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RE: st: gsort issue


From   Richard Williams <Richard.A.Williams.5@ND.edu>
To   statalist@hsphsun2.harvard.edu, <statalist@hsphsun2.harvard.edu>
Subject   RE: st: gsort issue
Date   Thu, 05 Jul 2007 18:10:59 -0500

At 04:47 PM 7/5/2007, Steichen, Thomas J. wrote:
Isn't the simplest solution that missing should never be treated in
Stata code as a "number"?

Thus, things like sorts would need a documented definition of where
missing go but we wouldn't have to work around the "numeric" missing
so often.

For example,
  replace x = 3 if x > 2 & != .
becomes the much simpler
  replace x = 3 if x > 2

I wonder how often I've messed up analyses because I forgot to tag
on the "& != ." ?
Actually, you may have problems you don't know about, because this won't catch md codes of .a, .b, etc.! I tend to say

!missing(x)

or else

< .

There was a lengthy spirited discussion a few years back on the profound moral and philosophical issues involved in handling missing data; see this post and its several followups:

http://www.stata.com/statalist/archive/2004-01/msg00121.html


-------------------------------------------
Richard Williams, Notre Dame Dept of Sociology
OFFICE: (574)631-6668, (574)631-6463
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EMAIL: Richard.A.Williams.5@ND.Edu
WWW: http://www.nd.edu/~rwilliam

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