How S’pore can win Nobel Prizes, and pushy parents’ kids ace exams cheaply

In Financial competency, Humour on 12/12/2012 at 5:17 am

(Or “Uniquely S’porean: Correlation = Hard Truth)

Forget about spending money on R&D or attracting FT researches. Or spending money on tuition.

The govt should juz give S’poreans lots of free chocolates, and parents top up the govt’s supplies to their kids.

I kid you not. Look at this chart: The Swiss who eat lots of chocs are runaway winners when it comes to winning Nobel Prizes. So do the Danes, Austrians, Norwegians and Brits.

Graph showing countries' chocolate consumption per head and Nobel Laureates per 10 million people

“When you correlate the two – the chocolate consumption with the number of Nobel prize laureates per capita – there is an incredibly close relationship,” Franz Messerli of Columbia University says.

“This correlation has a ‘P value’ of 0.0001.” This means there is a less than one-in-10,000 probability of getting results like these if no correlation exists.

Link here and here.

My serious point is that juz because there seems to be a correlation (like 48% of druggies are Malays) doesn’t mean that we should get worked up. This is something that the Malay MP who highlighted the issue and ST who headlined it should appreciate. And so should the ladies who bitched about the ST report, who I criticised. Article

There may be cause and effect somewhere in a correlation, but there may be not. This is a genuine Hard Truth of Science.

Maybe the PAP and the ST should send its MPs and journalists (including the Deputy Editor who tried, but failed, to talk sense on the issue of Malay druggies) to a course in stats and causation. And the PAP should include one LKY in the course.

  1. Your comment comes at right time when this morning,the PAP daily goes to town with headline-Singapore pupils Top tests.

  2. Interesting! So schools, please promote eating chocolates. But then again if the students become very smart, wouldn’t big brothers be worried sick?

  3. I see more Nobel prize laureates per capita from the colder climate in the above chart. So you are doomed regardless of what you do. (Of course you can always import Nobel FTs!)

  4. This is funny. The real reason is due to the fact that the Nobel prize is actually started by a Swedish guy…

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