For John, BLUF: "Lies, Damn lies, Statistics"—Various. Nothing to see here; just move along.
With the reappearance of the FiveThirtyEight Blog,♠ giving us data driven news, we have someone offering a small caution. Over at the website Quartz, we have Ms Allison Schrager, on 19 March, talking about "The problem with data journalism". Here is the lede:
The recent boom in “data-driven” journalism projects is exciting. It can elevate our knowledge, enliven statistics, and make us all more numerate. But I worry that data give commentary a false sense of authority since data analysis is inherently prone to bias. The author’s priors, what he believes or wants to be true before looking at the data, often taint results that might appear pure and scientific. Even data-backed journalism is opinion journalism. So as we embark on this new wave of journalism, we should be aware of what we are getting and what we should trust.Regards — Cliff
♠ The name comes from the number of votes in the Electoral College.