For Max: The Problem with Statistics

>> Thursday, August 12, 2010

Sometimes, they just don't mean anything.

Update: This had been emailed to me without attribution. Thanks, Boris, for letting me know the chart is from here. There's a damn fine letter at the link worth reading, too.


  • Roy

    **snort** Great gotcha!

  • Boris Legradic

    Hey, no stealing graphs from His Noodliness!

  • Jeff King

    Got to love it...

  • Boris Legradic

    In trying to avoid having to start writing up my thesis (hence the slew of comments on your blogs today) I thought of a question to ask:

    As a writer, do you struggle with Mary Sue? If you are unfamiliar with the term, it arose from fan fiction, and means more or less that the writer will identify with the main character to such a degree that she/he will ultimately give more and more power to said character, until the story devolves into some kind of wish-fulfilment fantasy.
    Rampant in fan fiction of course, but professional writers have been known to fall prey to Mary Sue as well (coughLaurellKHamiltoncough). In my (very) limited experience as a writer, I have found that this can be a problem for me too, especially when writing in first person. Do you or your husband have the same problem? Who acts as the voice of reason?

  • Stephanie Barr

    You know, Boris, that's a great question. I was not familiar with the term, but I will definitely be tackling your question with glee. It's a good one.

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