Distractions?

Dason

Ambassador to the humans
#1
I was just wondering if you were hypothetically looking for a distraction to keep you from writing a paper... what kind of topics would you want posted on TS to distract you?
 

trinker

ggplot2orBust
#2
1) I like R puzzles to figure out. Generally I like the ones Dason leaves for me because he likes to through some R crumbs my way. If it's a question he takes usually its a question well above my pay grade. [Led Zep sends a bunch of those my way and I think Dason leaves them because he knows I can answer them and I like to answer R questions]

2) I like discussion we have on here about semantics/ethics/philosophy [Does linux and R play on greed?]

3) I like discussions about projects we're working [like when Bryan Goodrich asked how we'd bring the fwf into R or the ggplots gui discussion]

4) Discussion cool gadgets/packages/techniques we're undertaking (often this is over my head but I go look it up none the less and may eventually get there) [like the Beamer/next gen discussion we had the other day that I emailed the link to myself and archived for later exploration]

I answer other questions to help people when I can but they don't always peak my interest like these types of questions do.
 

noetsi

No cake for spunky
#3
What you thought the chance of the US political system becoming destabilized to the point it was replaced. And more generally where given economic, social, and political trends are leading us.

If you think the country will fall apart stats papers are not likely to be real signficant.
 

trinker

ggplot2orBust
#4
noetsi said:
If you think the country will fall apart stats papers are not likely to be real signficant
Significant in what sense?

Perhaps it's the philosophers (AKA phd's) who will lead this new system. In which case the papers are significant.
 

noetsi

No cake for spunky
#5
Signficant in the sense that if there is widespread looting and rioting no one will care about statistics. Any more than they do in the Congo or Somalia.

I had a history professor who noted that PHD's make lousy leaders (at least in the West). Historically he is correct (the only PHD ever to be US president was a dedicated racist who brought Jim Crow to the capital, praised the Klan and totally messed up the Versailles negoiation with catastrophic consequences).

Politics is the art of the possible and academics are commonly to impractiable to lead well. Their training leads to easily to doctrinaire behavior as economists constantly enhibit in their policies.

Gyngrich might be the next president so we will get a recent example of a PHD leading the US if he wins.....
 

noetsi

No cake for spunky
#8
Incidently, since we touched on politics how many hear noted Scalia's logic on statisics in the decision last year on the class action requirements for federal law suits? He asserted (and apparently the majority agreed) that statistics were not a valid tool in laying the basis for a class action suit because their findings could not rule out alternative causes (for their results). That of course is true essentially without exception in real world statistical models. If that decision is applied generally to federal law (and not uniquely to discrimination or class action suits) then the use of statistics in federal cases would seem to be up in the air.
 

noetsi

No cake for spunky
#11
No more statistics for juries to consider. They will go with their gut in the future.

Only if there is proof a company has a policy of paying less to women or minorities can the employees get together in a class-action suit, the court said in an opinion Monday by Justice Antonin Scalia. Statistics showing that a company's female workers earn far less and get fewer promotions than men will not suffice, the court said.
http://articles.latimes.com/2011/jun/21/nation/la-na-court-walmart-20110621

The same logic he applied in the decision (that there could be alternative reasons for the results of the statistics) could be applied logically to any statistics.
 

Dragan

Super Moderator
#12
I was just wondering if you were hypothetically looking for a distraction to keep you from writing a paper... what kind of topics would you want posted on TS to distract you?
I have enough distraction associated with the time spent on grading exams, reviewing articles for journals, and setting on committees.

That said, I would be willing to procrastinate, if I could look at some posts on related topics on how the World is now about in a similar condition as it was in (approximately) 1935-1937?....not too well.
 

trinker

ggplot2orBust
#13
While I think Dason created this thread as a minor joke (I think he was also looking for a distraction that day) I would be pretty interested in what topics/threads on TS catch everyone's fancy.
 

Dason

Ambassador to the humans
#14
While I think Dason created this thread as a minor joke (I think he was also looking for a distraction that day) I would be pretty interested in what topics/threads on TS catch everyone's fancy.
My favorite threads are ones where we kill raptors.