1. Mick West

    Clustering Illusions, Baader-Meinhof, and Death in the Domincan Republic

    A somewhat unexpected property of randomness is that it forms patterns. Many years ago back when I was writing for Game Developer Magazine, I investigated how to automate the creation of virtual landscapes covered with trees. If the positions of the trees were truly random then inevitably there...
  2. Mick West

    Statistics Help Needed - Understanding the practical meaning of r values

    I've been reading several papers on conspiracism recently, and a common thing they do is demonstrate a correlation (or not) between two variables. For example they might demonstrate a correlation between a person's "need for uniqueness" (as measured by answering some standard questions), and a...
  3. Mick West

    Debunked: 150 Calories of sugar leads to 11-fold increase in the prevalence of diabetes [1.1%]

    A recent article in the British Journal of Sports Medicine^ is being widely reported, with varying degrees of accuracy. One piece of data in the article in particular seems to suggest that if you consume an extra 150 calories of sugar daily (e.g. one extra can of soda) then you get an 11-fold...
  4. Mick West

    Debunked: Ebola CDC Quarantine Map Matches Immigration/Agenda 21 Maps [Population centers]

    The above image is a map of US cities by population. Something that occasionally crops up in conspiracy cultures is taking two different maps that basically reflect the population density of the United States, and then claiming that there's some correlation between them. Of course the...