Open Lab 2009

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The list of selections for Open Lab 2009 ("a printed annual anthology of science blogging", edited this year by Scicurious) was posted this morning.  According to Open Lab's judges, the "50 best science blogging posts of the year" included my post "Betting on the poor boy: Whorf strikes back", 4/5/2009.


  1. Mark P said,

    January 13, 2010 @ 9:11 am

    Congratulations on having your posts recognized for what many of them are: good, insightful, general science writing.

  2. JimG said,

    January 13, 2010 @ 12:27 pm

    A cursory skimming of the selected "50 best science blogging posts of the year" led me to the thought that many of the posts were selected for novelty value, rather than as instructive pieces. "Betting on the poor boy …" seemed to be head-and-shoulders above the crowd for its critical portrayal of the utility and credibility of statistical methods, while debunking contemporary journalism. It has been a while since I said it, but Thank you, Language Log, for making learning satisfying and fun.

  3. Sili said,

    January 14, 2010 @ 1:03 am

    Congrats! You do do some of the best education about statistics out there.

  4. arc said,

    January 14, 2010 @ 5:08 am

    Thanks for the back pointer :-]

    I'm one of the quantitatively-minded people (well, at least relative to the general population. I'm not scared by numbers or mathematics. I wouldn't say I have a good head for figures particularly beyond that) you mention in the original article that doesn't necessarily have a good grasp of statistics, but I'm trying to do better, and at least I'm aware of some of the issues.

    I'm sure we can do better as a society on this issue. One thing to do would be to print the damn graphs! Most people who read the Economist can surely understand a graph, and people in general are much better at understanding pictures than they are at understanding numbers.

    On that note, I found these pictures intuitively helpful a while ago:

    A correlation coefficient of 0.5 always sounded kind of noteworthy to me, halfway along the way to being a straight line! But as the graph for 0.4 shows quite nicely, it's kind of a messy blob with some kind of vague general tendency. Someone pointed these graphs out to me when I was struggling to articulate why I was beginning to think 0.5 wasn't as noteworthy as I thought it was.

  5. arc said,

    January 14, 2010 @ 5:09 am

    Oh yeah! and keep up the good work :]

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