29 May 2013

I Need a Date

This post is too funny to not pass on. It's also useful for those teaching or doing baby-stats. All intro texts (R or stats or psychometrics or ...) cover the same ground, so to speak, but lack the cute setup.

On a serious note: measure of central tendency is handled, most often, in the first or second chapter; thence largely ignored. But if your field is resides in non-natural processes, i.e. anything man made or man interceded, it really does matter. As the saying goes, "figures don't lie, but liars figure." What you choose as your measure of interest/importance can make a big difference to your policy recommendation (yes, policy decisions, 99.44% of the time, is why stats get done). Since your audience is mostly suits (politicians, MBAs, CxOs, and such) who are innumerate, you can pull the wool over their eyes with ease. Or more often, the Suits have a policy decision, for which you are charged with finding a quantitative slam-dunk defense. Or, just as often, you're in the opposition, and you need to make a Wilson Burger. I give you Supply Side Economics and DSM-V (or DSM-5; I guess they figure that altering the name slightly will confuse the critics?).

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