Cynthia's Interests

The world as it unfolds - told from an African American woman's perspective...

Thursday, December 15, 2005

There are three kinds of lies!

Lies, damned lies, and statistics
Mark Twain

How to Lie with Statistics by Darrell Huff

Huff explains "how to look a phoney statistic in the eye and face it down; and no less important, how to recognize sound and usable data in [the] wilderness of fraud". Look for bias, he advises, conscious and unconscious; find out "who-says-so" (if an "O.K. name" is cited, make sure it stands behind the information, not merely beside it); ask how the authority knows; try to find out what's missing; check whether the raw figure justifies the conclusion drawn and, most straightforwardly of all, ask yourself if the "statistics make sense".

There's a lot of misinformation out here, therefore, it would be prudent for anyone to at least try and analyzed any information before they make a final decision to believe or reject that said information. I guess we should check, cross check, and re-check all information.

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