[ExI] Impressive book: Farewell to Alms

Damien Broderick thespike at satx.rr.com
Tue Feb 5 16:50:22 UTC 2008

At 09:22 PM 2/4/2008 -0700, Keith wrote:

> >There just aren't enough wills compared with the population numbers.
> >People who wrote wills are a small, self-selected subset of the
> >population. It is a great leap to conclude that the small subset of
> >wills is representative of the whole population. The vast majority of
> >the population had lives that never got into the records anywhere.
>Do you agree with Clark's numbers for the will
>data he had?  If you do, what reason do you have
>to expect the results *not* to apply to the population as a whole?

What? "Representative of the whole population" doesn't here mean 
"representative of the whole population of will-writers whose wills 
are preserved," it means "representative of the whole population."

You're not suggesting, are you, that by sampling only owners of Rolls 
Royces and Aston Martins you'll learn much of interest about the 
whole population of car owners?

Damien Broderick

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