Statistics And Lies Quotes

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There are three types of lies -- lies, damn lies, and statistics.
Benjamin Disraeli
There was a girl, and her uncle sold her. Put like that it seems so simple. No man, proclaimed Donne, is an island, and he was wrong. If we were not islands, we would be lost, drowned in each other's tragedies. We are insulated (a word that means, literally, remember, made into an island) from the tragedy of others, by our island nature and by the repetitive shape and form of the stories. The shape does not change: there was a human being who was born, lived and then by some means or other, died. There. You may fill in the details from your own experience. As unoriginal as any other tale, as unique as any other life. Lives are snowflakes- forming patterns we have seen before, as like one another as peas in a pod (and have you ever looked at peas in a pod? I mean, really looked at them? There's not a chance you'll mistake one for another, after a minute's close inspection) but still unique. Without individuals we see only numbers, a thousand dead, a hundred thousand dead, "casualties may rise to a million." With individual stories, the statistics become people- but even that is a lie, for the people continue to suffer in numbers that themselves are numbing and meaningless. Look, see the child's swollen, swollen belly and the flies that crawl at the corners of his eyes, this skeletal limbs: will it make it easier for you to know his name, his age, his dreams, his fears? To see him from the inside? And if it does, are we not doing a disservice to his sister, who lies in the searing dust beside him, a distorted distended caricature of a human child? And there, if we feel for them, are they now more important to us than a thousand other children touched by the same famine, a thousand other young lives who will soon be food for the flies' own myriad squirming children? We draw our lines around these moments of pain, remain upon our islands, and they cannot hurt us. They are covered with a smooth, safe, nacreous layer to let them slip, pearllike, from our souls without real pain. Fiction allows us to slide into these other heads, these other places, and look out through other eyes. And then in the tale we stop before we die, or we die vicariously and unharmed, and in the world beyond the tale we turn the page or close the book, and we resume our lives. A life that is, like any other, unlike any other. And the simple truth is this: There was a girl, and her uncle sold her.
Neil Gaiman (American Gods (American Gods, #1))
How easy it is for so many of us today to be undoubtedly full of information yet fully deprived of accurate information.
Criss Jami (Healology)
a difference is a difference only if it makes a difference.
Darrell Huff (How to Lie with Statistics)
With enough mental gymnastics, just about any fact can become misshapen in favor to one's confirmation bias.
Criss Jami (Healology)
It’s easy to lie with statistics, but it’s hard to tell the truth without them.
Charles Wheelan (Naked Statistics: Stripping the Dread from the Data)
I reflected how many satisfied, happy people there really are! What a suffocating force it is! You look at life: the insolence and idleness of the strong, the ignorance and brutishness of the weak, incredible poverty all about us, overcrowding, degeneration, drunkenness, hypocrisy, lying... Yet all is calm and stillness in the houses and in the streets; of the fifty thousand living in a town, there s not one who would cry out, who would give vent to his indignation aloud. We see the people going to market for provisions, eating by day, sleeping by night, talking their silly nonsense, getting married, growing old, serenely escorting their dead to the cemetery; but we do not see and we do not hear those who suffer, and what is terrible in life goes on somewhere behind the scenes...Everything is so quiet and peaceful, and nothing protests but mute statistics: so many people gone out of their minds, so many gallons of vodka drunk, so many children dead from malnutrition... And this order of things s evidently necessary; evidently the happy man only feels at ease because the unhappy bear their burdens in silence, and without that silence happiness would be impossible.
Anton Chekhov (Ward No. 6 and Other Stories)
The secret language of statistics, so appealing in a fact-minded culture, is employed to sensationalize, inflate, confuse, and oversimplify.
Darrell Huff (How to Lie with Statistics)
A well-wrapped statistic is better than Hitler’s “big lie” it misleads, yet it cannot be pinned on you.
Darrell Huff (How to Lie with Statistics)
It ain’t so much the things we don’t know that get us in trouble. It’s the things we know that ain’t so. —Artemus Ward
Darrell Huff (How to Lie with Statistics)
Supervisors routinely fabricated statistics on agricultural production and industrial output because they were so fearful of telling their own bosses the truth. Lies were built upon lies, all the way to the top, so it is in fact conceivable that Kim Il-sung himself didn't know when the economy crashed
Barbara Demick (Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea)
proper treatment will cure a cold in seven days, but left to itself a cold will hang on for a week.
Darrell Huff (How to Lie with Statistics)
Flo especially took me in hand. When I felt I had to prove the existence of discrimination with statistics, for instance, she pulled me aside. 'If you're lying in the ditch with a truck on your ankle,' she said patiently, 'you don't send someone to the library to find out how much the truck weighs. You get it off!
Gloria Steinem (My Life on the Road)
I opened the fire door to four lips none of which were mine kissing tightened my belt around my hips where your hands were missing and stepped out into the cold collar high under the slate grey sky the air was smoking and the streets were dry and I wasn't joking when I said Good Bye magazine quality men talking on the corner French, no less much less of them then us so why do I feel like something's been rearranged? you know, taken out of context I must seem so strange killed a cockroach so big it left a puddle of pus on the wall when you and I are lying in bed you don't seem so tall I'm singing now because my tear ducts are too tired and my brain is disconnected but my heart is wired I make such a good statistic someone should study me now somebody's got to be interested in how I feel just 'cause I'm here and I'm real oh, how I miss substituting the conclusion to confrontation with a kiss and oh, how I miss walking up to the edge and jumping in like I could feel the future on your skin I opened the fire door to four lips none of which were mine kissing I opened the fire door
Ani DiFranco
Statistics say that a range of mental disorders affects more than one in four Americans in any given year. That means millions of Americans are totally batshit. but having perused the various tests available that they use to determine whether you're manic depressive. OCD, schizo-affective, schizophrenic, or whatever, I'm surprised the number is that low. So I have gone through a bunch of the available tests, and I've taken questions from each of them, and assembled my own psychological evaluation screening which I thought I'd share with you. So, here are some of the things that they ask to determine if you're mentally disordered 1. In the last week, have you been feeling irritable? 2. In the last week, have you gained a little weight? 3. In the last week, have you felt like not talking to people? 4. Do you no longer get as much pleasure doing certain things as you used to? 5. In the last week, have you felt fatigued? 6. Do you think about sex a lot? If you don't say yes to any of these questions either you're lying, or you don't speak English, or you're illiterate, in which case, I have the distinct impression that I may have lost you a few chapters ago.
Carrie Fisher (Wishful Drinking)
Without individuals we see only numbers: a thousand dead, a hundred thousand dead, “casualties may rise to a million.” With individual stories, the statistics become people - but even that is a lie, for the people continue to suffer in numbers that themselves are numbing and meaningless.
Neil Gaiman
Fairy tales lie just as much as statistics do, but sometimes you can find a grain of truth in them.
Sergei Lukyanenko (Night Watch (Night Watch, #1))
It is easy to lie with statistics; it is easier to lie without them.
Frederick Mosteller
Be careful of averages and how they’re applied. One way that they can fool you is if the average combines samples from disparate populations. This can lead to absurd observations such as: "On average, humans have one testicle.
Daniel J. Levitin (A Field Guide to Lies: Critical Thinking in the Information Age)
IF YOU can’t prove what you want to prove, demonstrate something else and pretend that they are the same thing. In the daze that follows the collision of statistics with the human mind, hardly anybody will notice the difference. The semiattached figure is a device guaranteed to stand you in good stead. It always has.
Darrell Huff (How to Lie With Statistics)
How many happy, satisfied people there are, after all, I said to myself. What an overwhelming force! Just consider this life--the insolence and idleness of the strong, the ignorance and bestiality of the weak, all around intolerable poverty, cramped dwellings, degeneracy, drunkenness, hypocrisy, lying...and yet peace and order apparently prevail in all those homes and in the streets. Of the fifty thousand inhabitants of a town, not one will be found to cry out, to proclaim his indignation aloud. We see those who go to the market to buy food, who eat in the daytime and sleep at night, who prattle away, marry, grow old, carry their dead to the cemeteries. But we neither hear nor see those who suffer, and the terrible things in life are played out behind the scenes. All is calm and quiet, and statistics, which are dumb, protest: so many have gone mad, so many barrels of drink have been consumed, so many children died of malnutrition...and apparently this is as it should be. Apparently those who are happy can only enjoy themselves because the unhappy bear their burdens in silence, and but for this silence happiness would be impossible. It is a kind of universal hypnosis. There ought to be a man with a hammer behind the door of every happy man, to remind him by his constant knocks that there are unhappy people, and that happy as he himself may be, life will sooner or later show him its claws, catastrophe will overtake him--sickness, poverty, loss--and nobody will see it, just as he now neither sees nor hears the misfortunes of others. But there is no man with a hammer, the happy man goes on living and the petty vicissitudes of life touch him lightly, like the wind in an aspen-tree, and all is well.
Anton Chekhov
So, I convinced myself that, because the statistical likelihood of something happening in real life exactly the way I imagined it was so low, if I imagined the worst possible things in vivid detail, I could mathematically reduce the odds of them happening. I convinced myself that my brain had power over the probability projections of the universe. I’d lie awake at night thinking about all the worst stuff that could happen like it was my job, and I don’t know if I ever really broke the habit.
Casey McQuiston (One Last Stop)
He could not believe that any of them might actually hit somebody. If one did, what a nowhere way to go: killed by accident; slain not as an individual but by sheer statistical probability, by the calculated chance of searching fire, even as he himself might be at any moment. Mathematics! Mathematics! Algebra! Geometry! When 1st and 3d Squads came diving and tumbling back over the tiny crest, Bell was content to throw himself prone, press his cheek to the earth, shut his eyes, and lie there. God, oh, God! Why am I here? Why am I here? After a moment's thought, he decided he better change it to: why are we here. That way, no agency of retribution could exact payment from him for being selfish.
James Jones (The Thin Red Line)
Hardly anybody is exactly normal in any way, just as one hundred tossed pennies will rarely come up exactly fifty heads and fifty tails.
Darrell Huff (How to Lie With Statistics)
I fire again and again, and none of the bullets come close. "Statistically speaking," the Erudite boy next to me-his name is Will-says, grinning at me, "you should have hit the target at least once by now, even by accident." He is blond, with shaggy hair and a crease between his eyebrows. "Is that so," I say without inflection. "Yeah," he says. "I think you're actually defying nature." I grit my teeth and turn toward the target, resolving to at least stand still. If I can't muster the first task they give us,how will I ever make it through stage one? I squeeze the trigger,hard, and this time I'm ready for the recoil.It makes my hand jump back,but my feet stay planted.A bullet hole appears at the edge of the target,and I raise an eyebrow at Will. "So you see,I'm right.The stats don't lie," he says. I smile a little.
Veronica Roth (Divergent (Divergent, #1))
The worst of all of this is the lie that condoms really protect against AIDS. The condom failure rate can be as high as 20 percent. Would you get on a plane — or put your children on a plane — if one of five passengers would be killed on the flight? Well, the statistic holds for condoms, folks.
Rush Limbaugh (The Way Things Ought to Be)
Numbers never lie, after all: they simply tell different stories depending on the math of the tellers.
Luis Alberto Urrea (The Devil's Highway: A True Story)
Statistics lie. They are designed to sway opinions. Take the time to keep yourself informed on things that matter.
Steve Maraboli (Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience)
Just look at this life: the insolence and idleness of the strong, the ignorance and brutishness of the weak, impossible poverty all around us, overcrowding, degeneracy, drunkenness, hypocrisy, lies...Yet in all the houses and streets it's quiet, peaceful; of the fifty thousand people who live in town there is not one who would cry out or become loudly indignant. We see those who go to the market to buy food, eat during the day, sleep during the night, who talk their nonsense, get married, grow old, complacently drag their dead to the cemetery; but we don't see or hear those who suffer, and the horrors of life go on somewhere behind the scenes. Everything is quiet, peaceful, and only mute statistics protest: so many gone mad, so many buckets drunk, so many children dead of malnutrition... And this order is obviously necessary; obviously the happy man feels good only because the unhappy bear their burden silently, and without that silence happiness would be impossible. It's a general hypnosis. At the door of every happy, contented man somebody should stand with a little hammer, constantly tapping, to remind him that unhappy people exist, that however happy he may be, sooner or later life will show him its claws, some calamity will befall him--illness, poverty, loss--and nobody will hear or see, just as he doesn't hear or see others now. But there is nobody with a little hammer, the happy man lives on, and the petty cares of life stir him only slightly, as wind stirs an aspen--and everything is fine.
Anton Chekhov (Five Great Short Stories)
The thing is, it’s not like half this country suddenly became Islamophobes because of any single event. But the lies, the rhetoric calling refugees rapists and criminals, the fake news, the false statistics, all gave those well-meaning people who say they’re not bigots cover to vote for a man who openly tweeted his hatred of us on a nearly daily basis.
Samira Ahmed (Internment)
The post-totalitarian system touches people at every step, but it does so with its ideological gloves on. This is why life in the system is so thoroughly permeated with hypocrisy and lies: government by bureaucracy is called popular government; the working class is enslaved in the name of the working class; the complete degradation of the individual is presented as his or her ultimate liberation; depriving people of information is called making it available; the use of power to manipulate is called the public control of power, and the arbitrary abuse of power is called observing the legal code; the repression of culture is called its development; the expansion of imperial influence is presented as support for the oppressed; the lack of free expression becomes the highest form of freedom; farcical elections become the highest form of democracy; banning independent thought becomes the most scientific of world views; military occupation becomes fraternal assistance. Because the regime is captive to its own lies, it must falsify everything. It falsifies the past. It falsifies the present, and it falsifies the future. It falsifies statistics. It pretends not to possess an omnipotent and unprincipled police apparatus. It pretends to respect human rights. It pretends to persecute no one. It pretends to fear nothing. It pretends to pretend nothing.
Václav Havel (The Power of the Powerless: Citizens Against the State in Central-Eastern Europe (Routledge Revivals))
We need individual stories. Without individuals we see only numbers: a thousand dead, a hundred thousand dead, ‘casualties may rise to a million’. With individual stories, the statistics become people – but even then that is a lie, for the people continue to suffer in numbers that themselves are numbing and meaningless. Look, see the child’s swollen, swollen belly, and the flies that crawl at the corners of his eyes, his skeletal limbs: will it make it easier for you to know his name, his age, his dreams, his fears? To see him from the inside? And if it does, are we not doing a disservice to his sister, who lies in the searing dust beside him, a distorted, distended caricature of a human child. And there, if we feel for them, are they now more important to us than a thousand other children touched by the same famine, a thousand other young lives who will soon be food for the flies’ own myriad of squirming children?
Neil Gaiman (American Gods (American Gods, #1))
There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.
