Introducing Mogget

Faith-Promoting Rumor is please to announce the addition of another perma-blogger to the staff. Please welcome Mogget to our blog. Mogget is a graduate student in New Testament Exegesis back east, working on her dissertation (as I ought to be doing, instead of blogging) and she graciously agreed to class up the place over a pizza in Philadelphia. I haven’t asked her if she would like her real name or interesting history revealed, so I will let her make that decision. I can say that she has a greater probability of having killed a man than I have. With that, please give a warm reception to Mogget.

11 Replies to “Introducing Mogget”

  1. Of course, since you haven’t specified the probability that you’ve killed a man, David, the usefulness of that statement is up for grabs. Under normal circumstances, your personal subjective probability of having killed a man would be either zero or one, since the probability distribution would collapse given knowledge and you presumably know about your own acts. You state that Mogget definitively has a greater probability than you, not just equal, so that rules out a probability of one. So we conclude that you have definitely not killed a man, and thus that your subjective probability that Mogget has killed a man may be miniscule — 0.00001 or smaller. In other words, all we know from this is that you don’t know for sure that Mogget hasn’t killed a man. But the same could be said about anyone else. This would render your statement utterly uninformative, so I conclude that this must not be your meaning.

    What, then, could you have meant? The one remaining possibility that you’ve participated in some sort of strange “death lottery,” in which several different people (for example) push a button simultaneously, and one of the buttons is wired to an electric circuit which kills a man. If you did this, your subjective probability of having killed a man would be 1/N, where N is the number of buttons that were pushed. In this case, we would know that Mogget’s probability of having killed a man is strictly greater than 1/N.

    What we all need to know, I suppose, in order to determine exactly how careful we should be around Mogget is what the value of N was when you participated in the death lottery. Please disclose — enquiring minds want to know.


    P.S. Welcome, Mogget. I look forward to your posts!

  2. Hi Ronan — nice to talk to you again. And how’s Marduk or Marmaduke or whoever it is that was in charge of Things Theological in your area?

    Roasted Tomatoes — it is very unfair to suggest that John C has been part of a “strange death lottery.”

    Perhaps he has served on a firing squad, in which case you will have to re-do your probabilities to account for the fact that only one of the weapons used fires a blank. And then there’s the question of aiming…

    And we will have to ensure that he was not the senior official participating, so that we know it was not he who administered the coup de grace, either.

    As you have noted, very complicated stuff, trying to figure out what that John C has been up to.

    In any case, thanks for the welcoming words.

  3. Mogget, you’re right of course — although in statistical terms, the firing squad scenario is identical to the “death lottery” scenario, provided that we can assume someone actually hit the target.

    And John, sorry I got confused about what site I was on and called you David.

  4. I think it is problematic to assume that John has a perfect knowledge of all his acts and their consequences. He may have blacked out for extensive time periods or repressed memories of brutal academic fistfights.

  5. Mogget, I’m so glad you’ll be permablogging here! FHL and I have been doing all this un-paid work to make John look good, and it’s failing miserably, as you can tell. You’ll definitely class the place up! Bring on the NT stuff, cuz boy do I (and the church) need it!

    Hooray for REAL academics!

    Ben-yamin, the takeover has begun! The hour draweth nigh thither. The lawyers hath had their chance, and lo, their power now waneth! Now behold, let us unite in one accord and sing grandiose praises to the Lord God almighty who giveth us strength to overcome our adversaries and sing hosanahs to the ‘elohim for granting us yet another student of the blessed and holy most high and sanctified Text of Texts…

  6. “in statistical terms, the firing squad scenario is identical to the ‘death lottery’ scenario, provided that we can assume someone actually hit the target.”

    Only if you are assuming that one and only one person actually it the target. Your original equation was 1/n, but this would be (n-1)/n, which is NOT identical. :p

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