Statistically speaking, there is a 65 percent chance that the love of your life is having an affair. Be very suspicious.
A recent survey or North American males found 42% were overweight, 34% were critically obese and 8% ate the survey.
I couldn't claim that I was smarter than sixty-five other guys--but the average of sixty-five other guys, certainly!
In the business people with expertise, experience and evidence will make more profitable decisions than people with instinct, intuition and imagination.
We are not concerned with the very poor. They are unthinkable, and only to be approached by the statistician or the poet.
Reports that say that something hasn't happened are always interesting to me, because as we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns- the ones we don't know we don't know.
How easy it is for so many of us today to be undoubtedly full of information yet fully deprived of accurate information.
The obvious cure for the tragic shortcomings of human intuition in a high-tech world is education. And this offers priorities for educational policy: to provide students with the cognitive tools that are most important for grasping the modern world and that are most unlike the cognitive tools they are born with. The perilous fallacies we have seen in this chapter, for example, would give high priority to economics, evolutionary biology, and probability and statistics in any high school or college curriculum. Unfortunately, most curricula have barely changed since medieval times, and are barely changeable because no one wants to be the philistine who seems to be saying that it is unimportant to learn a foreign language, or English literature, or trigonometry, or the classics. But no matter how valuable a subject may be, there are only twenty-four hours in a day, and a decision to teach one subject is also a decision not to teach another one. The question is not whether trigonometry is important, but whether it is more important than statistics; not whether an educated person should know the classics, but whether it is more important for an educated person to know the classics than to know elementary economics. In a world whose complexities are constantly challenging our intuitions, these trade-offs cannot responsibly be avoided.
Also, even if technocrats provide reasonable estimates of a risk, which itself is an iffy enterprise, they cannot dictate what level of risk people ought to accept. People might object to a nuclear power plant that has a minuscule risk of a meltdown not because they overestimate the risk, but because they feel that the cost of a catastrophe, no matter how remote, are too dreadful. And of course any of these trade-offs may be unacceptable if people perceive that the benefits would go to the wealthy and powerful while they themselves absorb the risks. Nonetheless, understanding the difference between our best science and our ancient ways of thinking can only make our individual and collective decisions better informed. It can help scientists and journalists explain a new technology in the face of the most common misunderstandings. And it can help all of us understand the technology so that we can accept or reject it on grounds that we can justify to ourselves and to others.
In my opinion, defining intelligence is much like defining beauty, and I don’t mean that it’s in the eye of the beholder. To illustrate, let’s say that you are the only beholder, and your word is final. Would you be able to choose the 1000 most beautiful women in the country? And if that sounds impossible, consider this: Say you’re now looking at your picks. Could you compare them to each other and say which one is more beautiful? For example, who is more beautiful— Katie Holmes or Angelina Jolie? How about Angelina Jolie or Catherine Zeta-Jones? I think intelligence is like this. So many factors are involved that attempts to measure it are useless. Not that IQ tests are useless. Far from it. Good tests work: They measure a variety of mental abilities, and the best tests do it well. But they don’t measure intelligence itself.
The logic behind patriotism is a mystery. At least a man who believes that his own family or clan is superior to all others is familiar with more than 0.000003% of the people involved.
Scientists and inventors of the USA (especially in the so-called blue state that voted overwhelmingly against Trump) have to think long and hard whether they want to continue research that will help their government remain the world's superpower. All the scientists who worked in and for Germany in the 1930s lived to regret that they directly helped a sociopath like Hitler harm millions of people. Let us not repeat the same mistakes over and over again.
Conventional wisdom nor scientific, mathematical prove of randomness in life could do nothing to deter human's curiosity for the unknown, however small the chance of a positive outcome maybe.
The USA utility power generation industry subcontracts out their dangerous jobs so that the bad statisitics will not be associated with them. Smart people avoid working for the subcontractors. I have worked directly for a number of subcontractors and overseen subcontractors and their staff were clearly sick, showing behavioral problems and overworked. In some cases they were blatantly breaking OSHA laws. OSHA covers it all up! Unfortunately, the problems can be traced back to OSHA and their wilful lack of enforcement of the law.
My biggest hope for this work is that it will help others to remember the sacrifices made for our freedom, and even more so to remember that the men, women, and children all involved in and affected by this era were not just statistics: they were people just like we are, with the same hopes, dreams, and very imminent fears.
