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
Preliminary posting 2013-05-27