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    The New YorkerHannah Fry3/22/2119 min
    4 reads2 comments
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    The New Yorker
    4 reads
    10
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    • jeff
      ScoutScribe
      5 months ago

      Really excellent article! "Follow the data." has become almost a kind of religious mantra for politicians lately. It's important to always ask questions, especially when something is presented as an incontrovertible fact based on "the data" or "the science."

      But, if more data isn’t always the answer, maybe we need instead to reassess our relationship with predictions—to accept that there are inevitable limits on what numbers can offer, and to stop expecting mathematical models on their own to carry us through times of uncertainty.

    • Ruchita_Ganurkar
      Scout
      5 months ago

      Numbers don’t lie, except when they do.

      The events of the pandemic offer a trenchant illustration. The statistics can’t capture the true toll of the virus. They can’t tell us what it’s like to work in an intensive-care unit, or how it feels to lose a loved one to the disease. They can’t even tell us the total number of lives that have been lost (as opposed to the number of deaths that fit into a neat category, such as those occurring within twenty-eight days of a positive test). They can’t tell us with certainty when normality will return. But they are, nonetheless, the only means we have to understand just how deadly the virus is, figure out what works, and explore, however tentatively, the possible futures that lie ahead.