Did you happen to catch this story last (CNN video–6 minutes or AZTV) fall? The best-seller was studied at the VA until 8/14 when Sec. MacDonald pulled it from training programs. The book is not promoting lying per se but Huelskamp (Kansas), who sits on the Veterans Affairs Committee, doesn’t like it one little bit. Rep. Huelskamp claims to know plenty about statistics from his Ph.D.. In any case, who can resist a banned book! (What, no protests from the American Library Association over this outrage?)
I’m joking about the ALA because I love librarians and their often unpopular stance on the freedom to read–everything. But Rep. Huelskamp does make an important point about how data can be visually presented with graphics that give a wrong impression; he calls the VA out on one example. Actually, I want to read this book because the title is satire and with the catchy title, it’s sold a ton of copies.
I’m looking forward to reading Nate Silver’s book, The Signal and the Noise which is supposed to put statistics into contexts laypeople can relate to. Amazon delivered it and it’s calling to me. Although I got a decent grade in a required introductory statistics in college many moons ago, I struggled with the subject. But given all the research I’ve been reading, I have to tackle this subject again so I can spot some statistical trends or lies.