Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Book Recommendation - How to Lie With Statistics

If one has free reading time or just really likes lists (and boy do I love a good list!) the Personal MBA reading list is pretty darn cool.  It claims to give you knowledge equivalent to an MBA in 99 books, without any of the crippling debt.  I'm about 10 books in, and there's some really great stuff on data, statistics, analysis and presentation.

One of the classics of course is How to Lie With Statistics.  It's a great book, easy reading, though the examples are outdated to the point of near distraction (salaries list at $8000/year, that sort of thing).  Still, clear and concise, and shows you that bad data has been around for quite some time.

One of my favorite moments is when he goes after Joseph Stalin for his bad data....in retrospect that kind of feels like saying Hitler was a bad dresser.  Still, pretty interesting to see where the misinformation starts.  This book should be required reading for everyone.

2 comments:

  1. Assistant Village Idiot's wifeApril 6, 2012 at 5:12 PM

    Are you surprised we have a copy? Of course I can't find it now so maybe we loaned it to someone.

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  2. I find that multiplying all the monetary values by ten is about right. A good rule of thumb when contemplating numbers from the 50's.

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