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Damned Lies - W.F.M. de Vries - Paperback

Paperback - 342 blz. - literaire roman

Artikelcode: 978-94-6129-146-2

Damned Lies - W.F.M. de Vries - Paperback

An old saying goes that there are lies, damned lies and statistics. Disraeli is supposed to have coined this phrase, but that could well be a lie in itself. This book contains the memoirs of the author, who has worked in statistics for well over thirty years. Parts of the book are about the history of the Central Bureau of Statistics of The Netherlands, including how over the years the work of the Bureau gradually became overwhelmingly subject to European Union legislation. Other parts are about international statistical developments in general, and about many of the colleagues the author has had the privilege of meeting and cooperating with.  
It highlights some of the struggles of statisticians in providing a quantitative picture of the world that is truthful, but at the same time relevant for the users. In particular, it is about the difficult task of discovering the relevant questions statisticians should find an approximate answer to, as opposed to finding increasingly precise answers to the wrong questions. The book also addresses some pervasive ethical issues, including examples of how countries sometimes ‘lie with statistics’ to protect their national interests.  Finally, it demonstrates the importance of international statistical coordination, as well as its shortcomings. All in all, the book tries to show that statistics is serious business, but should not always be taken too seriously. 

De Britse staatsman Disraeli beweerde dat er verschillende soorten leugens bestaan: ‘Leugens, vreselijke leugens en statistieken’. Dat suggereert dat statistieken nooit de waarheid vertellen. Daar zit in zoverre wat in, dat statistici voortdurend worstelen met de vraag hoe de ‘waarheid’ moet worden geconstrueerd met beperkte middelen en gepresenteerd op een manier waar gebruikers van statistieken iets aan hebben. Dit boek is het verhaal van iemand die meer dan dertig jaar in de statistiek heeft gewerkt,zowel in Nederland als op internationaal niveau. Het gaat ook over professionele ethiek en internationale coördinatie, en waarom die soms faalt.

Euro 35.00