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January 03, 2013

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Although I agree with most of what is said in this essay, I would like to point out that most of us social scientists were trained to use SPSS back in the old days. For many of us using SPSS is simply a carry-over from the days of mainframe computers.

This phenomenon was observed at least as early as Lotus 1-2-3, and made manifest with Excel. Barely, or un-, trained "support staff" became quantitative analysts, thanks to the Spreadsheet Mind Meld. We continue to pay the price. I've always suspected that The Great Recession resulted from the empowerment of the clueless.

For the record, I started with BMD-P, and have used virtually every package save Stata since. R is my 7% solution of choice these days.

R: You are willing to invest in learning something difficult. You do not care about aesthetics, only availability of packages and getting results quickly.

Yeah, everyone who knows me would sign off on that one!

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