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More Damned Lies and Statistics: How Numbers Confuse Public Issues

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In this sequel to the acclaimed "Damned Lies and Statistics", Joel Best continues his straightforward, lively, and humorous account of how statistics are produced, used, and misused by everyone from researchers to journalists. Underlining the importance of critical thinking in all matters numerical, Best illustrates his points with examples of good and bad statistics about In this sequel to the acclaimed "Damned Lies and Statistics", Joel Best continues his straightforward, lively, and humorous account of how statistics are produced, used, and misused by everyone from researchers to journalists. Underlining the importance of critical thinking in all matters numerical, Best illustrates his points with examples of good and bad statistics about such contemporary concerns as school shootings, fatal hospital errors, bullying, teen suicides, deaths at the World Trade Center, college ratings, the risks of divorce, racial profiling, and fatalities caused by falling coconuts. "More Damned Lies and Statistics" encourages all of us to think in a more sophisticated and skeptical manner about how statistics are used to promote causes, create fear, and advance particular points of view.


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In this sequel to the acclaimed "Damned Lies and Statistics", Joel Best continues his straightforward, lively, and humorous account of how statistics are produced, used, and misused by everyone from researchers to journalists. Underlining the importance of critical thinking in all matters numerical, Best illustrates his points with examples of good and bad statistics about In this sequel to the acclaimed "Damned Lies and Statistics", Joel Best continues his straightforward, lively, and humorous account of how statistics are produced, used, and misused by everyone from researchers to journalists. Underlining the importance of critical thinking in all matters numerical, Best illustrates his points with examples of good and bad statistics about such contemporary concerns as school shootings, fatal hospital errors, bullying, teen suicides, deaths at the World Trade Center, college ratings, the risks of divorce, racial profiling, and fatalities caused by falling coconuts. "More Damned Lies and Statistics" encourages all of us to think in a more sophisticated and skeptical manner about how statistics are used to promote causes, create fear, and advance particular points of view.

30 review for More Damned Lies and Statistics: How Numbers Confuse Public Issues

  1. 5 out of 5

    Bob Wallner

    More Damned Lies and Statistics takes author Joel Best initial work, Damn Lies and Statistics, and applies it to how we see social statistics. In this audiobook, Dr. Best does not steer away from some very sensitive issues. Issues such as racial profiling, child pornography and rape, and even the 9/11 terrorist attacks are discussed from an analytical standpoint. Dr. Best does his best not to steer his opinion on "right or wrong" but simply uses data to analyze the important issues. Questions li More Damned Lies and Statistics takes author Joel Best initial work, Damn Lies and Statistics, and applies it to how we see social statistics. In this audiobook, Dr. Best does not steer away from some very sensitive issues. Issues such as racial profiling, child pornography and rape, and even the 9/11 terrorist attacks are discussed from an analytical standpoint. Dr. Best does his best not to steer his opinion on "right or wrong" but simply uses data to analyze the important issues. Questions like, was "before" data available, are we measuring the same, is the data variable or attribute, does the data have a precise time tested value. Dr. Best's most compelling argument to me was how we learn statistics in school. He validates that we, as a population, see statistics every day, but very few are ever taught how to analyze this data. In this way we are very sheep like that will tend to move toward the data that supports our social position while never challenging the data to truly understand the problem. Personally, the thing I love about these types of books is how they change your thinking about various ways we use the statistics we are flooded with. For example...One of the biggest topics in this past year's US Presidential election was how much of a problem "Illegal or Undocumented Immigration" is on the US and how the taxpayers are paying for this. My personal feelings of this issue aside, this would be an interesting sociological study using statistics. With estimates of anywhere between 9-12 million (depending on the source) of "Undocumented Immigrants" in America we are looking at between 2-1/2% to 3-1/2% of the total population. First we need to question the data because there is no "Undocumented Immigrant Registration" so these are estimates built on a sample and can easily be manipulated to serve your agenda. Next in regards to the argument regarding increased cost on the "taxpayers"...we would need to define what is "Taxpayer Cost" are and what percent of those costs can be applied to this population. Estimates on a quick google search quote President Trump as saying these costs are, dramatically and precisely, documented at $296 billion over 10 years. Less dramatically that is $30 per year. Even less dramatically that is $2500 per person per year. Why didn't the president elect simply say "Illegal Immigration" costs tax payers $2500 per year per person. Boy that doesn't have the same impact does it. It all becomes about who you want to influence and how you want to spin the topic or the inability to remove personal bias out of the study

