Here’s what you need to know about automated statistical analysis: 1. Automated statistical analysis is not a substitute for good judgement Statistical tests are tools. They help us understand why nature is the way that it is. Nature resists being known about. But, she is knowable. Statistical tests themselves are part of nature. The tests themselves were never meant to be substitutes for good judgement. That belief, that tests could replace people, has only ended up causing the accumulation of some pretty outrageous assumptions over the years. Just because there is a significant correlation between Magnum Ice Cream sales and Piracy in the Indian Ocean doesn’t mean that it’s causal. Statements of causality require judgement. Automated statistical analysis is not[…]

Let’s take a look at what 16-bit interfaces could do. A great simulation game begins with just a handful degrees of freedom and explodes from there. Behold the grandeur that is SimCity for the Super Nintendo. If you’re familiar with SimCity (1991), skip ahead to Data Exploration, below.       On a flat plane of pixels, you have the choice to: Bulldoze a feature. Build a road. Build a mass transit unit. Build a power line. Build a park. Build a residential zone. Build a commercial zone. Build an industrial zone. Build a police department. Build a fire department. Build a stadium. Build a port. Build a coal plant. Build a nuclear plant. Build an airport. Build a special reward building.[…]