Statistics as organized bullshit

From an interview with stats critic stats critic Tim Harford More or Less at Vice:

All of this is more relevant now than ever before, because most news operations are 24-hour rolling cycles, where press releases, particularly those from official-sounding bodies, may be posted unchecked. The shared parental-leave story ended up being analyzed by politicians and comment writers, and everything they were saying was based on utter, utter bullshit. And that’s just traditional news sources. Increasingly, we are getting our information from Facebook memes and social media, and those statistics are even less verified. More.

Reality check: Increasingly, statistics are used simply to force desired public policy changes, and could just be made up with no problem other than optics, and that only occasionally.

See also: “Power pose” is shoddy statistics science


Nature: Banning P values not enough to rid science of shoddy statistics

  • tom_billesley

    One of the more powerful statistical techniques is SDD (selective data deployment).

  • Gary

    How about Wynne’s BS , she jacked-up the Klw/hr in one fast swoop for a big hike and then waited until May 1st 2016 to raise the rates again in a smaller amount as to boast how Ontario has the lowest Power increases in North America.
    Her claims were based on the Post-Spike increase which was a ruse to select a narrow Window of time for a Statistic , this tactic was used by Al Gore for the Global Warming chart but was made worse as he Blew-up the Scale so the rise in the temperature looked like mount Everest .

    Even Obama used a scam to claim that Unemployment was down under his reign but he didn’t mention the facts that 95,000,000 was the real number of unemployed while close to 50,000,000 people were now on Food Stamps.

    Sadly , Bill Mayer knows the value of Useful-Idiots to fill his audience that cheer and laugh on cue no matter how much BS he spews because they rarely do fact-Checking .

  • terrence

    More examples of the old saying that they are lies, damned lies, and statistics…