As a dream-prone polymath, it was only a matter of time before statistics and I started our courtship. In different moods and practitioners it is: a cautious discipline, a morass of superstition, a tortuous mandate for wild claims, a pile of contradictory aesthetics, a black-box technique for making predictions, a beautifully clever mashup of math, a series of baffling philosophical issues, and a way of approaching the seemingly unapproachable. And through all this mess, statistical techniques provide some of our most powerful ways of getting to know the world around us--the chatty companion of intuition, qualitative experience, and theory.
I label these writings as "statisfactions" to express the joys and controversies that have arisen in association with statistical theories and techniques. Not least of these statisfactions is the ability to explore all this with the help of the powerful, free, and open statistical software R. I invite you to download the software and try these examples for yourself, and of course to point out where my naiveté has lead me to perdition.
As the various factions fight their duels, I hope, dear reader, that you will find these writings statisfying to the utmost.