Written before #JSM2013 actually starts, so it’s not about your talk there.

Also, this is about deliberate choices by the presenter, and specifically about statistics research talks.

*“The Overgeneralized Beta Distribution”*. There is a place for new parametric distributions, but it’s a fairly small place and mostly occupied by distributions derived from underlying substantive knowledge.*“Asymptotics of an uninteresting estimator”*. If there were a novel mathematical idea this would be fine, but otherwise we know its asymptotic behavior and roughly why it happens, and we can’t read your notation fast enough anyway.*“A simple mathematical solution to a complex non-mathematical problem”*Includes, but is not limited to, straw-man Bayesian/Frequentist talks.*“Small improvements from heroic assumptions”*. Yes, you can do second-order Cornish-Fisher expansions, but do you believe the distributional assumptions hold*that*accurately?*“My model takes five pages!”*Predominantly, but not exclusively, a Bayesian problem. If you’re solving a real problem don’t fill all your slides with model and proposal distributions. If you’re not? Eh.*“Implausible results from inadequate data.”*You battled strong confounding, non-classical measurement error, and 90% missing data, and used clever statistical techniques to demonstrate that the conventional wisdom on health and exercise was completely wrong.*“Uninteresting results from inadequate data”*You battled strong confounding, non-classical measurement error, and 90% missing data, and and used clever statistical techniques to demonstrate that the conventional wisdom on health and exercise was completely correct.*“I did an analysis.”*That’s good for your clients or collaborators, but unless it helps us do one, this isn’t the right venue.*“Mine is faster than yours”*Useful if it’s true and the problem is computation-constrained, but it’s not, and it’s not.*“Small-sample efficiency comparisons”*These can’t be comprehensive, so they are only useful when the scope of the real question is very narrow. Is there a reason you know the treatment has exactly the same effect on everyone?*“You need little teeny eyes for reading little teeny print”*And I left my opera glasses behind.*“It worked for Dr Ishihara”*He was actually*trying*to make his slides into vision test.

*“I did an analysis”* is the least annoying of these, since the background is often interesting and the analysis sensible. It’s also one of the few that would be a good talk in the right setting.

My own contribution to #3 is here, but in partial defense (a) it was on a web page, not at a conference, (b) I was a student, and (c) it’s less over-the-top and less incorrect than typical for the genre.

It’s possible that my JSM poster will be a #9 failure, but I think it’s a setting where users actually are computationally constrained and there isn’t an easier way.