Mark Twain
It is easy to lie with statistics. It is hard to tell the truth without it.
Andrejs Dunkels
The statistics were not merely inadequate; they lied. And the lies they told led the people who ran major league baseball teams to misjudge their players, and mismanage their games.
Michael Lewis (Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game)
Just to clear the air, let's note first of all that whatever an intelligence test measures it is not quite the same thing as we usually mean by intelligence. It neglects such important things as leadership and creative imagination. It takes no account of social judgement or musical or artistic or other aptitudes, to say nothing of such personality matters as diligence and emotional balance.
Darrell Huff (How to Lie with Statistics)
The woods had swallowed Lizzie's secrets. She had lived, and she had died, and now, there was no trace of her. Elizabeth Lovett was just a name in a newspaper article, a statistic, someone people used to know.
Chelsea Sedoti (The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett)
We need individual stories. Without individuals we see only numbers: a thousand dead, a hundred thousand dead, “casualties may rise to a million.” With individual stories, the statistics become people—but even that is a lie, for the people continue to suffer in numbers that themselves are numbing and meaningless.
Neil Gaiman (American Gods)
Hitler’s technique of throwing out a torrent of statistics – correct, fabricated, or embellished – to support an argument made countering it extremely difficult. Adam, struck – so he later claimed – by Hitler’s ‘lack of education (Unbildung)’, inability to confront reality, and readiness to resort to lies to get his way, retorted provocatively that if that was the case, there was little point in worrying any longer about the western
Ian Kershaw (Hitler: 1936-1945 Nemesis)
Look at life: the insolence and idleness of the strong, the ignorance and brutishness of the weak, horrible poverty everywhere, overcrowding, degeneration, drunkenness, hypocrisy, lying -- yet in all the houses and on the streets there is peace and quiet; of the fifty thousand people who live in our town there is not one who would cry out, who would vent his indignation aloud. We see the people who go to market, eat by day, sleep by night, who babble nonsense, marry, grow old, good-naturedly drag their feet to the cemetery, but we do not see or hear those who suffer, and what is terrible in life goes on somewhere behind the scenes. Everything is peaceful and quiet and only mute statistics protest.
Anton Chekhov (Gooseberries and Other Stories (The Greatest Short Stories, Pocket Book))
Girls, here's the truth about the Ban Bossy campaign: It's being spearheaded by a privileged group of elite feminists who have a very vested interest in stoking victim politics and exacerbating the gender divide. They actually encourage dependency and groupthink while paying lip service to empowerment and self-determination. They traffic in bogus wage disparity statistics, whitewashing the fact that what's actually left of that dwindling pay gap is due to the deliberate, voluntary choices women in the workforce make.
Michelle Malkin
The purely random sample is the only kind that can be examined with confidence by means of statistical theory, but there is one things wrong with it. It is so difficult and expensive to obtain for many uses that sheer cost eliminates it. A more economical substitute, which is almost universally used in such fields as opinion polling and market research, is called stratified random sampling.
Darrell Huff (How to Lie with Statistics)
believed in The Good Luck of Right Now. Believing—or maybe even pretending—made you feel better about what had happened, regardless of what was true and what wasn’t. And what is reality, if it isn’t how we feel about things? What else matters at the end of the day when we lie in bed alone with our thoughts? And isn’t it true, statistically speaking—regardless of whether we believe in luck or not—that good and bad must happen
Matthew Quick (The Good Luck of Right Now)
Extrapolations are useful, particularly in that form of soothsaying called forecasting trends. But in looking at the figures or charts made from them, it is necessary to remember one thing constantly: The trend-to-now may be a fact, but the future trend represents no more than an educated guess. Implicit in it is "everything else being equal" and "present trends continuing." And somehow everything else refuses to remain equal, else life would be dull indeed.
Darrell Huff (How to Lie with Statistics)
We are not statistics. We are the people from whom you took this land by force and blood and lies. We are the people to whom you promised to pay, in recompense for all this vast continent you stole, some small pitiful pittance to assure at least our bare survival. And we are the people from whom you now snatch away even that pittance, abandoning us and your own honor without a qualm, even launching military attacks on our women and children and Elders, and targeting — illegally even by your own self-serving laws — those of us, our remaining warriors, who would dare to stand up and try to defend them. You practice crimes against humanity at the same time that you piously speak to the rest of the world of human rights! America, when will you live up to your own principles?
Leonard Peltier (Prison Writings: My Life Is My Sun Dance)
During the dot-com bubble, most people did not use a persuasive theory to gauge whether stock prices were too high, too low, or just right. Instead, as they watched stock prices go up, they invented explanations to rationalize what was happening. They talked about Moore’s Law, smart kids, and Alan Greenspan. Data without theory.
Gary Smith (Standard Deviations: Flawed Assumptions, Tortured Data, and Other Ways to Lie with Statistics)
Neither politicians nor statistics always lie; it is just that there is no such thing as a completely neutral way to present either policies or numbers. Every
Ian Morris (Why the West Rules—for Now: The Patterns of History, and What They Reveal About the Future)
They say statistics by their nature don’t lie, but in my opinion they sometimes do and damnably at that.
Craig Johnson (Any Other Name (Walt Longmire #10))
It is dangerous to mention any subject having high emotional content without hastily saying where you are for or agin it.
Darrell Huff (How to Lie with Statistics)
Permitting statistical treatment and the hypnotic presence of numbers and decimal points to befog causal relationships is little better than superstition.
Darrell Huff (How to Lie with Statistics)
Everyone is just a set of numbers that the government has access to. Humanity lies in the interpretation of those numbers.
Peter Tieryas (Cyber Shogun Revolution (Mecha Samurai Empire))
The basic sample is the kind called “random.” It is selected by pure chance from the “universe,” a word by which the statistician means the whole of which the sample is a part.
Darrell Huff (How to Lie with Statistics)
There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics,
Alberto Cairo (How Charts Lie: Getting Smarter about Visual Information)
The solution to the problem of bad numbers is better numbers, not no numbers. The idea that statistics are a tool for lying to people hides the fact that it is people who do the lying.
Brian M. Hughes (Psychology in Crisis)
The purely random sample is the only kind that can be examined with entire confidence by means of statistical theory, but there is one thing wrong with it. It is so difficult and expensive to obtain for many uses that sheer cost eliminates it. A more economical substitute, which is almost universally used in such fields as opinion polling and market research, is called stratified random sampling.
Darrell Huff (How to Lie with Statistics)
This lack of fit between logic and statistically based decision is not something that can be accounted for by finding a faulty assumption in Cohen's paradoxes. It lies at the heart of what is meant by logic.
David Salsburg (The Lady Tasting Tea: How Statistics Revolutionized Science in the Twentieth Century)
How results that are not indicative of anything can be produced by pure chance—given a small enough number of cases—is something you can test for yourself at small cost. Just start tossing a penny. How often will it come up heads? Half the time of course. Everyone knows that. Well, let’s check that and see…. I have just tried ten tosses and got heads eight times, which proves that pennies come up heads eighty percent of the time.
Darrell Huff (How to Lie with Statistics)
What comes full of virtue from the statistician’s desk may find itself twisted, exaggerated, oversimplified, and distorted-through-selection by salesman, public-relations expert, journalist, or advertising copywriter.
Darrell Huff (How to Lie with Statistics)
Monte Carlo is able to discover practical solutions to otherwise intractable problems because the most efficient search of an unmapped territory takes the form of a random walk. Today’s search engines, long descended from their ENIAC-era ancestors, still bear the imprint of their Monte Carlo origins: random search paths being accounted for, statistically, to accumulate increasingly accurate results. The genius of Monte Carlo—and its search-engine descendants—lies in the ability to extract meaningful solutions, in the face of overwhelming information, by recognizing that meaning resides less in the data at the end points and more in the intervening paths.
George Dyson (Turing's Cathedral: The Origins Of The Digital Universe)
But actually, he thought as he re-adjusted the Ministry of Plenty’s figures, it was not even forgery. It was merely the substitution of one piece of nonsense for another. Most of the material that you were dealing with had no connection with anything in the real world, not even the kind of connection that is contained in a direct lie. Statistics were just as much a fantasy in their original version as in their rectified version. A great deal of the time you were expected to make them up out of your head.
George Orwell (1984)
Thinking Statistically by Uri Bram   How to Lie with Statistics by Darrell Huff   Turning Numbers into Knowledge by Jonathan G. Koomey, PhD For an examination of more advanced methods of analysis, Principles of Statistics by M. G. Bulmer is a useful reference.
Josh Kaufman (The Personal MBA: Master the Art of Business)
Be wary, though, of the way news media use the word “significant,” because to statisticians it doesn’t mean “noteworthy.” In statistics, the word “significant” means that the results passed mathematical tests such as t-tests, chi-square tests, regression, and principal components analysis (there are hundreds). Statistical significance tests quantify how easily pure chance can explain the results. With a very large number of observations, even small differences that are trivial in magnitude can be beyond what our models of change and randomness can explain. These tests don’t know what’s noteworthy and what’s not—that’s a human judgment.
Daniel J. Levitin (A Field Guide to Lies: Critical Thinking in the Information Age)
Isn’t it sad that when a girl says she was sexually assaulted, our first instinct is to think she’s probably lying? Statistics and facts tell us the exact opposite. We demand “perfect victims” who better not have been drinking or hanging out at a party in a short skirt or revealing dress or have ever been known to enjoy sex.
Amy Schumer (The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo)
And I thought how many satisfied, happy people really do exist in this world! And what a powerful force they are! Just take a look at this life of ours and you will see the arrogance and idleness of the strong, the ignorance and bestiality of the weak. Everywhere there's unspeakable poverty, overcrowding, degeneracy, drunkenness, hypocrisy and stupid lies... And yet peace and quiet reign in every house and street. Out of fifty thousand people you won't find one who is prepared to shout out loud and make a strong protest. We see people buying food in the market, eating during the day, sleeping at night-time, talking nonsense, marrying, growing old and then contentedly carting their dead off to the cemetery. But we don't hear or see those who suffer: the real tragedies of life are enacted somewhere behind the scenes. Everything is calm and peaceful and the only protest comes from statistics - and they can't talk. Figures show that so many went mad, so many bottles of vodka were emptied, so many children died from malnutrition. And clearly this kind of system is what people need. It,s obvious that the happy man feels contented only because the unhappy ones bear their burden without saying a word: if it weren't for their silence, happiness would be quite impossible. It's a kind of mass hypnosis. Someone ought to stand with a hammer at the door of every contented man, continually banging on it to remind him that there are unhappy people around and that however happy he may be at that time, sooner or later life will show him its claws and disaster will overtake him in the form of illness, poverty, bereavement and there will be no one to hear or see him. But there isn't anyone holding a hammer, so our happy man goes his own sweet way and is only gently ruffled by life's trivial cares, as an aspen is ruffled by the breeze. All's well as far as he's concerned
Anton Chekhov (Gooseberries)
My trick was to use a different kind of average each time, the word "average" having a very loose meaning. It is a trick commonly used, sometimes in innocence but often in guilt, by fellows wishing to influence public opinion or sell advertising space. When you are told that something is the average you still don't know very much about it unless you can find out which of the common kinds of average it is- mean, median, or mode.
Darrell Huff (How to Lie with Statistics)
If we are going to talk about how undocumented immigrants impact our society, we ought to first address how our national policies have disrupted their lives. Above all, solidarity with the immigrant poor should seek to know them not as statistics, but as human beings who endure extraordinary hardship and trauma in their struggle just to survive—especially since the structural causes of their impoverishment lie on our side of the border.
Ched Myers (Our God Is Undocumented: Biblical Faith and Immigrant Justice)
Nevertheless, the radio continued to blare forth statistics demonstrating how under the visionary leadership of the gifted agronomist Krushchev, Soviet agriculture was overcoming the errors of Stalin and producing ever-larger quantities of meat, milk, butter, bread and other foodstuffs. If we have so much bread, why am I standing in line at four A.M., hoping I can buy some before it runs out? And Milk! There has been no milk in all Rubtsovsk for five days and no meat for two weeks. Well, as they say, if you want milk, just take your pail to the radio. But why does the radio keep announcing something which anybody with eyes knows is not true?
John Daniel Barron (MIG Pilot: The Final Escape of Lt. Belenko)
(...) and as I sat in bed thinking of the many good things that had to happen all over the world in order to even out and nullify the horrible bad things that had happened to Mom and me, I started to see why Mom believed in the Good Luck of Right Now. Believing - or maybe even pretending - made you feel better about what had happened, regardless of what was true and what wasn't. And what is reality, if it isn't how we feel about things? what else matters at the end of the day when we lie in bed alone with our thoughts? and isn't it true, statistically speaking - regardless of whether we believe in luck or not - that good and bad must happen simultaneously all over the world?
Matthew Quick (The Good Luck of Right Now)
What she did know was that he had little time for feelings, a condescending patience for intuition, and scoffed openly at talk unsupported by peer-reviewed scientific studies or statistics. Still, he was a good man, a caring man, whom she appreciated very much, despite everything. She was, after all, prone to indecision, doubling back on things she had once felt but had since come to feel differently about. She was prone to anxiety, to worry, to a sensation in her chest that her heart might explode. She ran hot, She buzzed. Either she needed to keep busy or else she needed to lie down and sleep. Her husband, on the other hand, needed nothing whatsoever. No wonder then that they deferred to his judgment, his good levelheaded judgment, his engineer’s evenness.
Rachel Yoder (Nightbitch)
Let’s take a quick look at what a psychopath is. Although the American Psychiatric Association (APA) no longer uses this term, much of the rest of the world does. The APA has incorporated the term psychopath and sociopath within a broader definition designated as antisocial personality disorder. Even within the APA, there is wide disagreement as to what these terms actually mean. The most recent Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV-TR) is an American handbook for mental health professionals. It lists different categories of mental disorders and the criteria for diagnosing them, according to the publishing organization, the American Psychiatric Association. The APA defines antisocial personality disorder, which would include Lobaczewski’s psychopathic personality disorder, as a pervasive pattern of disregard for the violation of the rights of others occurring since age fifteen years, as indicated by three or more of the following:   1.     Failure to conform to social norms with respect to lawful behaviors as indicated by repeatedly performing acts that are grounds for arrest. 2.     Deceitfulness, as indicated by repeated lying, use of aliases, or conning others for personal profit or pleasure. 3.     Impulsivity or failure to plan ahead. 4.     Aggressiveness, as indicated by repeated physical fights or assaults. 5.     Reckless disregard for the safety of self or others. 6.     Consistent irresponsibility. 7.     Lack of remorse, as indicated by being indifferent to or rationalizing having hurt, mistreated, or stolen from another.
