October 27, 2005

Chapter 5 (It ain't necessarily so): Informal Presentation

Statistic cartoon

Introduction: My name is Mike Diezmos and today I'm going to talk about Statistics specifically looking at both sides (or rather most sides).

Rainbow Metaphor

A bad interpretation/reading of statistics is like looking directly at the white light of the sun, it's blinding and bright.

A well-informed newsconsumer is like a prism when it comes to reading statistics, he or she can delineate the different hues. They can see the slant in given statistics.

Questions (Total 32)
***Please only raise your hands once [thanks]:)
How many of you like:
red?orange?yellow?green?blue?indigo?violet?black?white?rainbow?

Key Points from text ('it ain't necessarily so') and interpretations:
"Data don't necessarily contradict but rather they can be read at least in two ways." (cool or warm)

"Intrepretation can have different spins (angles)." (black and white)

"One has to be mindful of raw numbers and percentage of the whole and when each is used." [ex. 7/10=70% like this..., 2/7= there's a 28% drop in people who used to like...(more than a quarter)]

(Warm, cool, all/no colors, just these seven, etc.)

Examples:

Jobless claims up, durable goods orders dip

Statistical Blitz Helps Pin Down Mammography Benefits

Suggestions:

How to achieve public trust in official statistics
Two from the five actions needed, I agreed with:

*Independent interpretation: Written in plain English

*Educating the Users: for example enhancing Quantitative skills


Fun tid bits about Stats:

google search: statistics stories

the Onion stats stories

Comments?

Conclusion: Statistics are not as "straight-forward" as they appear, they can get very ambiguious. Is the glass half empty or half full?- it really depends on your perspective/interpretation.

Posted by Michael Diezmos at October 27, 2005 12:42 PM
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