When my story did the viral thing and I ended up in the media talking about how I and others are treated by WINZ, a lot of politicians were suddenly very interested in what I had to say as if it was anything new. A lot of people got in touch with me to share their own WINZ horror stories. She was hoping to collect and collate all of the anecdotal evidence about the systemic failure and bullying culture at WINZ, and use this as data to press for change.
Anyone who researches the medical literature will confront the statistics for their disease. Anyone who reads this will be armed with reason and with hope.
One I shall defer to the end of this essay. The other sometimes attributed to Disraeliidentifies three species of mendacity, each worse than the one before — lies, damned lies, and statistics.
Consider the standard example of stretching the truth with numbers — a case quite relevant to my story.
If I line up five kids by height, the median child is shorter than two and taller than the other two who might have trouble getting their mean share of the candy. The first invokes a mean, the second a median. Means are higher than medians in such cases because one millionaire may outweigh hundreds of poor people in setting a mean; but he can balance only one mendicant in calculating a median.
The larger issue that creates a common distrust or contempt for statistics is more troubling. Many people make an unfortunate and invalid separation between heart and mind, or feeling and intellect.
Statistics, in this absurd dichotomy, often become the symbol of the enemy. It declares holy war on the downgrading of intellect by telling a small story about the utility of dry, academic knowledge about science.
Heart and head are focal points of one body, Gould the median isnt the personality. In JulyI learned that I was suffering from abdominal mesothelioma, a rare and serious cancer usually associated with exposure to asbestos.
View The_Median_Isn't_the_Message (1) from BUSINESS A at Yakima Valley Community College. The Median Isn't the Message Stephen Jay Gould (September 10, — May 20, ) was an inﬂuential. Download-Theses Mercredi 10 juin Gould - the Median Isn’t the Message. 02/13/07 Analytical Summary of The Median isn’t the Message by Stephan Jay Gould Gould’s “The Median isn’t the Message” is an essay about Stephan Jay Gould’s experience with cancer and the strategies he employed to /5(1).
When I revived after surgery, I asked my first question of my doctor and chemotherapist: An hour later, surrounded by the latest literature on abdominal mesothelioma, I realized with a gulp why my doctor had offered that humane advice.
I sat stunned for about fifteen minutes, then smiled and said to myself: Then my mind started to work again, thank goodness. If a little learning could ever be a dangerous thing, I had encountered a classic example. Attitude clearly matters in fighting cancer. But match people with the same cancer for age, class, health, socioeconomic status, and, in general, those with positive attitudes, with a strong will and purpose for living, with commitment to struggle, with an active response to aiding their own treatment and not just a passive acceptance of anything doctors say, tend to live longer.
A few months later I asked Sir Peter Medawar, my personal scientific guru and a Nobelist in immunology, what the best prescription for success against cancer might be.
Hence the dilemma for humane doctors: From years of experience with the small-scale evolution of Bahamian land snails treated quantitatively, I have developed this technical knowledge — and I am convinced that it played a major role in saving my life.
The problem may be briefly stated: We still carry the historical baggage of a Platonic heritage that seeks sharp essences and definite boundaries.
This Platonic heritage, with its emphasis in clear distinctions and separated immutable entities, leads us to view statistical measures of central tendency wrongly, indeed opposite to the appropriate interpretation in our actual world of variation, shadings, and continua.
Variation is the hard reality, not a set of imperfect measures for a central tendency. Means and medians are the abstractions. Therefore, I looked at the mesothelioma statistics quite differently — and not only because I am an optimist who tends to see the doughnut instead of the hole, but primarily because I know that variation itself is the reality.
I had to place myself amidst the variation.
When I learned about the eight-month median, my first intellectual reaction was: I read for a furious and nervous hour and concluded, with relief: I possessed every one of the characteristics conferring a probability of longer life: Another technical point then added even more solace.
In skewed distributions, variation to one side of the central tendency is more stretched out — left skewed if extended to the left, right skewed if stretched out to the right. The distribution of variation had to be right skewed, I reasoned.
After all, the left of the distribution contains an irrevocable lower boundary of zero since mesothelioma can only be identified at death or before.Stephan Jay Gould's "The Median Isn't the Message" Stephen Jay Gould was a paleontologist, evolutionary biologist, and a historian of science.
He spent many years teaching at Harvard as well as at New York University in his later life. Gould, along with Niles Eldredge in , published the theory of punctuated equilibrium. Stephan Jay Gould’s “The Median Isn’t the Message” Stephen Jay Gould was a paleontologist, evolutionary biologist, and a historian of science.
He spent many years teaching at Harvard as well as at New York University in his later life. Gould, along with Niles Eldredge in , published the theory of punctuated equilibrium.
Stephan Jay Gould's "The Median Isn't the Message" Essay Stephan Jay Gould's "The Median Isn't the Message " Stephen Jay Gould was a paleontologist, evolutionary biologist, and a historian of science. The American journalist, Edward Bernays, is often described as the man who invented modern propaganda.
The nephew of Sigmund Freud, the pioneer of psycho-analysis, it was Bernays who coined the term “public relations” as a euphemism for spin and its deceptions.
Cross posted from timberdesignmag.com (first published 15/3/18) _____ Way back when I was fighting Paula Bennett, the then Social Development Minister, in the media, Labour made a lot of noise about trying to effect a cultural change at WINZ.
View The_Median_Isn't_the_Message (1) from BUSINESS A at Yakima Valley Community College. The Median Isn't the Message Stephen Jay Gould (September 10, — May 20, ) was an inﬂuential.