.

.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Numbers

The thing I hate about small number is you just never know if they're worth anything.
1
2
Now, is that a significant difference? 2 is twice 1, after all. Twice!
But if the next number is 183, 1 and 2 look pretty chummy.

And how about 19.8 for n = 4, versus 32.2 for n = 21?
Looks tempting.
But is it any good?
I hate n being only 4. What if some fifth sample has a value of 40, and my little comparison of means is shot to hell? Sigh.

I knew I should have taken statistics in college.
.

7 comments:

kent.. said...

I was reading a blog yesterday where the author stated that means are mostly useless (I'm paraphrasing). It's the extremes that rule. In his example about Joshua trees, the extreme droughts are the ones that reset the gene pool. The one in 100, or 1 in 1000 flood. Those are the events that matter.

Just a thought! Thanks for stopping by my blog.

Ronda Laveen said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog today. I've read your comments on Reya's for a while now and enjoyed them.

I took statistics. You can have it. I rarely use it these days and you would. Even numbers can be confusing. Loved seeing Maurice at Besse. Is he a PETA member?

Niamh B said...

I really don't know what to say... 8.93483457?

Ann said...

I was watching a "farm" docu in I think Austria. I did not like what I saw. battery chicken, battery cows. AHHHH!

I like it clean and green in New Zealand.

I was never ever good in Math. Can I tell you an open secret,

during my last year in Uni, my Statistics paper was an open book. There was on question, I just had no idea which formula to apply. I got B for the paper for the 4 questions I answered.

Imagine, if I got that question right, I would have got A+

Titus said...

Go for the 21 every time. You get the key to the door.

NanU said...

You may be right, Kent, depending on what questions you're asking of your numbers.

Maurice is not a PETA member, Ronda. He disagrees strongly with their tactics. Though he is pretty much a vegatarian, boycots tuna (did anybody notice?), and pays attention to how 'free' his free-range eggs are.

If I can reconcile 8.9348357 with 21, I will do so. I didn't even know there was a door.

EastwoodDC said...

Numbers are sometimes a troublesome thing
With quandary that outliers often do bring
Best study statistics ...
not practice ballistics
Much better than average, let your data sing!


Happy New Year SG!