19 January 2007

Statistical Variations

I love statistics. I love that they factually demonstrate something. I also love how easily they can be presented with just the slightest change to demonstrate something totally different and misleading.

Take this statistic: "The highway death rate is higher for cautious 82-year-old women than for risk-taking 16-year-old boys." What does that make you think? That an elderly woman is a worse driver than a teen boy.


But the real meaning of the statistic is more logical -- which you will see if you read this
article in the New York Times (the source of that statistic).

P.S. Just for fun, keep reading and you will find the statistic that relates to the fatality risk for men between ages 21 and 24 who drive motorcycles between midnight and 4:00 a.m.

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