This is a follow-up to one of our most popular posts: getting email responses from busy people. This post had been in the drafts for a few weeks, then this morning I saw this quote in our Twitter feed: Your email inbox is a to-do list created by other people (via) This is 100% true of my work email and I have to say, because of the way those emails are organized - as conversations rather than a prioritized, organized to-do list - I end up missing really important things or getting to them too late.
We all know that politicians can play it a little fast and loose with the truth. This is particularly true in debates, where politicians have to think on their feet and respond to questions from the audience or from each other. Usually, we find out about how truthful politicians are in the “post-game show”. The discussion of the veracity of the claims is usually based on independent fact checkers such as PolitiFact.
There has been a lot of talk about the Michael Lewis (of Moneyball fame) profile of Obama in Vanity fair. One interesting quote I think deserves a lot more discussion is: “On top of all of this, after you have made your decision, you need to feign total certainty about it. People being led do not want to think probabilistically.” This is a key issue that is only going to get worse going forward.
Patenting statistical sampling? I’m pretty sure the Supreme Court who threw out the Mayo Patent wouldn’t have much trouble tossing this patent either. The properties of sampling are a “law of nature” right? via Leonid K. This video has me all fired up, its called 23 1⁄2 hours and talks about how the best preventative health measure is getting 30 minutes of exercise - just walking - every day. He shows how in some cases this beats doing much more high-tech interventions.
Now we know who is to blame for the pie chart. I had no idea it had been around, straining our ability to compare relative areas, since 1801. However, the same guy (William Playfair) apparently also invented the bar chart. So he wouldn’t be totally shunned by statisticians. (via Leonid K.) A nice article in the Guardian about the current group of scientists that are boycotting Elsevier. I have to agree with the quote that leads the article, “All professions are conspiracies against the laity.
The NIH provides financial support for a large percentage of biological and medical research in the United States. This funding supports a large number of US jobs, creates new knowledge, and improves healthcare for everyone. So I am signing this petition: NIH funding is essential to our national research enterprise, to our local economies, to the retention and careers of talented and well-educated people, to the survival of our medical educational system, to our rapidly fading worldwide dominance in biomedical research, to job creation and preservation, to national economic viability, and to our national academic infrastructure.
In honor of our blog finally dragging itself into the 21st century and jumping onto Twitter/Facebook, I have been compiling a list of statistical people on Twitter. I couldn’t figure out an easy way to find statisticians in one go (which could be because I don’t have Twitter skills). So here is my very informal list of statisticians I found in a half hour of searching. I know I missed a ton of people; let me know who I missed so I can update!