DON’T WAIT, CORRELATE: If you need to be reminded of how bad you are at math and statistics, here is the site for you; http://guessthecorrelation.com/. Based on scatterplot charts of two variables, guess the correlation coefficient for the two. Look for username historylessons on the scoreboard, but don’t be surprised if I’m not there. Math is hard.
Guess the Correlation. How good are you at guessing correlation coefficients from scatter plots? Test your skills!
SPARE A MINUTE: Okay, you may need to spare almost four minutes for Three Minute Philosophy: Aristotle. Part of a series on great thinkers, this piece stretches a bit longer because Aristotle basically did and knew just about everything. Mr. S. Peter Davis goes really fast to try and get it all in.
SUSPEND JUDGMENT: Dr. L. Kip Wheeler of Carson-Newman University provides the following syllogism worksheet on his website. Give it a try and see how you do. Hint: many times, a conclusion may seem false based on your particular knowledge or outlook. Ignore your judgments and focus solely on the logic of the argument and the structure of the syllogism.
Why do these things correlate? These 15 correlations will blow your mind. (Is this headline sensationalist enough for you to click on it yet?)
LINK YOUR LIES: Create your own questionable connections at home with fun variables like causes of death and world- wide staple sales. Did you know that the more money we spend on science and technology in America, the more people die by suffocation and strangulation? Are the added taxes choking the life out of us or is the correlation illusory? You decide.
GIVE THIS A SHOT: Read You Are Not So Smart (2011). David McRaney’s look at all the ways we deceive ourselves is worth a read on its own and is a good primer for the rest of our lessons. For now, focus in on Chapter Five and the Texas Sharpshooter fallacy, a bias where the randomness of infor- mation is ignored, and patterns deduced that seem to make sense. Kind of like shooting at a barn and painting a target around where the bullets holes cluster. Hence the name.
SHOOT FASTER: Check out a video synopsis of McRaney’s chapter on the Texas Sharpshooter Fallacy if you don’t want to read a whole book before moving on to the next lesson.