Statistics without Equations

There are 3 categories of lies :     lies , damned lies , and statistics .

Figures don't lie , but liars can figure .

Statistical truth is a weak form of truth .
Ranking truth is a weak form of statistical truth .

The so-called gold standard of statistical truth , 2-sigma , is a reasonable standard for many purposes , but not special , nor magical .
If the NFL should achieve complete parity , a 2-sigma statistician would assure you that no team could win the Super Bowl , because every team would have less than a 5 % chance .

Making a decision based on statistics , without understanding Simpson's Paradox , is as sensible as entering college without having learned even a first language .
This applies especially to members of boards of directors , legislative committees , city councils , etc.


2010 Mathematics Subject Classification : Primary 62-00 ; Secondary 62-01 , 62A01

Walter Nissen
Preliminary posting 2013-05-27