I just finished reading Willful Ignorance: The Mismeasure of Uncertainty by Herbert Weisberg. I gave this book five stars (out of five) on Goodreads. According to Weisberg, the text can be "regarded as two books in one. On one hand it is a history of a big idea: how we have come to _think_ about uncertainty. On the other, it is a prescription for change, especially with regard to how we perform research in the biomedical and social sciences"
What do we fear more? Losing data privacy to our government, or to corporate entities? On the one hand, we (still) have oversight over our government. On the other hand, the government is (still) more powerful than most corporate entities, and so perhaps better situated to frighten. In these times of Snowden and the NSA, the L.A. Times ran an interesting story about just what tracking various internet companies perform. And it’s alarming.
I just finished reading An Accidental Statistician: The Life and Memories of George E. P. Box. The book reads like he is recounting his memories (it is aptly named) rather than as a biography. I enjoyed the stories and vignettes of his work and his intersections with other statisticians. The book also included pictures of many famous statisticians (George’s friends and family—Fisher was his father-in-law for a bit) in social situations.
From Jasper Fforde’s latest Thursday Next novel (The Woman Who Died Alot): The Office for Ultimate Risk is one of the many departments within the Ministry of National Statistics. Although it was originally an “experimental” department, the statisticians at Ultimate Risk proved their worth by predicting the entire results of three football World Cups in succession, a finding that led to the discontinuation of football as a game and the results being calculated instead.
Source: introducingbooks.com Over the winter break I was travelling in the UK and I came across this little book called “Introducing Statistics: A Graphic Guide” by Ellen Magnello and Borin Van Loon at the gift shop in the Tate Modern museum in London. The book is published in 2009, and Significance magazine already reviewed it here, so I won’t repeat their comments. I hadn’t heard about the book before, so I picked it up, along with a copy of Introducing Post-Modernism (they were 2 for £10, I had to get two, obviously).