Statistics Jokes

140

119

Well, we've got favourite statistics quotes. What about statistics jokes?

Thylacoleo

Posted 2010-08-06T01:53:47.023

Reputation: 3 613

6I made this community wiki as there is no correct answer. – Rob Hyndman – 2010-08-06T02:44:34.817

3

It probably makes sense to leave cartoons in this question: http://stats.stackexchange.com/questions/423/what-is-your-favorite-data-analysis-cartoon

– Jeromy Anglim – 2010-08-08T11:49:27.500

24

This is a popular and much-loved thread, even though it does not (on the face of it) seem to conform to SE standards for content. (Just what practical question is being asked here? :-) Some rules benefit from being ... bent ... once in a while. However, please don't use the existence of this thread to justify creating new ones that fall outside our guidelines unless you think there is a very good reason to do so! Questions about site policy are always appropriate in Meta and debate is warmly welcomed in chat.

– whuber – 2012-01-24T15:34:51.807

Answers

196

A guy is flying in a hot air balloon and he's lost. So he lowers himself over a field and shouts to a guy on the ground:

"Can you tell me where I am, and which way I'm headed?" "Sure! You're at 43 degrees, 12 minutes, 21.2 seconds north; 123 degrees, 8 minutes, 12.8 seconds west. You're at 212 meters above sea level. Right now, you're hovering, but on your way in here you were at a speed of 1.83 meters per second at 1.929 radians"

"Thanks! By the way, are you a statistician?" "I am! But how did you know?"

"Everything you've told me is completely accurate; you gave me more detail than I needed, and you told me in such a way that it's no use to me at all!"

"Dang! By the way, are you a principal investigator?"

"Geeze! How'd you know that????"

"You don't know where you are, you don't know where you're going. You got where you are by blowing hot air, you start asking questions after you get into trouble, and you're in exactly the same spot you were a few minutes ago, but now, somehow, it's my fault!

Peter Flom

Posted 2010-08-06T01:53:47.023

Reputation: 67 912

9Love this one!! – Adhesh Josh – 2011-11-22T07:47:11.033

9This is hilarious and true – Macro – 2012-07-06T14:22:18.980

186

A statistician's wife had twins. He was delighted. He rang the minister who was also delighted. "Bring them to church on Sunday and we'll baptize them," said the minister. "No," replied the statistician. "Baptize one. We'll keep the other as a control."

STATS: The Magazine For Students of Statistics, Winter 1996, Number 15

hadast85

Posted 2010-08-06T01:53:47.023

Reputation:

6I do not have enough reputation to downvote this! – Ηλίας – 2010-10-13T17:41:41.090

115

I saw this posted as a comment on here somewhere:

http://xkcd.com/552/

alt text

A: I used to think correlation implied causation. Then I took a statistics class. Now I don't.

B: Sounds like the class helped.

A: Well, maybe.

Title text: Correlation doesn't imply causation, but it does waggle its eyebrows suggestively and gesture furtively while mouthing 'look over there'.

JoFrhwld

Posted 2010-08-06T01:53:47.023

Reputation: 1 122

106

George Burns said that "If you live to be one hundred, you've got it made. Very few people die past that age."

Carlos Accioly

Posted 2010-08-06T01:53:47.023

Reputation: 2 633

49I remember seeing George Burns on TV being interviewed on his 100th birthday. He was puffing on a cigar. The interviewer made some comment about the incongruity of longevity and smoking.

George Burns: "Twenty years ago my doctor told me that these cigars were going to kill me"

Interviewer: "What does he say now?"

George Burns: "I don't know. He's dead" – Thylacoleo – 2010-08-07T09:17:31.607

86

Two statisticians were traveling in an airplane from LA to New York. About an hour into the flight, the pilot announced that they had lost an engine, but don’t worry, there are three left. However, instead of 5 hours it would take 7 hours to get to New York.

A little later, he announced that a second engine failed, and they still had two left, but it would take 10 hours to get to New York.

Somewhat later, the pilot again came on the intercom and announced that a third engine had died. Never fear, he announced, because the plane could fly on a single engine. However, it would now take 18 hours to get to New York.

At this point, one statistician turned to the other and said, “Gee, I hope we don’t lose that last engine, or we’ll be up here forever!”

PaulHurleyuk

Posted 2010-08-06T01:53:47.023

Reputation: 896

4

that link is broken now; please use http://yihui.name/en/2007/10/jokes-in-statistics-a-talk-to-be-given-in-cueb/ thanks!

