Skip to content

Trash talkin’

Someone sent me an email:

I thought you will get a kick out of these figures from a new paper [appearing in a top economics journal].

I replied: Wow—this is like a parody of econ. But, then again, econ is a parody of econ, isn’t it?

[To clarify here, by “econ,” I don’t mean the entire field of economics, which is useful in so many ways. Rather, I’m referring to grabby papers in “top 5 journals” that attempt to explain vast areas of human experience with some combination of trivial math, regression analysis, and p less than 0.05.]

Anyway, my correspondent responded:

The only thing missing from that paper is a formal model.

To which I replied: the only thing missing is a proud declaration of how they are taboo-busting rogues allying themselves with Joe Sixpack in the eternal battle against the cultural elite of sociologists who pretty much run the world.

I’d link to the original article but what’s the point.

P.S. Econ is econ and is special in its own way, but Sturgeon’s law applies universally. Most published statistics articles are completely irrelevant to the world, even to whatever application area they are nominally targeting.

Leave a Reply