# Estimation

• ### What P to Use

may sing to the tune of "I Can See Clearly Now" by Johnny Nash

The best it can be is if you use true P
If you don’t have that, you can just use P-hat
The worst case scenario is those don’t jive.
Just use point 5
Just use point 5

Repeat

• ### Confidence Level

may sing to the tune of  "Can't Buy Me Love" by The Beatles

Confidence level
Not an interval
Confidence level
Oh, oh, oh, oh

Let’s say 95%, 95%
Of all 95%, 95%
Intervals of confidence,
They contain the TRUE
Parameter
Of interest
Parameter
Oh, oh, oh, oh

Repeat with 98%

• ### The Year of the Jackpot

In this 1952 short story from the science fiction magazine Galaxy, a statistician notices trends in everything from war and famine to women unexpectedly stripping off their clothes in public. He concludes that the year 1954 is going to be an exceptionally bad year. With his new girlfriend, he runs to the country to hide. As the world collapses around them, he reads his journals and finds an article of interest (because of its presentation of Heinlein's concept of research in the USSR as well as for its mathematical content and significance to the plot). Unfortunately for the protagonist, the implications of the article are worse than even he had imagined. Escaping to the country with his girlfriend was not sufficient precautions to escape the disaster that Dynkowski predicted with his mathematics.

• ### Damned Souls and Statistics

A statistician sells her soul to the devil in exchange for guaranteed tenure, but redeems herself by creating a cleverly useless confidence interval. The character understands what a confidence interval actually is, but here the definition is intentionally twisted, to humorous effect. The alternative definition adopted in this fantasy to save the protagonist's soul may even be closer than many of the misconceptions that are often encountered.

• ### Bardwick on Uncertainty

… motivation is highest when the probability of success is 50 percent: We don't get involved if the task is too easy or too hard.

Judith M. Bardwick (1933 – )

• ### Black Swan

by Eveline Pye

Somewhere close, nuclear warheads trundle down a potholed road and I am concerned that,
though they say the risk is low, no one says what low means and though there may be
a number trapped on a hard disc, no one knows if it’s even halfway near to being right.

Then there’s the internal report for the shiplift at Faslane, for when it cradles
Trident submarines, I worry they had to black out their own best guess so we don’t know the chance
of a platform collapse, or plane crash, fire, explosion, or even being peppered with plutonium.

It’s as though the MoD believe disasters won’t happen to them or us, as if they believe
all swans are white, because every swan they ever saw was white, as if they think
they understand the fickle migration of birds while beyond their ken, a butterfly flaps

its chaotic wings, the wind changes direction and somewhere far away a black swan
takes to the air, lifts its heavy body upwards, defies gravity and soars above us.
Invisible in the night sky except for its blood red beak –

a
dark arrow
coming towards us
changing everything.

• ### True Value

May sing to the tune of "Moon Shadow" by Cat Stevens

Within your CI, you get the true value, true value, true value,
With 95%, you get the true value, true value, true value,

You get a sample statistic, a sample r, or sample M,
You then take plus-or-minus two (it’s really 1.96…), standard errors beyond your stat,
And within this new interval, we can be, so confident,
That the true value, mu or rho, will be somewhere… inside…, our confidence interval,

Within your CI, you get the true value, true value, true value,
With 95%, you get the true value, true value, true value...