Bringing order out of chaos What is your definition of Heaven?: Bringing order out of chaos

By Spider on Saturday, February 23, 2002 - 03:10 pm:

    It's 2:49 pm on Saturday, Feb. 23, and I'm at the office.

    I'm at the office because I started working on a project yesterday afternoon and have become excited about it.

    Really excited. So excited I can't stop thinking about it. So excited I dreamt about it in several dreams last night.

    And do you know what this project involves? Data analysis.

    Not anything creative. Not anything related to writing or music or painting or beauty or truth or God or people.

    Analyzing numbers. Finding patterns among the confusion. Collapsing data across categories to find significant differences between the changes in output at different times.

    Am I crazy to get so turned on by statistics? I LOVE this.

    But I am seriously pissed off right now because I can't figure out how to make SPSS do what I want it to do.

    I don't want to collapse across a certain category that it's forcing me to collapse. I have 1400 schools that I want to look at separately -- I want to find their growth or decay in use per capita over the course of three years.

    I can do this for the mean per capita rate of use over three years, but I can't do it for each school, and there's no way I can do it by hand for each school. Not only would that take forever, I don't even know how to do *that* with this software.

    Which is bumming me out because I used this software in college to analyze my psych data. (Heh - even then I was obsessed with statistics...I took a class in Probability and Statistics, one in Advanced Statistics, and one in Psychometrics. And I've forgotten it all! I can't remember what any of the tests do!

    None of the results tell me anything. I'm trying to bring order out of chaos and IT'S NOT WORKING. This is killing me.


By T.S. Eliot on Saturday, February 23, 2002 - 05:20 pm:

    art, beauty, truth, and god
    are all phantoms which are chased
    but never caught.
    but there is a cold comfort in
    mathematical certainty
    humans will ever turn to.

    that is not what i meant to say at all.


By Naate on Sunday, February 24, 2002 - 02:45 am:

    these are some, hairy sacks!

By Harry Sachs on Sunday, February 24, 2002 - 02:50 am:

    you kids leave me alone!

By Spider on Monday, February 25, 2002 - 08:29 am:

    I came in again last night* and finished the project. I got as far as I could go without arbitarily defining a significance level and finding the accounts that hit it.

    I had to re-input all the data twice because of some weird goings-on. That took a lot of time.

    I'm glad I came in over the weekend to work on it because there's no way I could do it now. I would have to unplug my phone and snarl at anyone who came by to talk to me. Not very friendly.

    Let's hope the boss thinks the report is as exciting as I do.

    *After going fossil-hunting with my brother at Matoaka Beach on the Chesapeake. We found:

    2 fossilized crab claws
    Pieces of fossilized snails
    One shark tooth
    Fossil coral
    2 tiny fossil sand-dollars
    And the coolest....a fossilized piece of a sting-ray

By spunky on Monday, February 25, 2002 - 09:53 am:

    Wow. That sounds like a awesome trip

By Spider on Monday, February 25, 2002 - 10:25 am:

    It was. Too bad the weather/water was so cold.

    My brother's taking a Paleontology class and is doing a paper on the fossils found in that area, so he took all our samples with him. I already have some fossil imprints of scallop shells that I found about 6 miles down from yesterday's site, and they're sitting on top of my computer here in my office....I'd like to flesh out my collection with some coral or something.

    This is a page that shows the kinds of fossils we found or could find at the site.

By Spider on Tuesday, February 26, 2002 - 11:49 am:

    So, anyway, the boss and I have been revising the project. My data may be flawed. Eeeeeep!

    But now I am to have done the analysis on all 6 services by Thursday. I might have to download a demo of the software on my home computer and work at night.

    I'm scared. I don't trust my numbers.

    But I'm happy. I'm finally using my education!

By J on Wednesday, February 27, 2002 - 09:45 am:

    Are you feeling better about your numbers now?

By Czarina on Wednesday, February 27, 2002 - 10:24 am:

    Nice specimens,Spider!

    Is your boss behaving himself?

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