Thursday, October 08, 2009

Return to blogging

My apologies for the slow blogging of late. Hopefully, the crunch of deadlines will ease soon.

A key rule of thumb to keep in mind when using descriptive statistics to make an argument is "no naked numbers." Descriptive statistics alone are largely meaningless. They only take meaning when you have something to compare them to. Occasionally, we establish context by comparing them to the numbers our gut tells are high or low. This can be dangerous. You can end up looking like a real idiot if someone else bothers to actually place your numbers in context.

This post is really significant to what we are doing in econometrics. After processing all of the data, we have to find if there is an economic significance. The economic significance to our questions seems pertinent to check. Akin to what happened in the "i" post, if there has regressors or omitted variables that can explain more of independent variable than you sort-of look stupid.
Additionally, this article really makes you question the validity of what can be published and how easy it is to manipulate information. Mass communication has made information easy to disperse. Studies like these can slip on through without someone questioning their methodology before making a major wave in the public conscience. (Hmm, maybe a project about the fallacies projected by the news medias and how long do individuals hold onto incorrect information). I guess the only solution is to become "smart consumers of statistical information" and to call out individuals who produce incorrect statistical information with political agendas
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