Today, I am a blog.06 March 09. [link] PDF version
This is the blog for my book, Modeling with Data. That means that I'll be discussing statistics, scientific inquiry, computing, academia, publishing, and what I had for lunch before sitting down to write.
Let me tell you why I'm setting up another blog: because statistics is amazing. Seriously enthralling. Pure mathematics is internally consistent, but comfortably ignores what we like to call reality; statistics is a field that does the dirty work of linking mathematical models with observed phenomena. This is a hard problem, not in the sense that with enough elbow grease we can solve it, but in the sense that we mortals are fundamentally incapable of a definitive solution.
Of course, we do our best anyway. What are the odds that it will rain tomorrow? Your weatherman will be happy to give you a number, even though just explaining what that question means is about impossible.
Modeling with Data grazed the surface of these questions, but it's a textbook, so I focused on specific techniques and details rather than the social, technological, and even philosophical issues underlying the techniques. I will not be talking about the politics of information, because I already have a blog about that. Also, despite being the author of a statistics textbook, I'm human, and can perhaps share with you some interesting ideas about writing, publishing, and doing research in the present day.
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