First post

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3 Responses to First post

  1. Jean Thompson says:

    Dear Moshe

    Please can you provide a clear definition of what you mean by “Voodoo Decision Theories”.

    I can guess, but would much rather have a clear and unambiguous definition as my starting point.

    Thank you

    • Moshe says:

      Dear Jean

      Many thanks for the comment. This is explained (defined) at the bottom of the page Voodoo Science.

      In any case, here it is:

      Along the same line, we read/talk/write about “voodoo economics”, “voodoo mathematics”, “voodoo statistics”, “voodoo ecology” and so on. More generally, according to the old ENCARTA dictionary (color added):

      Voodoo n

      A religion practiced throughout Caribbean countries, especially Haiti, that is a combination of Roman Catholic rituals and animistic beliefs of Dahomean enslaved laborers, involving magic communication with ancestors.
      Somebody who practices voodoo.
      A charm, spell, or fetish regarded by those who practice voodoo as having magical powers.
      A belief, theory, or method that lacks sufficient evidence or proof.

      The usage of the term “voodoo theory” on this blog is in line with the last meaning listed above. So roughly, in this discussion a voodoo theory is a theory that lacks sufficient evidence or proof, and/or is based on utterly unrealistic and/or contradictory assumptions, spurious correlations, and so on.

      Best wishes,
      Moshe

      • Jean Thompson says:

        Wow! It’s a worry that there is enough of such nonsense to give it a name!

        What ever happened to “common sense”?

        Certainly as a statistician I have seen many cases of innappropriate assumptions, spurious correlations and so on!

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