  2. 5 out of 5

    Catherine Li

    Good opinions on how social media and politics are taking advantage of statistics to satisfy their needs and when those situations are likely to happen. There are good interesting examples to use to teach in statistics classes to make students realize the importance of statistics. Statistics is only vivid with an application field. However, I disagree with the author that the "damned lies" are from the statistics discipline. Statistics is clean. It's a subject that gives estimations of the uncer Good opinions on how social media and politics are taking advantage of statistics to satisfy their needs and when those situations are likely to happen. There are good interesting examples to use to teach in statistics classes to make students realize the importance of statistics. Statistics is only vivid with an application field. However, I disagree with the author that the "damned lies" are from the statistics discipline. Statistics is clean. It's a subject that gives estimations of the uncertainty. We are fully aware of the uncertainty and ambiguity. It is people such as politicians that want to reach their purpose tell lies, taking advantage of general public's possibly low critical thinking skills. That's why I keep on telling students in the classes I am teaching: learn statistics well, you will be less likely to be fooled and misled by social media and rumors! However, this might not be pure statistics education's responsibility. A very good book to read in general!

  3. 4 out of 5

    David

    Surprisingly good, readable, even-handed discussion of difficulties with presentation or interpretation of data used to address social or political issues. Some of it was very elementary (the mean is less resistant than the median to the influence of outliers) or (at least in my job) very well-known (colleges game the system by concentrating on improving the most malleable inputs to the US News and World Report rankings), but by no means all. I picked up a good tip for construction of a table in Surprisingly good, readable, even-handed discussion of difficulties with presentation or interpretation of data used to address social or political issues. Some of it was very elementary (the mean is less resistant than the median to the influence of outliers) or (at least in my job) very well-known (colleges game the system by concentrating on improving the most malleable inputs to the US News and World Report rankings), but by no means all. I picked up a good tip for construction of a table in the article I'm working on, so that alone made it worth my time. His analysis of a purported rise in African American teen suicide rates was particularly lucid, building a strong case that it had to do with changes in classification of deaths rather than an actual increase in suicides.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Kaethe Douglas

    A fine companion to Innumeracy: Mathematical Illiteracy and Its Consequences, this addresses statistical literacy; not the formulas, but the decisions underlying the collection and presentation of data. A good reminder that what we choose to look at influences what we see. Think of it as a look behind the curtain, where the wizard turns out to be just some guy with an agenda. A fine companion to Innumeracy: Mathematical Illiteracy and Its Consequences, this addresses statistical literacy; not the formulas, but the decisions underlying the collection and presentation of data. A good reminder that what we choose to look at influences what we see. Think of it as a look behind the curtain, where the wizard turns out to be just some guy with an agenda.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Steven Percifield

    Actually, I hit the wrong damned button. The book I actually read was Best's earlier book "Damned Lies and Statistics." One would expect a book with such a title to be dry, (dare I say) boring reading. One would not be disappointed. It seemed that the same general points were made time after time in order to fill the pages. On the other hand, everytime I see or hear a statistic referenced, I question it. To that degree, the book was effective. Actually, I hit the wrong damned button. The book I actually read was Best's earlier book "Damned Lies and Statistics." One would expect a book with such a title to be dry, (dare I say) boring reading. One would not be disappointed. It seemed that the same general points were made time after time in order to fill the pages. On the other hand, everytime I see or hear a statistic referenced, I question it. To that degree, the book was effective.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Sidi

    easy reading. it's not easy to write series of academic book. this one typically offer different kinds of "dark figures", and using social, political , historical issues to improve it, which is really an eye-opening experience. you can see it offers full context about the statement to guide you be a critical thinker, while it does now expand us, getting us only kinds of imperfect numbers. easy reading. it's not easy to write series of academic book. this one typically offer different kinds of "dark figures", and using social, political , historical issues to improve it, which is really an eye-opening experience. you can see it offers full context about the statement to guide you be a critical thinker, while it does now expand us, getting us only kinds of imperfect numbers.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Bry Willis

