Welcome to the fifth post in our Sententia Discussion series! Please engage in the discussion below the post. For a reminder of what the Sententia Discussion series is, and how it’s supposed to work, see this post. Remember, discussion topics will be posted on the second and fourth Sunday of each month.

Background

We’ve talked a bit about statistics before. Sometimes, it seems that our modern society has a numbers fetish. Every argument seems to come down exclusively to data, decisions are made based on data, and the world turns on enormous quantities of data (I really should do a post on “Big Data” and its implications). All of that data is presented in the form of statistics, but statistics can be made to say almost anything.

Prompt

Is our obsession with data helpful, or dangerous?

Has it made it so that people are less willing to consider other positions?

What effect does big data have on our decision-making and objectivity?

Does the profusion of numbers help or hinder our daily lives, world decisions, and policy making?

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