…statistics appears to enjoy a unique status comparable to having one’s head shaved and one’s clothes burned.
Schein (undated; contained in Kolb, Rubin and McIntyre, l979, 12)
I took something about four years ago called the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality [Inventory] test. And the test came back saying that I was a paranoid schizophrenic. And I said to the guy conducting the test, “That’s very interesting. What is it based on?” And he said to me, “Well, for example, here the question says `Do you think people are talking about you?’ and you’ve marked yes. And in this other section it says, `Do you think people discuss you behind your back?’ and you’ve marked yes.” So I said, “Well, they do talk about me, and they do talk about me behind my back. I hear it. People say, `That’s Stephen King. Did you see him?’”
Stephen King, as interviewed by Marvel (l991)
The related references being here.
I used to do a lot of stats. I was trained to. I’ve given it up for phenomenology & hermeneutics, going from social sciences to humanities,I guess.
The trouble with stats is that what you end up writing about – your hupotheses and conclusions – is controlled by the significant results, rather than by what you might think was important to say. And so, in a sense, you end up working for the statistics program rather than the program working for you.
It’s important to be “on time.” A mark of the civilized, in our culture. And so we watch, and our watches control our movements in time. It’s important to be “in time” as well.
I wonder if puppets would wonder if they had free will? What would they make of the strings?