– Yihui Xie – 2013-05-28T05:40:17.290

1

I think originaly taken from Yihui XIE's Statistics Jokes Slides (http://www.yihui.name/en/attachment.php?f=attachment/jokes_yihui.pdf)

– PaulHurleyuk – 2010-08-06T09:57:54.707

I don't quite understand. – SmallChess – 2017-02-11T18:30:34.223

1@SmallChess The statistician is naively extrapolating from previous observations that the number of engines is negatively associated with flight time. In reality, zero engines would quickly leading a crash. – Kodiologist – 2017-10-05T23:18:35.433

@Kodiologist The one statistician who thought the airplane would stay up in the air forever was a Bayesian scholar. His colleague statistician, a well-known frequentist, answered him saying$-$We actually do not know if the airplane will stay in the air or not. – Carl – 2018-03-08T06:19:32.587

77

One passed by Gary Ramseyer:

Statistics play an important role in genetics. For instance, statistics prove that numbers of offspring is an inherited trait. If your parent didn't have any kids, odds are you won't either.

David B

Posted 2010-08-06T01:53:47.023

Reputation: 556

4I'd bet on that. – naught101 – 2012-05-02T00:14:46.607

68

From the CMU protest at G20:

CMU Protests at G20

There are other pictures from the protest as well.

raegtin

Posted 2010-08-06T01:53:47.023

Reputation: 3 990

2I liked "Map reduce, map reuse, map recycle". – Ogaday – 2016-03-09T16:51:56.037

68

Statistics may be dull, but it has its moments.

Mike Z.

Posted 2010-08-06T01:53:47.023

Reputation: 41

hahaha... so simple. Me likey. – Patrick Coulombe – 2014-08-29T04:21:50.700

Says a statistican to his friend: "counting on me is pure frequentism". – Gottfried Helms – 2014-08-29T05:57:50.720

60

A statistics major was completely hung over the day of his final exam. It was a true/false test, so he decided to flip a coin for the answers. The statistics professor watched the student the entire two hours as he was flipping the coin … writing the answer … flipping the coin … writing the answer. At the end of the two hours, everyone else had left the final except for the one student. The professor walks up to his desk and interrupts the student, saying, “Listen, I have seen that you did not study for this statistics test, you didn’t even open the exam. If you are just flipping a coin for your answer, what is taking you so long?” The student replies bitterly (as he is still flipping the coin), “Shhh! I am checking my answers!”

I've posted a few others on my blog.

Rob Hyndman

Posted 2010-08-06T01:53:47.023

Reputation: 31 725

60

A statistician confidently tried to cross a river that was 1 meter deep on average. He drowned.

Reinout Roels

Posted 2010-08-06T01:53:47.023

Reputation:

10He should have measured the standard deviation. – Chthonic Project – 2013-07-03T16:02:29.187

28Sounds more like a science journalist to me... – Nick Stauner – 2014-02-20T01:23:24.670

57

A mathematician, a physicist and a statistician went hunting for deer. When they chanced upon one buck lounging about, the mathematician fired first, missing the buck's nose by a few inches. The physicist then tried his hand, and missed the tail by a wee bit. The statistician started jumping up and down saying "We got him! We got him!"

J. M. is not a statistician

Posted 2010-08-06T01:53:47.023

Reputation: 1 515

56

Yo momma is so mean, she has no standard deviation!

Mitsuki2185

Posted 2010-08-06T01:53:47.023

Reputation: 1

53

"If you torture data enough it will confess" one of my professors

ilya

Posted 2010-08-06T01:53:47.023

Reputation: 289

16

Was his name Ronald Coase? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ronald_Coase#Quotes

– onestop – 2010-10-13T20:26:15.290

50

If you choose an answer to this question at random, what is the chance you will be correct?

A) 25%

B) 50%

C) 60%

D) 25%

(was published on ANZSTAT mailing list a couple of days ago).

StasK

Posted 2010-08-06T01:53:47.023

Reputation: 24 230

@StasK This is brilliant! – Graeme Walsh – 2013-06-19T03:32:13.587

5

And it soon got protected on math.SE, Does this question even have an answer? :)

– chl – 2011-11-02T08:25:14.960

4To every simple question there is a simple answer. And it's wrong. – zbicyclist – 2011-11-04T04:19:32.033

This is easy. The answer is 0. Now, if you replace C) with 0 then you have a real paradox. – Bridgeburners – 2018-03-08T19:00:06.790

47

I once asked out a statistician.

