Story about pro bicyclist Lance Armstrong
... apparently there's a mysterious "Anti-Doping Agency" that has defrocked him (or despandexed him?) for using performance-enhancing drugs. Struck me as trivial at first because I normally ignore Sport, but then I gave it a bit more thought.
All professions need Anti-Doping Agencies to get rid of their particular version of steroids.
In science and economics the drug of choice is Statistics. When you massage your data with Statistics, you can reach the peer-reviewed finish line long before those unfashionable facts-only slowpokes.
In business the drug of choice is abstract derivatives boosted by Statistics. When you use Derivatives, you don't need to make any dull old product or provide any dull old service. Instant profit!
In journalism the drug of choice is pure uncut Falsehood spiced with Statistics. When you write sheer Fiction packed with Authoritative-Sounding Polls and Big Scary Numbers, you can sell eyeballs way before those plodding fact-finders.
In politics the drug is Gerrymandering of several different types, enabled by Statistics. When you use state legislatures and the electoral college as Gerrymandering tools, you're free of annoying feedback from actual voters. You can rely on the loyal party-bots because you've driven all the halfway rational voters away from the polling place in disgust.
Hmm. These performance-enhancing drugs seem to have a common ingredient.
Labels: Blinded by Stats