# Thread: Statistics, it can illuminate and/or perplex

1. ## Statistics, it can illuminate and/or perplex

I often hear statistics win the debate in some or other argument. I have a bit of experience in Stats and so when it’s brought up I pay attention, and this is why.......

Statistics is often misrepresented in error by some and with intent by others.

There is more similarity and difference between two people, than similarity and difference combined in all of statistics. Stats can only record the quantity of something, not its quality.

Us humans like order, so nice Mr. Orderly Stats comes out.

There is no doubt that stats are extremely useful though......

Stats provide a huge wealth of knowledge, but as you know, after knowledge comes power and with great power comes great responsibility......

2. Statistically 6 out of 7 dwarfs are not Happy ... (sorry - couldn't resist )

3. That’s because the Seventh dwarf calculated, statistically, how to screw the other 6 to buy his product

4. Somebody who writes extensively on stats is Joel Best, here is a description of his one book

Damned Lies and Statistics, which the Boston Globe said "deserves a place next to the dictionary on every school, media, and home-office desk," Joel Best continues his straightforward, lively, and humorous account of how statistics are produced, used, and misused by everyone from researchers to journalists. Underlining the importance of critical thinking in all matters numerical, Best illustrates his points with examples of good and bad statistics about such contemporary concerns as school shootings, fatal hospital errors, bullying, teen suicides, deaths at the World Trade Center, college ratings, the risks of divorce, racial profiling, and fatalities caused by falling coconuts. More Damned Lies and Statistics encourages all of us to think in a more sophisticated and skeptical manner about how statistics are used to promote causes, create fear, and advance particular points of view.

http://www.ucpress.edu/book.php?isbn=9780520238305