The ability of statistics to accurately represent the world is declining. In its wake, a new age of big data controlled by private companies is taking over – and putting democracy in peril.
begins William Davies tale of woe in the Guardian. Unfortunately, he confuses credible statistics with modern state-istics*; and seems impervious to the idea that Joe Sixpack has wised up to the fact that there are “lies, damned lies, and statistics,” and that most of these are peddled by the Leviathan State and its corporate cronies. Usually to Joe’s detriment.
Statistics in industry and scientific research is doing quite well, thank you. The Big Data movement is still immature and riddled with snake-oil salesmen; it will eventually spot them, possibly by applying its methodologies reflexively.
Tip from that same O’Reilly Newsletter. Finally, I got on a sucker list that’s interesting!
*Where did you think the word came from?
Update: Briggsy holds much the same opinion as I do, but expresses it more eloquently.