    This book is an awesome summary of statistical methodology, and it is extremely approachable. Best nonfiction book I've read in ages. It takes a decidedly nonpartisan approach to social statistics, and extends well to any organisation. My only complaint is that it might have been better for the examples to be more current, though they were at least relevant to my age group. This book is an awesome summary of statistical methodology, and it is extremely approachable. Best nonfiction book I've read in ages. It takes a decidedly nonpartisan approach to social statistics, and extends well to any organisation. My only complaint is that it might have been better for the examples to be more current, though they were at least relevant to my age group.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Libbie

    I fittingly was required to read this book for a statistics class. Although I can't say that it provided any ground-breaking information, it would be an informative read for those that have little statistics background. It just might help you to be more aware of statistical manipulation in EVERYTHING. I fittingly was required to read this book for a statistics class. Although I can't say that it provided any ground-breaking information, it would be an informative read for those that have little statistics background. It just might help you to be more aware of statistical manipulation in EVERYTHING.

  9. 5 out of 5

    beentsy

    I read this book on the bus to and from visiting my dad in hospital this week. That said, I can't remember much of of it so there is no way I'm going to write any kind of review. No, I'm not going to re-read it. I think I'll just move on and maybe read something funny and light as I appear to be a touch distracted. I read this book on the bus to and from visiting my dad in hospital this week. That said, I can't remember much of of it so there is no way I'm going to write any kind of review. No, I'm not going to re-read it. I think I'll just move on and maybe read something funny and light as I appear to be a touch distracted.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Kristina

    To be fair, I wouldn't have picked this up on my own. It was assigned for a class and as far as coursework books go, it was good. However, there were times that I felt it was repetitive. But, like I said, for a book assigned for a class, it wasn't bad. To be fair, I wouldn't have picked this up on my own. It was assigned for a class and as far as coursework books go, it was good. However, there were times that I felt it was repetitive. But, like I said, for a book assigned for a class, it wasn't bad.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Rob

    Nothing new here. If this was my first go-around with this type of book, I would be impressed, but there are several others out there. Don't know if any of them are particularly better than the others, so I guess it is really which one you pick up first. Nothing new here. If this was my first go-around with this type of book, I would be impressed, but there are several others out there. Don't know if any of them are particularly better than the others, so I guess it is really which one you pick up first.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Sudeshna

    A little dry.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Abby

    Eh, not much here that I didn't get from my university education or figure out for myself. However, the examples were very interesting and the concepts are very important. Watch your numbers. Eh, not much here that I didn't get from my university education or figure out for myself. However, the examples were very interesting and the concepts are very important. Watch your numbers.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Roger Blakesley

    A fairly solid follow-up book. But somewhat derivative. Makes a better skim than a thorough read.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Lauren

    Pretty interesting, and a relatively easy read.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Diana Suddreth

    Everyone should read this book.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Emily

    Actually interesting to read. People don't use numbers right!!! Read to become informed and somewhat understand the power of statistics. Bwahahahaha! Actually interesting to read. People don't use numbers right!!! Read to become informed and somewhat understand the power of statistics. Bwahahahaha!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Wacky Jacky

    Oh boy, a sequel!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Valerie

    Rereading this with my precalc class right now.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Gaguelicious

  21. 5 out of 5

    Alston

  22. 5 out of 5

    Fawn

  23. 4 out of 5

    Negar

  24. 4 out of 5

    AURA A

  25. 4 out of 5

    Randy

  26. 4 out of 5

    Steven

  27. 5 out of 5

    Saffron

  28. 4 out of 5

    Matsini1

  29. 4 out of 5

    Catherine

  30. 5 out of 5

    Sam

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