Numbers, just like words, can be used to tell lies or to tell the truth
Statistics could prove anything, true or false, which is why many people say they don't trust them. Moreover, in 1954, a book called How to Lie with Statistics was published, in which the American journalist Darrell Huff provided a series of examples to demonstrate how the data we are presented can be untrue or distorted, in order to warn against certain tricks that are used, even on a commercial level. Numbers, however, represent an objective reality that we can and must trust, provided we know how to read them and what questions to ask before interpreting their meaning: to help with this, Tim Harford has compiled a list of ten rules that can help us make sense of statistics and use them to better understand the world we live in. The list is based on the following principles: search your feelings, ponder your personal experience, avoid premature enumeration, take a step back and enjoy the view, get the backstory, ask who is missing, demand transparency when the computer says no, don’t take statistical bedrock for granted, remember that misinformation can also be beautiful, and keep an open mind.
By applying these daily rules, we can develop a greater awareness of the information we come into contact with, learning to distinguish between which part of it is accurate and which is not, and begin to broaden our perspective to a more truthful, complete picture of any given situation.
The key ideas of "The Data Detective"
Try 4books Premium for free!