**
Numbers Rule Your World** was picked by Fareed Zakaria on CNN as Book of the Week on Sept 5. His verdict: "For those of you who hated statistics in college, this is actually an easy read with a big benefit." Thank you Fareed.

***

I gave a plenary talk on "What happens after the math is done?" at the JMP Discovery Summit in Cary, NC on Sep 15. (The abstract was posted here.) Dan Ariely (*Predictably Irrational*) also spoke at the conference about his new book.

Daniel at the Firefly Ecometrics blog summarized part of my talk and gave his reactions to it.

The transcript of a live blog is here.

One insight I gained from the conference is that even long-time Junk Charts readers are unaware of this sister blog! I think this is because the RSS feeds are separate. (The Twitter feed though is the same.) Will try to rectify this soon. As I mentioned in my talk, the two blogs are synergistic: one is about visual communications, the other written communications.

***

I noticed two new reviews of the book.

One is by Professor Gary Fetter at Western Carolina University's Business School, published by Asheville Citizen-Times (link here). He rated it 4/4, with the following summary comment: "In 'Numbers Rule Your World,' Fung makes statistics entertaining, accessible and relevant to our lives."

Another is on Martin's blog. He uses the occasion to point out the truism that "data is not the same as information", which is the first principle I teach to my students. The arrival of computer technology -- the plunging cost of storage and the fast growth in processing power in particular -- creates a huge amount of data, much of which were designed for engineering purposes. The existence of data does not per se make them useful. Martin gives the example of plotting the frequency of Facebook messages containing the word "break-up" and asks, essentially, "what happens after the math is done?"

I cannot agree more.

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