Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Tao of Statistics

End of analysis,
Start of results,
Thin ice.

This is a poem for p values, a term in statistics. It is written by Dana Keller, the writer of the book The tao of statistics: a path to understanding (with no math). It was the first time for me to finish reading a statictics book at one sitting. It is like Laozi's Dao De Jing, which is concise and comprehensive.

I have never expected that there will be a statistics book like a novel or a comic book. Although I have taken at least two courses on it, statistics is supposed to be extremely tough and the learning process is really suffering. Every time I tried my best to remember a concept or an equation, but still did not know how to use it in analysis. Worse yet, I promptly forgot all about them after the course examinations. So, next time when I have to use statistics, it would be a new round of learning and suffering.

I used to lose all my confidence in statistics. I even doubted my own IQ or whether I did not work hard enough. Gradually, I found that it was not the problem of intelligence or diligence, but the problem of Tao, the ways. Maybe it is a suitable way for others, but it is not my way. Why I have to cut my feet to fit the others’ shoes. Why not to find my own shoes? There must be my ways somewhere. All I need is the confidence and searching. The tao of statistics: a path to understanding (with no math) gives me the confidence to going on.


WZZ said...

Dear Qin, your courage also inspires me. We will definitely survive the annoying statistics!

Anonymous said...

I am deeply touched by your posting. Thank you. Dana Keller, PhD

Anonymous said...

the book is true to the core. I loved reading it, it was almost comforting -- forming a strange relationship with numbers.