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Metrics Mania and the Countless Counting Problem 138

mobkarma writes "Einstein once said, 'Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.' A New York Times article suggests that unless we know how things are counted, we don't know if it's wise to count on the numbers. The problem isn't with statistical tests themselves, but with what we do before and after we run them. If a person starts drinking day in and day out after a cancer diagnosis and dies from acute cirrhosis, did he kill himself? The answers to such questions significantly affect the count."
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Metrics Mania and the Countless Counting Problem

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Reality must take precedence over public relations, for Mother Nature cannot be fooled. -- R.P. Feynman