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We need a title for our Daily Beast column

Kaiser and I will soon start a weekly column for the Daily Beast, focusing on statistics that are cited in political and civic debates. The question is, what to call it? We have a few possibilities but aren’t thrilled with any of them. So we could use some help from the wisdom of the crowd.

We have some ideas but don’t love any of them. I’ll put what we have in the first comment, but I’d like you to first try to come up with a good name for the column, without being influenced by our current mediocre suggestions. Then you can read what we have and see if that inspires you to something better.

Thanks much in advance.


  1. Andrew says:

    Stat Police
    Data Doctors
    Data Wranglers
    Statistics Truth Squad
    Stats Screen

    Data Watchers

    Statboyz in the Hood
    The Devil is in the Details
    The Devil is in the Data
    Devil Dogs
    Reservoir Dogs
    Adding it Up
    Stat Skeptics

    Ummm . . . you should be able to come up with something better than this!

  2. Here are a few…

    Probably relevant
    Probably pertinent
    Probably unlikely (if one is pessimistic about the relevance of data used in public debate)
    Probably X, where X says something about the subject matter?

    or (these are probably a bit geeky for public consumption)
    Entropy reduction
    Belief updaters (It would be fun to have a reference/joke in there for those of us that care about this stuff!)
    Normalized data (The stats joke has a possible clash with the database version, but still my fav.)

  3. Troy says:

    Stat Trek, though I think it’s been done.

    I like Statbusters.

  4. Z says:

    Just The Stats, Ma’am

  5. You should call it Degrees of Freedom.


  6. Keith O'Rourke says:

    I tried once to get my fellow grad students to go with Noise Busters for the softball team – but they liked Outfliers better.

    Noise does not reflect bias and perhaps more importantly misses false certainty about uncertainty.

    Qualifying certainty about uncertainty.

    Understanding (un)certainty assertions/pretensions.

    Good luck.

  7. anonymous says:

    “Lies, damned lies, and statistics”

  8. Dave says:

    How about Scrutinizing Statistics? It’s topically truthful and amazingly alliterative also.

  9. Fernando says:

    Science vs Fiction (or some combination thereof, Fiction Science, The Science & the Fiction, etc…)

    You could then have a science to fiction thermometer, where you would rank specific claims at the end of each article.

    PS I was wondering why you were not offering a t-shirt or something to encourage people. But then I though how much fun we all get from your blog, so really, it is just quid pro quo!

  10. joe says:

    Uninformed Posteriors

  11. Here’s my $0.02:

    Honest Statistics

    Rude Awakenings

    Honesty for the Best Policy

    Scrubbed Numbers

    Good luck! And congrats on the columns!

  12. Tom says:

    How about ‘Haruspex – predictions from the political entrails’

  13. Franz Ferdinand says:

    P for Two

  14. Erich says:

    Debunking Data
    Delusional Data
    Deconstructing Data

  15. Todd says:

    A theme to consider:
    A Mean Column
    The Mean Column
    Intentionally Mean
    Essentially Mean
    Mean Daily
    Daily Mean
    Above the Mean
    Beyond the Mean
    Don’t be Mean

  16. Steve Reilly says:

    Stat’s All, Folks

  17. nah says:

    Statistically Significant at the National Level

  18. Political Figures
    The Week Prior
    Just Add Data
    Most Statistics Are
    Show Me The Data
    Statistically Speaking
    Probable Flaws
    Political Values
    Victims of Statistics
    Probably Politics
    Critical Value

  19. Kyle C says:

    I like just “Stat!” because it reminds me of watching “Emergency!” in boyhood. (10 cc of Ringers lactate fixed everything then.)

  20. Ram says:

    Almost Surely BS
    Allows for abbreviations P(BS) = 1, or A.S. B.S.

  21. Daniel says:

    Biased, but Consistent

  22. Dents says:

    The Andrewmazing Fungtastic Gelman Kaiser (could be a statistical circus act)
    Numbers are Fun-statistics
    Andrew’s Peeves, Kaiser’s Beef
    How about… Statistics in Political and Civic Debates

  23. Anonymous says:

    Uncertainty Acceptance Therapy

  24. Mike says:

    Uncertainty Acceptance Therapy

  25. Alex says:

    The Daily Least Squared Error
    Survey Says
    Politically Significant
    Lies, Damn Lies, and Politics

  26. Michael Maltz says:

    From the musical Fiorello, Politics and Poker — any you’ll even have a theme song!

  27. Anon says:

    Given the publication, how about

    “Numbers of The Beast”

  28. torkildl says:

    The Number of the Beast, of course!

  29. brianG says:

    statistics ain’t beanbag

  30. George says:

    Data Front
    Stat Front

    Trench datafare

  31. Edward Carney says:

    At Variance

  32. Simone Vincenzi says:

    Beastly Stats

  33. Matthew Zack says:

    Politics by the Numbers.

  34. Dan Wright says:

    This isn’t relevant to your blog, but our exercise team (all from one of our stats departments) was called “Goodness of Fit”. Wish it was my idea, but it wasn’t.

  35. Mark says:

    Statcheck…like factcheck

  36. Brandon Sherman says:

    Data Debate

  37. Njnnja says:

    Always Wrong, Sometimes Useful

  38. Matthew says:

    Probably approximately correct

  39. Emily says:

    How about the column Krypto?

    Meaning: 1) secret, hidden, or concealed; 2)a person who secretly supports or adheres to a group, party, or belief. 3) a combining form meaning “hidden,” “not perceived immediately or with certainty”

    Uses: Superman’s pet Krypto the superdog. The game Krypto: “mathematical game that promotes proficiency with basic arithmetic operations. More detailed analysis of the game can raise more complex statistical questions.”