Robert Kirkconnell (American Heart of Darkness: Volume I:The Transformation of the American Republic into a Pathocracy)
The master propagandist, like the advertising expert, avoids obvious emotional appeals and strives for a tone that is consistent with the prosaic quality of modern life—a dry, bland matter-of-factness. Nor does the propagandist circulate "intentionally biased" information. He knows that partial truths serve as more effective instruments of deception than lies. Thus he tries to impress the public with statistics of economic growth that neglect to give the base year from which growth is calculated, with accurate but meaningless facts about the standard of living—with raw and uninterpreted data, in other words, from which the audience is invited to draw the inescapable conclusion that things are getting better and the present régime therefore deserves the people's confidence, or on the other hand that things are getting worse so rapidly that the present régime should be given emergency powers to deal with the developing crisis.
Christopher Lasch (The Culture of Narcissism: American Life in An Age of Diminishing Expectations)
No man, proclaimed Donne, is an Island, and he was wrong. If we were not islands, we would be lost, drowned in each other’s tragedies. We are insulated (a word that means, literally, remember, made into an island) from the tragedy of others, by our island nature, and by the repetitive shape and form of the stories. The shape does not change: there was a human being who was born, lived, and then, by some means or another, died. There. You may fill in the details from your own experience. As unoriginal as any other tale, as unique as any other life. Lives are snowflakes—forming patterns we have seen before, as like one another as peas in a pod (and have you ever looked at peas in a pod? I mean, really looked at them? There’s not a chance you’d mistake one for another, after a minute’s close inspection), but still unique. Without individuals we see only numbers: a thousand dead, a hundred thousand dead, “casualties may rise to a million.” With individual stories, the statistics become people—but even that is a lie, for the people continue to suffer in numbers that themselves are numbing and meaningless. Look, see the child’s swollen, swollen belly, and the flies that crawl at the corners of his eyes, his skeletal limbs: will it make it easier for you to know his name, his age, his dreams, his fears? To see him from the inside? And if it does, are we not doing a disservice to his sister, who lies in the searing dust beside him, a distorted, distended caricature of a human child? And there, if we feel for them, are they now more important to us than a thousand other children touched by the same famine, a thousand other young lives who will soon be food for the flies’ own myriad squirming children? We draw our lines around these moments of pain, and remain upon our islands, and they cannot hurt us. They are covered with a smooth, safe, nacreous layer to let them slip, pearllike, from our souls without real pain.
Neil Gaiman (American Gods)
The statistics were not merely inadequate; they lied. And the lies they told led the people who ran major league baseball teams to misjudge their players, and mismanage their games. James later reduced his complaint to a sentence: fielding statistics made sense only as numbers, not as language. Language, not numbers, is what interested him. Words, and the meaning they were designed to convey. “When the numbers acquire the significance of language,” he later wrote, “they acquire the power to do all of the things which language can do: to become fiction and drama and poetry….And it is not just baseball that these numbers, through a fractured mirror, describe. It is character. It is psychology, it is history, it is power, it is grace, glory, consistency, sacrifice, courage, it is success and failure, it is frustration and bad luck, it is ambition, it is overreaching, it is discipline. And it is victory and defeat, which is all that the idiot sub-conscious really understands.
Michael Lewis (Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game)
How I Got That Name Marilyn Chin an essay on assimilation I am Marilyn Mei Ling Chin Oh, how I love the resoluteness of that first person singular followed by that stalwart indicative of “be," without the uncertain i-n-g of “becoming.” Of course, the name had been changed somewhere between Angel Island and the sea, when my father the paperson in the late 1950s obsessed with a bombshell blond transliterated “Mei Ling” to “Marilyn.” And nobody dared question his initial impulse—for we all know lust drove men to greatness, not goodness, not decency. And there I was, a wayward pink baby, named after some tragic white woman swollen with gin and Nembutal. My mother couldn’t pronounce the “r.” She dubbed me “Numba one female offshoot” for brevity: henceforth, she will live and die in sublime ignorance, flanked by loving children and the “kitchen deity.” While my father dithers, a tomcat in Hong Kong trash— a gambler, a petty thug, who bought a chain of chopsuey joints in Piss River, Oregon, with bootlegged Gucci cash. Nobody dared question his integrity given his nice, devout daughters and his bright, industrious sons as if filial piety were the standard by which all earthly men are measured. * Oh, how trustworthy our daughters, how thrifty our sons! How we’ve managed to fool the experts in education, statistic and demography— We’re not very creative but not adverse to rote-learning. Indeed, they can use us. But the “Model Minority” is a tease. We know you are watching now, so we refuse to give you any! Oh, bamboo shoots, bamboo shoots! The further west we go, we’ll hit east; the deeper down we dig, we’ll find China. History has turned its stomach on a black polluted beach— where life doesn’t hinge on that red, red wheelbarrow, but whether or not our new lover in the final episode of “Santa Barbara” will lean over a scented candle and call us a “bitch.” Oh God, where have we gone wrong? We have no inner resources! * Then, one redolent spring morning the Great Patriarch Chin peered down from his kiosk in heaven and saw that his descendants were ugly. One had a squarish head and a nose without a bridge Another’s profile—long and knobbed as a gourd. A third, the sad, brutish one may never, never marry. And I, his least favorite— “not quite boiled, not quite cooked," a plump pomfret simmering in my juices— too listless to fight for my people’s destiny. “To kill without resistance is not slaughter” says the proverb. So, I wait for imminent death. The fact that this death is also metaphorical is testament to my lethargy. * So here lies Marilyn Mei Ling Chin, married once, twice to so-and-so, a Lee and a Wong, granddaughter of Jack “the patriarch” and the brooding Suilin Fong, daughter of the virtuous Yuet Kuen Wong and G.G. Chin the infamous, sister of a dozen, cousin of a million, survived by everbody and forgotten by all. She was neither black nor white, neither cherished nor vanquished, just another squatter in her own bamboo grove minding her poetry— when one day heaven was unmerciful, and a chasm opened where she stood. Like the jowls of a mighty white whale, or the jaws of a metaphysical Godzilla, it swallowed her whole. She did not flinch nor writhe, nor fret about the afterlife, but stayed! Solid as wood, happily a little gnawed, tattered, mesmerized by all that was lavished upon her and all that was taken away!
Marilyn Chin
Modern statistics is built on the idea of models — probability models in particular. [...] The standard approach to any new problem is to identify the sources of variation, to describe those sources by probability distributions and then to use the model thus created to estimate, predict or test hypotheses about the undetermined parts of that model. […] A statistical model involves the identification of those elements of our problem which are subject to uncontrolled variation and a specification of that variation in terms of probability distributions. Therein lies the strength of the statistical approach and the source of many misunderstandings. Paradoxically, misunderstandings arise both from the lack of an adequate model and from over reliance on a model. […] At one level is the failure to recognise that there are many aspects of a model which cannot be tested empirically. At a higher level is the failure is to recognise that any model is, necessarily, an assumption in itself. The model is not the real world itself but a representation of that world as perceived by ourselves. This point is emphasised when, as may easily happen, two or more models make exactly the same predictions about the data. Even worse, two models may make predictions which are so close that no data we are ever likely to have can ever distinguish between them. […] All model-dependant inference is necessarily conditional on the model. This stricture needs, especially, to be borne in mind when using Bayesian methods. Such methods are totally model-dependent and thus all are vulnerable to this criticism. The problem can apparently be circumvented, of course, by embedding the model in a larger model in which any uncertainties are, themselves, expressed in probability distributions. However, in doing this we are embarking on a potentially infinite regress which quickly gets lost in a fog of uncertainty.
David J. Bartholomew (Unobserved Variables: Models and Misunderstandings (SpringerBriefs in Statistics))
Broadway lit up just as crazy as ever, and the crowd thick as molasses. Just fling yourself into it like an ant and let yourself get pushed along. Everybody doing it, some for a good reason, and some for no reason at all. All this push and movement representing action, success, get ahead. Stop and look at shoes, or fancy shirts. The new fall overcoat, wedding rings at 98 cents a piece. Every other joint a food emporium. Everytime I hit that runway toward dinner hour, a fever of expectancy seized me. It's only a stretch of a few blocks from Time Square to 50th street, and when one says 'Broadway', that's all that's really meant. And it's really nothing, just a chicken run, and a lousy one at that. But at 7 in the evening, when everybody's rushing for a table, there is a sort of electrical crackle in the air. And your hair stands on end like antennae, and if you're receptive, you not only get every flash and flicker, but you get the statistical itch. The quid pro quo of the interactive, interstitial, ectoplasmatic quantum of bodies jostling in space like the stars which compose the Milky Way. Only, this is the gay white way. The top of the world with no roof above and not even a crack or a hole under your feet to fall through and say it's a lie. The absolute impersonality of it brings you to a pitch of warm human delirium, which makes you run forward like a blind nag, and wag your delirious ears. Everyone is so utterly, confoundedly not himself, that you become automatically the personification of the whole human race. Shaking hands with a thousand human hands, cackling with a thousand different human tongues, cursing, applauding, whistling, crooning, soliloquizing, orating, gesticulating, urinating, fecundating, wheedling, cajoling, whimpering, bartering, pimping, caterwauling, and so on and so forth. You are all the men who ever lived up until Moses, and beyond that, you are a woman buying a bird cage, or just a mouse trap.
Henry Miller (Tropic of Capricorn (Tropic, #2))
There is always, for some reason, an element of sadness mingled with my thoughts of human happiness, and, on this occasion, at the sight of a happy man I was overcome by an oppressive feeling that was close upon despair. It was particularly oppressive at night. A bed was made up for me in the room next to my brother’s bedroom, and I could hear that he was awake, and that he kept getting up and going to the plate of gooseberries and taking one. I reflected how many satisfied, happy people there really are! ‘What a suffocating force it is! You look at life: the insolence and idleness of the strong, the ignorance and brutishness of the weak, incredible poverty all about us, overcrowding, degeneration, drunkenness, hypocrisy, lying... Yet all is calm and stillness in the houses and in the streets; of the fifty thousand living in a town, there is not one who would cry out, who would give vent to his indignation aloud. We see the people going to market for provisions, eating by day, sleeping by night, talking their silly nonsense, getting married, growing old, serenely escorting their dead to the cemetery; but we do not see and we do not hear those who suffer, and what is terrible in life goes on somewhere behind the scenes... Everything is quiet and peaceful, and nothing protests but mute statistics: so many people gone out of their minds, so many gallons of vodka drunk, so many children dead from malnutrition... And this order of things is evidently necessary; evidently the happy man only feels at ease because the unhappy bear their burdens in silence, and without that silence happiness would be impossible. It’s a case of general hypnotism. There ought to be behind the door of every happy, contented man some one standing with a hammer continually reminding him with a tap that there are unhappy people; that however happy he may be, life will show him her laws sooner or later, trouble will come for him—disease, poverty, losses, and no one will see or hear, just as now he neither sees nor hears others. But there is no man with a hammer; the happy man lives at his ease, and trivial daily cares faintly agitate him like the wind in the aspen-tree—and all goes well.
Anton Chekhov (Stories)
There are lies, damned lies, and statistics.
Robert A. Heinlein (To Sail Beyond the Sunset)
95% confidence interval [Δ − 1.96 σ, Δ + 1.96 σ] to assess statistical significance. If zero lies outside of the confidence interval, we declare significance
Ron Kohavi (Trustworthy Online Controlled Experiments: A Practical Guide to A/B Testing)
But who says that everyone using statistics is smart or honest? As mentioned, this book began as an homage to How to Lie with Statistics, which was first published in 1954 and has sold over a million copies.
Charles Wheelan (Naked Statistics: Stripping the Dread from the Data)
Yet the statistics, in this case, did not lie.
Kate Moore (The Woman They Could Not Silence: One Woman, Her Incredible Fight for Freedom, and the Men Who Tried to Make Her Disappear)
Many a great, if fleeting, medical discovery has been launched similarly. “Make haste,” as one physician put it, “to use a new remedy before it is too late.” The guilt does not always lie with the medical profession alone. Public pressure and hasty journalism often launch a treatment that is unproved, particularly when the demand is great and the statistical background hazy. So
Darrell Huff (How to Lie with Statistics)
Given time, a cold will cure itself.
Darrell Huff (How to Lie with Statistics)
As Graedon scrutinized the FDA’s standards for bioequivalence and the data that companies had to submit, he found that generics were much less equivalent than commonly assumed. The FDA’s statistical formula that defined bioequivalence as a range—a generic drug’s concentration in the blood could not fall below 80 percent or rise above 125 percent of the brand name’s concentration, using a 90 percent confidence interval—still allowed for a potential outside range of 45 percent among generics labeled as being the same. Patients getting switched from one generic to another might be on the low end one day, the high end the next. The FDA allowed drug companies to use different additional ingredients, known as excipients, that could be of lower quality. Those differences could affect a drug’s bioavailability, the amount of drug potentially absorbed into the bloodstream. But there was another problem that really drew Graedon’s attention. Generic drug companies submitted the results of patients’ blood tests in the form of bioequivalence curves. The graphs consisted of a vertical axis called Cmax, which mapped the maximum concentration of drug in the blood, and a horizontal axis called Tmax, the time to maximum concentration. The resulting curve looked like an upside-down U. The FDA was using the highest point on that curve, peak drug concentration, to assess the rate of absorption into the blood. But peak drug concentration, the point at which the blood had absorbed the largest amount of drug, was a single number at one point in time. The FDA was using that point as a stand-in for “rate of absorption.” So long as the generic hit a similar peak of drug concentration in the blood as the brand name, it could be deemed bioequivalent, even if the two curves reflecting the time to that peak looked totally different. Two different curves indicated two entirely different experiences in the body, Graedon realized. The measurement of time to maximum concentration, the horizontal axis, was crucial for time-release drugs, which had not been widely available when the FDA first created its bioequivalence standard in 1992. That standard had not been meaningfully updated since then. “The time to Tmax can vary all over the place and they don’t give a damn,” Graedon emailed a reporter. That “seems pretty bizarre to us.” Though the FDA asserted that it wouldn’t approve generics with “clinically significant” differences in release rates, the agency didn’t disclose data filed by the companies, so it was impossible to know how dramatic the differences were.
Katherine Eban (Bottle of Lies: The Inside Story of the Generic Drug Boom)
Our current situation was nowhere near as bad a place as I’d been in before, so I wouldn’t mope; I’d keep moving forward. It wasn’t a dark cave I was in—I was simply dealing with an overcast sky. At some point, the clouds would shift and the sun would shine again. Statistics never lied—at least that was my hope. Plus, there was some comfort knowing that the sun never truly left; it just stayed hidden some days. Until those clouds shifted, I turned to music.
