I read a post at Inside Tim’s Head, a blog hosted by Tim Nekritz, a stats junkie. The topic starts out focusing on Nate Silver, now considered a pop-culture star, who has been incredibly accurate predicting the results of the 2008, 2010 and 2012 US elections by crunching the right numbers. Then Nekritz’s topic shifts to how stats may be used to help Bloggers write smarter and attract more visitors that stay longer.
Tim wrote, Nate Silver cautions, “it’s about looking for the right data, not necessarily the most obvious or easiest.”
I agree with Silver—the right data (stats and facts) is important!
In fact, when I form an opinion, for example, on topics such as public education, religion, same-sex marriage, smoking pot, abortion, etc, I often look for studies on the same topic that are not necessarily opinionated but are stat/fact oriented to see if my thinking is valid.
That may explain why many of my opinions come with loads of stats and facts linked to primary fact gathering organizations.
I think that most information on a topic found through an Internet search using Google, for example, mostly leads to ignorant, politically correct, unsupported opinions, and if we join any mob that is currently political correct, we may eventually find ourselves on the flat-earth side of history a few decades or centuries from now.
Consider that for several thousand years it was politically correct to believe the Earth was the center of the universe and everything revolved around it. In the 8th century BCE, early Egyptians portrayed the earth as a flat disk floating in the ocean. The Hebrew Bible (you know the Old Testament) described a circular earth with a solid roof, surrounded by water above and below. In ancient China, the prevailing belief was that the Earth was flat and square.
In addition, the Catholic (Christian) Church persecuted scientists who formed theories the Church deemed heretical—two examples are Nicholas Copernicus (1473 – 1543) and Galileo Galilei (1564 – 1642). It took the Church 350 years to express regret (October 31, 1992) for how the Church treated Galileo.
How long have we known the earth was not the center of the universe?
Copernicus waited until he was an old man to publicly announce his beliefs, because anyone who opposed the political correctness of Church doctrine was branded a heretic, and that would destroy your reputation, put you in prison, or even sentence you to death.
Then I read this from Shaila Dewan of The New York Times, Popular Wrench Fights a Chinese Rival .
When I read the comments following Dewan’s piece, I discovered the usual China bashing about how everything from China is cheap and doesn’t last long. As usual, this politically correct gut reaction is mostly based on ignorance.
Continued on November 11, 2012 in Nate Silver, Winning Elections and Planned Obsolescence – Part 2
His latest novel is Running with the Enemy. Blamed for a crime he did not commit while serving in Vietnam, his country considers him a traitor. Ethan Card is a loyal U.S. Marine desperate to prove his innocence or he will never go home again.
And the woman he loves and wants to save was trained to hate and kill Americans.
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