Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Go Figure

BBC has a columnist, Michael Blastland, with an excellent (based on a small sample) column entitled Go Figure: Different ways of seeing stats. A few pieces in particular that I'll recommend are
  • The problem with junk stats? It's you which discusses the problem with self-report in survey data.
  • A scanner to detect terrorists which discusses the problem of false positives in the context of detecting terrorists. A number of people have pointed this problem in a number of contexts, but policy makers and reporters, in particular, just don't get it. Companies selling face recognition systems and data mining software for detecting terrorists probably do get it, but sell the government junk nonetheless.
  • Just what is poor? explains how the poverty line is set.
Good reading. It appears to be published every two weeks, and there's an RSS feed.

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