Early Risers

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

It looks like Joseph Kellard, my baby daughter, and I have something in common, at least this morning. With the baby up unusually early, we're all early risers.

Not to engage in one-upsmanship, but ever since Baby Van Horn's arrival, I have shifted to going to bed at 9:00 and waking at 3:00. (Yes. The other three o'clock!) It's really the only way I can have time to think or get various thought-intensive tasks, like blogging, done. (Now and then, I even manage to take a peek at other blogs...) I especially like the following passage:

When I used to live with others, including night owls who watched TV late, getting up early in the morning was always the only opportunity to take advantage of some quiet in the house, which was a tremendous value when I needed to think, write or read. Today I live alone in a studio apartment in a home that almost seems hermetically sealed to sound. It's too good to be true.
I am currently in the process of reevaluating my use of time from top to bottom, and one thing that I've come to enjoy is the half-hour or so I now start with, before doing anything else, to plan my day. In addition to helping me get my bearings, this ritual has turned out to be a nice, quiet, and reflective way to ease myself into the day, with a nice cup of coffee, of course.

-- CAV

--- In Other News ---

Probably one of the most obvious (and annoying) symptoms of scientific and philosophical illiteracy is the confusion of correlation with causation. I'll take pleasure in whipping out these graphs the next time I have to make such a point. Continuing the theme of the main post: Who knew that naming so many babies "Ava" could wreak such havoc?

Via the LinkedIn group for Jean Moroney's Thinking Directions course alumni, I recently encountered "Eight Habits of Highly Productive People", and several other useful articles in a similar vein.

Provocative/Inspirational Quote of the Day: "Remarkable work often comes from making choices when everyone else feels as though there is no choice." -- Seth Godin, via John Cook, who also points to some interesting-looking reading about choice by Venkatesh Rao.


12-16-11: Corrected a typo. 


Steve D said...

However, in fact, correlation does imply some type of causal chain, just not necessarily linear, direct or simple. If it did not, neither induction nor science would be possible.

In the example given, the causal chain is indirect. A third factor (socio-economic class) provides the causal link between the other factors (incidence of CHD and HRT). Therefore, there was causation, just not a simple A to B causation.

As the question went years ago when they looked at the data showing that smokers had a higher incidence of lung cancer: Does smoking cause cancer or does cancer cause smoking?

Gus Van Horn said...

True, barring coincidence. (See the mountain range superimposed on the graph at the link.)

Snedcat said...

Yo, Gus, you write: "True, barring coincidence."

Somehow, this discussion circuitously reminded me of this hilarious piece of work. The reader might want to ponder the many links you'd have to posit for any causal chain explaining the correlation...but probably not.

Gus Van Horn said...