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That assumption was unstated and, if stated, would be wildly unjustified.

For what was stated and assumed, my example works.

Sure, my example looks contrived and pathological, but so it commonly is with simple examples.

Your claim that height, weight, etc. are normally distributed is also wildly unjustified.

You have swallowed a common bit of old quasi-mystical nonsense from 100 years ago that real data is commonly normally distributed. That claim is nonsense.

Read what else I wrote about Gaussian distributions in this thread.

Grow up. Learn. In practice, Gaussian is rare and otherwise fantasy land.




Jesus, I don't know what you're on about in this thread. When people think to themselves that they are better than average drivers, they mean "I am better than the majority of people, for example most of my coworkers, at driving." No one had to swallow any quasi-mystical nonsense about Gaussian distributions to understand this. It's human nature. They are implicitly comparing themselves to other people and believing they are better.


You have it backwards. You are agreeing with me. Sorry 'bout that. I know you want to disagree, but you made a mistake, not nearly the first in this thread on my posts.

I gave a simple, mathematical example of how all but one person could be better than the average in response to the claim that this could not happen. You gave a way it could happen from how people might think intuitively, and I gave a mathematical way.

The people who wanted to argue with my math example kept claiming, based on quasi-mystical nonsense, that mean and median have to be the same due to various unstated, unjustified assumptions, that 'most people' mean median when they say average, etc.

So, sorry 'bout that, but here you and I agree: Most people can be better than the average. You gave one justification, and I gave a mathematical one. The people who want to argue with me want to go way out in fantasy land and claim that mean and median have to be equal in practice, which is total BS.

My example is dirt simple. It should be taken as funny. Alas, some people apparently got their Statistics 101 feathers and Gaussian religion in an uproar and wanted to argue.

A claim in this tread is that there is nothing worth learning in college. Hmm .... Looks like this thread is mostly high school dropouts self-taught in programming. Thankfully for US national security, our DoD is far ahead of such nonsense.

You guys are hopeless.

Also, this Web site doesn't work with Firefox 3.0.1.8 on XP 3.0 and, instead, keeps giving "don't match" or some such. The programming here sucks.

So, guys, on this thread, let's agree: The greatest 'business advantage' possible ever is to have some high gloss plastic case on some handheld consumer product from Apple aimed at teenage girls who want to gossip. Ah, of such stuff will be the future of technology! Gossip! That's the key to business! Who would have thought! SUCH progress!


OK, what? First, you're right -- most distributions aren't Gaussian and there's no reason to assume that "average" == "median." However, in the same sense, a generous interpretation of the author's article would suggest that he meant median and was simply wrong in his terminology.

Now, on to you being a jackass.

First, don't run Firefox 3.0.1.8 on XP SP 3. XP is very old and has several issues which make it a poor choice in 2010. This coming from someone who currently works at Microsoft. Oh and in case you didn't realize it, Mozilla ended support for Firefox 3.0.19 in March. Second, since you have found the time to complain about a technical issue on an unsupported browser on a 9 year old operating system, you are clearly a moron. Oh, and to give me tips on how bad at programming we are? That's hilarious. Now, I'm not claiming I'm fantastic, or even one of the top programmers on HN, but I'm certainly more competent than a twit that can't figure out the Firefox update manager.




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