“There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.”
This bit of whimsy was popularized by American author and humorist Mark Twain, who, ironically, attributed the quote to British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli, despite no reputable record he ever said this.
The first two kinds of lies are self-explanatory: people are going to lie, and others are going to lie with malice.
The third category is not a damnation of data, but of the use of misleading figures or information to spread incomplete truths, or outright untruths, as something more convincing.
Those who strive to be informed — be it journalists, writers, or private citizens — need to be vigilant, and dig deeper to uncover the complete truth.
“Little knowledge is a dangerous thing. So is a lot.” – Alexander Pope
Image credits (because the “featured image” basically encourages theft by not allowing captioning…)
USA Today for “At What Point Does the Most Predictable League Become Too Predictable?”
New York Daily News for “The price of free expression in the NFL”
Wallpaper Cave for “Patriotism, division, and the ‘stick to sports’ illusion”
Clip Art for the contact me page