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Some quotes on data that I quite like:

  • The plural of anecdote is not data. (Frank Kotsonis)
  • Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts. (Daniel Moynihan)
  • Errors using inadequate data are much less than those using no data at all. (Charles Babbage)
  • All information is imperfect. We have to treat it with humility. (Jacob Bronowski)
  • It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts. (“Sherlock Holmes”)
  • Intuition becomes increasingly valuable in the new information society precisely because there is so much data. (John Naisbitt)
  • The idea is to try to give all the information to help others to judge the value of your contribution; not just the information that leads to judgment in one particular direction or another. (Richard Feynman)
  • I don’t see the logic of rejecting data just because they seem incredible. (Fred Hoyle)
  • If you torture data sufficiently, it will confess to almost anything. (Fred Menger)
  • Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please. (Mark Twain)
  • Science is organized common sense where many a beautiful theory was killed by an ugly fact. (Thomas H Huxley)

and finally…

  • There’s no sense being exact about something if you don’t even know what you’re talking about. (John von Neumann)