, Volume 63, Issue 1, pp 115-138

First online:

Some random observations

  • E. T. JaynesAffiliated withDept. of Physics, Washington University

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Of course, the rationale of PME is so different from what has been taught in “orthodox” statistics courses for fifty years, that it causes conceptual hangups for many with conventional training. But beginning students have no difficulty with it, for it is just a mathematical model of the natural, common sense way in which anybody does conduct his inferences in problems of everyday life.

The difficulties that seem so prominent in the literature today are, therefore, only transient phenomena that will disappear automatically in time. Indeed, this revolution in our attitude toward inference is already an accomplished fact among those concerned with a few specialized applications; with a little familarity in its use its advantages are apparent and it no longer seems strange. It is the idea that inference was once thought to be tied to frequencies in random experiments, that will seem strange to future generations.