Brittainy C. Cherry (The Mixtape)
The expression ‘There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics’ was popularised by Mark Twain and attributed by him, in his autobiography, to the nineteenth-century British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli.
David Darling (Weirdest Maths: At the Frontiers of Reason)
Statistics can easily fool us if used incorrectly, or if we fail to take in the whole picture of what’s going on. The situation is even worse when data are presented in a way that’s deliberately misleading – as often happens in advertising and politics. Without resorting to outright lies, there are plenty of ways to distort data to create a false impression.
David Darling (Weirdest Maths: At the Frontiers of Reason)
it is easy to lie with statistics, but easier to lie without them’.
David J. Hand (Statistics: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions))
To successfully launch a product, generic drug companies must tread in reverse through this obstacle course. Once a generic company zeroes in on a molecule, and its scientists figure out how it operates in the body, its lawyers get to work to establish how well protected it is legally. The next step takes place in the laboratory: developing the active pharmaceutical ingredient by synthesizing it into ingredient form. That alone can take several years of trial and error. Once successful, the finished generic has to take the same form as the brand, whether that be pill, capsule, tablet, or injection. Formulating it requires additional ingredients known as excipients, which can be different, but might also be litigated. Then comes testing. In the lab, the in-vitro tests replicate conditions in the body. During dissolution tests, for example, the drug will be put in beakers whose contents mimic stomach conditions, to see how the drugs break down. But some of the most important tests are in-vivo—when the drug is tested on people. Brand-name companies must test new drugs on thousands of patients to prove that they are safe and effective. Generic companies have to prove only that their drug performs similarly in the body to the brand-name drug. To do this, they must test it on a few dozen healthy volunteers and map the concentration of the drug in their blood. The results yield a graph that contains the all-important bioequivalence curve. The horizontal line reflects the time to maximum concentration (Tmax) of drug in the blood. The vertical line reflects the peak concentration (Cmax) of drug in the blood. Between these two axes lies the area under the curve (AUC). The test results must fall in that area to be deemed bioequivalent. Every batch of drugs has variation. Even brand-name drugs made in the same laboratory under the exact same conditions will have some batch-to-batch differences. So, in 1992, the FDA created a complex statistical formula that defined bioequivalence as a range—a generic drug’s concentration in the blood could not fall below 80 percent or rise above 125 percent of the brand name’s concentration. But the formula also required companies to impose a 90 percent confidence interval on their testing, to ensure that less than 20 percent of samples would fall outside the designated range and far more would land within a closer range to the innovator product.
Katherine Eban (Bottle of Lies: The Inside Story of the Generic Drug Boom)
extraordinary capacity to say things that were not true. He always seemed to have complete conviction in whatever product he was selling or argument he was making. He had an uncanny ability to say with a straight face, things are not as you’ve been told or even as you’ve seen with your own eyes. He could commit to a lie in the frame of his body and in the timbre of his voice so fully, despite all statistical and even video evidence to the contrary.
Carol Leonnig (I Alone Can Fix It: Donald J. Trump's Catastrophic Final Year)
Thus the portrait of McNamara in those years at his desk, on planes, in Saigon, poring over page after page of data, each platoon, each squad, studying all those statistics. All lies. Talking with reporters and telling them that all the indices were good. He could not have been more wrong; he simply had all the wrong indices, looking for American production indices in an Asian political revolution.
David Halberstam (The Best and the Brightest)
The post-totalitarian system touches people at every step, but it does so with its ideological gloves on. This is why life in the system is so thoroughly permeated with hypocrisy and lies: government by bureaucracy is called popular government; the working class is enslaved in the name of the working class; the complete degradation of the individual is presented as his or her ultimate liberation; depriving people of information is called making it available; the use of power to manipulate is called the public control of power, and the arbitrary abuse of power is called observing the legal code; the repression of culture is called its development; the expansion of imperial influence is presented as support for the oppressed; the lack of free expression becomes the highest form of freedom; farcical elections become the highest form of democracy; banning independent thought becomes the most scientific of world views; military occupation becomes fraternal assistance. Because the regime is captive to its own lies, it must falsify everything. It falsifies the past. It falsifies the present, and it falsifies the future. It falsifies statistics. It pretends not to possess an omnipotent and unprincipled police apparatus. It pretends to respect human rights. It pretends to persecute no one. It pretends to fear nothing. It pretends to pretend nothing. Individuals need not believe all these mystifications, but they must behave as though they did, or they must at least tolerate them in silence, or get along well with those who work with them. For this reason, however, they must live within a lie. They need not accept the lie. It is enough for them to have accepted their life with it and in it. For by this very fact, individuals confirm the system, fulfil the system, make the system, are the system.
Václav Havel (The Power of the Powerless (Vintage Classics))
The charge of hate is used selectively, of course. Lesbians spread their hatred of men but are never charged, while feminists teach young girls that all men are potential rapists. Blacks taunt whites with names like “honky” or “cracker,” without recrimination. Jewish written scriptures overf l ow with hatred of Christ and Christians. Say the N-word while white and go to jail. Burn a cross while white and go to jail. Challenge Holocaust statistics with the truth while white and go to jail. Today, we have a dictatorship with only the illusion of democracy; not even a pretense of a republic anymore.The judiciary makes law as directed by the administration. The execu-tive rules absolutely. Legislators simply steal, from the top of the heap for the new priesthood: the legal profession. Lawyers are the privileged class today, and they are destroying America. If spreading false information is a crime, as some are accused of doing, shouldn’t we lock up the administration officials who lied to us about Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction?
Edgar J. Steele
On September 1, 1969, for example, members of the 196th Infantry Brigade in Quang Tin Province spotted a group of Vietnamese. Officers and sergeants, peering through binoculars, conferred about the situation. After about ten minutes of observation the senior officer, Captain David Janca, ordered his machine gunners to open fire and called in an artillery fire mission. A small patrol was then dispatched to the kill zone. “Upon arrival,” assistant machine gunner Robert Gray said later, “we found dead and wounded Vietnamese children.”28 Patrol member Welkie Louie described the scene: “I observed about four to six Vietnamese children lying in one pile, dead. About five meters from this position were two or three wounded Vietnamese children huddled together.”29 Afterward, artillery forward observer Robert Wolz told army investigators that he saw an official document in which “the dead were listed as VC.”30 Another report even referred to them as “NVA”—that is, North Vietnamese army troops.31 In death, this small group of children had morphed into guerrillas and then into uniformed enemy soldiers as the body count wound its way through the military’s statistics generation machine.
Nick Turse (Kill Anything That Moves: The Real American War in Vietnam)
The book was called How to Lie with Statistics.
Louise Penny (The Madness of Crowds (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #17))
Statistics show that a narcissistic mother has a 98% chance of raising a narcissistic son. As a result, he will lie, cheat, steal, & in some cases, kill.
Mitta Xinindlu
But actually, he thought as he re-adjusted the Ministry of Plenty’s figures, it was not even forgery. It was merely the substitution of one piece of nonsense for another. Most of the material that you were dealing with had no connexion with anything in the real world, not even the kind of connexion that is contained in a direct lie. Statistics were just as much a fantasy in their original version as in their rectified version.
George Orwell (1984 & Animal Farm)
There presently exist three recognized conceptualizations of the antisocial construct: antisocial personality disorder (ASPD) as outlined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5; American Psychiatric Association, 2013), dissocial personality disorder in the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10; World Health Organization, 1992), and psychopathy as formalized by Hare with the Psychopathy Checklist—Revised (PCL-R; Hare, 2003). A conundrum for therapists is that these conceptualizations are overlapping but not identical, emphasizing different symptom clusters. The DSM-5 emphasizes the overt conduct of the patient through a criteria set that includes criminal behavior, lying, reckless and impulsive behavior, aggression, and irresponsibility in the areas of work and finances. In contrast, the criteria set for dissocial personality disorder is less focused on conduct and includes a mixture of cognitive signs (e.g., a tendency to blame others, an attitude of irresponsibility), affective signs (e.g., callousness, inability to feel guilt, low frustration tolerance), and interpersonal signs (e.g., tendency to form relationships but not maintain them). The signs and symptoms of psychopathy are more complex and are an almost equal blend of the conduct and interpersonal/affective aspects of functioning. The two higher-order factors of the PCL-R reflect this blend. Factor 1, Interpersonal/Affective, includes signs such as superficial charm, pathological lying, manipulation, grandiosity, lack of remorse and empathy, and shallow affect. Factor 2, Lifestyle/Antisocial, includes thrill seeking, impulsivity, irresponsibility, varied criminal activity, and disinhibited behavior (Hare & Neumann, 2008). Psychopathy can be regarded as the most severe of the three disorders. Patients with psychopathy would be expected to also meet criteria for ASPD or dissocial personality disorder, but not everyone diagnosed with ASPD or dissocial personality disorder will have psychopathy (Hare, 1996; Ogloff, 2006). As noted by Ogloff (2006), the distinctions among the three antisocial conceptualizations are such that findings based on one diagnostic group are not necessarily applicable to the others and produce different prevalence rates in justice-involved populations. Adding a further layer of complexity, therapists will encounter patients who possess a mixture of features from all three diagnostic systems rather than a prototypical presentation of any one disorder.
Aaron T. Beck (Cognitive Therapy of Personality Disorders)
the great statistician Frederick Mosteller had a point when he said, “It is easy to lie with statistics, but it is easier to lie without them.” Nevertheless, there are some steps you can take to, as Huff put it, “talk back to a statistic.” Among the biggies recommended by many scientists is to ask a simple question: Does the figure, finding, or correlation make sense, that is, accord with what you know of objective reality?
Natalie Angier (The Canon: A Whirligig Tour of the Beautiful Basics of Science)
Yes, it’s easy to lie with statistics—but it’s even easier to lie without them.*
Tim Harford (The Data Detective: Ten Easy Rules to Make Sense of Statistics)
So much of the supposed North Korean miracle was illusory, based on propaganda claims that couldn’t be substantiated. The North Korean regime didn’t publish economic statistics, at least none that could be trusted, and took great pains to deceive visitors and even themselves. Supervisors routinely fabricated statistics on agricultural production and industrial output because they were so fearful of telling their own bosses the truth. Lies were built upon lies, all the way to the top, so it is in fact conceivable that Kim Il-sung himself didn’t know when the economy crashed.
Barbara Demick (Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea)
With these dynamics in mind, we will not be surprised to learn from the statistics that 60 percent of German terrorists in recent years have been the children of Protestant ministers. The tragedy of this situation lies in the fact that the parents undoubtedly had the best of intentions; from the very beginning, they wanted their children to be good, responsive, well-behaved, agreeable, undemanding, considerate, unselfish, self-controlled, grateful, neither willful nor headstrong nor defiant, and above all meek. They wanted to inculcate these values in their children by whatever means, and if there was no other way, they were even ready to use force to obtain these admirable pedagogical ends. If the children then showed signs of violent behavior in adolescence, they were expressing both the unlived side of their own childhood as well as the unlived, suppressed, and hidden side of their-parents' psyche, perceived only by the children themselves. When terrorists take innocent women and children hostage in the service of a grand and idealistic cause, are they really doing anything different from what was once done to them? When they were little children full of vitality, their parents had offered them up as sacrifices to a grand pedagogic purpose, to lofty religious values, with the feeling of performing a great and good deed. Since these young people never were allowed to trust their own feelings, they continue to suppress them for ideological reasons. These intelligent and often very sensitive people, who had once been sacrificed to a "higher" morality, sacrifice themselves as adults to another-- often opposite--ideology, in whose service they allow their inmost selves to be completely dominated, as had been the case in their childhood.
Alice Miller
I had been so terrorized by scientific statistics (if ten million people each leave over three grains of rice from their lunch, how many sacks of rice are wasted in one day; if ten million people each economize one paper handkerchief a day, how much pulp will be saved?) that whenever I left over a single grain of rice, whenever I blew my nose, I imagined that I was wasting mountains of rice, tons of paper, and I fell prey to a mood dark as if I had committed some terrible crime. But these were the lies of science, the lies of statistics and mathematics: you can't collect three grains of rice from everybody.
Osamu Dazai (No Longer Human)
Now $12 on the $100 for money to be paid back regularly over half a year works out to something like forty-eight per cent real interest.
Darrell Huff (How to Lie With Statistics)
Now these figures have pretty conclusively demonstrated that people who have gone to college make more money than people who have not. The exceptions are numerous, of course, but the tendency is strong and clear.
Darrell Huff (How to Lie With Statistics)
Friends could last a lifetime. The statistics were better than for relationships.
Liane Moriarty (Big Little Lies)
The bureaucratic method can be defined as one that (a) administers human beings as if they were things and (b) administers things in quantitative rather than qualitative terms, in order to make quantification and control easier and cheaper. The bureaucratic method is governed by statistical data: the bureaucrats base their decisions on fixed rules arrived at from statistical data, rather than on response to the living beings who stand before them; they decide issues according to what is statistically most likely to be the case, at the risk of hurting the 5 or 10 percent of those who do not fit into that pattern. Bureaucrats fear personal responsibility and seek refuge behind their rules; their security and pride lie in their loyalty to rules, not in their loyalty to the laws of the human heart.
Erich Fromm (To Have or To Be?)
Somebody said there are three kinds of lies: black lies, white lies, and statistics.
