### Today, I am a blog.

06 March 09. [link] PDF version

Hi.

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.

Finally, an important piece of logistics: I don't write 140-character
posts every fifteen minutes, but instead tend toward infrequent,
more substantive posts. So don't click back here every day to see if
something is new: get notifications of new posts via the RSS feed. If you
don't know what RSS is,
it's the civilized way to read everything from The New York
Times
to The
Onion.