She failed to reject me.

Christoph Safferling

Posted 2010-08-06T01:53:47.023

Reputation: 101

42

This is actually a quote that (unintendedly) happens to be a joke:

"Every American should have above average income, and my Administration is going to see they get it." (Bill Clinton on campaign trail)

Yevgeny

Posted 2010-08-06T01:53:47.023

Reputation: 1 276

I'm pretty sure British politicians occasionally fall into this trap, but, alas, I can find no link to back it up – Chris Beeley – 2013-06-28T19:16:23.770

10One way to make this come to pass is to fine one individual ten trillion dollars. – whuber – 2013-07-24T21:40:45.727

10Based on Google, this quote sure looks apocryphal. – David Robinson – 2012-08-02T16:18:54.113

38

Why are open source statistical programming languages the best?

Because they R.

Chris Beeley

Posted 2010-08-06T01:53:47.023

Reputation: 2 565

37

I thought I'd start the ball rolling with my favourite.

"Being a statistician means never having to say you are certain."

Thylacoleo

Posted 2010-08-06T01:53:47.023

Reputation: 3 613

9That is certainly true! – Tal Galili – 2010-08-06T18:30:34.200

3My mom in law said to me that this is based on the line "being in love means you never need to say you are sorry". From a book called "love story" by arik sigall (I think). – Tal Galili – 2010-08-06T18:33:19.983

1

@Tal Galili: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Love_means_never_having_to_say_you%27re_sorry. (My favorite is the line from What's Up, Doc?)

– mmyers – 2010-08-11T19:23:58.057

29

Here is a list of many fun statistics jokes (link)

Here are just a few:


Did you hear the one about the statistician? Probably....


It is proven that the celebration of birthdays is healthy. Statistics show that those people who celebrate the most birthdays become the oldest. -- S. den Hartog, Ph D. Thesis Universtity of Groningen.


A statistician is a person who draws a mathematically precise line from an unwarranted assumption to a foregone conclusion.


The average statistician is just plain mean.


And there is also the one from a TED talk:

"A friend asked my wife what I do. She answered that I model. Model what, she was asked - he models genes, she answered."

Tal Galili

Posted 2010-08-06T01:53:47.023

Reputation: 8 629

1

That link has since moved to http://www.se16.info/hgb/statjoke.htm

– Henry – 2013-05-23T22:57:00.190

29

One day there was a fire in a wastebasket in the office of the Dean of Sciences. In rushed a physicist, a chemist, and a statistician. The physicist immediately starts to work on how much energy would have to be removed from the fire to stop the combustion. The chemist works on which reagent would have to be added to the fire to prevent oxidation. While they are doing this, the statistician is setting fires to all the other wastebaskets in the office. "What are you doing?" the others demand. The statistician replies, "Well, to solve the problem, you obviously need a larger sample size."

Quoted by Steve Simon, www.pmean.com, and attributed to Gary C. Ramseyer's First Internet Gallery of Statistics Jokes at www.ilstu.edu/~gcramsey/Gallery.html.

whuber

Posted 2010-08-06T01:53:47.023

Reputation: 185 466

28

67% of statistics are made up.

Mike T

Posted 2010-08-06T01:53:47.023

Reputation: 184

Ah, a personal favourite. – Ogaday – 2016-03-09T16:54:51.160

Aw, you can come up with statistics to prove anything, Kent. Forfty percent of all people know that. - Homer Simpson – aginensky – 2017-10-05T23:57:13.657

1Is this statistics also made up? ;) – Blain Waan – 2012-10-23T19:26:44.560

4

Related: http://dilbert.com/strips/comic/2008-05-08/

– Joel Reyes Noche – 2013-01-03T13:21:32.700

28

On average, every one of us has one testicle.

Were_cat

Posted 2010-08-06T01:53:47.023

Reputation: 1 071

10I'd guess that it'd be even less. – Roland – 2014-03-06T17:09:02.580

23

What question does the Cauchy distribution hate to be asked?

Got a moment?

user25658

Posted 2010-08-06T01:53:47.023

Reputation:

7

...to which she replies, "well, at least half of one."

– cardinal – 2013-09-17T02:09:42.607

20

I found this list of quotes from Gelman's famous Bayesian Data Analysis book on this link. They are more like witty, stand-up one-liners but I enjoyed them a lot. Just a few below to whet your appetite:

1 "As you know from teaching introductory statistics, 30 is infinity."

