28 August 2012

Statistics is an interesting subject – really!

Something has happened to give statistics a bad name, when it is an inherently fascinating and relevant subject. You know what I mean – you tell people that you teach, or work in or study statistics and they either depart, glaze over or tell you that it was their worst subject. How this came about is a topic for another day. For today I am interested in how we can change this. I have just returned from three weeks in Victoria, Australia, where my family and I spoke and performed at an autism conference, we visited with family and we […]
15 March 2012

Seductive Causation

Causation is a seductive notion. We want to make meaning out of our world. I love playing “the beeping nose” with little children. I press their nose and it beeps. I press my nose and it whirrs. It fascinates them. They have discovered cause and effect. They can make cool sounds by pressing noses. You can keep them amused for quite some time. Cause and effect implies control. If we know what causes things we are better able to control them. Scientific endeavor is largely a search for causes. History is littered with examples of misplaced cause and effect theories. […]