Back in Lesson One – I went on (and on and on…) about certain statistical metrics used for measuring data.

Today I’m going to talk about a juicier (and hopefully CONCISE) sub-topic – how to check statistics you read in the paper, on television, or the Internet.

Here’s an example — the following is a pie chart.  Remember pie charts?  Everybody loves pie charts because everybody loves pie!  The idea is that folks can relate to percentage statistics more if it’s a slice of a pie.

Robot Attach PieChart

Lesson follows after the tag.

(For those with a good eye, yes, this is a screenshot from a previously posted YouTube link.  Just remember Old Glory Insurance for when The Metal Ones Come for You!)

But just remember that pie that your great-aunt made for you and made you eat when you were six.  It was unnatural.  It had ingredients that you still remember to this day and use that memory to scare your children into behaving by recalling the experience aloud.

(While it’s true that Val and I do not have children yet — I’ll be sure to tell them ALL ABOUT my Great-Aunt Janey’s baking skills… and oh yes.  My children — They WILL BEHAVE.)

I’m sorry — what was the point again?

Oh yes, unnatural pies.  Just like there are unnatural pies in the world, so there are also unnatural or poorly conceived pie charts.

Ask yourself the following questions about this chart:

1) How many old people were surveyed for this pie chart?
2) Did the Robots give the old people a heart attack?  Should there be more categories?
3) What group did the data sampling?  And do they have any business with Old Glory Insurance?
4) What’s so special about the folks above fifty?  If you’re under fifty, do robots leave you alone?
5) Do Robots prefer a particular climate and/or environment?  Are robots urban, suburban, or rural threats?

Just remember, folks.  Statistics are a tool.  They demonstrate or show things.  They prove absolutely nothing.

Question numbers.  Especially when it involves robot attacks.  🙂