By Ron Murdock
Several years ago I came to the conclusion that every statistic is either pulled out of a hat or made up on the spot.
I don’t know how anybody can take statistics seriously as it doesn’t reflect the how and whys on how real life operates. To paraphrase Sturgeon’s Revelation, 90% of statistics is crud. Especially when it comes out of the mouths of spin doctors. But this isn’t exactly a newsflash as spin doctors barf out the party line.
Statistics can be used or misused in any number of ways.
One can read anything into them like they can with horoscopes or psychic predictions. Say 85% of people are for or against something – plus or minus 3% – nine times out of ten doesn’t make any sense. In fact it sounds out right confusing to me.
We’re all familiar with the verbal manure spread around during election time. A common trait of politicians is speaking from both sides of their mouths. How would things change if a politician or statistician said what was really on their mind or where they stood on an issue? But I can dream I guess. Statistics never say anything significant. In fact they could be used to hide what statistcians don’t want revealed. The truth is out there, so how about setting it free and see what would happen.
Instead of saying: “What do the numbers say” how about saying; “What’s the reality of the situation say?”. Statistics aren’t a reliable method of predicting the future or coming trends. Real life can’t be hidden away anywhere. Next time you hear results from the latest statistical study it’s likely to be rubbish.
So do your own thinking and draw your own conclusions. You won’t be right every time as it’s more important to be honest. Statistics are rigid, you don’t have to be.