“A woman is often measured by the things she cannot control. She is measured by the way her body curves or doesn’t curve, by where she is flat or straight or round. She is measured by 36-24-36 and inches and ages and numbers, by all the outside things that don’t ever add up to who she is on the inside. And so if a woman is to be measured, let her be measured by the things she can control, by who she is and who she is trying to become. Because as every woman knows, measurements are only statistics… and STATISTICS LIE.”
~ Marilyn Monroe.
As a woman who has based much of my professional career on the probability and proof of statistics, I am well aware of the many falsities therein.
FACT: 40% of ALL statistics are WRONG.
That’s a large margin, none of us would use a birth control method that failed that often…and yet we quote statistical evidence as proof of FACT.
I ascribe to a somewhat alternate view. Statistics do not represent truth rather they are observation, and observation can be subjective…opinion. But, does subjectivity make something inherently wrong? Perhaps, but the observation still holds meaning to the observer and ultimately the observer is the one who will create understanding. Now here is where it gets interesting…there can be a MULTITUDE OF UNDERSTANDINGS, each correct to someone…the trick of it all (there’s always a trick, isn’t there?) is to be able to simultaneously hold multiple understandings, perspectives, views, opinions…mindfully and without judgment…because it doesn’t matter that the statistics are incorrect…only that we have been open to a different reality, view, or opinion.
Sounds like a lot of work, when we could just lean on those statistics and KNOW what:
or rich (the 1%),
or smart (IQ = 140+)
But…we cannot…because those statistics only offer ONE OPINION…and one opinion just doesn’t make life very challenging or interesting for that matter.
Which is exactly why my personal life offers such a perfect foil for my professional (“statistical”) one.