Thursday, September 2, 2010

A Must Read Book

Picturing the Uncertain World: How to Understand, Communicate, and Control Uncertainty through Graphical Display
Howard Wainer

According to Diane Coyle;
This marvellous book by Howard Wainer, Picturing the Uncertain World: How to Understand, Communicate and Control Uncertainty through Graphical Display, is an absolute must for anyone who claims to be involved in the search for empirical evidence. It's a sequel to the same author's Graphic Discovery and also in the tradition of Edward Tufte's The Visual Display of Quantitative Information. All applied economists should have read carefully all three books and keep them close by for reference. So should all other researchers - social science, medicine, education - anybody who needs to navigate the shoals of carrying out robust empirical work and communicating it to others.

Picturing the Uncertain World : Summary
Three principles of effective display are mentioned that can be called “THREE COMMANDMENTS of effective data display of data”

1. Remind us that the data being displayed do contain some uncertainty , and then
2. Characterize the size of that uncertainty as as it pertains to the inferences we have in mind , and in so doing
3. help keep us from drawing incorrect conclusions through the lack of a full appreciation of the precision of our knowledge.

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