Friday, 17 January 2014

The principle of indifference

The principle of indifference (also called principle of insufficient reason) is a law for allotting epistemic probabilities. Assume that there are n > 1 mutually exclusive and jointly exhaustive possibilities. The principle of indifference states that if the n possibilities are indistinguishable excepting their names, then each possibility must be assigned a probability equal to 1/n.

In Bayesian probability, this is the easiest non-informative prior. The principle of indifference is pointless under the frequency interpretation of probability, in which probabilities are relative frequencies rather than degrees of belief in doubtful propositions, conditional upon a state of information.

Friday, 1 March 2013

Indifference

The principle of indifference is a rule for assigning epistemic probabilities. Suppose that there are n > 1 mutually exclusive and collectively exhaustive possibilities. The principle of indifference states that if the n possibilities are indistinguishable except for their names, then each possibility should be assigned a probability equal to 1/n.

In Bayesian probability, this is the simplest non-informative prior. The principle of indifference is meaningless under the frequency interpretation of probability, in which probabilities are relative frequencies rather than degrees of belief in uncertain propositions, conditional upon a state of information.

Monday, 16 July 2012

Violence

Violence is defined by the World Health Organization as the intentional use of physical force or power, threatened or actual, against oneself, another person, or against a group or community, that either results in or has a high likelihood of resulting in injury, death, psychological harm, maldevelopment or deprivation. This definition associates intentionality with the committing of the act itself, irrespective of the outcome it produces.
Globally, violence takes the lives of more than 1.5 million people annually: just over 50% due to suicide, some 35% due to homicide, and just over 12% as a direct result of war or some other form of conflict. For each single death due to violence, there are dozens of hospitalizations, hundreds of emergency department visits, and thousands of doctors' appointments. Furthermore, violence often has lifelong consequences for victims' physical and mental health and social functioning and can slow economic and social development.

Violence, however, is preventable. Evidence shows strong relationships between levels of violence and potentially modifiable factors such as concentrated poverty, income and gender inequality, the harmful use of alcohol, and the absence of safe, stable, and nurturing relationships between children and parents. Scientific research shows that strategies addressing the underlying causes of violence can be effective in preventing violence. Examples of scientifically credible strategies to prevent violence include nurse home-visiting and parenting education to prevent child maltreatment; life skills training for children ages 6–18 years; school-based programmes to address gender norms and attitudes; reducing alcohol availability and misuse through enactment and enforcement of liquor licensing laws, taxation and pricing; reducing access to guns and knives; and promoting gender equality by, for instance, supporting the economic empowerment of women.

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Violence

Violence is the use of physical force to apply a state to others contrary to their wishes. Physical violence, while often a stand-alone issue, is likely the culmination of other kinds of conflict, i.e. two countries may war with each other when diplomatic (political) efforts are exhausted, or a victim of emotional violence may "snap" and attempt to kill their tormentor. Such killings may be tried as a lesser crime than first degree murder, taking the circumstances into account and recognising that tolerances can be exceeded driving one form of violence to spawn another in defense.

Worldwide, violence is used as a tool of manipulation and also is an area of concern for law and culture which make attempts to suppress and stop it. The word violence covers a broad spectrum. It can vary from a physical altercation between two beings to war and genocide where millions may die as a result. The Global Peace Index, updated in June 2010, ranks 149 countries according to the "absence of violence".