The Visual Presentation of Misleading Information, Anti-Asian Bias Edition

In which the skewing of a data plot in Ron Unz’s epic investigation of college admissions makes me more skeptical of his overall claim, thanks to the misleading tricks employed. ———— Steve Hsu has a new post on a favorite topic of his, bias against Asians in higher ed admissions. This is based on a […]

What’s FiveThirtyEight Good For?: The Inevitable Nate Silver Backlash

Now that we’ve apparently elected Nate Silver the President of Science, this is some predictable grumbling about whether he’s been overhyped. If you’ve somehow missed the whole thing, Jennifer Ouellette offers an excellent summary of the FiveThirtyEight saga, with lots of links, but the Inigo Montoya summing up is that Silver runs a blog predicting […]

Baffling Demographic Math: Women in Computing

Somebody on Twitter linked this article about “brogrammers”, which is pretty much exactly as horrible as that godawful neologism suggests. In between descriptions of some fairly appalling behavior, though, they throw some stats at you, and that’s where it gets weird: As it is, women remain acutely underrepresented in the coding and engineering professions. According […]

Language and Statistics Poll: Define “Vast”

Prompted by a number of people using the phrase “vast majority” recently, I wonder where the line between “majority” and “vast majority” is. Thus, a poll: What is the minimum level of support that constitutes a “vast majority” Assume for the sake of argument that the issue in question is a simple yes-or-no question, with […]

1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created by Charles C. Mann

Back when I reviewed Mann’s pop-archaeology classic 1491, I mentioned that I’d held off reading it for a while for fear that it would be excessively polemical in a “Cortez the Killer” kind of way. Happily, it was not, so when I saw he had a sequel coming out, I didn’t hesitate to pick it […]