and is forgotten utterly: which is why we are forced to write so many articles on the same subject so frequently.

Pass it on

This is the week to send a link of this website to at least two friends whose lives have been lacking that certain something. They will thank you for it.

Data sources

About once or twice a week I receive emails requesting I analyze this or that subject. I try to do these if possible, but I don’t always have the time. The largest sink is the effort it takes to find and compile data in a usable form, which we can roughly define as spreadsheet ready.

So if you want data analyzed—for fun—you can help by locating the relevant data and sticking it into a spreadsheet. The general rule is one column for each variable, one row for each observation.


Many emails arrive asking me to comment on a post that has appeared elsewhere. Please, keep sending these in. I usually only have time to respond to one out of every six of these, though.

Believe it or not, I do not read many other blogs, so I miss a lot. I especially do not read blogs on climatology, since my patience has limits. The only webpage I am certain to check regularly is Arts & Letters Daily. Most of my reading is still confined to print.

Thus, you are not being intrusive when you point out interesting pieces elsewhere. As is often requested, anonymity about who suggested a link or article is perfectly fine.

Data analysis

Several readers have been absolute sweethearts and have sent me work or recommended me to others. I am profoundly grateful for this because, of course, this is how I make my living.

Because I am scrupulously fair, I want to give everybody the chance to provide me remunerative employment. This is your opportunity to experience what heretofore only a small, privileged minority have known.

You’ll especially want to talk to me if you are rich and always have felt that you deserved to be a patron of true science and philosophy.

R Lectures

More are coming, they really are. The stars will soon reattain the alignment necessary for my dulcet voice to function properly.


I have received several emails from non-male readers who say they would love to comment but they don’t want to interrupt the boy talk. This is fine, but I note that you could always enter any masculine-sounding screen name you want and say anything you like.

You’ll have seen that many comments begin with some version of “Briggs, you fool”, or the equivalent from one commenter to another. Understand that men view certain forms of insults as terms of endearment and that we enjoy sparring. The often combative nature of comments does not mean we are enemies, and usually means the opposite.


  1. Briggs, you fool, you’re giving away state secrets there. Avast, there, ya lubber. dearieme and joy by any other name would be – – – welcome, I guess.

  2. Kevin

    Briggs, you are a man of such uncommon good sense, and humor, that I think you should promote yourself to community colleges as a presenter for the obligatory, twice a year, “professional development” days–what we call “in-service.” At present there are mainly fakers and frauds in the pool of hirees. Horrifying stuff. You could act as a sort of disinfectant. A mass mailing might bring in quite a few takers–especially from those who really don’t understand that you promote clear thinking, problem solving, evidence as opposed to mere belief, etc.

    Just a suggestion.

  3. Briggs


    I like it. I’m good with crowds, too. I have a squirting carnation for my lapel.


    You might be hearing from dearime.

  4. Bruce Foutch

    Mr. Briggs,

    Thank you as always for your continuing attempts to teach this neanderthal a bit about statistics and the world in general. I have learned much here, been baffled at times, but always come back daily for more.

    I saw these two links in this order on Drudge Report today. Thought you and your readers would enjoy, this being the day before taxes are due (I hope the links copy and paste correctly):


    47% will pay no federal income taxes…

    45% say amount of tax they pay ‘about right’…

  5. Briggs


    Thank you very much.

    I fixed your links, thanks.

  6. Steven Mosher

    Well I finally broke down and started learning R. looking forward to the lectures

  7. TomVonk

    I undestand that you can’t read many blogs William .
    But I would very warmly recommend L.Motl’s Reference Frame – if you don’t read it that is .
    It has several unique advantages in the US blogosphere :
    – Lubos is an exceptionnaly smart physicist and those of his “memos” that are dedicated to physics are mostly brilliant (especially those relating to QM) .
    – He gives a view of US as seen from outside what Americans often lack
    – He tackles political and climate isues too and , as he says , from a conservative (in a political sense) point of view
    For example I recommend :

    which begins by :

    “Grant Foster has found a new inconvenient enemy, a random walk.
    He starts by saying that Euler has “proven” God by the following assertion:
    “Sir, (a + bn) / z = x, hence God exists. Reply!”
    In other words, Euler emitted some mathematical nonsense and considered it a proof of God.
    Tamino’s article continues as expected. Tamino emits some mathematical nonsense and considers it a proof of man-made global warming.”
    Reading intelligent people with a sense of humour like Lubos is always a delight for me 🙂

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