We should not judge people by their peak of excellence; but by the distance they have traveled from the point where they started.

Friday, February 26, 2010

How to lie with Statistics ....

I am reading a book titled "How to lie with Statistics" :) An impressive collection of day to day stories of probabilities and statistics in daily usage that can make our decision making more accurate and wisely. If you are interested there is one more, titled "Struck by lightning" which also deals with the same subject.

An interesting statistics. http://www.cehat.org/railwaypil.html
On 20th January 2004, there had been a total of 5,513 railway deaths in a single year of 2002-03 in Mumbai. I could not get the latest statistics.

A more interesting statistics about Pune accidents could be found here.

About 250 people die in road accidents in India everyday! 8 people died in Pune bomb blast. 200 people died in 26/11.

Now compare the media coverage that an event like a bomb blast gets as compared to the coverage that everyday deaths in India (child birth, accidents, dowry etc etc) draw and you have an interesting case of "How to lie with statistics" :)

Plane crashes are rare, but when all you see in newspapers or on television are the horrifying images of plane crashes mind of a common man, gets psychological effect of terror. Same is the case with bomb blasts.

With no less regards to the events like bomb blasts etc that gets glorified India needs to get its act together in lot of other corners to make lives of their citizens better ones. Security from terrorism is just one aspect of that. The silent killers are mercilessly many other events, which sadly never get glorified because a common man dying in an accident (because of infrastructure / individual mistake), or some dowry death happening in some remote corner of India, does not have enough meat to fill in the headlines with horrendous images and to boost TRPs and newspaper sales.

Probability and statistics can make your decision making power tremendously rational and can give you a stress free environment to stay in the world that we stay in :)
I am loving maths more and more, everytime I am getting in it. And now I think, only if I had better teachers to explain the correct application of Maths in day to day usage, while it was being learned, I could have been so different :( Right from the arithmetic to probabilities to Calculus everything seems to have some usability in some way in some part of our life. And maths becomes such a nice play then :)

Here is a nice tutoring site if you are interested


I wish to learn it even more and more now and everytime I learn a new concept which I knew, but did not know its actual applicability my eyes glitter with a new hope :) Wow.