Reports of its death are greatly exaggerated

The ability of statistics to accurately represent the world is declining. In its wake, a new age of big data controlled by private companies is taking over – and putting democracy in peril.

begins William Davies tale of woe in the Guardian.  Unfortunately, he confuses credible statistics with modern state-istics*; and seems impervious to the idea that Joe Sixpack has wised up to the fact that there are “lies, damned lies, and statistics,” and that most of these are peddled by the Leviathan State and its corporate cronies.  Usually to Joe’s detriment.

Statistics in industry and scientific research is doing quite well, thank you.  The Big Data movement is still immature and riddled with snake-oil salesmen; it will eventually spot them, possibly by applying its methodologies reflexively.

Tip from that same O’Reilly Newsletter.  Finally, I got on a sucker list that’s interesting!

*Where did you think the word came from?

The Fate of the “Fountain”

Richard Bledsoe isn’t impressed with Conceptual Art

A certain segment of the glitterati like to flaunt their ability to see shit as sophisticated art as a badge of honor, for some reason.

fountainbymutt

and tells a delightful story about its early critics (“It broke!”).

I have to agree, and now I’m off to learn more about William Glackens, The Eight, and the Ashcan School.

Chorizo, seriously?

nationaltacodaylogo

I see that Chipotle Grill has chosen Nation Taco Day* to announce an exciting “new” addition to their menu–chorizo.  Like everyone south of the  Riviere Rouge hasn’t been eating chorizo and egg breakfast tacos since the Eisenhower Lincoln Administration.  Still, what can you expect from America’s innovator in digestive surprises, when they have a suppository** as their mascot?

chipotleopenwide
Uh, no thanks.

*Or, as we say in San Antonio, “today.”

**If you haven’t heard it, ask one of your more knowledgeable and vulgar friends to tell you The Suppository Joke.  Stupid, but funny.

Update: Chacho’s Tacos in Corpus Christi (San Antonio-by-the-Sea) sports the ne plus ultra of tacos.  Betch can’t eat just (even) one!

chachosallmightytaco

Holy Deconstruction, StatMan, I’m a Facist!

Briggsy, the Statistician to the Stars, has unearthed a paper revealing that evidence-based medicine* is a facist enterprise.

…the evidence-based movement in the health sciences is outrageously exclusionary and dangerously normative with regards to scientific knowledge. As such, we assert that the evidence-based movement in health sciences constitutes a good example of microfascism at play in the contemporary scientific arena.

No wonder my hipster students chafe at models, estimators, and hypothesis tests; they’re all tools of oppression.

*the kind that uses statistics

Let’s take a day off on our day off

I see the IWW is calling for a general strike on May Day

Image

Which is very convenient for students at my university, where May 1st and 2nd are Student Study Days, with no classes, labs, or regularly scheduled office hours.  What a bunch of tossers.