In the same spirit of generosity that led M. Anonymous to donate a Kindle, I am offering the books I have written, if we can agree to honor those scrawlings with that title, free.
The two titles are:
- Breaking the Law of Averages. These are the notes I use to teach introductory statistics, in what I consider to be the modern way. The good news is that this on-line version contains a wealth of corrections, some new additions, and a few more homework problems.
- So, You Think You’re Psychic? I had more of an interest in this subject at one time, back when CSICOP, the Skeptic Society, James Randi, and all those guys were not so rabidly political. They lost all their charm when they went from chasing UFOs to raving about George Bush. Despite its odd title, and skeptical tone, you really can use the experiments I describe to run your own professional psychic tests. The statistics in this book were from my green days, when I still thought there was something to frequentism. That said, the scores I develop are useful as a guide.
The PDF versions of these books are in great shape. But for those who download the Kindle versions, you might think I’m overcharging you. I used Calibre to do the conversion from PDF to mobi, and the results are mixed. The text came out fine, but tables are a mess, and the formatting can be quirky. The pictures have vanished, as have all super- and subscripts. Still, the meat is all there.
Of course, if you would like a hard copy of either book, just click the book covers on the left of your browser (I get about $4 per copy). Be aware that the statistics book is the old, typo-filled edition. Truth is, both of these, uh, tracts were written before I had learned to write. Regular readers of the blog might argue, perhaps persuasively, that the secrets of that gentle art still elude me.
Why give them away?
For Psychic, the answer is easy: there has a slight resurgence of interest in this topic among those who believe that, among other things, they can communicate psychically with goats. Why one would want to, I have no idea. Ghosts, I can understand. Dogs, maybe, although I cannot imagine they would have much to say. Many people have odd desires.
Most official peer reviewed papers in paranormal studies have atrocious statistics. Oh, didn’t you know that there are peer-reviewed journals in the paranormal? It’s science! Then again, many papers in more mainstream areas like medicine, education, and sociology are statistically bereft. The statistics in Psychic are not perfect, but they are far better than average. If somebody out there is in earnest, they cannot go far wrong by following the guidelines I have developed.
I want you to have Breaking so that, once you read it and become irritated with its shortcomings, you tell me of them. I will use your ideas and incorporate your complaints in the book—the real book—The Logic of Probability and Statistics, which I am now writing.
Funnily enough, when re-reading that last sentence, I saw that I had the typo “the book that I am not writing”, which is, most days, closer to the truth. But that book is not meant for the casual reader (neither is it geared to just academic statisticians).
Because I use Breaking as notes for class, I’ll tweak that text from time to time, and upload new versions as necessary. The links will remain the same. Given my knowledge of myself, I can predict that the Kindle version will lag significantly from the PDF version.
Hope these books are useful to you. And thanks for your support everybody! I make nearly all my living from this blog—soon, all of my living—and I could not do it without you.