Lyrics © 2016 Lawrence M. Lesser
may sing to the tune of the Beatles' "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds"
Picture statistics in the newspaper
With context all missing or half summarized;
Somebody chose just who would be surveyed
And the order the items arise.
Stats are each chosen and given a setting, polished and cut for a view:
Look for the angle that reaches your eyes when they're done.
CHORUS: This is how stats are like diamonds,
This is how stats are like diamonds,
This is how stats are like diamonds, ahhh……
Follow the chain of a long calculation
For students who view stats as math mechanized.
But when you tell them "all stats are constructed",
Their eyebrows will rise up so high!
Newspaper numbers appear on page 4, labelled and grouped for display:
Like a nice gem, this story now sparkled, unlike rocks. (Repeat Chorus)
Picture a stat with no error or bias,
Without a confounder that's lurking disguised.
Take care that you see how that stat is presented:
Most jewels have a flaw to apprise. (Repeat Chorus twice)