“Don’t swing at every pitch. Wait for the right ones and then knock them out of the park.”
Image from Unsplash by Josh Hemsley
I recently had the opportunity to observe two different sporting events on the same weekend.
One—as you might guess from today’s quote—was baseball. The other was tennis.
When I compared the two, I noticed a significant difference.
In tennis, the receiving player tries to return every serve that makes it into the service area, no matter how fast or how much spin it may have.
In baseball, the batter has a number of chances to be more selective on when to swing at what’s being offered by the pitcher.
Where do you find yourself swinging at every pitch coming your way?
How often do you strike out or get on base, given your ability to discern which pitches are right for you?
How would more practice increase your batting average and add more home runs to your stats?
“Don’t let statistics do a number on you.”
Image from Unsplash by Carlos Muza
These days you hear a lot about big data and how the use of information collected has impacted all of us for both good and bad.
Here are some common statistics used in our daily lives:
- Weather forecasting
- Sales tracking
- Healthcare spending and insurance
- Monitoring traffic patterns
- Financial models and investing
- Manufacturing and quality improvements
- Urban planning and population modeling
Unfortunately, we are learning more and more about how statistics are used to mislead and manipulate all of us. Areas in which things can go wrong include:
- The use of misleading graphs
- Selective data displays
- Omitting the baseline
- Distinguishing causation and correlation
- Prosecutor’s fallacy
Where do you get your information on the subject of climate change? How fact based and objective are your sources?
Consider reading The Carbon Almanac as a source that is objective and easily verified.
What statistics and other sources of information do you currently trust, but could benefit from the use of greater verification?