on Statistics

statistics Framed“It is said that the present is pregnant with the future.”

The future is what we make of it. In other words, you reap what you sow.

“Do not put your faith in what statistics say until you have carefully considered what they do not say.” William W. Watt

“I always avoid prophesying beforehand because it is much better to prophesy after the event has already taken place.” Winston Churchill

“I could prove God statistically.  Take the human body alone – the chances that all the functions of an individual would just happen is a statistical monstrosity.” George Gallup

“Forecasting is the art of saying what will happen, and then explaining why it didn’t!” Anonymous (communicated by Balaji Rajagopalan)

“My interest is in the future because I am going to spend the rest of my life there.” C.F. Kettering

“I abhor averages.  I like the individual case.  A man may have six meals one day and none the next, making an average of three meals per day, but that is not a good way to live.” Louis D. Brandeis

“Some things are so unexpected that no one is prepared for them.” Leo Rosten, Rome Wasn’t Burned in a Day

“There are two kinds of statistics, the kind you look up and the kind you make up.” Rex Stout, Death of a Doxy

“Prophesy is a good line of business, but it is full of risks.” Mark Twain, Following the Equator

“The best qualification of a prophet is to have a good memory.” Marquis of Halifax

“To expect the unexpected shows a thoroughly modern intellect.” Oscar Wilde

“Statistics can be made to prove anything – even the truth.” Author unknown

“It is often said there are two types of forecasts – lucky or wrong!” Institute of Operations Management, Control magazine

“An economist is an expert who will know tomorrow why the things he predicted yesterday didn’t happen today.” Evan Esar

“Torture numbers, and they’ll confess to anything.” Gregg Easterbrook

“The herd instinct among forecasters makes sheep look like independent thinkers.” Edgar R. Fiedler, The Three Rs of Economic Forecasting-Irrational, Irrelevant and Irreverent , June 1977

“If you have to forecast, forecast often.” Edgar R. Fiedler, The Three Rs of Economic Forecasting-Irrational, Irrelevant and Irreverent , June 1977.

“He who lives by the crystal ball soon learns to eat ground glass.” Edgar R. Fiedler, The Three Rs of Economic Forecasting-Irrational, Irrelevant and Irreverent , June 1977

“Forecasting future events is often like searching for a black cat in an unlit room, that may not even be there.” Steve Davidson, The Crystal Ball

“I never think of the future, it comes soon enough.” Albert Einstein

“It is far better to foresee even without certainty than not to foresee at all.” Henri Poincare, The Foundations of Science, page 129

“Those who have knowledge, don’t predict. Those who predict, don’t have knowledge.” Lao Tzu, 6th Century BC Chinese Poet

“Foreknowledge of the future makes it possible to manipulate both enemies and supporters.” Raymond Aron, The Opium of the Intellectuals

“Wall Street indices predicted nine out of the last five recessions!” Paul A. Samuelson, Newsweek, Science and Stocks, 19 Sept. 1966

“An unsophisticated forecaster uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp posts – for support rather than for illumination.” Andrew Lang

“I foresee that man will resign himself each day to new abominations, and soon that only bandits and soldiers will be left.” Jorge Luis Borges, The Garden of Forking Paths

“I have seen the future and it is very much like the present, only longer.” Kehlog Albran, The Profit

“Prediction is very difficult, especially if it’s about the future.” Nils Bohr, Nobel laureate in Physics

“If you can look into the seeds of time, and say which grain will grow and which will not, speak then unto me.” William Shakespeare

“The future isn’t what it used to be!” Anonymous

“Cutting up fowl to predict the future is, if done honestly and with as little interpretation as possible, a kind of randomization. But chicken guts are hard to read and invite flights of fancy or corruption.” Ian Hacking, The Emergence of Probability

“A good forecaster is not smarter than everyone else, he merely has his ignorance better organised.” Anonymous


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