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# More bikes fewer cars. - Page 2

### Re: More bikes fewer cars.

Nick Finnigan wrote:
> JNugent wrote:
>> Nick Finnigan wrote:
>>
>>> JNugent wrote:
>>>
>>>> Nick Finnigan wrote:
>>>>
>>>>> JNugent wrote:

>>
>>
>>>>>> So it's possible that no-one travels 8.7 miles to work (in the
>>>>>> same way that the average - that is, the mean - number of legs per
>>>>>> person in the UK is less than two)?

>>
>>
>>>>> No.

>>
>>
>>>> Sorry.. "no" to what?

>>
>>
>>> "No" is the answer to your question, quoted above.

>>
>>
>> I think we must be at cross purposes.
>>
>> Taken at face value and applied to the question, your "no" could be
>> taken as a denial of the fact that a mean commuting distance of (say)
>> 8.7 miles might mean that no-one actually has a commuting distance of
>> 8.7 miles. I don't think that can be what you mean.

>
> No, I did not deny any fact.

So what were you saying "no" to?

### Re: More bikes fewer cars.

JNugent <JN@NPPTG.com> writes:

> The "average number of legs being less than two" quote is a well-known
> example of how the mean can be misleading - even when perfectly
> calculated.

Misleading to morons, perhaps. Anyone with GCSE maths should have no
trouble with it.

-dan

### Re: More bikes fewer cars.

JNugent <JN@NPPTG.com> wrote:

> Clive George wrote:
>
> > "JNugent" <JN@NPPTG.com> wrote:
> >> Nick Finnigan wrote:
> >>> JNugent wrote:
> >>>> Nick Finnigan wrote:
> >>>>> JNugent wrote:

>
> >>>>>> So it's possible that no-one travels 8.7 miles to work (in the
> >>>>>> same way that the average - that is, the mean - number of legs per
> >>>>>> person in the UK is less than two)?

>
> >>>>> No.

>
> >>>> Sorry.. "no" to what?

>
> >>> "No" is the answer to your question, quoted above.

>
> >> I think we must be at cross purposes.
> >> Taken at face value and applied to the question, your "no" could be
> >> taken as a denial of the fact that a mean commuting distance of (say)
> >> 8.7 miles might mean that no-one actually has a commuting distance of
> >> 8.7 miles. I don't think that can be what you mean.

>
> > You forgot the bit in brackets - it's not in the same way as your
> > example there. Hence 'no'.

>
> The "average number of legs being less than two" quote is a well-known
> example of how the mean can be misleading - even when perfectly calculated.
>
> > Meanwhile, is it important if 8.7 angels can fit on a pin? Are you
> > developing a useful argument, or just messing with definitions?

>
> I was wondering whether the argument that some average commute is 8.7
> miles tells us anything useful.

not that much unless one could look at the number per mile, ie how many
under a mile, and so on, up. some people do have long journeys.

but with out looking at how spread out or not they are the mean of 8.7
miles doesn't tell one much.

when i was in wales my commute was about 8 miles and about 10mins, i was
by far the longest distance traveller a few walked one biked, a most
drove the 2 to 6 miles, these days my distance varies though tends to be
less, but since this is london, i can spend longer waiting at lights
than my orginal coummute.

roger
--
www.rogermerriman.com

### Re: More bikes fewer cars.

Daniel Barlow wrote:
> JNugent <JN@NPPTG.com> writes:
>
>> The "average number of legs being less than two" quote is a well-known
>> example of how the mean can be misleading - even when perfectly
>> calculated.

>
> Misleading to morons, perhaps. Anyone with GCSE maths should have no
> trouble with it.

So why is the example (and the question to which it relates) misleading you?

