“The story of a lump of sugar is a whole lesson in political economy, politics and morality,” - Auguste Cochin

Edurado Galeano, a journalist and activist, in the first half of his book The Open Veins of Latin America, gives what is ostensibly a history of Spanish and Portuguese colonization up until the wave of independence movements which swept over Latin America in the mid 19th century. However, the book is not an academic history, nor is it a history primarily concerned with understanding the details of the centuries it covers. Instead, the project Galeano engages is based in the deconstruction of power and political economy by way of historical analysis.

Despite the ubiquity of the t-distribution in classrooms, it often simply with only with one piece of advice: "use the \( t \)-distribution for small sample sizes and the normal distribution (a \(Z \) distribution) for larger ones". Supposedly, according to every introductory statistics class, a t-distribution is supposed to work better because of of mythical fatter tails.

Let us deconstruct this ubiquitous distribution a little bit, and hopefully learn what these mythical fat tails do.