Friday, January 28, 2011

Science and Probability

This is for our discussion next Wednesday.

Stephen Jay Gould was an evolutionary biologist and a prolific writer, authoring many pieces for the general public. At the time when his piece below first came out, there was quite a buzz among econometricians I knew about whether a "hot streak" was a statistically valid idea or not. Sports fandom is interesting to consider on the issue of rationality because there is so much superstition, like The Jinx.

The Streak of Streaks by Stephen Jay Gould | The New York Review of Books via kwout

The other piece we will discuss is quite recent. It is called The Truth Wears Off (though really it doesn't). Fundamentally this is about misperceiving outliers and taking them for norms, and that even research scientists do it.

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