Thursday, October 20, 2011

Putting Chance to Work….

Statistics and Truth – Putting Chance to work ” , a book which is on my “To be read ” list since long. Today is the day when world honours this chance for the work it has done for the betterment of the human race. Probably, the most widely discussed example of this leads us to Prof. Paul Meier, who died just two months ago. His randomization of trials was really a breakthrough in the way the treatments worked and has changed the lives of many terminally ill patients.

This science of uncertainty has conquered almost all the areas of our lives – from the proverbial rocket science to the daily chatter of a layman which involves many guesstimates. A look at the Google NGram shows how the usage of the word Statistics increased over the years… That’s mainly because of the vast amount of data we are continuously being bombarded with. In today’s age of information explosion, we have become more and more thirsty for the knowledge. This is because,
Knowledge is what we know
Also, what we know we do not know.
We discover what we do not know
Essentially by what we know.
Thus knowledge expands.
With more knowledge we come to know
More of what we do not know.
Thus knowledge expands endlessly. 
Moreover what we know is simply the data is not a knowledge. In fact ,
Uncertain knowledge + Knowledge of the amount of uncertainty in it = Usable knowledge 
That’s why the world has now started realizing the importance of this science of uncertainty. This tool, which once had a dubious distinction of giving fallacious conclusions is now an integral part of each and every field, as people have started believing in C R Rao’s words,
All knowledge is, in final analysis, history.
All sciences are, in the abstract, mathematics.
All judgments are, in their rationale, statistics. 
and without the judgments , we cannot move an inch further. Someone wisely anticipated this inevitable and ever growing need of Statistics and UN started celebration the 20th day of October as the World Statistics Day since 2010.

So, in the end my hearty wishes to the Statisticians, on the eve of 2nd World Statistics day. In fact all of us are statisticians as we are always trying to choose an optimal life-path by predicting the future outcomes on the basis of the past data, keeping in mind the constrains that we have. Still for the so-called nonstatisticians, what better day to start for the growth of the statistical component of your brain, so that the numbers can help us become efficient citizens because, as H G Wells has said,
“Statistical thinking will one day be as necessary for efficient citizenship as the ability to read and write”.


  1. Do you have a copy of C.R. Rao's book? would love to read it!

    Nice write up. Happy World Statistics day to you :)

  2. hey nice write-up ... like the formula of usable knowledge :D

  3. Thanks a lot, Meghana and Musafir