2 "Suppose there's someone you want to get to know better, but you have to talk to all her friends too. They're like the nuisance parameters."

3 People don't go around introducing you to their ex-wives." (on why model improvement doesn't make it into papers)

Berkmeister

Posted 2010-08-06T01:53:47.023

Reputation: 4 983

19

Did you hear about the General Motors test for autocorrelation? Or the General Mills test for serial correlation?

Phreddie

Posted 2010-08-06T01:53:47.023

Reputation: 1

17

Statisticians do it with significance
Biostatisticians do it with power
Epidemiologists do it with populations
Bayesians do it with a posterior

Fomite

Posted 2010-08-06T01:53:47.023

Reputation: 15 705

16

A statistic professor plans to travel to a conference by plane. When he passes the security check, they discover a bomb in his carry-on-baggage. Of course, he is hauled off immediately for interrogation.

"I don't understand it!" the interrogating officer exclaims. "You're an accomplished professional, a caring family man, a pillar of your parish - and now you want to destroy that all by blowing up an airplane!"

"Sorry", the professor interrupts him. "I had never intended to blow up the plane."

"So, for what reason else did you try to bring a bomb on board?!"

"Let me explain. Statistics shows that the probability of a bomb being on an airplane is 1/1000. That's quite high if you think about it - so high that I wouldn't have any peace of mind on a flight."

"And what does this have to do with you bringing a bomb on board of a plane?"

"You see, since the probability of one bomb being on my plane is 1/1000, the chance that there are two bombs is 1/1000000. If I already bring one, the chance of another bomb being around is actually 1/1000000, and I am much safer..."

scdef

Posted 2010-08-06T01:53:47.023

Reputation:

40This joke falls flat for me because I can't imagine a statistic professor saying this - a student who failed the course, sure. – russellpierce – 2010-08-06T19:25:07.807

9If we came up with some "other" group who claims to use statistics but does so incorrectly, we could come up with a slur for that group and make dirty jokes (like this one) about them. – Thomas Levine – 2011-06-25T04:49:21.150

1Not a very good statistician ... since the probability is still 1/1000 of there being another (hence 2) bomb on board – tdc – 2011-11-22T09:18:21.660

15

I'm posting this under "jokes", but the facts are completely accurate. See www.amstat.org/membersonly and click on Reverse Time Capsule.

To celebrate the 175th anniversary of the American Statistical Association, the ASA has a “reverse time capsule” project. Members answer questions forecasting what various aspects of the world will be like in 2039.

The entrants are all professional statisticians willing to pay membership fees, so it’s an elite group. What’s the prize? “When the reverse time capsule is opened in 2039, members with the best guesses will be rewarded with a lifetime membership in the ASA.”

Not much incentive for me. In 2039, I will be 89 years old, if I’m still alive. While I hope to be mentally active at that time, I’m probably not going to be working as a professional statistician. Even if I am, the plausible length of a lifetime membership beginning at age 89 is very short.

What would be interesting would be to do this in reverse: everyone who enters gets a lifetime membership in the ASA starting now. When the time capsule is opened in 2039, those who didn’t win would have to pay up.

zbicyclist

Posted 2010-08-06T01:53:47.023

Reputation: 2 325

ASA implicitely gives a low probability – user603 – 2012-01-29T15:20:32.940

15

There are two kinds of people in the world:

  • Those who can extrapolate from incomplete data sets.

Bjorn

Posted 2010-08-06T01:53:47.023

Reputation: 1

Can you please explain it? – John M – 2016-03-11T16:37:17.247

12

Statisticians get paid to make errors.

zbicyclist

Posted 2010-08-06T01:53:47.023

Reputation: 2 325

12

Here's a groaner: Q: What do you call 100 statisticians at a tea party? A: A Z-Party.

Christopher Aden

Posted 2010-08-06T01:53:47.023

Reputation: 1 095

2Very funny! (more characters) – Tal Galili – 2011-06-23T12:08:27.447

11

How many statisticians does it take to change a light bulb?
5–7, with p-value 0.01

mbq

Posted 2010-08-06T01:53:47.023

Reputation: 19 511

minus five minus seven? so minus twelve? that doesn't make sense – Neil McGuigan – 2010-08-06T17:24:55.827

1Five to seven -- I'll try to convert it to en-dash. – mbq – 2010-08-06T17:53:36.657

That made me laugh, my god! – Tal Galili – 2010-08-06T18:31:09.193

11

Bayesian: I am your father.

Fiducialist: Noooooooooo!

