I suspect cavemen didn't have flat stumps to sit on, trim their beards, or wear animal skins so neatly either.

]]>(Cf., "In the Country of the Blind".)

]]>[(myl) Fixed now. Obviously you know about > and < for the "greater than" and "less than" symbols; now you know (or have been reminded) that WordPress comments think that the input is in a restricted sort of html, in which the bare lt and gt symbols are interpreted as the start and end of tags…]

Not only do people not know the difference between statistical and practical significance, they don't know what statistical significance means either. That's how we get p hacking and claims that A and B are not associated because p is just above .05 in your small study. And a whole lot more howlers. John Ioannidis is on the case but he's trying to sweep the beach.

]]>[(myl) I wonder whether "significantly more than 50,000" is accurate — the American Economic Association has 18,000 members and the American Sociological Association has 14,000.

Anyhow, even if the number of distribution-talk understanders in the U.S. today were 500,000 (which I suspect is a large overestimate), that would project onto the population of the Pirahã as

50000/323000000 = x/300

x = 300*500000/323000000 = 0.46

]

]]>[(myl) Indeed. One of the most important confusions is the difference between "(statistically) significant" and "significant in practical (or clinical or social) terms". For some discussion, see "'Significance' in 1885 and today", 5/17/2013, and the links therein.]

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