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Statistics

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posted on Apr, 15 2012 @ 08:10 PM
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Ok so I have a huge problem with statistics. Though they can be used to help understand in some situations it seems like more and more lately that they are complete BS and are only there to sell you something. I just get so sick of hearing "well according to so and so 1 in 3 people blah blah blah (test group 50 people in fine print)". I personally believe that some sick group of people are creating these bogus statistics to destroy other businesses and purposefully lead us down the wrong path when it comes to living better and doing better in life. what are ya'lls thoughts?




posted on Apr, 15 2012 @ 08:16 PM
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I think Mark Twain said it best:


You have lies, damn lies, and statistics.


Too many people use them as factual evidence in themselves instead of just indicators.



posted on Apr, 15 2012 @ 08:18 PM
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Once I discovered that 74.3% of all statistics are made up I quit believing them too.



posted on Apr, 15 2012 @ 08:38 PM
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reply to post by KaiserSoze
 


lmao a statistic of statistics great



posted on Apr, 15 2012 @ 08:42 PM
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A fellow by the name of Darrell Huff wrote a book in 1954, called "How to Lie with Statistics." It's the Bible of marketers and commercial-advertising writers. You can find it at scribd:

How to Lie with Statistics

And that's 100% of the truth....
edit on 4/15/2012 by Ex_CT2 because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 15 2012 @ 08:43 PM
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reply to post by lobotomizemecapin
 





I personally believe that some sick group of people are creating these bogus statistics to destroy other businesses and purposefully lead us down the wrong path when it comes to living better and doing better in life


And who would this "sick group of people" be?

And the evidence for you claims is?



posted on Apr, 15 2012 @ 08:44 PM
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reply to post by lordtyp0
 


Thats what bothers me most is people us them as if its hard fact. I mean how many cancer statistics do you need to see before you realize they are flawed. I saw a news report once that stated the smell of a new vehicles interior caused cancer and he didnt laugh he went on to state the statistics of the study and I just had an image of some guy laughing at these people for giving up common sense when it comes to these studies



posted on Apr, 15 2012 @ 08:46 PM
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Statistics, as a discipline, is probably the most powerful tool in the scientific arsenal, when used properly and professionally, as well as UNDERSTOOD properly. But it's not for the faint of heart. It requires intelligence and training to use properly. Mark Twain lived in an era where modern statistics did not exist. He was using the popular sense of the term, where people used numbers in a light-hearted fashion and proclaimed they were statistics. OP is in the same ballpark here. It's really a superficial criticism. Indeed, when you are talking about modern physics issues like quantum mechanics, it IS statistics.

The fact is, when a poll, for example, is done properly in a truly random format, polling about 1,000 "likely voters" is accurate to a "95% confidence level." This means that the poll will be accurate, completely accurate, 19 out of 20 times. There is a 5% possibility that the conclusion is inaccurate due to chance. If you want a "99% confidence level," you have to have more people in the poll, so it costs more. All these presidential polls you are seeing are at a 95% confidence level. They are reasonably accurate. Ron Paul is not going to win.

The problem comes in when statistics is used improperly, often with the dubious "help" of inaccurate computer programs and inaccurate data. A good example is the statistics used to support the theory of global warming. Note: I'm not going to cite sources here because this is a theoretical discussion and it would slow me down considerably.)

The famous "Hockey Stick" used by Al Gore, et al to prove CO2 is killing us is an illusion provided by the computer program used to construct it. It turns out that if you feed ANY "red noise" into the program, you get a hockey stick. To understand that, you need to know what red noise is. You already know that "white noise" is random data. Red noise is similar, except that it is random FROM THE LAST POINT registered. A good example of that is the stock market. A given stock "closes at $20.50." The next day it starts there and ends either up or down. It could be either, but "red noise" means it started at the previous close. The Hockey Stick looks very precise, but if you plug in red noise as the data, you always get a hockey stick. It's a bogus hockey stick. It is "statistics" at its worst.

Another example is temperature data used by NASA to prove that temperatures are rising. Look at the chart. It turns out if you take out the "adjustments" NASA put into the temperature data, global warming goes away. This is another example of the manipulation of data in using statistics to skew results.

