F in maths rant


My brother shared with me a link about Facebook.  Which is an incredibly bad use of statistics and the reason why modern science is dumbing down.  One of the diagrams is showing more single men than single women, this tells us nothing.  Basic set theory would ask "How much are the two sets overlapping?",  people do not join as a couple so why would you expect both halfs of relationship to be Facebook.

Does the information not point to single men using Facebook as a dating site?  Rather than the implied men claim they are not single.  Again I am making something up, like they do, its all meaningless.

Statistics are so badly abused these days, there should be a law that means you have to link to the actual data so someone else can verify a claim (80% of the population agree with me).  The BBC news seems really bad at offering a percentage with only half an explanation.

I am trying to teach my children that advertising on television is a lie.  You will not get whiter than white clothes, your teeth will not magically stop being sensitive, cars are not better for the environment because of a 2% reduction in emissions, cash for gold is a rip off, cash for phones will not get you £150 and you never save £250 on car, home or pet insurance.

I am now going to have to write a lecture on how people make up statistics for when they get to secondary school.

Sigh, where did all the cynics go?

P.S. To add the 2% that is bad for the environment is based on the fact that the manufacturing process produces a colossal amount of pollution. 

P.S.S. The £250 saving on car insurance is impossible since my insurance is less than that and I suspect only twenty year olds would see reductions like that but that would be because of natural market forces not because of a better company.


Bob H said…
Did you also see the link about FoxNews stats?
Superb use of incomplete stats and deliberately misleading chart design.

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