Visual and Statistical Thinking

Display architecture recapitulates quantitative thinking; design quality grows from intellectual quality.  Such dual principles – both for reasoning about statistical evidence and for the design of statistical graphics – include:

  1. documenting the sources and characteristics of the data
  2. insistently enforcing appropriate comparisons
  3. demonstrating mechanisms of cause and effect
  4. expressing those mechanisms quantitatively
  5. recognizing the inherently multivariate nature of analytic problems
  6. inspecting and evaluating alternative explanations

When consistent with the substance and in harmony with the content, information displays should be documentary, comparative, causal and explanatory, quantified, multivariate, exploratory, skeptical.

   ~ Edward Tufte, Visual and Statistical Thinking


Avoiding Irrational Errors

Probability and statistics are extraordinarily important in making good economic decisions and avoiding the irrational errors people very commonly commit.


On Default Correlation: A Copula Function Approach

The most dangerous part is when people believe everything coming out of it.

    ~ Wired Magazine, Recipe for Disaster: The Formula That Killed Wall Street, by Felix Salmon