So, yeah! Statistics can be misused to manipulate public perception, and has been. But don't mistake that fact with the idea that statistics itself is bogus. It's not at all. And a superficial condemnation of the science of statistics is as bogus as the misuse of statistics by those who do not know.

For the record, I have taken three college-level statistics courses and several seminars. I am a complete beginner. With a statistics textbook in front of me and using a cookbook approach and a lot of time I can probably figure out a standard deviation issue, but to perform statistical measurements in an accurate manner is beyond pretty much everyone, including college professors, except professional statisticians themselves.
edit on 4/15/2012 by schuyler because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 15 2012 @ 08:48 PM
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reply to post by Argyll
 


It's speculation... I dont have the funds to launch an investigation into it but if you want to contribute to the cause you could send some money since youre so dead set on knowing whom these people are. Personally I believe Big Pharma and other corporations are paying scientists to conduct these silly statistics



posted on Apr, 15 2012 @ 08:53 PM
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Dyslexically, 5 out of 2 people are statistics.



posted on Apr, 15 2012 @ 08:54 PM
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reply to post by schuyler
 


You indeed are correct thanks for the insight with global warming I hadnt really gone as far as to research that bc i just never believed it to begin with lol. But yeah Im refering to these random illogical statistics that are just being thrown all over the place with an agenda like with the global warming thing.



posted on Apr, 15 2012 @ 08:55 PM
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reply to post by KaiserSoze
 


!funny f-in thats lmao



posted on Apr, 15 2012 @ 08:56 PM
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Statistics used properly as a data prediction tool can useful.

You also use statistics every day. 99.9% of the time you purchase anything, you get pretty much what you expected to get, thus, you can with confidence with very reasonable expectation predict you're going to get what you expect to get for what you pay.

This type of market value doesn't always work though. Go to an open bizarre, or street market in any non-first-world country. You then get the barter and haggle where if you pay the first price listed or mentioned, you just got robbed. If you're unfamiliar with this, you may indeed feel robbed and lose confidence with that 99.9% value listed before, at least while immersed in that culture.

There are many other ways you use statistics every single day, otherwise, you'd have zero confidence in anything around you working or performing the way you expect them to be.
If you didn't use statistics every day, then, you'd begin every day expecting the unexpected at every turn.



posted on Apr, 15 2012 @ 08:57 PM
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Chilling statistics have revealed that weapons including meat cleavers and brass knuckles have been removed from American schools. One teacher said: "To be fair, we only ever use them in self-defense."



posted on Apr, 15 2012 @ 09:00 PM
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reply to post by KaiserSoze
 


The dewey cox story must have really struck home with america then.



posted on Apr, 15 2012 @ 09:05 PM
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reply to post by Druscilla
 


Yeah we gather our success and failure experiences to gain insight on future problems naturally. But that is not the problem im refering to its these statistics being shoved down our throats

like these for example

www.cracked.com...



posted on Apr, 15 2012 @ 09:06 PM
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reply to post by lobotomizemecapin
 





Personally I believe Big Pharma and other corporations are paying scientists to conduct these silly statistics


LOL.... I don't think it's "scientist's" who compile statistics.....I think that would be "statisticians"



posted on Apr, 15 2012 @ 09:07 PM
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Statistics can be used effectively to identify trends and relationships between various factors. Regression analysis, hypothesis testing, and analysis of variance are extremely useful tools for any scientific research.

The problem with statistics is 3 fold:
1) Very few statisticians are competent in statistical methods
2) Money, i.e. to sell anti-depressants, causes omitted and skewed data to improve the results
3) 100% of business management and politicians don't understand anything about statistics



posted on Apr, 15 2012 @ 09:09 PM
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Originally posted by lobotomizemecapin
reply to post by KaiserSoze
 


The dewey cox story must have really struck home with america then.


Absolutely! Most people don't realize that sort of thing happens to 4.6% of the teen/pre-teen poplulation, fortunately like teen pregnancy it tapers off significantly after age 25.



posted on Apr, 15 2012 @ 09:13 PM
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reply to post by Argyll
 


And what makes you think that scientists do not conduct statistical studies? Are you drunk by any chance?



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