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Correlation does not imply causation: How the Internet fell in love with a stats-class cliché. - Slate Magazine

Stashed in: Memes!, Science!, Star Trek!, Math!, Your argument is invalid., Bullies

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Boy, can I relate to this...

I love the paragraph that boils this meme down to risk:

When we mistake correlation for causation, we find a cause that isn't there. Once upon a time, perhaps, these sorts of errors—false positives—were not so bad at all. If you ate a berry and got sick, you'd have been wise to imbue your data with some meaning. (Better safe than sorry.) Same goes for a red-hot coal: one touch and you've got all the correlations that you need. When the world is strange and scary, when nature bullies and confounds us, it's far worse to miss a link than it is to make one up. A false negative yields the greatest risk.

I've noticed a lot of fear of the false positives these days.

Example is the desire for no false positives in hiring.

Which is why the "no false positives" view is met with skepticism.

My other favorite part of this article is the use of the facepalm.

So... FULL... OF... WIN!


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