I’d value your thoughts. I just wrote a fairly rambling post about my frustration at how we ignore data in favor of superstition, and that could lead to stuff like, oh, the collapse of modern society.
I think on a personal level, there’s room for us to use data in our lives where we just don’t do it, yet life would be a lot better if we did.
Example #1, data about what’s going on in others’ heads: I “knew” Tom S hated me in high school. I never thought to ask him or find out, I just decided it, based on the way he treated me. One day we were assigned to work together on a project, I called his house, and his mother said, “Oh! You’re the boy he admires so much.” I was floored. Tom and I ended up becoming friends.
Example #2, retirement planning: after the March 2000 market crash, a friend was re-evaluating her retirement plans. Numerically, she could only meet her goals in the stock market by getting 15%+ returns for over 15 years. She thought it unlikely and began finding other ways to finance her retirement and diversified into other investments.
- Is this a good topic for the book?
- Do you have any examples of how you’ve used data to reach contrary or surprising conclusions?