TIM HARFORD: Can you put a number on it? How to understand the world
If we are willing to go with our brains rather than our guts, any of us can think clearly about things
How far can common sense take us in the field of statistics? At first glance, not very. The discipline may be vital but it is also highly technical, and full of pitfalls and counter-intuitions.
Statistics can feel like numerical alchemy, incomprehensible to muggles — black magic, even. No wonder that, as I described last week, the most popular book on the topic, How to Lie with Statistics, is a warning about disinformation from start to finish.