Vance Havner (Holy Desperation,: How to Find God When You Need Him Most (Inspirational Messages of Spiritual Truths and Holy Living))
In Vietnam, lying became so much part of the system that sometimes not lying seemed immoral...The teenage adrenaline-drained patrol leader has to call in the score so analysts, newspaper reporters, and politicians back in Washington have something to do. Never mind that Smithers and his squad may have stopped a developing attack planned to hit the company that night, saving scores of lives and maintaining control over a piece of ground. All they'll be judged on, and all their superiors have to be judged on, is the kill ratio. Smithers's best friend has just been killed. Two other friends are missing pieces of their bodies and are going into shock. No one in the squad knows if the enemy is 15 meters away waiting to open up again or running. Smithers is tired and has a lot of other things on his mind. With scorekeepers often 25 kilometers away, no one is going to check on the score. In short, Smithers has a great incentive to lie. He also has a great need to lie. His best friend is dead. "Why?" he asks himself. This is where the lying in Vietnam all began. It had to fill the long silence following Smithers's anguished "Why?" So it starts. "Nelson, how many did you get?" Smithers asks. PFC Nelson looks up from crying over the body of his friend Katz and says, "How the fuck do I know?" His friend Smithers says, "Well, did you get that bastard that came around the dogleg after Katz threw the Mike-26?" Nelson looks down at Katz's face, hardening and turning yellow like tallow. "You're goddamn right I got him," he almost whispers. It's all he can offer his dead friend. "There's no body." "They drug the fucker away. I tell you I got him!" Nelson is no longer whispering. … The patrol leader doesn't have a body, but what are the odds that he's going to call his friend a liar or, even more difficult, make Katz's death meaningless, given that the only meaning now lies in this one statistic? No one is congratulating him for exposing the enemy, keeping them screened from the main body, which is the purpose of security patrols. He calls in one confirmed kill. ... Just then PFC Schroeder comes crawling over with Kool-Aid stains all around his mouth and says, "I think I got one, right by the dogleg of the trail after Katz threw the grenade." "Yeah, we called that one in." "No, it ain't the one Nelson got. I tell you I got another one." Smithers thinks it was the same one but he's not about to have PFC Schroeder feeling bad, particularly after they've all seen their squad mate die. … the last thing on Smithers's mind is the integrity of meaningless numbers. The message gets relayed to the battalion commander. He's just taken two wounded and one dead. All he has to report is one confirmed, one probable. This won't look good. Bad ratio. He knows all sorts of bullets were flying all over the place. It was a point-to-point contact, so no ambush, so the stinkin' thinking' goes round and round, so the probable had to be a kill. But really if we got two confirmed kills, there was probably a probable. I mean, what's the definition of probable if it isn't probable to get one? What the hell, two kills, two probables. Our side is now ahead. Victory is just around the corner. … [then the artillery has to claim their own additional kills…] By the time all this shit piles up at the briefing in Saigon, we've won the war.
Karl Marlantes (What It is Like to Go to War)
showed earlier, politicians have been persuaded (by entirely spurious and Statist arguments) that vaccinating the population at large helps save money and benefits the many at the expense of the few.
Vernon Coleman (Anyone Who Tells You Vaccines Are Safe And Effective Is Lying. Here's The Proof.)
But that line had been obtained by the use of statistics, and as everyone knows there are three kinds of lies – lies, damned lies, and statistics.
Vladimir Rubtsov (The Tunguska Mystery)
I don't know about you, but first thing in the morning I lie in bed and scroll through my cell phone. Facebook, Google +, Twitter, email. Those all come first even before brushing my teeth.
Dawn Robertson (Statistic)
Let’s zoom in on a particular form of synesthesia as an example. For most of us, February and Wednesday do not have any particular place in space. But some synesthetes experience precise locations in relation to their bodies for numbers, time units, and other concepts involving sequence or ordinality. They can point to the spot where the number 32 is, where December floats, or where the year 1966 lies.8 These objectified three-dimensional sequences are commonly called number forms, although more precisely the phenomenon is called spatial sequence synesthesia.9 The most common types of spatial sequence synesthesia involve days of the week, months of the year, the counting integers, or years grouped by decade. In addition to these common types, researchers have encountered spatial configurations for shoe and clothing sizes, baseball statistics, historical eras, salaries, TV channels, temperature, and more.
David Eagleman (Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain)
a vast majority of employers now Google your name—yes, Google has become both noun and verb—before they’ll consider hiring you. There’s your new resume, using the word resume loosely. Bye, bye, control. Statistics are hard to come by, and they tend to be all over the map. Some are from very old surveys or very limited surveys (such as 100 employers). What we know for sure is that somewhere between 35% and 70% of employers now report that they have rejected applicants on the basis of what they found through Google. Things that can get you rejected: bad grammar or gross misspelling on your Facebook or LinkedIn profile; anything indicating you lied on your resume; any badmouthing of previous employers; any signs of racism, prejudice, or screwy opinions about stuff; anything indicating alcohol or drug abuse; and any—to put it delicately—inappropriate content, etc.
Richard Nelson Bolles (What Color Is Your Parachute? 2014: A Practical Manual for Job-Hunters and Career-Changers)
My trick was to use a different kind of average each time, the word “average” having a very loose meaning. It is a trick commonly used, sometimes in innocence but often in guilt, by fellows wishing to influence public opinion or sell advertising space. When you are told that something is an average you still don’t know very much about it unless you can find out which of the common kinds of average it is—mean, median, or mode.
Darrell Huff (How to Lie with Statistics)
We are not averages and statistics. We are not the upper, middle, or lower class. We are not citizens, or constituents, or the governed. We are not megaplex Christmas shoppers. We are human.
Johnny B. Truant (You Are Dying, and Your World Is a Lie)
Facts are stubborn, but statistics are more pliable.” Mark Twain
Sia Mohajer (The Little Book of Stupidity: How We Lie to Ourselves and Don't Believe Others)
The fault is in the filtering-down process from the researcher through the sensational or ill-informed writer to the reader who fails to miss the figures that have disappeared in the process. A good deal of the misunderstanding can be avoided if to the "norm" or average is added an indication of the range. Parents seeing that their youngsters fall within the normal range will quit worrying about small and meaningless differences. Hardly anybody is exactly normal in any way, just as one hundred tossed pennies will rarely come up exactly fifty heads and fifty tails.
Darrell Huff (How to Lie with Statistics)
Seeing that Christians have the God-given power of a vote, the responsibility lies on our shoulders. If we don’t even try to change this nation, then in a sense, we are guilty of America’s downfall. If we do try, then the situation is out of our hands if they do fall. Yet statistics prove that no one is even trying, and if God gave us the power of a vote, we should use it to bring Christ back into America.
Adam Houge (NOT A BOOK: The 7 Habits That Will Change Your Life Forever)
When a theory is generated by ransacking data, we can’t use these pillaged data to test the theory.
Gary Smith (Standard Deviations: Flawed Assumptions, Tortured Data, and Other Ways to Lie with Statistics)
There are few statistical facts more interesting than regression to the mean for two reasons. First, people encounter it almost every day of their lives. Second, almost nobody understands it.
Gary Smith (Standard Deviations: Flawed Assumptions, Tortured Data, and Other Ways to Lie with Statistics)
Therein lies the insight: Even though you will continue moving forever—with each move taking you half the remaining distance to the wall—the total distance you travel can never be more than 2 feet, which is your starting distance from the wall. For mathematical purposes, the total distance you travel can be approximated as 2 feet, which turns out to be very handy for computation purposes. A mathematician would say that the sum of this infinite series 1 ft + ½ ft + ¼ ft + ⅛ ft . . . converges to 2 feet, which is what our instructor was trying to teach us that day.
Charles Wheelan (Naked Statistics: Stripping the Dread from the Data)
With individual stories, the statistics become people—but even that is a lie, for the people continue to suffer in numbers that themselves are numbing and meaningless.
Neil Gaiman (American Gods)
Impression management is a sociological act where someone with certain conscious and subconscious processes, attempt to affect the thinking of a person so their perceptions will be distorted to his or her favor.
Jamie Oncher (How to Lie with Statistics: A Guide to a Successful Deceive - How to Change Other People's Thoughts (Lies, How to, Deceive, Change, Guide))
In carpentry, they say, “Measure twice, cut once.” With data, “Think twice, calculate once.
Gary Smith (Standard Deviations: Flawed Assumptions, Tortured Data, and Other Ways to Lie with Statistics)
Finding a historical correlation between gold and silver prices is no more convincing than finding a historical correlation between marriage and beer consumption. All it demonstrates is that we looked long enough to find a correlation.
Gary Smith (Standard Deviations: Flawed Assumptions, Tortured Data, and Other Ways to Lie with Statistics)
Be doubly skeptical of graphs that have two vertical axes and omit zero from either or both axes.
Gary Smith (Standard Deviations: Flawed Assumptions, Tortured Data, and Other Ways to Lie with Statistics)
There are two ways of lying. One, not telling the truth and the other, making up statistics. ~ Josefina Vazquez Mota
Mara Jacobs (Worth The Lies (The Worth #6))
SO TELL ME honestly.” I glanced over at Rachel, who was lying down beside me, and raised an eyebrow. “Can you feel it, Kash?” Her eyes widened and she slapped down on the mattress. “Can you feel the difference this mattress makes?” The saleswoman kept rambling on about the statistics of this bed and I tried not to laugh as Rachel acted as if what she was saying was from the Bible. “Isn’t this one just great?” The woman leaned over the bed to look at us. Her drawl was so thick that her great sounded more like gright. “Feels just like a cloud, you were so right!” Rachel smiled sweetly at her. “Oh, I knew y’all would just love this one! But c’mon over to the other side of the store, I have a few more to show you. And they just blow this one right out of the water,” she said, and walked away to the next set of mattresses. Rachel swung her legs over to the side and looked back at me, that same sweet smile plastered on her face. “It feels exactly like the last six except it’s an extra two thousand dollars. So that just makes it so much better!” She scrunched up her nose on the last few words and smacked her hand down on the mattress again. I rolled off the mattress and pulled her with me as I followed the saleswoman. “You look like a Miss America contestant on shrooms,” I whispered to Rachel, and she snorted. She began waving at no one in particular like she was in a pageant, and her smile widened.
Molly McAdams (Forgiving Lies (Forgiving Lies, #1))
There are two sides to every coin. If you want to experience real emotion, you get the gamut. If you experience a level 8 emotion in one area, you get access to all emotions at level 8. And if you seek out a negative experience at level 8, you master it. Fear doesn’t blindside you because you went after it. Pain doesn’t overwhelm you because you went into it willingly, step by step. If you wanted to back off, you could have. Whatever level of discomfort you reach, you reach deliberately. You’ve met the negative head-on, on your own terms. You own it, and you’ll own it forever. And your world gets bigger. Your spectrum of experiences broadens in all directions — positive and negative. We don’t grow in a line. We grow in a sphere. If you master X, you get access to Y. That’s how it works. We seek out edges so that we can reconnect with who we really are. We are not averages and statistics. We are not the upper, middle, or lower class. We are not citizens, or constituents, or
Johnny B. Truant (You Are Dying, and Your World Is a Lie)
The myth that the phone no longer works—because people don't answer—is disproven daily in our Fanatical Prospecting Boot Camps. The myth is disproven by our sales team at Sales Gravy and with thousands of sales teams across the country that survive and thrive on the phone. The statistics don't lie. We see between a 15 percent and 80 percent contact rate on the phones depending on the industry, product, and role level of the contact. For example, in the business services segment, contact rates are consistently between 25 and 40 percent. This, by the way, is far higher than response rates with e-mail and light-years higher than those of social prospecting. All
Jeb Blount (Fanatical Prospecting: The Ultimate Guide to Opening Sales Conversations and Filling the Pipeline by Leveraging Social Selling, Telephone, Email, Text, and Cold Calling)
Christians often fail to get in touch with the shocking message that can lie at the heart of evangelism: “I am here to change you, and I’m going to change you so that you become like me.” There are some obvious dangers here once we think about all this. If we approach people in this way, we are not treating them as people. We are not respecting them. We are treating them as part of our own program, like an objective and a statistic, and this is self-centered as well as disrespectful. An obnoxious smell of superiority is apparent. Further, we are judging people as fundamentally inadequate. *We* are okay, of course. Missionary work conducted in this spirit is a well-intentioned but self-centered power-play… We can avoid this instrumentalizing of potential converts - a making of them into something like an instrument or tool that then does something for us - only by approaching them for their own sakes and hence not as potential converts at all. We must value our initial relationships with people for what they are and not in terms of what we want out of them. This means that we must want to become their friends. Moreover, it must be a friendship with no strings attached. We must seek out relationships because we are interested in and value other people for who they are, right where they are. Conversions would be nice, but they are not our main agenda. We hope and pray for the best for our new friends, but that is not our principal motivation for relating to them. In this way and only in this way do we avoid colonizing people as we convert them.
Douglas A. Campbell (Paul: An Apostle's Journey)
So, if people don't want a war - are opposed to a war - how do you get away with it? You change public opinion and manufacture consent, that's how. You construct a carefully organised deception. A well-crafted and perfectly executed lie. Stage a false flag attacks, created by our own security services, blame it on terrorists, blow up British or US soldiers, bomb our buildings, fly planes into them, lie about weapons of mass destruction that can annihilate us in forty-five minutes flat. And bombard people with it in the media. Terrorists! Terrorism! Cells! Al-Qaeda! Isis! So every single time you turn on the new or read a paper, it's there. Despite the fact that statistically, you're more likely to be killed in a car accident or by your own bathtub than killed by a terrorist! And all the while, they're hiding the real reasons. Oil and gas. Gold. Regime change. Land. Power. Money. So they carry on until the public gets scared and angry, and yes, let's bomb these bastards! And how dare these people threaten and attack us! Then they want the war. The public are practically begging for it by then! Like George Orwell said, "The people believe what the media tells them". And if you control the media, the money, the politics, and the military, you control the whole systems.
Sibel Hodge (Untouchable)
against my research were true. The claim is especially ludicrous, since the NRA doesn’t seem to fund any statistical research at all. When I appeared on CNN with Dershowitz in July 2012, I forcefully responded, “Take that back. The NRA hasn’t paid for my research. That’s simply ridiculous.”13 When asked about these claims, the NRA told Cybercast News Service: “The NRA has never funded John Lott’s research.”14 Dershowitz declined to provide any support for his charges when Cybercast asked him for evidence.
John R. Lott Jr. (The War on Guns: Arming Yourself Against Gun Control Lies)
The UPA government, instead of implementing the Supreme Court order—which would have been the defining indicator of its bona fides in retrieving the black money looted from the people of India— instead demanded a recall of the order. This establishes its complete mala fide, connivance and conspiracy, and confirms that it has no intention of taking any substantive steps to recover the black money stashed away abroad, or take any serious action to combat this grievous economic crime impoverishing our nation—the 21st century version of UPA imperialism. The nation should be informed that no investigation has taken place regarding the issues before it since the Supreme Court judgement, but the finance minister chose to conceal these extremely pertinent facts in his Paper. The White Paper coyly discussed the dimensions of black money stashed away abroad by quoting statistics that are more than a decade old, saying that these are being researched upon by three agencies whose report is expected in September 2012. From this it would appear that the government had no knowledge of the quantum of black money lying abroad. One wonders why the government presented the paper at this stage. Interestingly, the Paper officially disclosed a figure regarding Indian accounts held with Swiss banks, at around only US $213 billion (as against $88 billion projected by the International Monetary Fund, and $213.2 billion by GFI), down 60% between 2006 and 2010. A reasonable conclusion that can be drawn is that black money holders, in anticipation of international and national public pressure (not governmental) transferred their money to other safe havens, the safest, it is said, being India. The last two years have seen several enabling statutes and mechanisms to stealthily repatriate the ill-gotten wealth back to India. I am also given to understand that there is evidence of a huge disparity between export figures, particularly of metals quoted by the government, and actual exports through data available from independent sources. The same applies to figures regarding FIIs. The game is clear. Use every government tool and instrument available to repatriate the money to India, without disclosure, culpability or punishment. There must be ways, and ways that we can never fathom or document, but the black money holders control legislation, either through being important politicians, or big businesses, who can buy safe passage, necessary loopholes and escape routes through statute or legislation. The finance minister through his negligence and active cooperation with the criminals allowed the stolen money to be removed from the accounts in which it was held and only a small fraction now remains, which too he is determined to place beyond the reach of the people of India who are its legitimate owners.