Zen

Posted 2010-08-06T01:53:47.023

Reputation: 15 651

11

Taken from xkcd.com: Cell Phones

enter image description here for 30 chars

landroni

Posted 2010-08-06T01:53:47.023

Reputation: 528

10

This one's from the xkcd forums:

Three statisticians are out hunting. Bird flies up out of the bush, and the first statistician aims and fires. Unfortunately for them, he missed, the bullet going about a foot below the bird. The second one fires, but the bullet goes about a foot above the bird.

The third statistician puts down his gun and says, "All right! We got him!..."

Roman Luštrik

Posted 2010-08-06T01:53:47.023

Reputation: 1 906

Shooting too far to the left, after that too far to the right: Dead on average! ;-) – vonjd – 2013-06-27T12:49:57.133

2This one is much older than xkcd, LOL! Did you read J.M.'s contribution (August 9)? Same joke, different animal. – whuber – 2010-10-13T15:21:18.877

I just noted that I got it via xkcd forum. I didn't mean this is its origin. Thank you for pointing out the deer hunting skit. Also funny. :) – Roman Luštrik – 2010-10-14T07:25:31.703

10

There are two types of economists:

  • those who don't know how to forecast interest rates
  • and those who think they know how to forecast interest rates

jem77bfp

Posted 2010-08-06T01:53:47.023

Reputation: 424

9

The Kolmogorov-Smirnov test was invented by Kolmogorov, the great Russian mathematician, and Smirnoff, the inventor of vodka.

It was originally intended as a test of linearity, but they had too much of Smirnoff's vodka, could not draw a straight line, so it ended up as a test of curves.

Smirnoff also wrote his name so badly the publisher typeset it as "Smirnov".

zbicyclist

Posted 2010-08-06T01:53:47.023

Reputation: 2 325

2

I will wear the negative vote as a badge of honor, similar to co-workers groaning after a pun. But a side note about the spelling of Smirnoff is that the vodka brand was owned by the Smirnov family: "Businessman Rudolph P. Kunett secured the rights to the (now Westernized) Smirnoff brand from Pyotr Smirnov’s son Vladimir, who managed to escape the Bolsheviks and was living in France." http://www.weeklystandard.com/articles/vodka-nation_582069.html?nopager=1

– zbicyclist – 2011-08-11T02:36:57.773

3

As a Russian, I think it is an OK joke, I don't see why people get so pissed off about it. Smirnov (whichever way you want to spell it) is a very common last name (according to http://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D0%A1%D0%BF%D0%B8%D1%81%D0%BE%D0%BA_%D0%BE%D0%B1%D1%89%D0%B5%D1%80%D1%83%D1%81%D1%81%D0%BA%D0%B8%D1%85_%D1%84%D0%B0%D0%BC%D0%B8%D0%BB%D0%B8%D0%B9, THE most common last name), so in a way it was unavoidable that there'd be a statistician by that name and a vodka producer by that name.

– StasK – 2011-11-02T02:32:46.743

9

A circus strongman, a physicist and a statistician are stranded on a desert island. They have fruit and fish, and it rains a lot, so they aren't starving, but they are still happy when they find a cache of canned fruit.

The physicist says to the strongman - "If you climb that tree, and throw the cans against a rock, the force will burst the cans open. We'll lose some, but it's better than nothing"

The strongman says "No, I can open the cans with my teeth. It'll hurt, but I should be able to do it"

They turn to the statistician who says "First, assume we have a can opener".

(I originally heard this with an economist instead of statistician, but I think both work)

Peter Flom

Posted 2010-08-06T01:53:47.023

Reputation: 67 912

9

After enough alcohol all statisticians tend to become Bayesians: we start making inferences from our posterior

StasK

Posted 2010-08-06T01:53:47.023

Reputation: 24 230

3This joke hits rock bottom. – Nick Cox – 2014-12-12T09:43:45.587

7

there was the one about the two statisticians who tried to use grant money to pay for their bill at a strip club. They were vindicated when it was explained they were performing a 'posterior analysis'. (groan)

shabbychef

Posted 2010-08-06T01:53:47.023

Reputation: 6 785

7

What is the difference between an extroverted and an introverted statistician?

The extroverted statistican looks at your shoes while talking to you.

Uwe Ziegenhagen

Posted 2010-08-06T01:53:47.023

Reputation: 101

6Not really anything to do with stats... pick any 'nerdy' profession, and it fits... – naught101 – 2012-11-08T02:46:14.827

6

I like this one:

How did theta dress up for halloween?

