A handful of things to ponder

Preventive Stupidity Exists, which linked to a page titled “Absence of Evidence” (containing a proof that I can’t follow) and the inevitable comic that all this reminds me of.

Specifically regarding the often-heard remark that “the plural of anecdote is not data,” one of the (sometimes annoying, I’m sure) habits I picked up in grad school when I hear someone make sweeping generalizations based on anecdotal evidence is to ask “What’s your ‘n’?”. You do have to be careful not to read too much into individual stories, but that’s not to say they have no validity at all as data. I guess you should take any single story with a grain of salt, but once you have enough sodium to put on your burger you might want to take them more seriously.