### Re: More bikes fewer cars.

Roger Merriman wrote:
> JNugent <JN@NPPTG.com> wrote:
>
>> Clive George wrote:
>>
>>> "JNugent" <JN@NPPTG.com> wrote:
>>>> Nick Finnigan wrote:
>>>>> JNugent wrote:
>>>>>> Nick Finnigan wrote:
>>>>>>> JNugent wrote:
>>>>>>>> So it's possible that no-one travels 8.7 miles to work (in the
>>>>>>>> same way that the average - that is, the mean - number of legs per
>>>>>>>> person in the UK is less than two)?
>>>>>>> No.
>>>>>> Sorry.. "no" to what?
>>>>> "No" is the answer to your question, quoted above.
>>>> I think we must be at cross purposes.
>>>> Taken at face value and applied to the question, your "no" could be
>>>> taken as a denial of the fact that a mean commuting distance of (say)
>>>> 8.7 miles might mean that no-one actually has a commuting distance of
>>>> 8.7 miles. I don't think that can be what you mean.
>>> You forgot the bit in brackets - it's not in the same way as your
>>> example there. Hence 'no'.

>> The "average number of legs being less than two" quote is a well-known
>> example of how the mean can be misleading - even when perfectly calculated.
>>
>>> Meanwhile, is it important if 8.7 angels can fit on a pin? Are you
>>> developing a useful argument, or just messing with definitions?

>> I was wondering whether the argument that some average commute is 8.7
>> miles tells us anything useful.

> not that much unless one could look at the number per mile, ie how many
> under a mile, and so on, up. some people do have long journeys.

Exactly.

Calculating the average (the mean average) in this sort of matter is of
very little direct use. I suppose it's helpful for calculating fuel
consumption, etc, though why anyone would be interested in doing that
for a fleet of privately-owned vehicles isn't obvious.

> but with out looking at how spread out or not they are the mean of 8.7
> miles doesn't tell one much.

Exactly.

> when i was in wales my commute was about 8 miles and about 10mins, i was
> by far the longest distance traveller a few walked one biked, a most
> drove the 2 to 6 miles, these days my distance varies though tends to be
> less, but since this is london, i can spend longer waiting at lights
> than my orginal coummute.

Sympathies.

### Re: More bikes fewer cars.

JNugent wrote:
> I suppose it's helpful for calculating fuel
> consumption, etc, though why anyone would be interested in doing that
> for a fleet of privately-owned vehicles isn't obvious.

Changing fuel consumption is a guide to changing efficiency in the engine's
operation, i.e. if fuel consumption rises without a change in driving style
then there's a good chnace that the engine isn't working correctly.

### Re: More bikes fewer cars.

Brimstone wrote:

> JNugent wrote:

>> I suppose it's helpful for calculating fuel
>> consumption, etc, though why anyone would be interested in doing that
>> for a fleet of privately-owned vehicles isn't obvious.

> Changing fuel consumption is a guide to changing efficiency in the engine's
> operation, i.e. if fuel consumption rises without a change in driving style
> then there's a good chnace that the engine isn't working correctly.

That's true.

I think it unlikely that a group of car-owners would organise a "get
more mileage to the gallon" club on a workplace basis - but perhaps it
would be a good idea.

### Re: More bikes fewer cars.

JNugent wrote:
> Brimstone wrote:
>
>> JNugent wrote:

>
>>> I suppose it's helpful for calculating fuel
>>> consumption, etc, though why anyone would be interested in doing
>>> that for a fleet of privately-owned vehicles isn't obvious.

>
>> Changing fuel consumption is a guide to changing efficiency in the
>> engine's operation, i.e. if fuel consumption rises without a change
>> in driving style then there's a good chnace that the engine isn't
>> working correctly.

>
> That's true.
>
> I think it unlikely that a group of car-owners would organise a "get
> more mileage to the gallon" club on a workplace basis - but perhaps it
> would be a good idea.

Agreed, on both points. A little bit of friendly rivalry does much to raise
standards.

### Re: More bikes fewer cars.

JNugent <JN@NPPTG.com> writes:

> Daniel Barlow wrote:
>> JNugent <JN@NPPTG.com> writes:
>>
>>> The "average number of legs being less than two" quote is a well-known
>>> example of how the mean can be misleading - even when perfectly
>>> calculated.

>>
>> Misleading to morons, perhaps. Anyone with GCSE maths should have no
>> trouble with it.

>
> So why is the example (and the question to which it relates) misleading you?

