Adventure Academy, Bad Graphs, Then Suddenly, A College Update

I saw an interesting headlines this morning from Massively OP, Adventure Academy is an ‘educational massively multiplayer online game’ launching May 1. This caught my attention because my oldest child’s class has somehow managed to secure “member” status for all of them on Prodigy, and my middle child was quite upset about this. If I can find a better video I may show it to them this evening and see how they react. The 45 second one seemed unhelpful, though I watched it without audio.

I’m certainly interested in taking a look at it when it rolls around next month. I’m not extremely familiar with most of the other products of this type, like ABCMouse which is from the same developer, but my children have used all of them at some point. I’m sure  you’ll hear about it at some point in the future.

I also came across a cool article from The Economist, Mistakes, we’ve drawn a few. It’s a look at some of the charts and graphs they’ve published in the past and how they can be improved in a variety of manners. I learned a decent amount myself, as I hadn’t realized just how easily a dual-scale chart can be manipulated to imply a correlation. Not that I’m one to talk. I look at some of the data I gathered at work five years ago and see common errors.

One of them is treating an exploratory gathering of data as evidence that a correlation exists. I tracked as many variables as I could think of, compared everything until I found a correlation then pointed at it and called it causation. This… this is bad science.

Of course, there’s nothing wrong with exploratory data, as long is it’s taken in context, and we all live and learn. I did have the sense to continue watching those variables, though not exactly tracking them as closely. With a year of data most of my correlations evaporated, or at least could be stated to not be directly causal. To this day I believe there are other unknown variables at work and I’ve learned to live with the fact that I cannot predict or control it. It simply is whatever it is and I must work around it.

In totally unrelated non-news, I finally and amusingly received an official acceptance letter from the local college I had applied to. I had learned by chance that I had been accepted and they simply didn’t get in any hurry to notify me. I had gone to check and make sure they received and updated the last of my immunization paperwork and they didn’t need anything else and saw that it had changed to “Decision made” and “Institutional Acceptance.” I got doubly curious and wondered if the listed username, email, and password would work and they did. It would appear they accepted me some three weeks or so before the acceptance letter went out. To their credit, I’m sure they just batch mail these periodically because nothing in this process gets in a hurry. I am not a patient person when I’m motivated and it’s been driving me up with wall.

I’ll probably call the financial aid department this Friday and see if they’ve received, reviewed, processed, or whatever. They haven’t made a habit of keeping me updated, but I know it’s been processed and sent. Assuming that turns out satisfactory, I must simply pay the $40 fee associated with their mandatory orientation at which point I’ll meet with the assigned adviser and actually register for classes. Yay? Of course, that orientation isn’t until mid-May, which seems like forever. I’ll have written some 35 more blog posts between now and then. Having arrived, of course, this post will seem like yesterday.

I need to wrap this up and wander off though. Maybe head over Wilhelm’s EVE Online April Update post. I’m cautiously optimistic that I can read it without hearing about Brisc Rubal.

Y’all take care, be excellent to each other.

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