Ram Jethmalani (RAM JETHMALANI MAVERICK UNCHANGED, UNREPENTANT)
The demolition of the wall of silence, against which the theme of child abuse constantly runs up, marks only the beginning of a long overdue development. It creates the conditions that make it possible to free the truth from the prison of misleading opinions and well-established lies. But for the full unfolding of the truth and its deployment in the service of life, more is required than a merely statistical grasp of the facts. Some people may, for instance, say, "Yes, I was often spanked as a child," while remaining, emotionally, miles from the truth—because they cannot feel. They lack the consciousness, the emotional knowledge, of what it means, as small, defenseless children, to be beaten and shoved around by incensed adults. They say the word "spanked" but thereby identify with the mindless, destructive behavior of the adult who violates, abuses, and destroys the child without the slightest knowledge of or concern for what he is doing and what it may result in. Even Adolf Hitler never denied that he had been beaten. What he denied was that these beatings were painful. And by totally falsifying his feelings, he would become a mass murderer. That would never have occurred had he been capable of feeling, and weeping about, his situation and had he not repressed his justifiable hatred of those responsible for his distress but consciously experienced and comprehended it. Instead he perverted this hatred into ideology. The same holds for Stalin, Ceausescu, and all the other beaten and humiliated children who later turn into tyrants and criminals.
Alice Miller (Breaking Down the Wall of Silence: The Liberating Experience of Facing Painful Truth)
FEAR DOESN’T CHANGE THE STATISTICS Fear about guns seems to be greatest among those who know the least about them. It takes some familiarity to know that young children can’t simply fire a typical semi-automatic pistol. Few are likely to know that the slide needs to be pulled back to put a bullet in the chamber. Those who do are unlikely to have the strength to do so. And, of course, they may not be aware that the safety has to be switched off. Maybe more media attention should be given to the dangers posed by everyday items. In 2014, motor vehicles killed 303 pedestrians under age ten.8 Bicycle and space heater accidents take many times more children’s lives than guns do. Suffocation claimed over 1,100 lives. The most recent yearly data available indicate that five-gallon plastic water buckets claimed the lives of more than thirty children under age five. Again, the problem with gun-phobia is that without guns, victims are much more vulnerable to criminal attack. Guns are used defensively some 2 million times each year.9 Even though the police are extremely important in reducing crime, they simply can’t be there all the time. In fact, they virtually always arrive after the crime has been committed. Having a gun is by far the safest course of action when one is confronted by a criminal.
John R. Lott Jr. (The War on Guns: Arming Yourself Against Gun Control Lies)
While it is easy to lie with statistics, it is even easier to lie without them.
Frederick Mosteller
Despite the continual calls for expanded background checks after mass public shootings, there is no evidence that background checks on private transfers of guns would have prevented any of the attacks. Nor is there any statistical evidence that indicates that these mass public shootings are rarer in states with background checks on private transfers. What we do find is that fatalities and injuries from mass public shootings increased in states after they imposed background checks on private transfers. States with background checks on private transfers tended to have relatively low rates of murders and injuries from mass public shootings before the passage of background checks on private transfers, and these rates became relatively high afterwards. Clearly, there is no evidence that these laws lower mass public shootings. There are real costs of expanding background checks to private transfers. In particular, the fees on private transfers reduce gun ownership, particularly among law-abiding poor blacks who live in high crime urban areas and who benefit the most from protecting themselves; they will be the ones most likely priced out of owning guns for protection. Without some benefits in terms of either reduced crime or mass public shootings, it is hard to see how these rules pass any type of cost-benefit test.
John R. Lott Jr. (The War on Guns: Arming Yourself Against Gun Control Lies)
The media is doing quite a job of scaring people. A recent 2014 study in the journal Pediatrics received massive media attention, including extensive coverage in USA Today and an entire hour on ABC News’s 20/20.40 Here’s how ABC’s World News Tonight reported the findings:41           Looking at children and guns, the most recent statistics from 2009. And take a look tonight, they are eye-opening. The new numbers are arresting. . . . 7,391 children rushed to the hospital every year because of those gun injuries, so often accidents in the home. Four hundred and fifty-three of those children die at the hospital. The vast majority of these “children” are actually young adults. These are not little kids who accidentally hurt themselves by firing their parents’ gun. Consider these facts:          •    Seventy-six percent of these injured “children” were seventeen, eighteen, or nineteen years old.          •    Sixty-two percent of injuries were the result of criminal assaults.          •    The injuries are overwhelmingly concentrated in large, urban areas. These deaths are clearly tragic. But they are largely a result of gang violence, a problem that won’t be solved by scaring law-abiding Americans into not owning guns.
John R. Lott Jr. (The War on Guns: Arming Yourself Against Gun Control Lies)
Medical statistics will be our standard of measurement: we will weigh life for life and see where the dead lie thicker, among the workers or among the privileged.
Rudolf Virchow
The French state insists that once someone becomes French by citizenship, his ancestors become, metaphorically speaking, the Gauls, and he is therefore not to be distinguished from any other Frenchman, in statistics or anywhere else. It would take considerable conceptional subtlety as well as empirical knowledge to disentangle the truth and lies of all this.
Theodore Dalrymple (The New Vichy Syndrome: Why European Intellectuals Surrender to Barbarism)
There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics,” the British prime minister Benjamin Disraeli purportedly scoffed.
Rutger Bregman (Utopia for Realists: How We Can Build the Ideal World)
the academician’s view that this would have the “greatest reliability,” which is undoubtedly why so much time and money were spent on such things as neutron-activation analysis, acoustics studies, ballistic and trajectory analysis and other scientific studies. But science, like statistics, can lie and two scientists often read the same results in opposite ways.
Gaeton Fonzi (The Last Investigation: A Former Federal Investigator Reveals the Man behind the Conspiracy to Kill JFK)
In the words of Bernard Ramm: "Statistically speaking, the Gospels are the greatest literature ever written. They are read by more people, quoted by more authors, translated into more tongues, represented in more art, set to more music, than any other book or books written by any man in any century in any land. But the words of Christ are not great on the grounds that they have such a statistical edge over anybody else*s words. They are read more, quoted more, loved more, believed more, and translated more because they are the greatest words ever spoken. And where is their greatness? Their greatness lies in the pure, lucid spirituality in dealing clearly, definitively, and authoritatively with the greatest problems that throb in the human breast; namely, Who is God? Does He love Me? What should I do to please Him? How does He look at my sin? How can I be forgiven? Where will I go when I die? How must I treat others? No other man's words have the appeal of Jesus' words because no other man can answer these fundamental human questions as Jesus answered them. They are the kind of words and the kind of answers we would expect God to give, and we who believe in Jesus' deity have no problem as to why these words came from His mouth.
Josh McDowell (Evidence that Demands a Verdict, eBook: Historical Evidences for the Christian Faith)
But actually, he thought as he readjusted the Ministry of Plenty's figures, it was not even forgery. It was merely the substitution of one piece of nonsense for another. Most of the material that you were dealing with had no connection with anything in the real world, not even the kind of connection that is contained in a direct lie. Statistics were just as much a fantasy in their original version as in their rectified version. A great deal of the time you were expected to make them up out of your head. For example, the Ministry of Plenty's forecast had estimated the output of boots for the quarter at a hundred and forty-five million pairs. The actual output was given as sixty-two millions. Winston, however, in rewriting the forecast, marked the figure down to fifty-seven millions, so as to allow for the usual claim that the quota had been overfulfilled. In any case, sixty-two millions was no nearer the truth than fifty-seven millions, or than a hundred and forty-five millions. Very likely no boots had been produced at all. Likelier still, nobody knew how many had been produced, much less cared.
George Orwell (1984)
Access is one of those words that should raise red flags when you encounter them in statistics. People having access to health care might simply mean they live near a medical facility, not that the facility would admit them or that they could pay for it. As you learned above, C-SPAN is available in 100 million homes, but that doesn’t mean that 100 million people are watching it. I could claim that 90 percent of the world’s population has “access” to Weaponized Lies by showing that 90 percent of the population is within twenty-five miles of an Internet connection, rail line, road, landing strip, port, or dogsled route.
Daniel J. Levitin (A Field Guide to Lies: Critical Thinking in the Information Age)
The political atmosphere has been polluted by what Steven Colbert referred to as “Truthiness.” To that, I would add the term “factitious.” Lies that travel in via statistics, and cited by people who are confident that the public isn’t smart enough to question a statement that’s got a few numbers in it. Unless someone in the conversation knows enough to debunk the claim on the spot, it goes forth as truth. That’s why many GOP spokespersons enter TV debates armed with two or three factitious statements, often citing some genuine-sounding patriotic source like The Heritage Foundation, The American Enterprise Institute, FreedomWorks, American Crossroads, Americans for Prosperity, The Cato Institute, Citizens for a Sound Economy, or Judicial Watch.
Ian Gurvitz (WELCOME TO DUMBFUCKISTAN: The Dumbed-Down, Disinformed, Dysfunctional, Disunited States of America)
Even our government agencies have become Pinocchios. Misinformation is taken for granted. Prejudicial statistics, selectively chosen data, slanted surveys, purposeful omission of key facts, rigged numbers, outright lies. You just don’t know who or what to believe anymore. I
Congressman X (The Confessions of Congressman X: A disturbing and shockingly frank tell-all of vanity, greed and deceit)
As Henry G. Felsen, a humorist and no medical authority, pointed out quite a while ago, proper treatment will cure a cold in seven days, but left to itself a cold will hang on for a week.
Darrell Huff (How to Lie with Statistics)
graphs are not always what they seem. There may be more in them than meets the eye, and there may be a good deal less.
Darrell Huff (How to Lie with Statistics)
To be worth much, a report based on sampling must use a representative sample, which is one from which every source of bias has been removed. That is where our Yale figure shows its worthlessness. It is also where a great many of the things you can read in newspapers and magazines reveal their inherent lack of meaning.
Darrell Huff (How to Lie with Statistics)
I’m Captain Florida, the state history pimp Gatherin’ more data than a DEA blimp West Palm, Tampa Bay, Miami-Dade Cruisin’ the coasts till Johnny Vegas gets laid Developer ho’s, and the politician bitches Smackin’ ’em down, while I’m takin’ lots of pictures Hurricanes, sinkholes, natural disaster ’Scuse me while I kick back, with my View-Master (S:) I’m Captain Florida, obscure facts are all legit (C:) I’m Coleman, the sidekick, with a big bong hit (S:) I’m Captain Florida, staying literate (C:) Coleman sees a book and says, “Fuck that shit” Ain’t never been caught, slippin’ nooses down the Keys Got more buoyancy than Elián González Knockin’ off the parasites, and takin’ all their moola Recruiting my apostles for the Church of Don Shula I’m an old-school gangster with a psycho ex-wife Molly Packin’ Glocks, a shotgun and my 7-Eleven coffee Trippin’ the theme parks, the malls, the time-shares Bustin’ my rhymes through all the red-tide scares (S:) I’m the surge in the storms, don’t believe the hype (C:) I’m his stoned number two, where’d I put my hash pipe? (S:) Florida, no appointments and a tank of gas (C:) Tequila, no employment and a bag of grass Think you’ve seen it all? I beg to differ Mosquitoes like bats and a peg-leg stripper The scammers, the schemers, the real estate liars Birthday-party clowns in a meth-lab fire But dig us, don’t diss us, pay a visit, don’t be late And statistics always lie, so ignore the murder rate Beaches, palm trees and golfing is our curse Our residents won’t bite, but a few will shoot first Everglades, orange groves, alligators, Buffett Scarface, Hemingway, an Andrew Jackson to suck it Solarcaine, Rogaine, eight balls of cocaine See the hall of fame for the criminally insane Artifacts, folklore, roadside attractions Crackers, Haitians, Cuban-exile factions The early-bird specials, drivin’ like molasses Condo-meeting fistfights in cataract glasses (S:) I’m the native tourist, with the rants that can’t be beat (C:) Serge, I think I put my shoes on the wrong feet (S:) A stack of old postcards in another dingy room (C:) A cold Bud forty and a magic mushroom Can’t stop, turnpike, keep ridin’ like the wind Gotta make a detour for a souvenir pin But if you like to litter, you’re just liable to get hurt Do ya like the MAC-10 under my tropical shirt? I just keep meeting jerks, I’m a human land-filler But it’s totally unfair, this term “serial killer” The police never rest, always breakin’ in my pad But sunshine is my bling, and I’m hangin’ like a chad (S:) Serge has got to roll and drop the mike on this rap . . . (C:) Coleman’s climbin’ in the tub, to take a little nap . . . (S:) . . . Disappearin’ in the swamp—and goin’ tangent, tangent, tangent . . . (C:) He’s goin’ tangent, tangent . . . (Fade-out) (S:) I’m goin’ tangent, tangent . . . (C:) Fuck goin’ platinum, he’s goin’ tangent, tangent . . . (S:) . . . Wikipedia all up and down your ass . . . (C:) Wikity-Wikity-Wikity . . .
Tim Dorsey (Electric Barracuda (Serge Storms #13))
Doctors should not engage in an intellectual lobotomy that equates statistical significance with biological, physiological, or quantitative importance.
Alan Levinovitz (The Gluten Lie: And Other Myths About What You Eat)
The beauty of the normal distribution - its Michael Jordan power, finesse, and elegance - comes from the fact that we know by definition exactly what proportion of the observations in a normal distribution lie within one standard deviation of the mean (68.2 percent), within two standard deviations of the mean (95.4 percent), within three standard deviations of the mean (99.7 percent), and so on.
Charles Wheelan (Naked Statistics: Stripping the Dread from the Data)
Just because someone quotes you a statistic or shows you a graph, it doesn’t mean it’s relevant to the point they’re trying to make. It’s the job of all of us to make sure we get the information that matters, and to ignore the information that doesn’t.
Daniel J. Levitin (A Field Guide to Lies: Critical Thinking in the Information Age)
But Kinsey’s “statistics” were lies. Just like the black propagandists, he deceived Americans—and for the same purpose: To demoralize us. To sabotage American morale, trust, and confidence. To validate and legitimize his own perversions so that he could liberate our “repressed” society for his “sexual revolution.