-- He put a hat on

There are more quite funny Halloween statistical jokes in here:

Why didn't null hypothesis win the costume contest?

-- He got rejected.

or

Why didn't the statistician ask for pieces of candy from the standard normal distribution?

-- He expected 0

Tim

Posted 2010-08-06T01:53:47.023

Reputation: 47 053

6

“If your head is in the freezer and your feet are in the oven, on average you’re comfortable.”

ThiS

Posted 2010-08-06T01:53:47.023

Reputation: 1 024

5

The statistician wonders if they analyse things too much... Or maybe not enough..?

probabilityislogic

Posted 2010-08-06T01:53:47.023

Reputation: 17 954

5

A few funniest jokes on statistics:

1) Professor: "You have only 15 minutes to plot the bi-variate distribution between A and B, 15 minutes to compute correlation and 5 seconds to compute the kurtosis of B."

Students: "Only 5 seconds???"

Professor: "Don't worry, it takes only a moment!" ;D

2) Have you ever thought, In China, if you are the one out of million kind of guys, there are still thousands like you!!

3) Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital!

Blain Waan

Posted 2010-08-06T01:53:47.023

Reputation: 1 436

It only takes an additional moment after the correlation. – John – 2013-06-27T12:59:53.007

Mmmm, calculating the kurtosis "takes two moments", the second and the fourth central moments.

– None – 2013-01-03T15:07:12.600

5

Okay, I admit there is a flaw in this one, but it comforts me nonetheless:

"I used to get angry when someone driving in front of me did something really stupid (or uncourteous) on the road, but then I found comfort in realizing that about half the people on the road are of below average intelligence..."

user27374

Posted 2010-08-06T01:53:47.023

Reputation: 1

True, if average means median, but otherwise (not so) wrong. – hans-t – 2016-11-16T07:47:25.323

4

At the front side of the famous statistician's office:

$$ \mathfrak{ \text{"Let's make the crowd a population" }\\ \text{Thus spoke the Lord and created the statistician.}} $$

At the front side of the pharmacy near the statistics department:

$ \qquad \qquad \small \mathcal {\text{Take poisson only on very rare events!}}$

And in the window:
$ \qquad \qquad \small \mathcal {\text{Eating average dose of vitamins makes you a robust estimator!"}} $

This one has some double or threefold logic and might be a bit too complicated but I love it especially:

$ \qquad \qquad \mathcal {\text{Statistics without hypotheses }\\ \qquad \qquad \text{is like walking in the jungle} \\ \qquad \qquad \text{without map"}}$

(Well, sounds like a good advice - but really: what does help you a map in the jungle, where you've no wide sight and required horizon to relate the map to your position...)

These all came from a collection of jokes invented after a nice party..


Here are some more "pearls of wisdom".

With a bit of political flair:

$ \qquad \qquad $ "The metric of black and white is not ordinal but only nominal"
$ \qquad \qquad $$ \qquad \qquad $ (perhaps a bit of too serious matter to serve as a joke...)

$ \qquad \qquad $ "Without a bit of deviation poor Government had to divide us by zero"

$ \qquad \qquad \qquad $ or even this small one which takes stance
$ \qquad \qquad \qquad $ against tendency of conformism, just stating the obvious

$ \qquad \qquad $ "A bit of variance cannot be negative!"

An advice which the teacher could give any freshman in statistics:

$ \qquad \qquad $ If you can't inference -reference!

Only small playing with words of factoranalysis:

$ \qquad \qquad \mathcal {\text{If you don't like that data have some error,} \\ \qquad \qquad \text{why not rotate him into the article?}}$

and a final one:

$ \qquad \qquad \mathcal { \text{Two independent thoughts in mind.} \\ \qquad \qquad \text{Enough to call me 'simple structured'...}}$

Gottfried Helms

Posted 2010-08-06T01:53:47.023

Reputation: 1 109

4

Statistics Movies that Never Made it to the Big Screen

There is a nice list here:

http://www.tealdragon.net/humor/lists/statmves.htm

Tal Galili

Posted 2010-08-06T01:53:47.023

Reputation: 8 629

4

Don't hate the plyr! Hate the game!

chrisfs

Posted 2010-08-06T01:53:47.023

Reputation: 140

4

"There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics."

