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Please Stop Touting the "Data Scientist"

Instead, let's tout what makes everyone's own skills uniquely valuable. This article was originally posted here on LinkedIn. Tim Wilson, of Digital Analytics Power Hour fame, recently wrote a great piece on LinkedIn about the precarious notion of a 'Citizen Data Scientist'. This is the idea that people who work in areas outside of data science or analytical roles can or will soon be able to take advantage of powerful data science technologies to glean the same kinds of benefits that the pros do without writing code, or studying statistics, or even having a basic idea of how any of it works. I am not going to re-hash Tim's analysis of this idea. I recommend you read it, because it...

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Are beliefs or delusions characteristic of obsessive-compulsive disorder?

The diagnostic manuals for psychiatric disorders inconsistently fall on the notions of belief and delusion with reference to the mental, obsessive components of OCD. But whether obsessions can be delusional and whether delusions are a kind of belief is hard to pin down conceptually, and the treatment of these concepts clinically may warrant greater clarity.

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‘Just in case’: if and only if?

The prevailing view in North American philosophical writing seems to be that the phrase 'just in case' can be translated into the phrase 'if and only if'. Consequently, this view holds that the phrase 'just in case' is best symbolized by the logical connective known as the biconditional (↔). Now, this seems wrong to me for two reasons. One is the difference between 'just in case' in this sense and the sense it has in British English, as noted by Geoffrey K. Pullum: British English: "We'll bring an umbrella just in case it rains." American philosophers: "A formula is a tautology just in case it is true on all valuations." That's a fine difference to note, but I also have a...

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