Deciding the conclusion ahead of time : Applied Statistics

The more serious issue is that this predetermined-conclusions thing happens all the time. (Or, as they say on the Internet, All. The. Time.) I’ve worked on many projects, often for pay, with organizations where I have a pretty clear sense ahead to time of what they’re looking for. I always give the straight story of what I’ve found, but these organizations are free to select and use just the findings of mine that they like.


Once I started reading the Applied Statistics blog, for my previous post, I just had to read one more item and guess what: I found this one, which is motivated by an article by the economist blogger Mark Thoma. thoma points out an ad by the Chamber of Commerce that blatantly says they are looking an economist to write a “study” to support what the Chamber wants to appear to be true. Reading the full post is highly recommended (click on “” above, after “via”).

Greek society is sick part IV

Nice article from the Guardian:

I remember vividly the discouragement at anticipating nothing but two years of slavery in the military, followed by a job that would underemploy my skills, and that only via the connections of my relatives. I decided that I needed to find out if I could make a decent life for myself in a country where nobody knew me or my family. Any job I got would be because I earned it. So here I am in the US.

Clay Shirky’s latest post on Boing Boing

I did not know Shirky was posting on BoingBoing, but a tweet by Xeni Jardin set me right. This post by Shirky discusses the role of YouTube in political advertising and makes a point that I found very interesting: as the internet allows us to discuss politics more and more in echo chambers of like-minded blogs and websites, we don’t interact enough with the “other side”. This then allows us to ignore tactics of the other side that we later will wish that we had not ignored. If you go and read the post, I recommend watching the embedded McCain ad to the end, just like Shirky advises.