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View Diary: Nate Silver's data sourcing leaves me speechless (121 comments)

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  •  I don't mean to yell (0+ / 0-)

    because this is a good post. But this

    Another item that bothers me about this chart is it’s scaled as a percentage of GDP (PCT). Social safety programs have an inverse relationship with the nations GDP.
    needs to be developed in greater detail, not as an add-on because
    CORRELATION DOES NOT IMPLY CAUSATION!!!
    There's a causal effect here that is entirely the reverse of what the graph's maker is trying to imply.

    "Everybody" knows that correlation does not imply causation, and Silver pays lip service to this. Yet even he conflates weather and climate models with political and economic ones. But there's a fundamental difference here: The physical models are causal and use causation to predict outcomes, the statistical ones use correlation. That's what the climatologists like Mann are trying to point out.

    I understand that this post is about data sourcing, which is crucial. I haven't looked into it enough to challenge or verify your point, but it's a good one. And I don't mean to scold, but if you're going to post a graphic like your first one, it behooves you to remind us that correlation does NOT imply causation! I mean, even specialists like Silver need that reminder.

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