Possibly by Mark Twain (Source)

steadyfish

Posted 2010-08-06T01:53:47.023

Reputation: 640

Classic! My dad loves to quote this one. – Nick Stauner – 2014-02-21T03:05:46.573

4

xkcd #1337

Hover-text: If data fails the Teacher's t test, you can just force it to take the test again until it passes.

Dimitriy V. Masterov

Posted 2010-08-06T01:53:47.023

Reputation: 18 746

3

Supposedly true story: scared of flying, this guy always flew with a green pineapple in his bag. When asked why, he replied:

Guy: "Have you ever heard of a plane crash in which there was a green pineapple in a passenger's bag?".

Friend: "Nope."

Guy: "See? Zero percent probability!"

Zen

Posted 2010-08-06T01:53:47.023

Reputation: 15 651

3

This question on "p-hacking" made me recall this joke:

Three statisticians are interviewing for a job. The interviewer asks each person individually the following question: "What is 1 + 1?".

The first person quickly answers, "2 of course!" The interviewer thanks them for their time and dismisses them.

The second person gets a thoughtful look on their face. Then they pull out some paper and a calculator. After a little while they've filled up numerous sheets of paper with complicated calculations. After reviewing their notes they confidently respond, "the square root of 1i." Once again the interviewer thanks them for their time and dismisses them.

The third person responds with a twinkle in their eye "what do you want it to be?" To which the interviewer responds, "you're hired!"

Erik

Posted 2010-08-06T01:53:47.023

Reputation: 161

3

There is no "favorite statistical haiku", so let me post it under "jokes":

Little p-value
What are you trying to say
Of significance?

-- Stephen Ziliak, Roosevelt University economics professor (quoted here)

Tim

Posted 2010-08-06T01:53:47.023

Reputation: 47 053

3

Q. Lawyers and doctors have specific ethical obligations that others don’t have. Some financial/investment roles have a fiduciary responsibility that goes beyond merely not stealing the money, but includes the notion of stewardship.

Does a statistician have a duty to “stop and render aid” if she sees a statistical casualty?

A: Yes, but only 5% of the time.

zbicyclist

Posted 2010-08-06T01:53:47.023

Reputation: 2 325

3

I forget where it's from, but there's the one that when asked how he felt on reaching his 90th birthday, the old statistician replied, "I'm very happy about it - the numbers show that few people die after their 90th birthday."

John

Posted 2010-08-06T01:53:47.023

Reputation: 1

3

Nicely put, but it duplicates http://stats.stackexchange.com/a/1371 posted three years earlier.

– whuber – 2014-01-07T21:36:04.680

1

Any statistician reporting a p-value greater than 1 has a 110% probability to get fired.

Pere

Posted 2010-08-06T01:53:47.023

Reputation: 3 504

1

April is Mathematics and Statistics Awareness Month.

It's OK that I posted this in May, because there's a margin of error of +/- 1 month.

zbicyclist

Posted 2010-08-06T01:53:47.023

Reputation: 2 325

1

We can define two Murphy's laws for statistics and data science:

Murphy's law of small numbers: if the sample is small, so it can be unrepresentative, it will, inevitably leading you to incorrect conclusions.

Murphy's law of large numbers: if the sample is big, there usually will be big problems with the data (e.g. strange format, wrong encoding of the variables, it would lack the key features needed for understanding it, it will have huge number of duplicates, data would be binned in a stupid way etc.).

Tim

Posted 2010-08-06T01:53:47.023

Reputation: 47 053

1

I noticed one of the jokes Peter Donnelly had in his TED talks was selected but I felt another was better, which he says came from a senior colleague.

Statisticians are people who like figures but don't have the personality skills to become accountants.

John

Posted 2010-08-06T01:53:47.023

Reputation: 17 822

0

This is a variation of a previous joke. If you think about it, I think it's slightly funnier than the other version, for subtle reasons that will occur to you as you ponder it.

If you choose an answer to this question at random, what is the chance you will be correct?

A) 25%

B) 50%

C) 0%

D) 25%

John

Posted 2010-08-06T01:53:47.023

Reputation: 1

This is a dupe, it's able. – Jeremy Miles – 2014-12-12T01:30:07.477

0

  • Einstein: Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
  • Statistician: Nop! That's a 'random experiment'!

BTW: it seems like Einstein didn't really say that, but it's still funny, at least for me, hehe!

toneloy

Posted 2010-08-06T01:53:47.023

Reputation: 350

Relevant: https://xkcd.com/1657/

– Alexis – 2017-10-05T23:17:12.137

0

PREAMBLE:It may help those who are unaware of what "epidemiologists" do to know that they are researchers who collect data about people and diseases and try to find patterns. This involves lots of data collection and statistical analysis usually. A simple (and early) example of what an epidemiologist does would be the first study to show that those who smoked were more likely to develope lung cancer etc.