If I want to understand an individual human being, I must lay aside all scientific knowledge of the average man and discard all theories in order to adopt a completely new and unprejudiced attitude. I can only approach the task of understanding with a free and open mind, whereas knowledge of man, or insight into human character, presupposes all sorts of knowledge about mankind in general.
J. E. Littlewood, a mathematician at Cambridge University, wrote about the law of truly large numbers in his 1986 book, Littlewood's Miscellany. He said the average person is alert for about eight hours every day, and something happens to the average person about once a second. At this rate, you will experience 1 million events every thirty-five days. This means when you say the chances of something happening are one in a million, it also means about once a month. The monthly miracle is called Littlewood's Law.
A certain elementary training in statistical method is becoming as necessary for everyone living in this world of today as reading and writing.
Statistics show that the nature of English crime is reverting to its oldest habits. In a country where so many desire status and wealth, petty annoyances can spark disproportionately violent behaviour. We become frustrated because we feel powerless, invisible, unheard. We crave celebrity, but that’s not easy to come by, so we settle for notoriety. Envy and bitterness drive a new breed of lawbreakers, replacing the old motives of poverty and the need for escape. But how do you solve crimes which no longer have traditional motives?
[I]t would be a niceness that was enforced leniently, patiently and gracefully, with the sort of unflappable self-certainty [they] couldn't help displaying when all its statistics proved that it really was doing the right thing.
The Christian writer will feel that in the greatest depth of vision, moral judgment will be implicit, and that when we are invited to represent the country according to survey, what we are asked to do is to separate mystery from manners and judgment from vision, in order to produce something a little more palatable to the modern temper. We are asked to form our consciences in the light of statistics, which is to establish the relative as absolute. For many this may be a convenience, since we don't live in an age of settled belief; but it cannot be a convenience, it cannot even be possible, for the writer who is a Catholic. He will feel that any long-continued service to it will produce a soggy, formless, and sentimental literature, one that will provide a sense of spiritual purpose for those who connect the spirit with romanticism and a sense of joy for those who confuse that virtue with satisfaction. The storyteller is concerned with what is; but if what is is what can be determined by survey, then the disciples of Dr. Kinsey and Dr. Gallup are sufficient for the day thereof.
Lilah did little more than sleep and eat and cry, which to me was the most fascinating thing in the entire universe. Why did she cry? When did she sleep? What made her eat a lot one day and little the next? Was she changing with time? I did what any obsessed person would do in such a case: I recorded data, plotted it, calculated statistical correlations. First I just wrote on scraps of paper and made charts on graph paper, but I very quickly became more sophisticated. I wrote computer software to make a beautifully colored plot showing times when Diane fed Lilah, in black; when I fed her, in blue (expressed mother's milk, if you must know); Lilah's fussy times, in angry red; her happy times, in green. I calculated patterns in sleeping times, eating times, length of sleep, amounts eaten.Then, I did what any obsessed person would do these days; I put it all on the Web.
With enough mental gymnastics, just about any fact can become misshapen in favor to one's confirmation bias.
The shock which the Nazi horrors produced was so great, because they came after two hundred years of Roussellian propaganda about the goodness of human nature and also because the Germans were literate, clean, technologically progressive, hard working, “modern,” sober, “orderly,” and so forth. Yet about human nature we get more concrete and more pertinent information from the Bible than from statistics dealing with secondary education, the frequency of bathtubs or the mileage of superhighways.
You end up with a machine which knows that by its mildest estimate it must have terrible enemies all around and within it, but it can't find them. It therefore deduces that they are well-concealed and expert, likely professional agitators and terrorists. Thus, more stringent and probing methods are called for. Those who transgress in the slightest, or of whom even small suspicions are harboured, must be treated as terrible foes. A lot of rather ordinary people will get repeatedly investigated with increasing severity until the Government Machine either finds enemies or someone very high up indeed personally turns the tide... And these people under the microscope are in fact just taking up space in the machine's numerical model. In short, innocent people are treated as hellish fiends of ingenuity and bile because there's a gap in the numbers.
Trying to analyze a situation without enough data was like looking at a photograph of a ball in flight and trying to gauge its direction. Is it going up, down, sideways? Is it about to collide with a baseball bat? Is it moving at all, or is something on the blind side holding it in place? A single frame didn't mean a thing. Patterns were based on data. With enough datapoints, you could predict just about anything.
Police not enforcing laws results in a high crime rate that is formally reported as a low crime rate in police statistics.