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Math is the study of avoiding errors

Math is the study of avoiding errors

Math is a science that helps us solve common problems and enable us to be right about our decisions. Math is mostly just common sense. We intuitively use logic and reason to solve "math" problems. 

However, we often fail at this logic - for example, in survivorship bias. When analysing data, survivorship bias only focuses on the people or things that succeeded while ignoring the one’s that failed. 

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Headlines like “New study shows milk is related to Alzheimer’s.” “This study reveals how much you really do at work.” is problematic for these reasons:

We use probability to assess how risky something is, such as an investment or an action we want to take. But if we just use probability to assess risk, we fail to take into account how bad the potential negative outcomes will be if they do occur.

  • Small datasets have a lot more noise in them. When looking at conclusions based on data sets, see how much noise to signal it contains.
  • Percentages are good for positive quantities but should be avoided for negative numbers.
  • ...

People often assume that the rate of change of a quantity will remain the same over time.

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