What I’m Reading: August 2016

This month my stats book is Teaching Statistics: A Bag of Tricks by Andrew Gelman and Deborah Nolan. I’m part way through it, but it’s really good. If you’ve ever had to explain statistical concepts to a group of uninterested people, this is GREAT.

Recently someone on Facebook mentioned that they were surprised that increased knowledge of unethical politician behavior seems to change the mind of absolutely no one. Turns out it may be even worse than that….there’s evidence that informing people of your potential conflicts of interest makes them more likely to follow your recommendations.

Somewhat related to that, I’m still chewing on this piece from the Atlantic about how our political process went insane. It seems over hyped to me, but if even a quarter of it’s real we should probably be nervous.

This New York Times story about a skinny woman with all of the markers of obesity was one of the more fascinating health stories I read this month.

Another good NYTs story about bad concussion data the NFL has been using. Apparently the group who did the study gave them the preliminary results, but never told them that the final results actually didn’t bear out the initial findings.

Speaking of initial data, I was bummed to hear that the reports of the Ice Bucket Challenge leading to a major ALS breakthrough are probably jumping the gun.

The six types of peer reviewers made me laugh more than a little.

Okay, some of these experiments aren’t quite as straightforward as presented here (see the Stanford Prison Experiment), but this was a really weird list.