Seth Roberts, a professor emeritus of psychology from UC Berkeley and a self-experimenter, discusses three popular sayings about data.
"Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence." Ã˜yhus explains why this is wrong. That such an Orwellian saying is popular in discussions of data suggests there are many ways we push away inconvenient data.
Preventive Stupidity Exists
"Correlation does not equal causation." In practice, this is used to mean that correlation is not evidence for causation. At UC Berkeley, a job candidate for a faculty position in psychology said this to me. I said, "Isn't zero correlation evidence against causation?" She looked puzzled.
"The plural of anecdote is not data." How dare you try to learn from stories you are told or what you yourself observe!
Orwell was right. People use these sayings -- especially #1 and #3 -- to push away data that contradicts this or that approved view of the world. Without any data at all, the world would be simpler: We would simply believe what authorities tell us. Data complicates things. These sayings help those who say them ignore data, thus restoring comforting certainty.
Scientists have been experimenting with “fog harps” in arid climates as an easy way to collect potable water from fog. Via the paper: Fog harvesting is a useful technique for obtaining fresh water in arid climates. The wire meshes currently utilized for fog harvesting suffer from dual constraints: coarse meshes cannot efficiently capture microscopic fog […]
This is amazing.
The National Association of Scholars is a tiny, hydrocarbon-industry backed organization that is not to be confused with the National Academy of Sciences.
Total versatility isn’t something you’d typically find in a telescope. While magnification tech has come a long way, most telescopes are designed to either gaze upon the stars or view the landscapes beneath them. The Omegon Maksutov Telescope MightyMak 60 lets you do both, and thanks to its compact design, you can easily incorporate some sightseeing into […]
The web is an invaluable tool for connecting small businesses with their target audiences. However, when it comes to building a website and marketing online, the learning curve can be steep if you’re doing it on your own. The WordPress Essentials Lifetime Bundle can help you out by getting you up to speed with the platform […]
Most of us understand that when we visit a website, we’re subjecting ourselves to surveillance by trackers. And, while these tools are usually used for innocuous purposes, like determining which ads to show you, they can be leveraged for much more nefarious goals, and they have the potential to tank your browsing speed as well as […]