GOOD DRINK: Author Steve Z hangs out in the Guinness Archives

by kris bishop on March 17, 2009

A St. Patrick’s Day “non-endorsement,” story, and random fact from PROF STEVE ZILIAK, co-author of THE CULT OF STATISTICAL SIGNIFICANCE: How the Standard Error Costs Us Jobs, Justice, and Lives

“William Sealy Gosset, an amiable, rucksack-wearing chemist who – beginning in 1899 – worked all his adult lifeZiliak_author for Guinness and eventually rose to the rank of head brewer, is the hero of The Cult. So a couple months ago I was in the reading room of the Guinness Archives, Dublin, when a couple guys entered the room…

He spoke briefly to an archivist before sitting down at a long table opposite me. Some minutes went by. The archivist returned with a small stack of books. So a little later the guys began to talk again. I looked up and guess what the were reading and talking about? The Cult of Statistical Significance! In typical Irish fashion (they respect privacy over there), the archivist did not even mention that the famous, famous co-author of the book was sitting at the other end of the table! And today is the 250th anniversary of Guinness (established 1759–and that’s your St. Pat’s Cult-o’-Stats Fun Fact), so let’s all medidate on the statistics of coincidence while we’re enjoying resonsibly, eh?”

CLICK TO READ:
Tim Harford, Financial Times: “Enlightened Research, Fueled by the Dark Stuff
Aris Spanos, Erasmus Journal: “The Controversy of ‘THE CULT‘”

The cult  THE CULT OF STATISTICAL SIGNIFICANCE
How the Standard Error Costs Us Jobs, Justice, and Lives
Authors: Stephen Ziliak and Dierdre McCloskey
Paperback ISBN: 9780472070077
Info: http://www.press.umich.edu/titleDetailDesc.do?id=186351

 

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