At 12:12 PM 9/24/99 -0400, Lee wrote: >> Here are just a few questions I know about "America" that renders any >> statistics like "1 in 100,000" meaningless. Why? >Now, now, Bob. In a previous post, you defined such things as random >variables. No fair changing the rules now. <G> No, I don't mean it and >don't need a lecture on statistics. I make no claims to proper definitions >or useage. Then you should've refrained from even bring it up! ;) That was the "empirical statistics" Strike cited from Queensland Diver which I questioned its meaninglessness. Mine was a SERIOUS remark, based on the same advice I have given DAN (Divers Alert Network) when asked by them to help with the statistical question of HOW they can get a handle on such rates, not knowing the TOTAL number of dives in the population in their Annual Reports nor the number of divers! You're right it has nothing to do with randomness. And I saw the <G>! But in this kind of discussion, where confusion of meanings of statistics abound, it's hard for SOME readers to tell a joke from something serious, so it's better to refrain from jokes unless it's completely unambiguous -- in statistics, even the meaning of SAMPLE MEAN could generate a flamewar for weeks in rec.scuba because readers don't KNOW that its different from the median or the mode, it's a good idea to just skip jokes and get on with the non-statistical discussion! >My point is something very different, something I think you will >agree with without reservation (if you ever agree without reservation). Yes I do, but ONLY when the statements are correct! :-) As a matter of fact, that's a VERY GOOD reason that you should NOT have even mentioned the word "statistics", because it's not relevant to your next statement, and you were WRONG about the usage of "statistics" -- and that's not a nitpick either. > In >this context, I find only a couple of "statistics" to be important. Did I >and all my friends come back undamaged? Did we enjoy the dive? Those are NOT statistics. The first is just a "yes" or "no" question. The second is definitely NOT a statistic, because it is NOT a number! >The safety of an individual diver is a function of the quality of the risk >decisions that diver makes and the knowledge he/she has available to make >the decision. In this context, no number of damaged or undamaged divers has >the slightest effect on the safety of the next diver. > >Lee Why didn't you just say what you said in those four lines in the FIRST PLACE, without bringing in any of the foreplays, overtures, or prologues that added nothing to what you had to say OTHER THAN introducing more confusion about "statistics"? :-) -- Bob.