Statistics: Data over Facts
Statistics is the study of data and what this data tells us about the reality from which this data was sampled or otherwise obtained. Statistics notably is not the study of facts which are concepts taken as given and which are deemed reflective of reality. Everything that is data to statistics are only hints that point at conclusions that can be drawn about reality. One can say that statistics is an admission that we don’t know any facts beyond that which we arrive by data and even then those facts are bound by laws of certainty and probability. This way of looking at the world is in a way wiser than looking at the world in terms of facts. If we look solely in terms of facts, we are bound by the narrative by which these facts came from: specifically, something is only a fact if it fits a narrative as well as the truth or it becomes a questionable statement. If we look in terms of data, we can arise at independent judgments. Take for example, the impact of the British Empire on world history: that impact provided for plenty of facts but if we collect data, we can arise at conclusions about the validity of the British Empire narrative itself. It seems like that narrative is very valid from the data we collect, as for example, I have had great conversations with many people of the British accent. Facts that then can arise out of this narrative would be the role of Canada for example, where I am from, and whether Canada has a place to play in world history. Facts are often contrasted with opinions. To get to what is fact and what is opinion though, we first need data that tells us what narrative we are in. Then the facts that arise out of the narrative are facts and the facts that must stand on their own are categorized as opinion. The best way to obscure mathematics is to create a conundrum: for example, make it impossible to support the British Empire and also be American. But in statistics, we simply move on to the next data point. There is a lack of sentimentality in statistics because sometimes we say people are not replaceable and cannot be aggregated like data points. However, it is evident at the end of the day that statistics is what allows us to determine whether we are even ourselves. It comes first that we must be ourselves. And then we understand what was erroneous in the data collection up to here in the article: when you live in the United States, you are used to treating your problems but a lot of times there is a placebo effect and the means are actually ineffective. For example, I treat problems in my mind with storytelling, but sometimes the only reason my mind gets better is because I’ve told a story at all and not because the story is accurate. I don’t think data can answer something like whether the British colonial legacy was a good thing for Americans because it is a biased and personal question. I think data though can tell us that my mind is considerably clearer after building Troy after Athens in my mind. Let’s say Athens is the mind and Troy is the body. Troy was known mostly for its warrior spirit and that spirit involves foremost the willingness to die. To lose all sense of plot in the story you are in and plummet out of it, in other words. If one is willing to do this, why not do it early and plummet out of the fairytale romances and into what life really is which is something not to be enjoyed but to be suffered and endured. After data tells us we are on the right track, we can ascertain facts: the answer lies not in Canada but in what it takes for someone like me to truly be at ease in my own skin. Someone who comes at you with facts but no data: we call that a fanatic. Just as the fanatic would say religion is something in the private sphere and not something we use all the time in public. The fanatic would accuse other people of being fanatics if they used religion to make decisions. A fanatic is someone who doesn’t ascertain what the true narrative is and tries to make a narrative from facts alone which should arise from after the narrative. Statistics is the antidote to fanaticism. With statistics we get the sense the world is uncertain or at least changing, and then there is a place for religion for example, as religion is what makes us happy and that is all religion really is. Someone without regard for religion but is also a fanatic: he does not care for anyone’s happiness except his own and he wants to impose his ways of generating happiness onto others. But sometimes you have to fight with the army you have and not the one you wish you have. Not everyone is willing to build Jerusalem for example over the ruins of sin. I always had thought that Jesus had destroyed death and not sin in my religion, but it turns out that sin was mastered much earlier by another religion in the same area: call it Judaism. Jesus would later open this religion to the gentiles by saying their sins be forgiven as he didn’t expect everyone to give up what he did or other Jews did to destroy sin over them. He gave His life. The Jew gave up his brother in Egypt. Let my people go I would say. From the first water gun fight with the French girl, I knew that I would only keep my brother if I remained bonded to her but I’ve broken this bond by changing my desire and that is by waking myself up to modernity. I lived in Canada yes. But the data tells me I will be living in America no matter what story I’m in.