Re: [OT] Mathematics and the uselessness of numbers (was Re: Help buying Economic Printer)

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>> Because people (even, apparently, smart people like you) seem to fixate on
>> that "average" number and think that "because that's the average, that's
>> what the temperature is supposed to be", weather sites should *not* post
>> average, but *should* post the *range* of temperatures 1 STDDEV above and
>> below the average.
>
> please Ron. I'm fully aware of what an average is and was merely jumping on the "let's
> discuss random weather stuff" band-wagon and having a little fun.
>
> sheesh.
>
> I agree though that the range of temperatures would be really nice to
> see. The high and low with 1 stddev above and below each would
> actually be useful information.

Sorry for joining this OT thread.

Don't get misled by the subject; this has nothing to do with mathematics:

1) stddev's only apply, if temperatures would vary statistically and
would therefore show a Gaussian distribution around a mean value.
Neither is the case.

2) If temperatures would vary statistically, it would be enough to give
the stddev, because 'above' and 'below' would be the same value.

The fact that 'above' and 'below' are generally different values, is a
direct hint that 1) does not apply. This is probably one of the reasons
why meteorologists give mean temperatures in January and July, but no
stddev.

Johannes

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