I’ve never understood this type of hand waving logic. “Oh, it’s not so bad because it’s not happening to a lot of people.”

Well, that’s because it’s logic. And stats, too.

  1. Let’s suppose 10% of the apples in the US are poisonous and are causing people to die. That would be accurately described as a PROBLEM.
  2. 2. Now, the next step is to figure out how to SOLVE the problem.
  3. To do that, you need to UNDERSTAND the problem; and just saying “10% of the apples in the US are poisonous” isn’t sufficient understanding to solve the problem, because there are (at least) TWO possibilities:

ONE. The appearance of the 10% poison apple crop is generally dispersed throughout the entire United States apple crop. IOW, 10% of every commercial orchard’s crop is poisonous, OR,

TWO: All of the poison apples come from New England.

Depending on which one is real, those are TWO ENTIRELY DIFFERENT PROBLEMS that need to be solved. The public, who in my experience wants to do the “hand waving” and say “10% of the apples are poison, who cares where they’re from”, doesn’t care about understanding the problem; they just want it solved.

But you MUST understand the problem in order to solve it. Because it makes no sense to disrupt the entire apple production of the United States for a problem which is localized in New England.

I can give MANY examples of this, PARTICULARLY when it comes to issues of public policy, social justice inequity, etc., because in many cases, the activist does not WANT the problem fully understood; it serves their ultimate objective better if it is POORLY understood. (I am not accusing you of this; what I AM saying is that this is why my experiences in statistics along these lines lead me to be skeptical.)

Given that I know a bit more about you now of course you’d ascribe to defeatism with zero leg work. You don’t care.

Yea, yea, yea. I believe in solving problems, not slapping labels on things. If you interpret that as “not caring”, then that’s on you, not me.

Written by

Data Driven Econophile. Muslim, USA born. Been “woke” 2x: 1st, when I realized the world isn’t fair; 2nd, when I realized the “woke” people are full of shit.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store