Some Academic Items

A few unpublished and a couple of published papers

(1) a transcription of a draft working paper from 1972 discussing the reasons "Ockham's Razor" is more than just a principle that has been found useful in practice, or that leads to the idea of "beauty" as a criterion for the scientific value of a theory. Willam of Ockham was probably right.

(2) A paper published in 1973 as part of a Festschrift for the 10th Anniversary of the publication of J.G.Taylor's "The Behavioural Basis if Perception". I argued that neuroscientists should expect to find spike-timing-dependent synaptic potentiation (Hebbian learning) and depression (anti-Hebbian learning), and that they should lead to informationally efficient neural coding of sensory and motor processes. According to Google Scholar, this paper has been referenced only once, in 1974 in passing, and it was not until 1997 that the proposed spike timing effects on synapses was definitively demonstrated experimentally. As far as I am aware in late 2013, the informational effect has not been restated in the literature. (MS Word .doc format)

(3) a transcription of a draft working paper from 1971 discussing the different modes in which perception is used, leading to proposed ways of reducing the impact of the dataflood expected from future satellites. A revised version of the paper was later published in the first Canadian Remote Sensing Symposium, Ottawa, February, 1972. (See item 2.7 in my Publication list).

(4) A short discussion of entropy in open systems, with Java examples (2008.12.28: The examples seem no longer to work as they did).

(5) A note on catalogue systems used in libraries in East Asia by Insup Taylor (McLuhan centre) and Wang Guizhi (Harbin Institute of Technology).

(6) Two papers from the middle 1950's on Information Theory applied to Economics one by Samual Bagno, reprinted, with permission, in facsimile from the Convention Record of the IRE, 1953 and one by myself, based largely on Bagno, extracted from my B.A.Sc. Thesis (1956). They argue that a low inflation rate, of around 4%, is probably necessary to sustain a stable economy, and that government budgets ought ordinarily to be in a small deficit position. Budget surpluses or balanced budgets are dangerous if continued too long, and an inflation rate that is too low is even more dangerous in the long run. There is also a link to a working draft paper on the origin and value of money.

(7) A Draft of an unfinished working paper from 1991 on "Thoughts on the Edge of Chaos" by myself and Ross Pigeau.

(8) An argument against the use of significance levels in psychological experimentation, and handwritten notes from a 1966 Seminar I gave on the relationships among Bayesian statistics, detection theory, and information theory (part 1 PDF 1.1 MB, Part 2 PDF 7.2 MB)

(9) A copy of a paper I wrote in 1961in which I predicted the properties of a visual illusion from the hypothesis that perceived extent is a monotonic function of discriminability, and from the properties of partial differential equations, (PDF, 7.2 MB)

(10) A PowerPoint presentation (Microsoft PowerPoint, 3.4 Mb) on the relation between the human population and the land area requirements of different carbon-free energy sources, leading to the conclusion that biofuels should be used sparingly, if at all.

Some notes on aspects of Perceptual Control Theory

A little historical research into Psychology in Canada

A year-by-year list of papers in the Canadian Journal of Psychology, 1947-74 (Vols 1-28), showing author affiliations and acknowledged funding sources. This is part of a project for John Connors (Canadian University College, Calgary, Alberta) documenting the influence of the Defence Research Board of Canada on the development of Canadian Academic Psychology after the Second World War.