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    Re: Lies, damn lies, and statistics...
    From: Gary LaPook
    Date: 2013 Mar 18, 14:21 -0700
    As I said before, just avoid this whole problem by never shooting more than two stars so then you just have the error ellipse (or circle) to consider. And I have also said what the Chief said, just use the third LOP (if you feel you must shoot one) as a check for gross errors in the two body fix that you have already plotted.

    To add a little something, each corner of the cocked hat constitutes a valid two body fix so just draw your error ellipses around each corner then look at the cumulative probabilities  where they overlap.



    --- On Mon, 3/18/13, Hanno Ix <hannoix---.net> wrote:

    From: Hanno Ix <hannoix---.net>
    Subject: [NavList] Re: Lies, damn lies, and statistics...
    To: garylapook---.net
    Date: Monday, March 18, 2013, 1:43 PM

    May I add:

    There is a real problem with statistics, though:
    Its arguments tend to be expressed as denials of the opposite.
    e.g." With 95% confidence there is no reason not to believe, etc..."
    Add to this abtract concepts and terms
    and you will soon loose the CEO of the Co that paid for the analysis.

    One I know complained  once:
    " Statisticians argument with opponents by proving them  wrong long
    enough until these run out of counter arguments and/or get tired.
    They go home thinking they did their job by telling me what not do 
    while I have to make a decision what to do."

    An exaggeration of course but you get the gist.


    From: Frank Reed <FrankReed---com>
    To: hannoix---net
    Sent: Monday, March 18, 2013 11:48 AM
    Subject: [NavList] Lies, damn lies, and statistics...

    Derrick Young, in the "Darn Old" thread, you wrote:
    "You can prove anything you want using statistics - I've seen it
    done too many times. "
    That's one of those 'things people say', but of course it isn't true. You can't "prove anything" with statistics unless your audience is stupid. Mark Twain's version of this sentiment from over a century ago was "Figures often beguile me, particularly when I have the arranging of them myself; in which case the remark attributed to Disraeli would often apply with justice and force: 'There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.'" It's folksy and memorable (see PS). A more correct, less pithy version might be something like this:
    "You can browbeat ignorant people with BAD statistical arguments and convince them that practically anything is true, but with GOOD statistical arguments, a competent and intelligent audience can be convinced that many subtle and counter-intuitive hypotheses are true or at least have merit and others are certainly false".
    What we have here is a mixed situation. Some members of our NavList 'audience' have only vague notions of statistics, and so they fear that they are getting the browbeating side of the story. Other members of our 'audience' believe that they really do understand statistics, thank you very much (as they are prone to say), when in reality they have some muddled notions that are getting in the way. And some members of this audience really DO understand statistics though unfortunately it's hard to make any headway when their posts are mixed into this confusing soup. And then there's just plain pig-headed-ness which afflicts nearly everybody with an interest in celestial navigation at some point in time.
    PS: So Twain attributes the "lies, damn lies, and statistics" line to Benjamin Disraeli, but apparently Disraeli never said it either. There's a long Wikipedia article on this simple phrase here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lies,_damned_lies,_and_statistics

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