« Work experience, freelance rates and The Law of Negotiated Misery | Main | Scandinavian living: my online provider is a liability, any of the 2 other providers worth signing up with? »

March 29, 2008

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d83451cbbc69e200e551803d2a8833

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference On Causality (and covariance):

Comments

Two or so years ago, someone wrote on a blog that "Correlation is not Causality." I thought it a succinct way of making a point. Since then I have come across it quite often, and have wondered at what point a phrase or idea loses its potency from frequent use. Variation, I suppose, is one way of extending its life.

:lol: I think you got a better statistics education from a degree in journalism than I did from one in physics. (And damn, they taught you Game Theory?! That's not fair!)

Anyway, you sent me on an odyssey looking up Post Hoc and Cum Hoc fallacies on the web. http://www.logicalfallacies.info/cumhoc.html lines up declines in piracy with rising temperatures. (You'd think higher sea levels would mean *more* piracy. ;-) http://www.fallacyfiles.org/cumhocfa.html has an oft cited example by David Hackett Fischer. But Epsen's and the toon are both good 'uns.

However in any debate on statistics shouldn't somebody provide the data which shows there is ‘a lot of bogus stuff which passes for causality’? (Otherwise I'm gonna shout ‘Confirmation bias’.) To be honest, humanity is soo hard wired to see causal connections (and then prove, or disprove them) that I suspect these fallacies retain a constant rate. But perhaps our more secular society is looking for less supernatural explanations, so we're more aware of these fallacies? Or perhaps, because of the internet, we can see things on a global scale that were always there locally?

Anyway, if in doubt, I just blame the Big Bang: it's the cause of everything... :D

The comments to this entry are closed.

My Photo

About

Comment Policy

  • Comments are welcome, but due to the curse of spam I've had to turn on pre-moderation both for comments and trackbacks. However, all comments & trackbacks on topic will be accepted, apologies for any delays. For the sake of people's ability to listen in to the conversation I prefer comments in English, but also accept Norwegian, Danish, Swedish and German.

Become a Fan