That question gets asked dozens of times every semester in my statistics classes; it’s pretty clear that most of my students have no sense of scale or proportion about numbers.
But now I have Dr Rhett Alain’s short answer in his Dot Physics Measurement and Uncertainty Smackdown, wherein he refers to the (extremely) long answer in John Denker’s excellent Uncertainty as Applied to Measurement and Calculation. Why we’re not teaching this in our service courses for science majors, I have no idea. The Monte Carlo approach described by Alain is a simple application of what statisticians call “bootstrapping,” so perhaps I will start.
Second hand tip from the Geek Press
More and more of all this hippy-dippy green energy bullshit we’re saddled with is turning out to be a collection of Really Bad Ideas:
The only upside I see is that some of our more obnoxious greeny hipsters will tool around town on their BikeShare bikes and get clocked by some drunk in an SUV.
My students repeatedly ask about setting the critical values or interpreting p-values in statistical hypothesis testing. My stock answer is they should do their tests at the 5% level, since this is the most common and accepted practice in the biomedical community (my translation: it’s what all the KooL KiDz do.)
But now some upstart Bayesian Aggie (who’s only published 122 papers) has taken a closer look at p-values and significance levels, and claims the critical values are too loose, and need tightening up. Good-bye 5%, hello 0.5% (for slackers) or 0.1% (for “real” researchers). I suspect this would eliminate entire forests of bullshit journal articles with p-values of 0.05 minus epsilon, and otherwise wreak havoc in academia.
My only grumble is that I need bigger samples for many of my teaching examples. I just wrote up a neat demo of the Breusch-Pagan test for homoskedasticity, which rejected with a p-value of 0.0308. That ain’t gonna cut it in the New World of Your-Evidence-Ain’t-Good-Enough World Order. #@$*&++@#!, twice.
Tip from Briggsy, the Bayesian Bomb-Thrower.
What he said. Read the whole thing,
I especially enjoyed the discussion of evolutionary biology. Personally, I think the field is pure bunk. My favorite question for eBiologists is “What were the evolutionary pressures that modified dogs so that they all enjoy riding in cars with their heads out the window? Does it go back to Dino riding around with Fred Flintstone?”
Tip from William M. Briggs, Statistician to the Stars.
This is just mean, but it couldn’t happen to a more deserving band of grifters.
Tip from the Instapundit, who says APPLY NOW.
This graph needs to become the National Elephant in the Room:
Instead, we get fed a constant stream of circumlocutions and wonk porn like this:
Tip from the Instapundit.