I hate SQL. This is probably completely irrational, like that guy I turned down for a date in junior high school who my mom always tells me founded a very successful company and is making piles of money. No wait, it wasn’t irrational, he always tried to copy off me in Algebra, plus he was just plain boring. I think that is my problem with SQL, too, boredom. There is only so much left join, right join, outer, inner and dataset.variable I can tolerate before my brain tries to escape through my right ear just to get away from monotony. I have met people who love SAS. I have meet people who love SPSS. I have even met people who love Stata. Nobody loves SQL. They are just with it for the money.

What practical use is Mokken’s H, really? Yes, it is true that the maximum phi is determined by the marginal distributions, and if you get a phi of .20, for certain distributions, that might be the maximum you can get, but so what? Maybe I was scarred in my youth by reading some of the articles on bias in mental testing where those who were so determined to prove that intelligence was genetic corrected correlations for attenuation, sometimes to as high as 1.20 and then averaged the corrected correlations!

From a purely theoretical standpoint now, it’s completely different. If you are interested in the analysis of binary  data – and how could you not be – you’ll like this paper by David Armstrong, at the University of Oxford. I like it because he is very sensible. He doesn’t take a stance like “You should never use phi, never analyze bivariate data in a factor analysis, ” etc. He takes a very measured view, which I like because really, so few things in the world are always true, except brain-dead obvious facts like you should not correct correlations to be above 1.0 ! (Clearly, I have still not gotten over that.) I have several SPSS workshops coming up. I think I will import the data from our evaluation of after-school programs to illustrate just how much the phi and tetrachoric coefficients move around when the marginal distributions change a lot. It’s a tough job, but somebody has to do it.

captnobviousI can’t see a lot of people who are experienced SAS programmers switching to Enterprise Guide. Who I can see using it is people who use SQL, ACCESS, Excel or who are just starting to use statistics in their education or profession.

Hello, my name is Catain Obvious…. All that Data Step stuff you were missing and could not find in SAS Enterprise Guide? It was cleverly hidden in the menu under the word DATA.

“Must be a new meaning of the word ‘filter’ with which I was previously unfamiliar.”

Okay, maybe not so obvious is the fact that you need to go under the Data menu to Filter and Query to add two datasets together. I thought filter meant to hold back certain elements.  Oh well, I guess it makes as much sense as going to the start menu to shut down your computer.

So, if you want to compute variables, recode variables, add tables or join tables, go to Data > Filter and Query.

Did I mention that I hate SQL ?


2 Responses to “Completely Random”

  1. Bob Muenchen on January 22nd, 2009 8:18 am

    The link to Armstrong’s paper is messed up. It should be:


  2. A SAS blog for the rest of us. on January 28th, 2009 11:06 am

    SAS Enterprise Guide for SAS programmers…

    In her completely random blog entry, AnnMaria says:I can’t see a lot of people who are experienced SAS programmers switching to Enterprise Guide.Yeah, we get that a lot. SAS programmers sometimes resist adopting SAS Enterprise Guide citing these (pa…

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