... pv.mm.st? What is it with the funny domain?

Oh. That.

Competing theories have been put forward.

  1. One theory says it is a secret plot to eliminate null hypothesis significance testing from the great nation of São Tomé and Príncipe, making it the first officially NHST‑free nation on Earth. The machinators would have made billions of dobras in the cocoa export business, which they would be investing in their plot. They would be supporters of local domain registrars, hence the st.

  2. Another theory says it actually stands for Party for the Validation of a Multimethodological Statistical Toolbox — an emerging global coalition between several hitherto slightly inimical groups, among which the prominent Reformer Party, the Justifiers Network, and the Abandonment Advantage Alliance.

    The group is said to have been united under the cause of, quote, “fighting the delusion of a universal tool for scientific inference”, end quote. The coalition would have been listed as a Dutch communist group after several independent cryptic conversations about hammer and sickle cows were intercepted.

  3. Others say this is obviously silly, and it's just that in the same way that .tv is used for television and .dj by disk jockeys, .st is now used by the hundreds thousands millions billions of people who care about the issue of significance testing. This, they say, would be related to the phenomenon of pdevaluation that made the headlines after the burst of the “Nil-Null Bubble”.

    The fall from grace of this once popular statistical currency would have reached Zimbabwean‑dollar proportions after a certain Mr. Hence Fort, an elegant gentleman of unknown affiliations, sparked debates about promotion of high-grade cumulative science and healthier responses to scientific uncertainty.

    Meanwhile, activists for other prominent epidemiological causes were said to be voicing growing concern as they see trillions in fungible funds fleeing toward the eradication of significance testing.

  4. Others suggested instead that pv would simply stand for p‑values, st for significance testing, and mm for... well, competing theories have been put forward.

    • A secret plot from Burma. A group would have launched a MITM (Myanmar-in-the-middle) attack to outmaneuver its nemesis São Tomé and Príncipe. Myanmar (sources say) would be investing trillions of kyats to become the first officially NHST‑free nation on Earth. “Oh, so did you ban tobacco, Mr. Bhutan? Did you ban chewing gums, Mrs. Singapore? Pffffff. We're going to ban significance testing. What about that?”

    • A secret sponsorship from an undisclosed manufacturer of colorful chocolate candies. It is said to stem from a dissatisfaction with health news. Apparently, once in a while chocolate is said to be unhealthy, which jeopardizes sales until it is said to actually be healthy. This messes up their cashflow so much (sources say), that the board decided to consult the brightest minds.
      — What is this? How can something first cause cancer, then prevent cancer?!
      — I'm afraid we may have a case of... of significance testing, sir.
      — And how can we end this nonsense?
      — I have contacts in São Tomé and Príncipe that might be of help, sir. With your permission, sir.

    • A secret tripartite African coalition of independent scientists from Mamou (Guinea), Mombasa (Kenya) and Mitooma (Uganda) would be researching the use of magic mushrooms for smoking cessation. Their innovative “two-tier P‑based lexicographic decision rule” is said to consist of sequentially testing 134 mushroom species from P. acutipilea to P. zapotecorum and recording every “significant” p, which they will gladly publish at the rate of one paper per successful p. So far (sources say), no bad trips have been reported by any of the cows in their control groups, although cortisol levels in their pee suggest something has been stressing them.

      The coalition is said to be backed by secret sponsors from a distant region, who would be determined to suppress the nicotine gum industry. Nobody really knows who those secret sponsors would be, or their peculiar motivations for suppressing tobacco-related chewable products. There's speculation that their victory would deter a regional adversary, which in turn would increase the chances of an undisclosed allied African nation getting ahead in a statistics‑related affair.

Given the uncertainty surrounding the case, a diverse team was assigned to study it. A heated debate ensued when someone asked what the null hypothesis would be. A subgroup scoffed, adding a patronizing comment about competing hypotheses. Then someone mumbled something about naïve priors. Another heated debate ensued, this time about the ontological foundations and epistemological merits of subjectivity. Or something.

At this point, a heretofore silent member calmly suggested they should all shut up, come up with predictions of thus far unobserved observations, and then go verify them. This was met with an awkwardly long period of silence, which finally gave place to utterances of approval and some nodding directed at one another. Satisfied, the proposer smiled, sat back, reached into his pocket, and proceeded to unwrap a piece of white gum acquired in a far-flung country. If not for one attentive observer wearing discrete Santomean attire, the gesture would have passed unnoticed.


Any similarities between this fictional story and actual mammals, currencies, organizations, caloric snacks, and agricultural crops is entirely coincidental (p = 0.047) and fruit of your conspiracy-sensitive, apophenic, low-specificity imagination. No cows or statisticians were harmed by animal or significance tests during the coverage of this story. Apes have much to learn with cows; when anxious, cows ruminate less, not more (this claim is backed by a p with many zeros). None of the facts reported herein are factual — unless they pass peer review with a tiny p, then they are really real. “Significance testing” is terminologically sufficient to fully describe this genre of literature; suffix qualifiers such as “fiction” or “fantasy” are implied, redundant, and therefore proscribed. This text may be unsuitable for people whose inability to detect and appreciate puns, sarcasm, and statistical uprisings is reproducible. Nothing here is to be construed as recommendation of unlawful supernatural fungi, regardless of how harmful they are when compared to commonly abused substances such as alcohol, social media, and significance testing. Smoking kills, and nothing here is to be construed as its promotion. If you smoke and want to stop, talk to your doctor. Discuss about nicotine gum from the Northwest of Southeast Asia, and she will tell you all about it. Chocolate is a fantastic food, especially the organic variety sourced from the Gulf of Guinea. You should definitely buy copious amounts of it, as long as your actual consumption is kept strictly below the universal fixed threshold that could cause your premature demise. Since studies didn't replicate, there's acrimonious debate of what that threshold would be, but a stubborn group swears that “it exists and is significant”.