Correlation gets a bad rap

Correlation has been getting a bad rap lately.  Just because correlation does not imply causation may not be all that important for the purposes of prediction.

My favorite Correlation/Causation Paradox (CCP) is that ZIP codes with lots of churches tend to have more crime.  If your purpose is to prevent crime, you could probably do worse than to use the number of churches to decide how to deploy your police resources.

If on the other hand, you decide that the best way to reduce crime is to destroy churches, you have CCP issues.

Just think of correlation is a black box, like neural nets.  Not so good for explanation.  Good for prediction!


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