December 4, 2011 - 8:31am

It was my delight to be responsible for  much  of  the tasting  and  drinking  experiments  that  are  an  obvious part  of  the  development  of  that  delicious  liquid-  Guinness.  It  was  in  connection  with  this  that  I  began to  realize  how  impossible  it  is  to  find  human  beings    without  biases,  without  prejudices,  and  without the  delightful  idiosyncrasies  which  make  them  so  fascinating  ....  We  all  have  prejudices  about  certain numbers,  letters,  or  colours,  and  all  of  us  are  very superstitious.  We  all  behave  irrationally.

A statistical post-mortem


To call in the statistician after the experiment is done may be no more than asking him to perform a post-mortem examination: he may be able to say what the experiment died of.

Sir Ronald Aylmer Fisher


November 15, 2011 - 7:40pm

A physicist, an engineer and a statistician go hunting. 50m away from them they spot a deer. The physicist calculates the trajectory of the bullet in a vacuum, raises his rifle and shoots. The bullet lands 5m short. The engineer adds a term to account for air resistance, lifts his rifle a little higher and shoots. The bullet lands 5m long. The statistician yells “we got him!”


November 1, 2011 - 8:14am

If you torture the data long enough it will eventually confess.
~ Ronald Harry Coase

October 31, 2011 - 6:00am

I know of scarcely anything so apt to impress the imagination as the wonderful form of cosmic order expressed by the 'Law of Frequency of Error.' The law would have been personified by the Greeks and deified, if they had known of it. It reigns with serenity and in complete self-effacement, amidst the wildest confusion. The huger the mob, and the greater the apparent anarchy, the more perfect is its sway.


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