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

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On 07/31/07 11:08, Johannes Wiedersich wrote:
> [snip]
>>> 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

By "statistically", do you mean "evenly"?

(It's been a number of decades since I've needed to know more than
just the generalities of bell curves, standard deviations, tails, etc.)

> 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.

I don't know what the year-on-year temperature variability is like
in Germany, but here in the US it's quite high.

- --
Ron Johnson, Jr.
Jefferson LA  USA

Give a man a fish, and he eats for a day.
Hit him with a fish, and he goes away for good!

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