Interesting historical perspective, and why statistics as a tool to form policy and public opinion may loose its effect in the time to come.

some points:

  • the nation is a misleading entity to use; while some cities flourish and grow, other regions are hit hard; an average statistic does not catch this.
  • while employment figures show who is in a job, it says little about how suitable it is, and thus, not if people are underemployed.
  • increasing amounts of data is collected by private entities like Facebook, not open to public access.. and can be used to further own ends.


How statistics lost their power – and why we should fear what comes next | William Davies

In theory, statistics should help settle arguments. They ought to provide stable reference points that everyone – no matter what their politics – can agree on. Yet in recent years, divergent levels of trust in statistics has become one of the key schisms that have opened up in western liberal democracies.

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