The Time Is Now For It To Be Now. Again.

The Time Is Now For It To Be Now. Again.

What’s Up?

Time for our biannual update, dear readers.

My forays into this new thing called “video” have, at long last, begun. It took me so long because I do not myself do not watch many (except for electronic repair vids, which are relaxing), and I have no talent for it.

Yet if we go by the stats, both that I have made so far—the cruise control repair and the probability-busting coin-flipping machine—have been spectacular successes, both receiving a number of views well into the double digits.

Although it’s dangerous to extrapolate from such small samples, I confidently predict that the next video will break the century barrier.

The next, incidentally, will be a video proving Why It’s Necessary To Bluff In Poker. I also did one (not edited yet) on The World’s Best Undefeatable Random Number Generator. And my friend Jaap and I will discuss Scientism.

If you have requests along the lines of “What are the chances of that?”, email me, use the blog’s contact form, or leave a comment. Should I do a Monty Hall solution video? Global climate warming change? Old Man Yells At Clouds?

Attendance Mandatory

I’ve ordered a chalkboard—yes, the kind that uses real chalk—so I can at last begin my Mega MAGA (make analysis grand again) Manly Probability & Statistics course, the only such course you will ever need. Yes, skip all university efforts, which has professors flashing their wee Ps at you, and sign up for my course.

(Say, I just realized I forgot to order chalk.)

Maybe I’ll call the class How To Think About Evidence. Or You Are Not Uncertain Enough. Or Stop Believing The Science.

Thinking about these, I recall when I won the award, three years running, for World’s Worst Headline Writer. And they said I’d never amount to anything.

Anyway, by “sign up”, I mean follow along at your discretion. I struggled with how to organize or charge for such a course, ending up deciding for the same formula I use for the blog.

Which is to say, ask saintly perspicacious upright generous worthy citizens to donate what they can, while keeping all material out front of any kind of paywall. (Except for books.)

Broken Science

I am still very much involved in the Broken Science Initiative. Emily Kaplan says a website redesign is imminent, to make it easier to find and use things. The podcast series has begun (I have some up), with many more to come.

We are surrounded by The Science, which is another way to say Broken Science, which pours out from the Regime at an ever-quickening pace. All of us need to understand all the tricks, cheats, and manipulations they use, the failed and fractured philosophies on which they rely.

But that’s the gloomy side of things.

Unbroken Science

The bright side is that if we learn what models really are, what theories really mean, and what uncertainty really should be, then we can advance true science. Which is the discovering the full causes of things. Full. Cause in all its elements, not just efficient causes. Physics especially needs this injection, because now we have preposterosities like multiverses (in all their flavors) and strings and other quantum hoo-ha.

Don’t be mad if you love these things. Let’s learn together how to build science from its base, and, most importantly for us, how to think about evidence.

Not just scientific evidence, but all evidence. For it turns out that how to think about scientific evidence is the same as how to think about legal evidence, and how to think about theological evidence. In short, how to think about evidence period.


Jaap and I are writing our book on science, it glories and ignominies. And why it isn’t the answer to any question except science questions. So far we have two abandoned titles. But we are determined to finish it by this day one year from today.

I Ask You A Favor

The best help you can give to me, and I hope to you, is to pass on this blog. Or the Substack mirror,

Especially if you come across an article you enjoy, could I beg you to share it widely? And to subscribe (links are available in the sidebar on the right on the blog, and at Substack in the usual way).

I am also available, and have done scores and scores, of every kind of interview and talk.

I know this is a pain in the kiester, but it helps keep me going. Like I say in the bio, I really am independent. Entirely. I make my living here, with you. Because of you.

This means that if you see something you really hate or badly disagree with, it’s partly your fault. Think of that. Or that maybe you are one of my many enemies who tirelessly insert typos into everything I write.

You can donate using the links below, or subscribe at Substack. I have been, am, and with the blessing will continue to be extraordinarily grateful to a hardened core of generous donors, without whose help these many years this blog would not exist. Without these large-hearted stalwart upstanding beautiful human beings I’d have to go back calculating wee Ps for gloomy academics.

Subscribe or donate to support this site and its wholly independent host using credit card click here. Or use the paid subscription at Substack. Cash App: $WilliamMBriggs. For Zelle, use my email:, and please include yours so I know who to thank.


  1. JerryR

    ‘ Which is the discovering the full causes of things.‘

    Here’s one got you.

    How did the modern world arise? Few seem to have a clue including Briggs.

    Give it a shot. The evidence is there.

  2. Hagfish Bagpipe

    ”…how to think about evidence. Not just scientific evidence, but all evidence. For it turns out that how to think about scientific evidence is the same as how to think about legal evidence, and how to think about theological evidence. In short, how to think about evidence period.”

    That’s a worthy goal. Judging from the evidence, people who lack skill in weighing evidence are more easily confused, demoralized, and mislead.

  3. Briggs


    You said it brother.

  4. JerryR

    “how to think about evidence”

    One way only, logic. The missing ingredient everywhere.

  5. re: what are the chances of that?

    You may have heard that in the profession of software development, we from time to time estimate schedule.

    Now an estimate is a probability statement — “what are the chances of that?” . If Boss says “Wostenberg, can you do it by next Tuesday” and I respond “Absolutely! At 10% confidence” I am distinguishing the target (“next Tuesday”) from the estimate “what are the chances?”, (10%, meaning: if we could somehow run the project 100 times, I’d finish by next Tuesday 10 of the 100; it could take much longer, for while in software there is a limit how good things can be, there is no limit how bad things can be. The probability distribution is not symmetrical around the median.)

    My question: if we decompose a bigger work item into tasks of no more than a day — say a big task decomposed into 10 tasks each of 1 day at 50% confidence, what are the chances of finishing the big task in ten days? My friends say “Wostenberg, it all averages out — 50% confidence on the Big One”. But I have my doubts.

    What does the model say?

  6. Cary D Cotterman

    “how to think about evidence”

    When dealing with what we get from government, academia, et. al, it requires, along with logic, etc., very high-functioning bullshit radar.

  7. Briggs: I’d donate, but have double bad think opinions and so no money. Sorry!

    Wostenberg: when SNAP/PERT came in (yes, I am that old) I learned that 30 partially parallel one day delays in software development totalled out to at least 70 days… uncertainties multiply, they neither add nor average out.

  8. It’s all fake and gay. The evidence for that is all around you.

  9. David Marwick

    “Logic” is bandied around as though it was some “thing” that should be the justification for any “reasoning” that precedes any conclusion at all.

    Logic, on the other hand, is the scientific rules to ensure that reasoning is a coherent and consistent “take” on reality ultimately based on “self evident” and unassailable premises such as the “Law of Non-contradiction”. Reasoning, unrestrained by Logic, can proceed from any unjustifiable premise via any faulty “method” to any desired “conclusion”. Scientism and just about all of contemporary “philosophy” is a very pertinent example of this.

    For anyone interested in the topic see if you can negotiate this horrible internet thing and find:

    The Science of Logic_ A Course – McCloskey, Patrick_3398.pdf

  10. Tars Tarkas

    I see a fellow Shango066 fan. Great channel. He does a lot of mine exploration videos as well.

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