Thanks Andy for your essay on statistics.

During the industrial revolution in the 19th century, people were concentrated in towns often near factories. To entertain themselves, the new urban classes gambled on horse races, on sport, on anything really.
In order to calculate the odds of a horse winning (say) required a knowledge of probability and therefore statistics.

Well, that’s my take on how statistics evolved under capitalism.


“There are three types of lies,” the old saying goes: “lies, damned lies, and statistics”. Learning to distrust the supposedly simple mathematical truths of statistics is an essential survival mechanism for navigating our way through advertising promises and endless conflicting reports.

And yet I feel like over the years I’ve seen statistics becoming more and more prominent in our culture, taking on influence where once they seemingly had no relevance.

One of those areas is sport. American sports always loved statistics, and cricket by its bizarre nature always lent itself uniquely to mathematical analysis. But in recent years this has been taken to newheights – each year the television coverage boasts of some elaborate new way of crunching numbers. Popular website cricinfo has a regular feature of statistical analysis so detailed it has to be seen to be believed.

Other sports too have seemingly become obsessed with stats – soccer…

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No tales past Gailes

'No Tales past Gailes' I wonder how residents of Ipswich and neighbouring shires feel about this claim? People who for over 40 years said that Pisasale was a crook. Workers who witnessed the rip offs and yet saw how Pisasale was cleared by the CCC on at least one previous occasion. How do such claims affect the credibility of the Pisasale's deputy, the most experienced councillor in Queensland, Paul Tully, who maintained a code of silence for so many years? – #CutAllTies

It’s a short 800m walk from the Minerals Council office to Parliament House in Canberra. The well-worn path between the coal lobby and our elected representatives was lined with bushfire debris yesterday as bushfire survivors, Pacific Climate Warriors and activists highlighted the coal lobby’s 20 years of blocking government action on climate change. If you’re keen … Continue reading – #CutAllTies