It’s easy to get attached to your own ideas, and react defensively when someone challenges them. Four hundred years ago, Francis Bacon recognized that this human foible was a major obstacle in the quest for knowledge.

Francis Bacon. Image:Public domain.

In his book Novum Organum, Bacon wrote:

The human understanding, when it has adopted…

Semi-log plots and exponential growth, from correlation to causation with COVID19!

My cautionary tale and tutorial provides a series of plots of COVID19 data, illustrating linear and log scales, together with the pitfalls of causal inference, and includes occasional questions to facilitate understanding. It’s now graced by the addition of this figure:


I created the tutorial for my students but it assumes no knowledge, so it’s useful for others, and Roberto de Pinho has translated it into Portuguese.

Alex Holcombe

Science, Experimental Psych. Reforms. @PsyOpenAccess

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