Friday, October 30, 2020

Science of Nerdiness; Statistics

Here is an interesting article from Scientific American. It gives a plausible explanation for my being nerdy. 😲 Maybe that should be my being "dopey."  😋

A friend and professor is near completing a college-level textbook about statistical literacy. He already has a well-known publisher. Nerdy me is reviewing and proofreading it for him. His website is among the external links in the Wikipedia article. 

Statistical literacy is important. Many people accept questionable statistics. Numbers add an aura of being  objective. It is sometimes said, "Numbers don't lie." That's literally true, but liars may use numbers (link). And people may be duped by statistics-based arguments such as this one by David Leonhardt of the The New York Times.

"There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics." -- Mark Twain


  1. In dimensional analysis, tolerance stacks often take advantage of a root sum square approach to arrive at a statistically likely tolerance. Other factors can come into play to break down various capabilities and also evaluate it the overall processes. While proofreading such a book would not be my cup of tea, digging in to understand how it relates to the overall evaluation sometimes provides insights that I would not have encountered otherwise.

    That's an attempt to add some context to your comment.

    That's a use of statistics more specialized than the sort of statistics that a textbook about statistical literacy would address. A course on statistical literacy is on a par with a course in critical thinking.