03 November, 2021
4 Min Read
Data and the quest for truth
Context: This topic is important for UPSE GS Paper 3 and Essay.
Looking for truth in the ocean of data available demands statistical expertise and also innovation
Whenever I think about ‘Data’, I think of Brent Spiner. The android of Star Trek was self-aware, sapient, sentient, and had striven for his own humanity.
Today, ‘Data’ is already ‘Big’ and ever-expanding and has the potential to influence every bit of human lifestyle.
However, “There is terror in numbers,” as Darrell Huff wrote in How to Lie with Statistics.
The task of statisticians is to churn the data and obtain summary measures, diagrams and figures, rankings and indices, and make conclusions. Is this the much-desired ‘human chip’ to make ‘Data’ human?
The lesson is clear. In order to extract ‘truths’ by using statistics, one needs expertise and innovation from the concerned statisticians. Ideal statistical thinking and proper understanding of statistics of the common people, of course, is no less important. A pinch of salt is needed, indeed.
Source: The Hindu
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