Monthly Archives: July 2012

Red-Shirt Risk

How Likely Is It That You’ll Die?

Reporting on Matt Bailey’s Analytics According to Captain Kirk, which begins with a quantitative summary of what all Star Trek fans know: “red-shirted crewmembers died more than any other crewmembers on the original Star Trek series.” — 73% of crew deaths.

However, Bailey does not stop there. The rate of red-shirt death varies considerably, and in some shows is much less than in others. Those shows share another well-known feature of the original series, which suggests a risk mitigation strategy:

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Epic Fraud

How to succeed in science (without doing any)

Note the first “tip:”

01. Fake data nobody ever expects to see. If you’re going to make things up, you won’t have any original data to produce when someone asks to see it. The simplest way to avoid this awkward situation is to make sure that nobody ever asks. You can do this in several ways, but the easiest is to work only with humans. Most institutions require a long and painful approval process before anyone gets to work directly with human subjects. To protect patient privacy, any records are usually completely anonymized, so no one can ever trace them back to individual patients.