“William Briggs, the civilized world’s most amusing statistician.”
Roger Kimball, author of The Fortunes of Permanence: Culture and Anarchy in an Age of Amnesia, The Rape of the Masters: How Political Correctness Sabotages Art, Future Tense: The Lessons of Culture in an Age of Upheaval, the classic Tenured Radicals: How Politics Has Corrupted Our Higher Education, and half a dozen more including editor of volumes of David Stove’s work Against the Idols of the Age,
Darwinian Fairytales: Selfish Genes, Errors of Heredity and Other Fables of Evolution, publisher of Encounter Books, which puts a stream of must-haves, including Stove’s What’s Wrong with Benevolence: Happiness, Private Property, and the Limits of Enlightenment and Schoen’s Putin’s Master Plan: To Destroy Europe, Divide NATO, and Restore Russian Power and Global Influence, and scores of others, editor of The New Criterion, the preeminent journal of the arts, and a man who knows how to dress well, very kindly reviewed my book Uncertainty: The Soul of Modeling, Probability & Statistics at the New Criterion. Read the review there. Or here:
Nonfiction: Uncertainty: The Soul of Modeling, Probability & Statistics, by William Briggs (Springer Publishing): I know it’s the end of August and your preferred reading is something light. But I would be remiss if I did not bring to the attention of any hard-headed truth seekers out there—for whom exerting the cerebellum, even in August, is not an untoward occupation—a new book by William Briggs, the civilized world’s most amusing statistician. I know what you’re thinking: “statistician” and “amusing” do not belong in the same sentence, or, at least, that they cannot refer to the same man. (Disraeli’s comment about “lies, damned lies, and statistics” shows that the subject, anyway, can admit of some humor.) But do not take my word for it: nab a copy of Briggs’s latest, Uncertainty: The Soul of Modeling, Probability & Statistics. It’s not for sissies, true, but its clear-headed (i.e., Aristotelian) approach to the subject of truth (which, in the end, is what exercises in probability and statistical analysis are all about, notwithstanding what they tell you in school) is refreshing: a long, cool drink of plain speaking about intellectual topics that, in these hot and humid days, is as enlivening as it is enlightening. One sadness that can be remedied in later reprintings: the index refers to a “Stove, S.” It is “Stove, D.,” as in “David Charles Stove,” the Australian philosopher, a patent and healthy influence on this book, who is meant. –RK
So you can see my enemies managed to slip in a typo of Stove’s name. My enemies are relentless buggers, the creatures. I’ve already alerted the production side about the mistake. And I’m sure it will not only be fixed in reprintings, but in the Second Edition.
In any case, listen to what Kimball says: buy the book today!