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November 01, 2005

It Ain't Necessarily So (Ch. 8 & 9)

"The problem is that we won't properly understand the trendline unless we realize that our measuring instrument has been altered..."

While the authors have beaten this idea into our heads, I am certainly more skeptical of statistics. I still realize their purpose, but especially those statistics that, if I may paraphrase, "draw short conlcusions about extensive research."

In chapter nine, Epstein's experiment caught my attention. I wonder if the results he found about people accepting good more easily is the inverse of what television news sources look for. It seems that while people like good news, bad news makes the headlines. I thought it amusing that the National Association of Social Workers brought charges against him for not getting the consent of the peer-reviwers he was studying. I think that he should conduct the experiment again and let them know he's studying them- see how the results change even more.

Posted by DavidDenninger at November 1, 2005 03:52 PM


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