In Defence of Liberty

Driven by data; ridden with liberty.

Monthly Archives: November, 2015

Statistics and Lampposts XXII: Self-Selection

Self-selecting polls are to be treated with heavy suspicion, precisely because the act of self-selection distinguishes a person from the general population, whether on a particular website or social media … Continue reading

November 30, 2015 · 2 Comments

Statistics and Lampposts XXI: Seeking a Headline

Another reason for data misinterpretation is to generate headlines. The Sun newspaper managed to stoke controversy [1] by claiming on the front of their Monday 23rd November edition that a … Continue reading

November 29, 2015

Labour in Vain

  As part of Labour’s response to the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement and the government’s spending review, the shadow Chancellor John McDonnell read out from the Little Red Book — a book … Continue reading

November 28, 2015

Statistics and Lampposts XX: Time and time again

The desire for partisan explanations often trumps more considerate forms of data analysis. This is particularly true in the way that offical statistics data sources, such as the Office for … Continue reading

November 23, 2015

Saving our bacon

Processed meats and red meats, such as bacon and sausages, were classified as causing cancer in humans, by monographs from the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) [1]. The … Continue reading

November 22, 2015

The Motivations of the Islamic State

129 lie dead in Paris. 19 were killed by explosions in Baghdad. 43 were murdered by suicide bombings in Beirut. All these deaths occurred in attacks by the Islamic State … Continue reading

November 16, 2015

Vive la République

Shootings, blasts and a hostage siege punctured the Parisian night. President Francois Hollande called the attacks “unprecedented”. The death toll is at least 128. A further 180 people are sounded, … Continue reading

November 14, 2015