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26
Nov 18

The epistemology crisis

We have a crisis of epistemology. A tsunami of bad tools, bad ideas, biased actors, and unresolved problems. Among our many issues, we have: Predictions treated as facts, and inherently fuzzy historical data presented without error bars. Small scale studies on college students and professional guinea pigs extrapolated out to whole populations. Overused assumptions of normality and linearity, a holdover from when computation was hard. Scientific consensus treated as sacrosanct, theories with irrefutable tenants that adapt to all conceivable data, bad math that always skews in the direction of orthodoxy, and heretics burned in reputation and job prospects. The ongoing scandals of p-hacking, and the significance cliff itself, along with public confusion over significance versus effect size. The replicability crisis in the social sciences. Overconfidence is everywhere, with extreme predictions given publicity and bad predictions buried. Even basic questions, like how to correctly deal with outliers, let alone define them non-arbitrarily, remain unresolved.


24
May 16

Visualising random variables, Terence Tao style

Recently mathematician Terence Tao posted some ruminations on how to visualize the different values a random variable could take. He created some basic animated loops that cycled through some samples from the distribution, and proposed a way to represent conditionality as well.

I liked the idea so much I’ve added it to my probability distributions JS library. The numbers can be shown directly, or interpreted as waiting times where each arrival is shown with a flashing symbol.

For documentation and examples see http://statisticsblog.com/probability-distributions/#visualize

If you use this feature do me a favor and let me know.


19
Feb 15

Guide for new users posted

If you are a first-timer here at StatisticsBlog.com, or if you’re looking for a list of Greatest Hits, check out the shiny new Start Here page.


29
Jun 14

The week in stats (June 30th edition)

Normal Distribution vs. Paranormal Distribution


22
Jun 14

The week in stats (June 2nd edition)

What people do with their degrees.


22
Jun 14

The week in stats (June 23rd edition)


16
Jun 14

The week in stats (June 16th edition)

http://bit.ly/SHnlXH

15
Jun 14

The week in stats (June 9th edition)


26
May 14

The week in stats (May 26th edition)


19
May 14

The week in stats (May 19th edition)

Which Team Do You Cheer For? An N.B.A. Fan Map by The New York Times