Good eye/mind catches logical fallacy in WSJ Analysis

Jean Whit notes that the authors of this piece about Wall Street Journal number crunching about sovereign debt default and bond ratings, WSJ Analysis: Rating Firms Not Effective at Predicting Government Defaults, got their analysis backwards. A classic case of sampling on the dependent variable or percentaging in the wrong direction: how many of the defaults had a given rating rather than how many with a given rating end up defaulting. See Jean’s comment at bottom of post.

Sociology of Information in the New York Times

Published: September 3, 2011
Why all the sharp swings in the stock market? To Robert J. Shiller, it’s a case of investors trying to guess what other investors are thinking….

Seeking not what is the case, but what others probably think is, or even what others think that others think is…

Published: September 2, 2011
When Rick Perry, the governor of Texas and a presidential hopeful, debates his rivals, his assertions on climate change, Social Security and health care could put him to the test….

Once it’s out there, it’s out there…

Published: August 29, 2011
The antisecrecy organization WikiLeaks published nearly 134,000 diplomatic cables, including many that name confidential sources….

Developing story — a leak, a revelation, or just a mistake?  (See also previous posts on Wikileaks.)