## R^2

Roughly a year ago, I made some noises on this blog about wanting to learn R. Not surprisingly, I didn’t do it.

A year later I’m a government scientist with some statistics to do, and I’m once again thinking of learning me some R. In the interim, I’ve received an email assuring me *“you could get up and running with it within a day, I think. Master it in a week or two”*. So I download the package — it’s free! — install it, and boot it up. I’m looking at a command line console labelled the “GUI” (ha ha), with the following help text:

“Type ‘demo()’ for some demos”

Demos! Perfect! Let’s see some concrete examples of how to do statistics in R-land! So I type *demo()* into the “GUI” prompt, and receive the following output:

Demos in package ‘base’:

is.things: Explore some properties of R objects and is.FOO() functions. Not for newbies!

recursion: Using recursion for adaptive integration

scoping: An illustration of lexical scoping.Demos in package ‘graphics’:

Hershey: Tables of the characters in the Hershey vector fonts

Japanese: Tables of the Japanese characters in the Hershey vector fonts

graphics: A show of some of R’s graphics capabilities

image: The image-like graphics builtins of R

persp: Extended persp() examples

plotmath: Examples of the use of mathematics annotationDemos in package ‘stats’:

glm.vr: Some glm() examples from V&R with several predictors

lm.glm: Some linear and generalized linear modelling examples from ‘An Introduction to Statistical Modelling’ by Annette Dobson

nlm: Nonlinear least-squares using nlm()

smooth: ‘Visualize’ steps in Tukey’s smoothersUse ‘demo(package = .packages(all.available = TRUE))’ to list the demos in all *available* packages.

Tables of the characters in the Hershey vector fonts? demo(package = .packages(all.available = TRUE))? Some of the ‘stats’ packages sounded like they might make sense, so I tried to run them, but I couldn’t figure out how. I love the idea of open source bare-knuckle computing. I wish I loved it in practice.