Judith Reisman (Sexual Sabotage: How One Mad Scientist Unleashed a Plague of Corruption and Contagion on America)
When I see two little Jewish old ladies giggling over coffee at a Manhattan diner, it makes me smile, because I hear my own mother’s laughter beneath theirs. Conversely, when I hear black “leaders” talking about “Jewish slave owners” I feel angry and disgusted, knowing that they’re inflaming people with lies and twisted history, as if all seven of the Jewish slave owners in the antebellum South, or however few there were, are responsible for the problems of African-Americans now. Those leaders are no better than their Jewish counterparts who spin statistics in marvelous ways to make African-Americans look like savages, criminals, drags on society, and “animals” (a word quite popular when used to describe blacks these days). I don’t belong to any of those groups. I belong to the world of one God, one people.
James McBride (The Color of Water: A Black Man's Tribute to His White Mother)
He is a beef-boner, and that is a dangerous trade, especially when you are on piecework and trying to earn a bride. Your hands are slippery, and your knife is slippery, and you are toiling like mad, when somebody happens to speak to you, or you strike a bone. Then your hand slips up on the blade, and there is a fearful gash. And that would not be so bad, only for the deadly contagion. The cut may heal, but you never can tell. Twice now; within the last three years, Mikolas has been lying at home with blood poisoning—once for three months and once for nearly seven. The last time, too, he lost his job, and that meant six weeks more of standing at the doors of the packing houses, at six o’clock on bitter winter mornings, with a foot of snow on the ground and more in the air. There are learned people who can tell you out of the statistics that beef-boners make forty cents an hour, but, perhaps, these people have never looked into a beef-boner’s hands.
Upton Sinclair (The Jungle)
One of the biggest lies we´ve been sold is that following our passion is the key . Statistically, following your passion will lead to unemployment or underemployment
Kristy Shen (Quit Like a Millionaire: No Gimmicks, Luck, or Trust Fund Required)
characteristic of the median—that it does not weight observations on the basis of how far they lie from the midpoint,
Charles Wheelan (Naked Statistics: Stripping the Dread from the Data)
In this example, the defining characteristic of the median—that it does not weight observations on the basis of how far they lie from the midpoint, only on whether they lie above or below—turns out to be its weakness.
Charles Wheelan (Naked Statistics: Stripping the Dread from the Data)
True Management lies in tying a knot amid the known statistics and the unknown tactics; True Administration lies in untying a knot amid the unknown statistics and the known tactics
P.S. Jagadeesh Kumar
Socialists’ two favorite rhetorical tools are envy and shame, and the platform they build on is identity politics. It’s culturally sanctioned prejudice… Identity politics is a tactic of statists, who foster resentment and envy and then peddle the lie that a bigger government can make everything FAIRER. These feelings justify the cruelty inherent in identity politics. Democrats’ favorite tactic is smearing as a ‘racist’ anyone who disagrees with them, challenges their opinion, or simply exists while thinking different thoughts.” -p. 20
Dana Loesch (Grace Canceled: How Outrage is Destroying Lives, Ending Debate, and Endangering Democracy)
Grace Canceled: How Outrage is Destroying Lives, Ending Debate, and Endangering Democracy by Dana Loesch 4/ 5 stars Great book! Book summary: “Popular talk radio host and political activist Dana Loesch confronts the Left's zero-tolerance, accept-no-apologies ethos with a powerful call for a return to core American principles of grace, redemption, justice, and empathy. Diving deep into recent cases where public and private figures were shamed, fired, or boycotted for social missteps, Loesch shows us how the politics of outrage is fueling the breakdown of the American community. How do we find common ground without compromising? Loesch urges readers to meet the face of fury with grace, highlighting inspiring examples like Congressman Dan Crenshaw's appearance on Saturday Night Live.” “Socialists’ two favorite rhetorical tools are envy and shame, and the platform they build on is identity politics. It’s culturally sanctioned prejudice… Identity politics is a tactic of statists, who foster resentment and envy and then peddle the lie that a bigger government can make everything FAIRER. These feelings justify the cruelty inherent in identity politics. Democrats’ favorite tactic is smearing as a ‘racist’ anyone who disagrees with them, challenges their opinion, or simply exists while thinking different thoughts.” -p. 20 “Democrats still need the socialists to maintain power, but it’s a dangerous trade. Going explicitly socialist would doom the Democrats to the dustbin of history. Instead, they’re refashioning the party: It believes wealth is evil, government is your church and savior, and independence is selfishness. Virtue is extinct- ‘virtue signaling’ has replaced actual virtue.” -p. 24 “The socialist definition of social justice ignores merit, neuters ambition, and diminishes the equity of labor. Equal rewards for unequal effort is unjust and fosters resentment.” - pp. 26-7 “The state purports to act on behalf of ‘the common good’. But who defines the common good? It has long been the justification for monstrous acts by totalitarian governments. ...In this way, the common good becomes an excuse for total state control. That was the excuse on which totalitarianism was built. You can achieve the common goal better if there is a total authority, and you must then limit the desires and wishfulness of individuals.” -p. 27 “Socialism is the enemy of charity because it outsources all compassion and altruism to the state. Out of sight, out of mind, they may think-- an overarching theme throughout socialism and communism (and one is just a stepping-stone to the other)... What need is there for personal ambition if government will provide, albeit meagerly, for all your needs from cradle to grave?” -pp. 32-3
Dana Loesch (Grace Canceled: How Outrage is Destroying Lives, Ending Debate, and Endangering Democracy)
The mean, or average, turns out to have some problems in that regard, namely, that it is prone to distortion by “outliers,” which are observations that lie farther from the center.
Charles Wheelan (Naked Statistics: Stripping the Dread from the Data)
knowledge of cardiovascular disease and whether such knowledge reduces behaviors that put people at risk for cardiovascular disease. Simple regression is used to analyze the relationship between two continuous variables. Continuous variables assume that the distances between ordered categories are determinable.1 In simple regression, one variable is defined as the dependent variable and the other as the independent variable (see Chapter 2 for the definitions). In the current example, the level of knowledge obtained from workshops and other sources might be measured on a continuous scale and treated as an independent variable, and behaviors that put people at risk for cardiovascular disease might also be measured on a continuous scale and treated as a dependent variable. Scatterplot The relationship between two continuous variables can be portrayed in a scatterplot. A scatterplot is merely a plot of the data points for two continuous variables, as shown in Figure 14.1 (without the straight line). By convention, the dependent variable is shown on the vertical (or Y-) axis, and the independent variable on the horizontal (or X-) axis. The relationship between the two variables is estimated as a straight line relationship. The line is defined by the equation y = a + bx, where a is the intercept (or constant), and b is the slope. The slope, b, is defined as Figure 14.1 Scatterplot or (y2 – y1)/(x2 – x1). The line is calculated mathematically such that the sum of distances from each observation to the line is minimized.2 By definition, the slope indicates the change in y as a result of a unit change in x. The straight line, defined by y = a + bx, is also called the regression line, and the slope (b) is called the regression coefficient. A positive regression coefficient indicates a positive relationship between the variables, shown by the upward slope in Figure 14.1. A negative regression coefficient indicates a negative relationship between the variables and is indicated by a downward-sloping line. Test of Significance The test of significance of the regression coefficient is a key test that tells us whether the slope (b) is statistically different from zero. The slope is calculated from a sample, and we wish to know whether it is significant. When the regression line is horizontal (b = 0), no relationship exists between the two variables. Then, changes in the independent variable have no effect on the dependent variable. The following hypotheses are thus stated: H0: b = 0, or the two variables are unrelated. HA: b ≠ 0, or the two variables are (positively or negatively) related. To determine whether the slope equals zero, a t-test is performed. The test statistic is defined as the slope, b, divided by the standard error of the slope, se(b). The standard error of the slope is a measure of the distribution of the observations around the regression slope, which is based on the standard deviation of those observations to the regression line: Thus, a regression line with a small slope is more likely to be statistically significant when observations lie closely around it (that is, the standard error of the observations around the line is also small, resulting in a larger test statistic). By contrast, the same regression line might be statistically insignificant when observations are scattered widely around it. Observations that lie farther from the
Evan M. Berman (Essential Statistics for Public Managers and Policy Analysts)
Table 14.1 also shows R-square (R2), which is called the coefficient of determination. R-square is of great interest: its value is interpreted as the percentage of variation in the dependent variable that is explained by the independent variable. R-square varies from zero to one, and is called a goodness-of-fit measure.5 In our example, teamwork explains only 7.4 percent of the variation in productivity. Although teamwork is significantly associated with productivity, it is quite likely that other factors also affect it. It is conceivable that other factors might be more strongly associated with productivity and that, when controlled for other factors, teamwork is no longer significant. Typically, values of R2 below 0.20 are considered to indicate weak relationships, those between 0.20 and 0.40 indicate moderate relationships, and those above 0.40 indicate strong relationships. Values of R2 above 0.65 are considered to indicate very strong relationships. R is called the multiple correlation coefficient and is always 0 ≤ R ≤ 1. To summarize up to this point, simple regression provides three critically important pieces of information about bivariate relationships involving two continuous variables: (1) the level of significance at which two variables are associated, if at all (t-statistic), (2) whether the relationship between the two variables is positive or negative (b), and (3) the strength of the relationship (R2). Key Point R-square is a measure of the strength of the relationship. Its value goes from 0 to 1. The primary purpose of regression analysis is hypothesis testing, not prediction. In our example, the regression model is used to test the hypothesis that teamwork is related to productivity. However, if the analyst wants to predict the variable “productivity,” the regression output also shows the SEE, or the standard error of the estimate (see Table 14.1). This is a measure of the spread of y values around the regression line as calculated for the mean value of the independent variable, only, and assuming a large sample. The standard error of the estimate has an interpretation in terms of the normal curve, that is, 68 percent of y values lie within one standard error from the calculated value of y, as calculated for the mean value of x using the preceding regression model. Thus, if the mean index value of the variable “teamwork” is 5.0, then the calculated (or predicted) value of “productivity” is [4.026 + 0.223*5 =] 5.141. Because SEE = 0.825, it follows that 68 percent of productivity values will lie 60.825 from 5.141 when “teamwork” = 5. Predictions of y for other values of x have larger standard errors.6 Assumptions and Notation There are three simple regression assumptions. First, simple regression assumes that the relationship between two variables is linear. The linearity of bivariate relationships is easily determined through visual inspection, as shown in Figure 14.2. In fact, all analysis of relationships involving continuous variables should begin with a scatterplot. When variable
Evan M. Berman (Essential Statistics for Public Managers and Policy Analysts)
(e). Hence the expressions are equivalent, as is y = ŷ + e. Certain assumptions about e are important, such as that it is normally distributed. When error term assumptions are violated, incorrect conclusions may be made about the statistical significance of relationships. This important issue is discussed in greater detail in Chapter 15 and, for time series data, in Chapter 17. Hence, the above is a pertinent but incomplete list of assumptions. Getting Started Conduct a simple regression, and practice writing up your results. PEARSON’S CORRELATION COEFFICIENT Pearson’s correlation coefficient, r, measures the association (significance, direction, and strength) between two continuous variables; it is a measure of association for two continuous variables. Also called the Pearson’s product-moment correlation coefficient, it does not assume a causal relationship, as does simple regression. The correlation coefficient indicates the extent to which the observations lie closely or loosely clustered around the regression line. The coefficient r ranges from –1 to +1. The sign indicates the direction of the relationship, which, in simple regression, is always the same as the slope coefficient. A “–1” indicates a perfect negative relationship, that is, that all observations lie exactly on a downward-sloping regression line; a “+1” indicates a perfect positive relationship, whereby all observations lie exactly on an upward-sloping regression line. Of course, such values are rarely obtained in practice because observations seldom lie exactly on a line. An r value of zero indicates that observations are so widely scattered that it is impossible to draw any well-fitting line. Figure 14.2 illustrates some values of r. Key Point Pearson’s correlation coefficient, r, ranges from –1 to +1. It is important to avoid confusion between Pearson’s correlation coefficient and the coefficient of determination. For the two-variable, simple regression model, r2 = R2, but whereas 0 ≤ R ≤ 1, r ranges from –1 to +1. Hence, the sign of r tells us whether a relationship is positive or negative, but the sign of R, in regression output tables such as Table 14.1, is always positive and cannot inform us about the direction of the relationship. In simple regression, the regression coefficient, b, informs us about the direction of the relationship. Statistical software programs usually show r rather than r2. Note also that the Pearson’s correlation coefficient can be used only to assess the association between two continuous variables, whereas regression can be extended to deal with more than two variables, as discussed in Chapter 15. Pearson’s correlation coefficient assumes that both variables are normally distributed. When Pearson’s correlation coefficients are calculated, a standard error of r can be determined, which then allows us to test the statistical significance of the bivariate correlation. For bivariate relationships, this is the same level of significance as shown for the slope of the regression coefficient. For the variables given earlier in this chapter, the value of r is .272 and the statistical significance of r is p ≤ .01. Use of the Pearson’s correlation coefficient assumes that the variables are normally distributed and that there are no significant departures from linearity.7 It is important not to confuse the correlation coefficient, r, with the regression coefficient, b. Comparing the measures r and b (the slope) sometimes causes confusion. The key point is that r does not indicate the regression slope but rather the extent to which observations lie close to it. A steep regression line (large b) can have observations scattered loosely or closely around it, as can a shallow (more horizontal) regression line. The purposes of these two statistics are very different.8 SPEARMAN’S RANK CORRELATION
Evan M. Berman (Essential Statistics for Public Managers and Policy Analysts)
So what did Mussolini do? He founded, as he put it, the only genuinely socialist government in the world, with the possible exception of the Soviet Union.35 Mussolini attempted to put into effect what he termed the “true socialism” that he said “plutocratic elements and sections of the clergy” had prevented him from implementing in Italy. At Salo, Mussolini outlined a socialist program that went beyond anything he attempted in Italy. The new program of November 1943 called for the state to take over all the critical sections of the economy—energy, raw materials, all necessary social services—leaving only private savings and private homes and assets in the hands of the citizens. The public sector was to be run by management committees in which workers would have a key role. Unions would also be part of the fascist governing assembly. The next step, declared Mussolini’s adviser Ugo Spirito, would be to abolish all private property. Interestingly Mussolini’s closest adviser in Salo was Nicola Bombacci, once a friend and disciple of Lenin who had in 1921 been a co-founder of the Italian Communist Party. Mussolini’s Salo period, although short-lived, proves that he never abandoned his original leftist ideals; he remained to the last a dedicated statist, collectivist, and socialist.
Dinesh D'Souza (The Big Lie: Exposing the Nazi Roots of the American Left)
Without question, most researchers believe that guns are used more often in self-defense than in the commission of a crime. They also believe that gun-free zones attract criminals; that guns in the home do not increase the risk of suicide; that concealed handgun permit holders are much more law-abiding than the typical American; and that permitted concealed handguns lower the murder rate. All of these results are statistically significant.
