Context Matters

I'll never forget the season I scored half of my soccer team's goals.

To be honest, I was not a particularly good soccer player. The actual number of goals I scored that season?

One.

Context matters everywhere, but especially with statistics. It's easy to be misled by stats because they seem so objective, but they're easy to use in a dishonest way, even when they’re technically true.

A 100% year-over-year increase in people getting eaten by mountain lions sounds scary. But if last year that number was three, we probably don't have much to fear.

The average human has half a uterus, but that's not a useful representation of our anatomy if there aren't many people close to the average.

And just because we've observed the sun rising 100% of the time so far, that doesn't mean we can extrapolate that out forever.

Quantifying the world is just as much art as it is science.

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