Posted on Sat 14 April 2018

on the spontaneous use of statistics

To be clear:

  • If I link or otherwise attribute a source for a statistical figure, that’s the source that I’m using.

  • If I blather off an estimate like 87% of all statistics are made up on the spot, that is almost certainly hyperbole.

  • If I show my work on making an estimate, I am reasonably confident that my logic is consistent and my sources are not absolutely ridiculous. But it’s an estimate, and you should confirm it independently before relying on it in any serious decision-making.

These are also the rules I expect from random sources on the Internet.

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