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If a value is “less than 10%”, you can bet it’s not 0.1%. Usually.

This post is by Phil Price, not Andrew. Many years ago I saw an ad for a running shoe (maybe it was Reebok?) that said something like “At the New York Marathon, three of the five fastest runners were wearing our shoes.” I’m sure I’m not the first or last person to have realized that […]

The Pandemic: how bad is it really?

This post is by Phil Price, not Andrew. Andrew’s recent post about questionable death rate statistics about the pandemic has reminded me that I have not yet posted about a paper Troy Quast sent me. Quast is from the University of South Florida College of Public Health. Quast, Ross Andel, Sean Gregory, and Eric Storch […]

COVID and Vitamin D…and some other things too.

This post is by Phil Price, not Andrew. Way back in November I started writing a post about my Vitamin D experience. My doctor says I need more, in spite of the fact that I spend lots of time outdoors in the sun. I looked into the research and concluded that nobody really knows how […]

One more cartoon like this, and this blog will be obsolete.

This post is by Phil. This SMBC cartoon seems to wrap up about half of the content of this blog.  Of course I’m exaggerating. There will still be room for book reviews and cat photos.

Literally a textbook problem: if you get a positive COVID test, how likely is it that it’s a false positive?

This post is by Phil Price, not Andrew. This will be obvious to most readers of this blog, who have seen this before and probably thought about it within the past few months, but the blog gets lots of readers and this might be new to some of you. A friend of mine just tested […]

I like this way of mapping electoral college votes

This post is by Phil Price, not Andrew.  I like maps — everybody likes maps; who doesn’t like maps? — but any map involves compromises. For mapping electoral votes, one thing you sometimes see is to shrink or expand states so they have area proportional to electoral votes (or to population, which is almost, but […]

Don’t Hate Undecided Voters

This post is by Clay Campaigne, not Andrew. (It says ‘posted by Phil’, and that’s technically true, but I’m just a conduit for Clay here).  This is copied from Clay’s blog, which may have comments of its own so you might want to read it there too. Politics has taken on particular vitriol in recent […]

Follow-up on yesterday’s posts: some maps are less misleading than others.

Yesterday I complained about the New York Times coronavirus maps showing sparsely-populated areas as having a case rate very close to zero, no matter what the actual rate is. Today the Times has a story about the fact that the rate in rural areas is higher than in more densely populated areas, and they have […]

All maps of parameter estimates are (still) misleading

I was looking at this map of coronavirus cases, pondering the large swaths with seemingly no cases. I moused over a few of the gray areas. The shading is not based on counties, as I assumed, but on some other spatial unit, perhaps zip codes or census blocks or something. (I’m sure the answer is […]

Who are you gonna believe, me or your lying eyes?

This post is by Phil Price, not Andrew. A commenter on an earlier post quoted Terence Kealey, who said this in an interview in Scientific American in 2003: “But the really fascinating example is the States, because it’s so stunningly abrupt. Until 1940 it was American government policy not to fund science. Then, bang, the […]

Decision-making under uncertainty: heuristics vs models

This post is by Phil Price, not Andrew. Sometimes it’s worth creating a complicated statistical model that can help you make a decision; other times it isn’t. As computer power has improved and modeling capabilities have increased, more and more decisions shift into the category in which it’s worth making a complicated model, but often […]

Coronavirus corrections, data sources, and issues.

This post is by Phil Price, not Andrew. I’ve got a backlog of COVID-related stuff I’ve been meaning to post. I had intended to do a separate post about each of these, complete with citations and documentations, but the weeks are flying by and I’ve got to admit that that’s not going to happen. So […]

Advice for a yoga studio that wants to reopen?

This post is by Phil Price, not Andrew. My 79-year-old mom likes to go to yoga classes, although of course she has not done so in months. Her favorite yoga place is cautiously reopening — they’ve had a few sessions with just eight or ten people in a rather large space (I’m going to guess […]

Years of Life Lost due to coronavirus

This post is by Phil Price, not Andrew. A few days ago I posted some thoughts about the coronavirus response, one of which was that I wanted to see ‘years of life lost’ in addition to (or even instead of) ‘deaths’. Mendel pointed me to a source of data for Florida cases and deaths, which […]

Coronavirus Grab Bag: deaths vs qalys, safety vs safety theater, ‘all in this together’, and more.

This post is by Phil Price, not Andrew. This blog’s readership has a very nice wind-em-up-and-watch-them-go quality that I genuinely appreciate: a thought-provoking topic provokes some actual thoughts. So here are a few things I’ve been thinking about, without necessarily coming to firm conclusions. Help me think about some of these. This post is rather […]

Coronavirus Quickies

This post is by Phil Price, not Andrew. There a couple of things that some people who comment here already know, but some do not, leading to lots of discussion in the comments that keeps rehashing these issues. I’m hoping that by just putting these here I can save some effort. 1. The ‘infection fatality […]

Coronavirus in Sweden, what’s the story?

  This post is by Phil Price, not Andrew. I’m going to say right up front that I’m not going to give sources for everything I say here, or indeed for most of it. If you want to know where I get something, please do a web search. If you can’t find a source quickly, […]

Considerate Swedes only die during the week.

This post is by Phil Price, not Andrew. A lot of people are paying attention to Sweden, to see how their non-restrictive coronavirus policies play out. Unlike most other countries in Europe, they have instituted few mandatory measures to try to slow the spread of the virus. Instead, they’ve taken a ‘softer’ approach, telling people […]

Amazing coincidence! What are the odds?

This post is by Phil Price, not Andrew Several days ago I wore my cheapo Belarussian one-hand watch. This watch only has an hour hand, but the hand stretches all the way out to the edge of the watch, like the minute hand of a normal watch. The dial is marked with five-minute hash marks, […]

When did “by” become “after”?

This post is by Phil Price, not Andrew. I just did a Google News search for “injured after”, and these are some of the headlines that came up: 16-year-old bicyclist seriously injured after being hit by car in Norfolk At least 1 injured after high-speed crash in Bridgeport Teen injured after falling off rooftop Driver […]

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