Sabtu, 10 Maret 2012

Statistics Is a Lie!

In the last couple days, I read a book review that a tittle is How to Lie with Statistics by Darrel Huff. My mind was keeping asking when I read that book’s title. Furthermore, I found this aphorism…
There are three kinds of lies: Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics
-Benjamin Disrael-
It seems perfect that statistics is a lie! But, we do never really believe directly that all above is a fact.

Do you remember East Java Election 2009? This there was disagreement about KPUD result. One of candidate complained to MK because KPUD result was different from quick count result. Quick count is one of statistics product, isn’t it? We should know that quick count has margin of error. As along that error interval appropriate, there is no problem here.

It is seems bored if we talk about my university course study. But I was learned that statistics was science and art to make decision in the face uncertainty. If the government or industrial manager must making a decision, they will be consider their decision before it will happen. So, where do they get information? The government isn’t a yes man.  The information must come from a real condition.

Karl Pearson, one of statistics prominent figure said that statistics was the grammar of science. Almost research in the world use statistics tools to analysis data. Because of that, I do agree that statistics is a grammar of science.  If statistics is a lie, almost research in the world which uses statistics as a tool will be judged as a lie too because the researcher use a liar tool.

In other hand, I read another article which had been written by Hal Varian, Google’s Chief Economist. Here more about the article and published by new york times. And enjoy this video!
I keep saying the sexy job in the next ten years will be statisticians. People think I’m joking, but who would’ve guessed that computer engineers would’ve been the sexy job of the 1990s?
-Hal Varian, 2009-
If it happen, It will be nice to hear that your skills may become a hot commodity. In pro contra of people believe, my conclusion is statistics do not lie but people do. When people say statistics is a lie, it easier to lie without statistics :)

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