HW07solutions2008 - Statistics 408 Homework Set 7:...

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Statistics 408 Homework Set 7: SOLUTIONS 2008 1. What is knowledge? What is profound knowledge? When would someone with a useful theory not have knowledge? Describe the process of acquiring knowledge? Identify potential bottlenecks in this process. Knowledge is information upon which someone acts. Profound knowledge is knowledge that works –is useful---under a very wide range of situations. We would say that Newton’s law is an example of profound knowledge. If someone has a useful and does not act on it, they do not have knowledge. To acquire knowledge, we need to acquire new theories. Often, this requires looking outside the system. Then, we can determine which theories are useful, by making a prediction from the results of an experiment, and act on them. We systematically revise our theories based on comparisons of predictions with observations. Potential bottlenecks to this process may include a refusal to look outside the system to acquire theories in the first place and having problems with an experiment (imbalances, etc.) that make our predictions misleading. 2. Explain why a theory is always true but may not be useful. What is useful theory? A theory is always true somewhere – even if the set of circumstances in which it’s true does not exist. To be useful, a theory should help us make a prediction we can use in our system. We can always adjust a theory after seeing the results of its application to our system. 3.
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HW07solutions2008 - Statistics 408 Homework Set 7:...

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