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.

  1. Is this a good topic for the book?
  2. Do you have any examples of how you’ve used data to reach contrary or surprising conclusions?

Is there any place for using data and observation …

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