Tag Archives: Math

The Ecological Fallacy

I occasionally have discussions on blogs where basic statistics concerning “averages” is useful. Rather than referring to another site that explains these statistics, I thought I’d try to summarize them here.

Imagine a town, Sudsville, located on a beautiful lake.  The town grew around a thriving, prosperous family-owned industry that has made soap for 3 generations.  The soap facilities are in a low-polluting industrial park with a railroad running through both the town and the park.

The town has 5 major income brackets and oddly enough, they tend to group into different neighborhoods.  Each of the colored squares here lists the average income of the various neighborhoods.  The size of each rectangle is proportional the the number of people living in the neighborhood which by percentage of the town’s population are:

  • $12,000/yr:   15%
  • $40,000/yr:   30%
  • $80,000/yr:   25%
  • $210,000/yr:   20%
  • $1,000,000/yr:   10%

Given the above, the following question is a classic problem for both elementary statistic and policy courses:  If someone were to ask you for the average income in Sudsville, what number would you give?   If you are not familiar with this problem, please take a moment to jot down your answer before clicking “more”.

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Math, Logic & Rhetoric

Last updated Oct 2013

This is an index of posts concerning Math.

Luck & Randomness

Conway’s Game of Life

Phi: The Divine Proportion

Math and the Religious Mind

Number Theory

Computer Programs

Rhetoric & Logic

Where Fallacies Live

The Reification Fallacy

Logical Fallacies & Rhetorical Tricks

Whack-a-Creationist

Study Logic and its Limitations

The Ecological Fallacy

Dawkins’ Relevance Fallacy

Demons & Classifying Fallacies

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Math & the Religious Mind: Intro

Introduction:

We all have buttons that, when pushed, can stop us from thinking clearly and can polarize dialogues making them useless, if not destructive.  On Triangulations I discuss highly polarizing topics: religion, philosophy, politics, lifestyles and more.  On most my posts I try to relate those topics to habits of our minds.  But on many posts, buttons get pushed, the points I intend to make are often lost and threads get side-tracked.  Of course, some of that is simply due to my bad writing or bad ideas. 🙂

Anyway, I thought I’d experiment with some posts on Mathematics with an emphasis on how our “Religious Mind” relates to Mathematics (“Math” in American English, “Maths” in British English — don’t want to push buttons right from the start!).

Hopefully there will not be too many readers who are emotionally attached to theories of math or to numerology.  So discussing Math may be a fun way to approach the same issues of Mind using a more neutral subject.

Related Posts:  Math & the Religious Mind: an index post

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