To be fair, halfway down the article, BBC News does include this paragraph:
The study authors from the University of Hawaii say they cannot tell from their work whether overweight teens influence their friends to become overweight or whether obese adolescents simply choose to flock together.
It is highly likely that you, esteemed reader of my blog, have a better than average understanding of probability. One of my pet peeves is that journalists usually have a terrible understanding of probability.
Well sure they may. There’s always a chance home values will rise. There’s also always a chance they won’t. This headline summarises what we all know: we can’t be certain about what happens in the future. Something may happen and it may not.
The article’s opening paragraph doesn’t get better: we learn a building society claims there is a “reasonable chance” that home values in the UK will rise. As opposed to an unreasonable chance that they won’t?
How much is that rise that may happen? There’s a big difference in a rise of 10% and a rise of 0.1%. On a house worth 200,000 pound, that’s 20,000 pound increase compared to 200 pound. A rise of 0.1% is not different from a fall of 0.1%, statistically speaking, if one takes a margin of error in measuring into account. It’s a loss in real terms if inflation is running above 0.1%.
I’d like to hear the building society in question state the probability of a rise in home values by a certain amount. Then I’d like to see the chief economist of the building society put his money where his mouth is, and place a bet on a prediction market, such as Intrade.
Then we could get a meaningful headline, such as: “Nationwide says 35% chance of 5% rise in home values in 2009.”
As promised, I worked unwaveringly today towards fixing the initial teething problems with Poker Copilot 2. The first update, 2.01, is now ready for download, contains several minor bug fixes. Recommended for all.
“What does your home office space look like?”, people seldom – if ever – ask me. But if you were to ask, the answer is this:
My office is almost suspiciously well-ordered for a computer programmer. My excuse: my office doubles as a guest room, and we often have guests. I can’t be giving them a room with a messy desk to stay in, can I?
Although I live in the Cologne inner city, I’m lucky enough to have a view onto a pleasant courtyard; an oasis, even:
Here’s the books to which I’ve most frequently been referring lately. All of them are gems:
There’s now a real SQL database inside Poker Copilot. This means the former 150,000 hand database limit no longer exists.
The HUD is overhauled, shows up to 12 statistics at once and shows on multiple tables at once. It also will optionally show the hero stats just for the current table, to give an idea of the table image the hero has.
There’s a hand replayer. Use the hand replayer to review your hands card by card – and learn from past mistakes.
There’s a small detached window that shows the most recent mucked hands for all players.
Why did we add these features? One simple reason: they were the most heavily requested features from users.