Friday, September 29, 2017

Statistical Thinking

I've been gathering statistics to see how successful the website, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages are for our upcoming fundraise The Fantasy of Trees. I was lucky to get statistical training as part of an MBA. Statistical thinking has become the interpretive technology of choice in dozens of fields: economics, psychology, education, medicine, and the sciences. 
The internet headlines tell us there are 5 important website statistics, the most important economic statistic, the best offensive statistic in sports, customer experience statistics, Black Friday's most important statistic.  

I wonder about the critical thinking skills of people in general and this is a question that's been analyzed a lot.  Paul Barsch's article on Eight Things You Should Know About Statistics says this:
"In May 2010’s issue of Wired Magazine, author Clive Thompson laments the poor mathematical literacy of his fellow citizens. For example, he cites people laughing at the concept of global warming as they face some of the harsher winters on record, or the extra-vocal debate on vaccines and possible links to autism. Mr. Thompson would tell us that it’s the trend lines that matter, and we too often look at the trees and miss the forest.
The problem, he says, is that “statistics is hard” and an overall understanding of this important discipline is severely lacking. He says, “If you don’t understand statistics, you don’t know what’s going on, and you can’t tell when you’re being lied to.”

Quora/Wikipedia say:
Therefore, as the infusion of mass media information into a social system increases, segments of the population with higher socioeconomic status tend to acquire this information at a faster rate than the lower status segments so that the gap in knowledge between these segments tends to increase rather than decrease. 


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