John R. Lott Jr. (The War on Guns: Arming Yourself Against Gun Control Lies)
Usually, when gun control researchers do a study, only a small set of countries are used in any comparison, typically limited to so-called “civilized,” as David Hemenway or Piers Morgan calls them, or “developed” countries.18 It isn’t clear what is meant by “civilized” countries, so what can Americans learn from these other “developed” nations? First, here is how homicide rates vary across developed countries. Currently, thirty-four countries are in the OECD, though the agency also includes Brazil and Russia in its statistical data, as they meet the definition of “developed.”19 (Both countries have been negotiating for membership, but Russia has had talks suspended because of the Crimea crisis.)
John R. Lott Jr. (The War on Guns: Arming Yourself Against Gun Control Lies)
There are at least three levels of sampling involved. Dr. Kinsey’s samples of the population (one level) are far from random ones and may not be particularly representative, but they are enormous samples by comparison with anything done in his field before and his figures must be accepted as revealing and important if not necessarily on the nose. It is possibly more important to remember that any questionnaire is only a sample (another level) of the possible questions and that the answer the lady gives is no more than a sample (third level) of her attitudes and experiences on each question.
Darrell Huff (How to Lie with Statistics)
Statistically speaking,” the Erudite boy next to me—his name is Will— says, grinning at me, “you should have hit the target at least once by now, even by accident.” He is blond, with shaggy hair and a crease between his eyebrows. “Is that so,” I say without inflection. “Yeah,” he says. “I think you’re actually defying nature.” I grit my teeth and turn toward the target, resolving to at least stand still. If I can’t master the first task they give us, how will I ever make it through stage one? I squeeze the trigger, hard, and this time I’m ready for the recoil. It makes my hands jump back, but my feet stay planted. A bullet hole appears at the edge of the target, and I raise an eyebrow at Will. “So you see, I’m right. The stats don’t lie,” he says.
Veronica Roth (Divergent (Divergent, #1))
The revelation that the White House had jiggered official unemployment statistics by not counting ‘people no longer looking for work’, led many Americans to be suspicious that the same people who lied about the number of Americans out of work, would likewise falsify election returns. Honest election workers in various cities revealed that tens of thousands of registered voters were dead, but still registered to vote. A majority of the honest workers were subsequently fired, triggering even more voter anger.
John Price (Second Term - A Novel of America in the Last Days)
That’s why when you read an announcement by a corporation executive or a business proprietor that the average pay of the people who work in his establishment is so much, the figure may mean something and it may not. If the average is a median, you can learn something significant from it: Half the employees make more than that; half make less. But if it is a mean (and believe me it may be that if its nature is unspecified) you may be getting nothing more revealing than the average of one $45,000 income—the proprietor’s—and the salaries of a crew of underpaid workers. “Average annual pay of $5,700” may conceal both the $2,000 salaries and the owner’s profits taken in the form of a whopping salary.
Darrell Huff (How to Lie with Statistics)
Stannard begins with a stunning statistic: of the ten to twelve million native Indians who once populated the American continent, between 90 and 95 percent perished as a consequence of exposure to the white man. This is a catastrophic event, by any measure, but even so Stannard admits that most of these deaths were due to plagues and epidemics unwittingly transmitted from Europeans to the Indians. Whatever we call this, we cannot call it genocide because genocide involves the intent to exterminate a population.
Dinesh D'Souza (The Big Lie: Exposing the Nazi Roots of the American Left)
You have pretty fair evidence to go on if you suspect that polls in general are biased in one specific direction, the direction of the Literary Digest error. This bias is toward the person with more money, more education, more information and alertness, better appearance, more conventional behavior, and more settled habits than the average of the population he is chosen to represent.
Darrell Huff (How to Lie with Statistics)
Data doesn’t lie. People do. If your data is biased, it is because it has been sampled incorrectly or you asked the wrong question (whether deliberately or otherwise).
Lee Baker (Truth, Lies & Statistics: How to Lie with Statistics (Bite-Size Stats Series Book 1))
If the statistics of happiness depend on personal reporting, how can we be sure that anyone is as happy as they claim to be? What if they aren’t telling the truth? No, we have to assume that they are, or at least that the testing system allows for lying. So the real question lay beneath: assuming that those canvassed by anthropologists and sociologists are reliable witnesses, then surely ‘being happy’ is the same as ‘reporting yourself happy’? Whereupon any subsequent objective analysis – of brain activity, for instance – becomes irrelevant. To say sincerely that you are happy is to be happy. At which point, the question disappears.
Julian Barnes (The Only Story)
The test of the random sample is this: Does every name or thing in the whole group have an equal chance to be in the sample? The purely random sample is the only kind that can be examined with entire confidence by means of statistical theory, but there is one thing wrong with it. It is so difficult and expensive to obtain for many uses that sheer cost eliminates it. A more economical substitute, which is almost universally used in such fields as opinion polling and market research, is called stratified random sampling.
Darrell Huff (How to Lie with Statistics)
On the other hand, the elimination of the qualitative aspects in favour of a tighter and tighter mathematical definition of atomic structure must necessarily reach a limit, beyond which precision gives way to the indeterminate. This is exactly what is happening with modern atomist science, in which mathematical reflection is being more and more replaced by statistics and calculations of probability, and in which the very laws of causality seem to be facing bankruptcy. If the 'forms' of things are 'lights', as Boethius said, the reduction of the qualitative to the quantitative can be compared to the action of a man who puts out all the lights the better to scrutinize the nature of darkness. Modern science can never reach that matter that is at the basis of this world. But between the qualitiatively differentiated world and undifferentiated matter lies something like an intermediate zoneand this is chaos. The sinister dangers of atomic fission are but one signpost indicating the frontier of chaos and dissolution.
Titus Burckhardt (Mirror of the Intellect: Essays on the Traditional Science and Sacred Art)
The human brain is by far the most complex object known to exist in the entire universe, containing more neurons than there are billions of stars in the Milky Way. The brain and the mind are very different things, and the latter is as mysterious as the former is complex. The brain is a machine, and the mind is a ghost within it. The origins of self-awareness and how the mind is able to perceive, analyze, and imagine are supposedly explained by numerous schools of psychology, although in fact they study only behavior through the gathering and the analysis of statistics. The why of the mind’s existence and the how of its profound capacity to reason—especially its penchant for moral reasoning—will by their very nature remain as mysterious as whatever lies outside of time.
Dean Koontz (Odd Interlude #1 (An Odd Thomas Story))
Lies, damned lies, and statistics?
Louise Penny (The Madness of Crowds (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #17))
CDC’s promotion of this statistical bunko was obviously grossly misleading. Assuming President Biden wasn’t deliberately lying to the American people, it’s clear that CDC was lying to President Biden and using him to dupe the rest of us.
Robert F. Kennedy Jr. (The Real Anthony Fauci: Bill Gates, Big Pharma, and the Global War on Democracy and Public Health)
Now the mental test of any variety is one of the prime voodoo fetishes of our time, so you may have to argue a little to find out the results of the tests;
Darrell Huff (How to Lie with Statistics)
the whole thing is just transparently ridiculous, starting from the idea that a man just proposes to a woman and she’s supposed to be just lying in wait for the moment he decides he’s ready to commit to a situation where he statistically benefits and she statistically becomes less happy than she would be if she was single, and then she’s the one who has to wear this tacky ring to signify male ownership, and she’s supposed to be excited about it, this new life where doubt becomes this thing you’re supposed to experience in private and certainty becomes the default affect for the entire rest of your life
Jia Tolentino (Trick Mirror: Reflections on Self-Delusion)
The brain is a machine, and the mind is a ghost within it. The origins of self-awareness and how the mind is able to perceive, analyze, and imagine are supposedly explained by numerous schools of psychology, although in fact they study only behavior through the gathering and the analysis of statistics. The why of the mind’s existence and the how of its profound capacity to reason—especially its penchant for moral reasoning—will by their very nature remain as mysterious as whatever lies outside of time.
Dean Koontz (Odd Interlude: A Special Odd Thomas Adventure)
I am perpetually—sometimes darkly—amused by the workings of my mind, which can often seem less rational than I would like to believe they are. The human brain is by far the most complex object known to exist in the entire universe, containing more neurons than there are billions of stars in the Milky Way. The brain and the mind are very different things, and the latter is as mysterious as the former is complex. The brain is a machine, and the mind is a ghost within it. The origins of self-awareness and how the mind is able to perceive, analyze, and imagine are supposedly explained by numerous schools of psychology, although in fact they study only behavior through the gathering and the analysis of statistics. The why of the mind’s existence and the how of its profound capacity to reason—especially its penchant for moral reasoning—will by their very nature remain as mysterious as whatever lies outside of time.
Dean Koontz (Odd Interlude: A Special Odd Thomas Adventure)
The P.I. states that if something x has happened in certain particular circumstances n times in the past, we are justified in believing that the same circumstances will produce x on the (n + 1)th occasion. The P.I. is wholly respectable and authoritative, and it seems like a well-lit exit out of the whole problem. Until, that is, it happens to strike you (as can occur only in very abstract moods or when there’s an unusual amount of time before the alarm goes off) that the P.I. is itself merely an abstraction from experience … and so now what exactly is it that justifies our confidence in the P.I.? This latest thought may or may not be accompanied by a concrete memory of several weeks spent on a relative’s farm in childhood (long story). There were four chickens in a wire coop off the garage, the brightest of whom was called Mr. Chicken. Every morning, the farm’s hired man’s appearance in the coop area with a certain burlap sack caused Mr. Chicken to get excited and start doing warmup-pecks at the ground, because he knew it was feeding time. It was always around the same time t every morning, and Mr. Chicken had figured out that t(man + sack) = food, and thus was confidently doing his warmup-pecks on that last Sunday morning when the hired man suddenly reached out and grabbed Mr. Chicken and in one smooth motion wrung his neck and put him in the burlap sack and bore him off to the kitchen. Memories like this tend to remain quite vivid, if you have any. But with the thrust, lying here, being that Mr. Chicken appears now actually to have been correct—according to the Principle of Induction—in expecting nothing but breakfast from that (n + 1)th appearance of man + sack at t. Something about the fact that Mr. Chicken not only didn’t suspect a thing but appears to have been wholly justified in not suspecting a thing—this seems concretely creepy and upsetting. Finding some higher-level justification for your confidence in the P.I. seems much more urgent when you realize that, without this justification, our own situation is basically indistinguishable from that of Mr. Chicken. But the conclusion, abstract as it is, seems inescapable: what justifies our confidence in the Principle of Induction is that it has always worked so well in the past, at least up to now. Meaning that our only real justification for the Principle of Induction is the Principle of Induction, which seems shaky and question-begging in the extreme. The only way out of the potentially bedridden-for-life paralysis of this last conclusion is to pursue further abstract side-inquiries into what exactly ‘justification’ means and whether it’s true that the only valid justifications for certain beliefs and principles are rational and noncircular. For instance, we know that in a certain number of cases every year cars suddenly veer across the centerline into oncoming traffic and crash head-on into people who were driving along not expecting to get killed; and thus we also know, on some level, that whatever confidence lets us drive on two-way roads is not 100% rationally justified by the laws of statistical probability. And yet ‘rational justification’ might not apply here. It might be more the fact that, if you cannot believe your car won’t suddenly get crashed into out of nowhere, you just can’t drive, and thus that your need/desire to be able to drive functions as a kind of ‘justification’ of your confidence.* It would be better not to then start analyzing the various putative ‘justifications’ for your need/desire to be able to drive a car—at some point you realize that the process of abstract justification can, at least in principle, go on forever. The ability to halt a line of abstract thinking once you see it has no end is part of what usually distinguishes sane, functional people—people who when the alarm finally goes off can hit the floor without trepidation and plunge into the concrete business of the real workaday world—from the unhinged.
David Foster Wallace (Everything and More: A Compact History of Infinity)
Whether they were naughty or not did not come within what Dr. Kinsey considered to be his province. So he ran up against something that has plagued many another observer: It is dangerous to mention any subject having high emotional content without hastily saying where you are for or agin
Darrell Huff (How to Lie with Statistics)
Statistics are reliable, but only as idiot demons.
Jaron Lanier (Ten Arguments For Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now)
Out here, I am half scientist, half disciple. I’ve left the laboratory far behind and, with it, the need to quantify and contain. In its place, I’ve reconnected with the simple act of observation. Watch. Listen. Learn. These were the tenets of the earliest naturalists, the instincts of indigenous people around the globe whose survival depended on knowledge gained from the land. My passion for birds and the natural world also emerged from these basic principles. I fell in love with the image of the sky blocked by kittiwakes flying in perfect synchrony, became intrigued by a chickadee whose beak promised to foretell something about our environment, tuned my ears to the nuances of a warbler’s song. What drew me to research was not the rigor of statistics or the mystery of what lies within an organism’s genetic code. It was the birds themselves.
Caroline Van Hemert (The Sun Is a Compass: A 4,000-Mile Journey into the Alaskan Wilds)
Modern culture treats sex outside of marriagea as being no big deal. It’s considered completely normal and not something to be ashamed of; if anything, people brag about it and argue that it’s a positive good. It’s described as being a “casual” activity; something you can do with “no strings attached.” You can supposedly have meaningless “hookups,” “one-night stands,” or text your “friends with benefits” to set up a “booty call,” which is probably the most unromantic thing I can even think of. This idea that sex outside of marriage is OK is probably the biggest lie we are told, and the biggest source of our problems—not just in dating, but in all of life. I know that is a bold statement, but consider the evidence: after the so-called “sexual revolution” of the 1960s, divorce rates doubled, followed by an ongoing decline in marriage rates.1 Currently, 40 percent of children in the United States are born out of wedlock, without a stable, married, two-parent family; in the 1960s, at the start of the sexual revolution, that number was just 7 percent.2 Besides those births, there have been 60 million US children killed before birth via abortion since 1973.3 Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), which would be almost nonexistent if all people were monogamous,b are instead at record highs,4 with something like 20 million new infections in the country each year.5 Pornography use has become so common that it’s just kind of assumed for men but is also regularly consumed by at least a third of all women.6 And then you have all the ways people use and abuse sex as a way to use and abuse other people through either harassment or assault, which is a huge problem: it’s estimated that one in five women are raped at some point in their lives,7 while the majority are either harassed or assaulted in some form.8 Go beyond the statistics and think about how all these things would affect the actual people involved, and all the various costs associated with each one. Add it all up, and the impact both on society and on individual relationships is ridiculously massive.
Jonathan Pokluda (Outdated: Find Love That Lasts When Dating Has Changed)