Friday, July 2, 2010

Why statistics work 60% of the time, every time

I read a great post on Maggie Stiefvater's blog yesterday about the odds of getting published in this industry. She makes the very good point that many of the submissions literary agents receive are unsuitable for public consumption, and while some of her younger admirers despair of ever being published in such an environment, she thinks the odds are greater than the numbers we're seeing.

I took a statistics course in college and learned all about distributions and average means and mean averages and  margin of sampling error and all that somewhat math related stuff that makes my brain cry. I also studied marketing and market research, focus groups, etc., and so I'm inclined to agree with the great Maggie. The basic feeling about statistics is that you can make them say whatever you want.

With that in mind, I have some very useful Friday statistics:

1) I enjoy Fridays 100% of the time
2) 75% of people who don't work on Fridays are on my "to hate" list
3) 36.2% of this Friday will be spent slacking off
4) 100% of that last comment was a lie
5) Fine, 52.6% of this Friday will be spent slacking off

See? Math is fun!

Happy fun Fridays, everybody!


Lydia Kang said...

At least, since you are a statistician, I can trust your numbers. :)
Looking at the number posted by Kristen Nelson make me wanna cry. But I'd like to hope that it's all about writing the good book. If we don't get published now, maybe it's because our writing is simply not ready yet.
Great post!

rebel_of_nowhere said...

82% chance I will get absolutely no work done this Friday...

Solvang Sherrie said...

Ha! That's math I can relate to :)

Jaydee Morgan said...

That's the kind of math I could get into! I'm not going to say what percentage of my weekend will be slacking off...I just hope it's not more than I estimate ;)

Stina Lindenblatt said...

With so many great writers out there, it's impossible for everyone to be published. All we can do is write the best story we can, work at honing our writing skills, and hope for the best. Then rinse and repeat.

Jen said...

JEM you rock, you definitely made math fun I love it! I'll remember this for next friday!

Mohamed Mughal said...

In statistics, the interesting part is always the story behind the numbers. Why do you hate only 75% of people who don't work Fridays? What is it about that protected 25% that protects them from the ill feelings? :)

Cute post; here's wishing you many more fun Fridays in the coming years.

Jennifer Shirk said...

LOL! That kind of math IS fun. :)

beth said...

100% chance that I've just wasted an entire morning on TV and internet! Back to the grindstone for me!!! :)


What's your hate ratio for folks who work half-days on Fridays? Great post!

Lola Sharp said...

That's my kinda math.
Stats was the only class in college that I didn't get an A in. I even had to get a tutor. I HATED that class, and the low-talking professor from Hell. I worked my ass off and still only got a B-...and was thrilled with that.

100% chance that I'm ready for this long vacation to be over. I need a vacay from my vacay. I know that sounds ungrateful, but I'm over it. I miss my home.

Miss you.

Happy Friday! :)