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Re: st: new problem with table display


From   Maarten buis <maartenbuis@yahoo.co.uk>
To   statalist@hsphsun2.harvard.edu
Subject   Re: st: new problem with table display
Date   Wed, 31 Oct 2007 13:15:44 +0000 (GMT)

--- Richard Ohrvall <richard.ohrvall@gmail.com> wrote:
> Regarding Maartens comment, well I disagree, I often have weights
> calibrated to known population totals (eg. from a census). It
> therefore makes sense to have the exact population total in tables
> instead of a scientific notation with rounded figures. Of course
> these figures are usually a bit uncertain, but they are often treated
> as certain (eg. the population in the Netherlands at a certain date)
> and consistency in this aspect can help to avoid confusion.

Also not that this is also an issue of conveying information. If I hear
that the netherlands has on Wednesday 31 Oktober 14:08:54 GMT+01:00 an
estimated population of 16.387.511
(http://www.cbs.nl/en-GB/menu/themas/bevolking/cijfers/extra/bevolkingsteller.htm)
than I would consider the relevant information to be that the
Netherlands has about 16 milion inhabitants, even if this number were
accurate upto all digits (which it isn't as the webpage I refer to is
careful to explain). The remaining digits do nothing but distract from
the real message.

-- Maarten 


-----------------------------------------
Maarten L. Buis
Department of Social Research Methodology
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Boelelaan 1081
1081 HV Amsterdam
The Netherlands

visiting address:
Buitenveldertselaan 3 (Metropolitan), room Z434

+31 20 5986715

http://home.fsw.vu.nl/m.buis/
-----------------------------------------


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