NOW FOR THE JOKE..... There is a group of five statisticians on a train. At the next stop, five epidemiologists get on. They all seem to know each other and start chatting. It transpires that all the epidemiologists have bought a ticket, but the statisticians have only bought one between the five of them. "Why did you do that?" asks one of the epidemiologists. "Surely you're going to get caught and thrown off the train?" "Just wait and see!", smiles one of the statisticians.

As the ticket inspector is approaching to check everyone's tickets, the statisticians all go off to the nearest toilet - the inspector passes the epidemiologists and inspects all their tickets then moves on and notices that the toilet is locked. "Tickets please!", shouts the inspector. One of the statisticians pushes their ticket under the toilet door, which the inspector checks and returns under the door. Once the inspector has gone, all the statisticians return to their seats to the awe and amazement of the epidemiologists. "That's incredibly clever!" says one of the epidemiologists.

A few weeks later they all find themselves on the same train again. They sit together and start chatting once more. "We've done what you suggested", says one of the epidemiologists. "And just bought one ticket between the five of us!" "Oh really", says one of the statisticians. "we haven't bought ANY tickets this time!" The epidemiologists look at each other in amazement. "OK, one ticket between you is fine but not buying any at all is ludicrous!"

As the ticket inspector approaches the epidemiologists hurry off to the toilet. Once they're inside, the statisticians follow them. "Tickets please!" shouts one of the statisticians. The ticket appears under the door and they take it away and all bundle into a different toilet. The inspector gets to the toilet with the epidemiologists in it. "Tickets please!" he shouts. No reply. "Tickets please!" The epidemiologists admit defeat and come out of the toilet only to be thrown off the train at the next station.

THE MORAL OF THIS STORY: Epidemiologists should not attempt to use statistical methods without fully understanding the theory behind them!

source: http://my.ilstu.edu/~gcramsey/StatOtherPro.html

Underminer

Posted 2010-08-06T01:53:47.023

Reputation: 2 318

4A different perspective is that one could argue the moral of the story is that epidemiologists should not trust the methods that statisticians recommend. The statisticians here kind of seem like jerks... – gung – 2016-10-10T21:03:27.887

0

A: I think we must be in a simulated reality. If we are in a simulated reality then there will be more simulated realities than real ones. B: That is not correct. A: Why? B: You are making an argument, most arguments are wrong, therefore yours is wrong. A: That is stupid B: Probabilistically, yes.

0rangetree

Posted 2010-08-06T01:53:47.023

Reputation: 80

0

A query walks up to two tables in a bar and says..... "Mind if I join you?"

Groan! :-)

Debbie

Posted 2010-08-06T01:53:47.023

Reputation: 1

0

Are statisticians normal?

... think about it.. ;-)

mark

Posted 2010-08-06T01:53:47.023

Reputation: 69

-2

One of my favourite quotes: "Statistics analyses convergence of sequences of random variables."

11Kilobytes

Posted 2010-08-06T01:53:47.023

Reputation: 146

Was this supposed to be an answer to our Famous statistician quotes thread? Is it supposed to be a joke? Can you cite the source?

– gung – 2015-03-08T17:35:35.673

Some people find it funny, as far as dry humour goes, e.g. @whuber. As for the source, I first heard it from a statistics PHD student, so probably not famous. – 11Kilobytes – 2015-03-08T17:41:09.813

-3

A man and a woman asked, what is the probability that he/she went out into the street, meet a dinosaur.

Man begins to count and, finally, gives his version: "Taking into account all the possible factors - zero point three trillion.

She also meets once: "Fifty-fifty. "Why?" - Say it. "It's very simple: either meeting or not meeting."

Kniganapolke

Posted 2010-08-06T01:53:47.023

Reputation: 206

Why all the downvotes on this one? – landroni – 2014-03-06T15:46:09.980

-6

Two statisticians went duck hunting. A duck flew overhead and one statistician fired just to the right of the bird. The other statistician fired just to the left of the bird. They turned to each other in glee, and congratulated each other... "On average, he's dead!", they cried! The duck continued his migration.

entropy

Posted 2010-08-06T01:53:47.023

Reputation: 627

6

The third version of this joke, yes?

– Momo – 2013-03-06T20:17:29.417