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November 08, 2005

It Ain't Necessarily So (Conclusion)

The conclusion summarized the book-- of course.
The major points I got out of it were these:

"In the policy arena data are judged less by whether they are true or false than by whether they are useful or not."

Politicians and journalists alike want to make statistics and stories serve their own purpose.

"It follows that all parties in a political dispute like to proclaim the existence of scientific backing for their proposals. The production of numbers seems to justify politicians' claims, while obscuring any weakness in their arguments."

Journalists want a story that grabs the readers attention, and must fight the temptation to dramatize information.

We, as a news-reading society, must realize that some statistics and information can be falsified. Through miscommunication, corporate and political agenda, and false interpretation, information attianed through the news can be corrupt-- and is not necessarily credible.

Posted by DavidDenninger at November 8, 2005 01:21 PM


David, I agree with what you said about the people of America needing to "realize that some statistics and information can be falsified." Before I read this book, I really got excited when I'd hear statistics. I'd go tell everyone how amazing this is or how scarry that is. Now that we've read this book, I can't help but question every statistic that someone says. I find myself doing it with my family and my friends as well. I can't stop. Somebody save me!!! Why can't our society just be trustworthy? Then we wouldn't have any problems.

Posted by: Andy LoNigro at November 8, 2005 09:00 PM

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