Archive for August, 2010

Never Again. For the Rest of Their Lives.

Tuesday, August 31st, 2010

I read this sad statistic today and tracked down at least one source in Wikipedia:

Literacy in the United States – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

  • 1/3 of high school graduates never read another book for the rest of their lives.
  • 42 percent of college graduates never read another book after college.
  • 80 percent of U.S. families did not buy or read a book last year.

Wow.  That’s not the way to live.

That said, I’d better get off the computer and back to my stack of unread books.

Top of the list today:

Being Wrong.

Being Wrong

I confess it has not really captured my interest yet, but I have high hopes.

Risk: A Practical Guide for Deciding What’s Really Safe and What’s Really Dangerous in the World Around You


Looks really interesting in light of today’s environment of Security Theater.

Bias – and iPhone users

Thursday, August 12th, 2010

Two of the feeds I read reported on the same article yesterday.  I found it amusing that both appeared on the same page, and the second (Flowinga Data) captured my impression of the first (Slashdot) exactly, at least in the headline.

OK Cupid is a huge online dating site with a penchant for data analysis.  In this latest release, they found a correlation between sexual activity and smart phone brand (right).

With this summary from Wired:

“According to OK Cupid’s survey of 552,000 user pictures iPhone users have more sexual partners than BlackBerry or Android owners. By age 30, the average male iPhone user has had about 10 partners while female iPhone users have had 12. By contrast, BlackBerry users hover around 8 partners and Android users have a mere 6.”

“Anonymous Coward” at Slashdot concludes that “Numbers Show iPhone Owners Get More Sex.”

Meanwhile, the folks at Flowing Data points out that this is no more than correlation (never to be confused with causation, as every scientist and statistician should know) and that, just as likely, “iPhone users are more promiscuous.”

The whole thing is just packed with interesting discussion points about worldview, bias, and wishful thinking,

There’s more from OK Cupid – your online date will be 2 inches shorter than he claims, will make 20% less than he states, and that picture is at least two years old, especially if it’s good.