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

and

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

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