Draft of Edwin Jaynes' "Probability Theory: The Logic of Science" online, with lost chapter 30

by buybuydandavis1 min read23rd Jun 201212 comments


ET Jaynes
Personal Blog


The book didn't include Chapter 30 - "MAXIMUM ENTROPY: MATRIX FORMULATION"

Opening in adobe seems to work out better for me.




12 comments, sorted by Highlighting new comments since Today at 10:00 AM
New Comment
[-][anonymous]8y 3

My lord, are there copyright concerns?

[This comment is no longer endorsed by its author]Reply

I've got plenty of concerns about copyright memory holing good work. The Jaynes' publishers squawked, so the original site took down the whole book, including parts of the book that weren't even published.

What a bunch of shmucks. Jaynes book wouldn't be selling if not for the readers of the draft.

Way back, when the internet was a playground for grad students, besides downloading Jaynes I was also busily publishing obscure philosophical works. Hate me some copyright law.

I don't regret buying a brand new hardcopy of this book... it's the best textbook I've ever owned. I find it really tedious to read a book like this with lots of typeset math on a computer screen.

I bought the hardcover too. After I had already printed out the draft and read it multiple times.

I really wish they had a kindle version, though. Or some electronic version. It really seems primitive not to be able to run a search on something I've read,. Or bookmark. Or tag sections. And where's my hover car?

I agree, I can't wait for ebook readers that actually work well for reading textbooks and scientific journal articles.

Amusing E.T. Jaynes comment:

When, as a student in 1946, I decided that I ought to learn some probability theory, it was pure chance which led me to take the book Theory of Probability by Jeff reys, from the library shelf. In reading it, I was puzzled by something which, I am afraid, will also puzzle many who read the present book. Why was he so much on the defensive? It seemed to me that Je ffreys' viewpoint and most of his statements were the most obvious common sense, I could not imagine any sane person disputing them. Why, then, did he feel it necessary to insert so many interludes of argumentation vigorously defending his viewpoint? Wasn't he belaboring a straw man? This suspicion disappeared quickly a few years later when I consulted another well-known book on probability (Feller, 1950) and began to realize what a fantastic situation exists in this fi eld. The whole approach of Je ffreys was summarily rejected as metaphysical nonsense, without even a description. The author assured us that Je ffreys' methods of estimation, which seemed to me so simple and satisfactory, were completely erroneous, and wrote in glowing terms about the success of a `modern theory,' which had abolished all these mistakes. Naturally, I was eager to learn what was wrong with Je ffreys' methods, why such glaring errors had escaped me, and what the new, improved methods were. But when I tried to nd the new methods for handling estimation problems (which Je reys could formulate in two or three lines of the most elementary mathematics), I found that the new book did not contain them.

Jaynes (1974)

Is this the same as the chapters here?

Looks like they were both copied from here, where they sat for 10 years until they publisher complained. archive

The Wayback Machine. Nice. I should keep that in mind more often.

If you're really serious, you could come up with a setup that tries to archive your browsing history into the Internet Archive like I have.

Very cool. I hadn't given it much thought, but yes, I'd like my history more available.

Since you're so clever, I've got another one for you. Now that you've got it all in the archive, can you do a custom search only within your history?

I know you could do that in your local cache. You'd think that google could set that up as one of their features. That would be way cool, and save you the trouble.

Now that you've got it all in the archive, can you do a custom search only within your history?

You mean do a custom Google search only over URLs already in my Firefox URL history? I can't do that, no. (In part, because my current Firefox profile is only 2 years old or so.) I prefer going through Evernote, IRC logs, site searches, or just my local cache as you point out.

I think one could set it up if one really wanted to, though. Google offers Custom Search Engines to which you can upload target URLs in an XML file thing. >6k URLs blows the limit, but the CSEs let you specify pages where any URL on that page is then treated as a target, so you'd just dump your history onto a page and specify that.