    I think it kind of captures the spirit of “statistics that are cited in political and civic debates”. Maybe you want something more clever though?

  40. artkqtarks says:

    Questionable Significance

  41. Jonathan (another one) says:

    What Lies Beneath (because it both covers what underlies the data and how the use of data supports lies)

    Behind the Data Curtain (sort of a Wizard of Oz reference, with two variants below)
    Data Wizards: Peering Behind the Curtain (I don’t like colons, but at least this gets the full point across)
    Data Wiz (Sort of like Cheez Whiz, but with Data!)

    Decimal Points (because it’s points made with numbers and because you dislike decimal points)

    Imaginary Numbers and Real Numbers (or, to combine this into one snappy title for the cognoscenti…)
    The Complex Plane

  42. Julien says:

    Here are some (quite bad) suggestions :

    What do you mean ?
    Substandard deviation
    Bayes and girls
    Beautiful models
    Give me the breaks
    Skeptic regression
    Odds radio
    Dumb and numbers

  43. Dalton says:

    The Central Tendency
    Negatively Skewed
    Positively Skewed (readers may just read this a “positively screwed” a nice commentary on our political situation.)
    The Shape and Scale of Justice.
    Risky Inference
    False Precision
    Two Significant Figures

  44. Kevin S. Van Horn says:

    How about “Damned Lies”? :-) (As in “Lies, damned lies, and statistics.”

  45. Nomologic says:

    The Chai Square … where you sit around and talk stats over a nice cuppa

  46. rjw says:

    “Nothing, if not critical”

    Desdemona: What wouldst thou write of me, if thou shouldst praise me?
    Iago: O gentle lady, do not put me to’t; For I am nothing, if not critical.

  47. J. Cross says:

    The Art of the Probable
    Model Citizens
    A Prior Engagement

  48. dab says:

    The Stat in the Scat

    (with apologies to Dr. Seuss.)

  49. Brad Stiritz says:

    Cited figures
    Referenced figures
    Quoted figures
    Speak, data
    Speaking statistically

  50. 1 Where it’s stat

    2 Politics counts

    3 Posterior-view mirror

    (Of these I like 1, though it’s not as good as Anon’s “Numbers of The Beast”)

  51. LAS says:

    Cynical Data

    110% Half Truths

    Stat Power

    Normal Noise

    Min Max and Average

    Statistical Fallacies


    False Discoveries

    Common Statistics

    Statistical Rhetoric

    Persuasive Data

  52. kerokan says:

    “Convince Me”

  53. Nick Menzies says:

    The numbers game.

  54. Thanatos Savehn says:


  55. aaron says:

    -Statistical Moderator
    -Auto Moderator
    -Naive Bayes Moderator

    -Stat Watchers
    -Statistically Insignificant

    • Martha says:

      “PolitiStat” (with apologies to PolitiFact) also occurred to me — but I looked it up and found that “politistat” is the Danish word for “police state”. Not sure whether that’s a minus or a plus.

  56. Alejandro says:

    Answers, Stat
    Random Walk Prattle

    I also vote for J. Cross’ “Model Citizens”

  57. MPC says:

    Posterior ✔️
    aCountability (with the Count as mascot)

  58. Dale says:

    ‘The Null Hypothesis’

  59. Anonymous says:

    Data Coroners
    (Poli)CSI: Stats

  60. Yet another anon says:

    Data Coroners
    [Poli]CSI: Data analysis

  61. Matt DeMonte says:

    “Data Driven” –
    “Unbiased Estimators” – a bit wonky
    “Behind the Numbers”
    “The Best Estimate”
    “Above Average”

  62. Chris says:

    turning a simple stats term into something that has a second meaning (without too much tongue in your cheek) seems appropriate, like:

    Statistical Significance
    Significance Testing
    Confidence Intervals
    Independent Variables
    Regressing to the Mean
    Testing for Bias

    or maybe some statistical non-sequitur like Box and Whisker.

  63. Matt Levinson says:

    The Weekly Metric


    The Key Metric(s)

  64. Radu says:

    Statosphere or Statasphere






    Calling the odds

    Data ninjas

  65. Jason Thomas says:

    Oh, stats people… In media there is this thing called “high concept,” which has a rather counter intuitive definition. But, the point is, this is going to have to appeal to a wider portion of the distribution of information consumers.

    Something like:

    “Modern Conditioning”

  66. Economist says:

    In order of my preference :

    i) Evidently

    ii) Drawing Inferences/ Making Inferences

    iii) Probably

    iv) By All Means

    • Martha says:

      Economist’s (i) suggests Evidentially as a possibility.

      Or perhaps “Eventually evidential?” with the question mark included (to express the inevitable uncertainty).

      Or how about, “Evidence and Uncertainty”.

      Or “Uncertain Evidence”

  67. Eric Loken says:

    The Plot Sickens

  68. Felipe Osorio says:

    1. Probable Cause

    2. Dirty Data

    3. No (Central) Limits

    4. Favorable Odds

    5. Polimetrics

    Good luck, Andy!

  69. Tom Roderick says:

    The Statistical State


    Convergent Hypotheses

    Estimated States

    Prior Posteriors

    Structure of Interest

    Door #3 (named after the Monty Hall problem)

  70. Martha says:

    Initially “The Statistical State” sounded good, but then I remembered that the word “statistics” originally referred only to information about states (in the political sense). So that suggests possibilities such as the following:


    Original Statistics

    Polistics (Or perhaps that’s what you meant rather than Polistitics ?)

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