As the post you quote is to my memory (and google groups seems to
agree) the first I've made on this thread, I am curious as to the
basis on which you think I have been misled.

-dan

### Re: More bikes fewer cars.

Conor wrote:

> Brimstone says...

>>> I think it unlikely that a group of car-owners would organise a "get
>>> more mileage to the gallon" club on a workplace basis - but perhaps it
>>> would be a good idea.

>> Agreed, on both points. A little bit of friendly rivalry does much to raise
>> standards.

> At the haulage firm my mate works at, they put up a list of who has got
> what fuel economy in a month and they also pay a "fuel bonus" which is
> also put on this list. My mate got £166 last month.

> I've seen similar things at some TNT places in past years as well.

I think we were thinking of private car (commuting) mpg, but what you
describe sounds like an absolutely wonderful idea.

### Re: More bikes fewer cars.

Adrian wrote:
> Conor <conor_turton@hotmail.com> gurgled happily, sounding much like
> they were saying:
>
>>> I think we were thinking of private car (commuting) mpg, but what
>>> you describe sounds like an absolutely wonderful idea.

>
>> Could work. Get everyone to shove a quid in a pot and he who has the
>> best, wins the pot.

>
> Not really. Even where vehicles are identical, economy is very route
> dependent.

I expect a handicapping system could be worked out (just don't ask me to do
it).

### Re: More bikes fewer cars.

Brimstone wrote:
> Adrian wrote:
>> Conor <conor_turton@hotmail.com> gurgled happily, sounding much like
>> they were saying:
>>
>>>> I think we were thinking of private car (commuting) mpg, but what
>>>> you describe sounds like an absolutely wonderful idea.
>>> Could work. Get everyone to shove a quid in a pot and he who has the
>>> best, wins the pot.

>> Not really. Even where vehicles are identical, economy is very route
>> dependent.

>
> I expect a handicapping system could be worked out (just don't ask me to do
> it).

The best improvement (over already-established historical figures) could
win.

### Re: More bikes fewer cars.

JNugent wrote:
> Nick Finnigan wrote:
>
>> JNugent wrote:
>>
>>> Nick Finnigan wrote:
>>>
>>>> JNugent wrote:
>>>>
>>>>> Nick Finnigan wrote:
>>>>>
>>>>>> JNugent wrote:
>>>
>>>>>>> So it's possible that no-one travels 8.7 miles to work (in the
>>>>>>> same way that the average - that is, the mean - number of legs
>>>>>>> per person in the UK is less than two)?
>>>
>>>>>> No.
>>>
>>>>> Sorry.. "no" to what?
>>>
>>>> "No" is the answer to your question, quoted above.
>>>
>>> I think we must be at cross purposes.
>>>
>>> Taken at face value and applied to the question, your "no" could be
>>> taken as a denial of the fact that a mean commuting distance of (say)
>>> 8.7 miles might mean that no-one actually has a commuting distance of
>>> 8.7 miles. I don't think that can be what you mean.

>>
>>
>> No, I did not deny any fact.

>
> So what were you saying "no" to?

(in answer to) Your question, quoted above.

### Re: More bikes fewer cars.

Daniel Barlow <dan@telent.net> wrote:

> JNugent <JN@NPPTG.com> writes:
>
> > The "average number of legs being less than two" quote is a well-known
> > example of how the mean can be misleading - even when perfectly
> > calculated.

>
> Misleading to morons, perhaps. Anyone with GCSE maths should have no
> trouble with it.

I suspect many of us could name several non-morons with GCSE Maths who
sometimes are misled by the use of an arithmetic mean. Many non-morons
have better and more interesting things to do with their lives than to
bother with statistics.

Cheers,
Luke

--
Red Rose Ramblings, the diary of an Essex boy in
exile in Lancashire <http://www.shrimper.org.uk>

### Re: More bikes fewer cars.

"Zog The Undeniable" <hrothgar19@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:g0m42k\$1g7k\$1@energise.enta.net...
>
> The big problem is that we've become used to long commutes which are
> impossible by bike.

Yes, bikes are clearly not the answer.
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