Category Archives: statistics

Statistical error

Tom Siegfried, the editor of Science News, has published a blistering indictment of statistical methods in science and medicine. I am moved to speak for the defense. Siegfried discusses a number of specific cases, mainly drawn from the biomedical literature, … Continue reading

Posted in statistics | 9 Comments

Spam by the numbers

Reviewing this month’s batch of incoming junk mail, I stumbled upon the following message: In case that image is too tiny to read, here is the first word in source-code form: 28 47 34 74 33 85 42 16 43 … Continue reading

Posted in modern life, statistics | 12 Comments

Life Curves

J. John Sepkoski, Jr., was a fossil-hunter who did most of his digging in the library, sifting through the literature of paleontology to build a detailed, quantitative timeline of life on earth. Focusing on marine animals, he recorded the earliest … Continue reading

Posted in biology, computing, science, statistics | 4 Comments

Big Money

(Photo courtesy ZeroOne.) It’s a cruel irony: As the citizens of Zimbabwe sink into bitter poverty, they are becoming millionaires and billionaires. Inflation is eroding the value of the Zimbabwean dollar so rapidly that everyday transactions turn into lessons in … Continue reading

Posted in games, modern life, statistics | 4 Comments

Spam stats

Hormel Foods, the Minnesota meatpacker, reports a surge in sales of Spam. News accounts attribute the rising popularity of the pink meat-in-a-can to higher prices for other commodities. Or maybe it’s the Spam musubi fad. Meanwhile, the other kind of … Continue reading

Posted in modern life, statistics | 6 Comments