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Wednesday, August 10, 2005

James on PBS

Nice interview of Bill James on Think Tank with Ben Wattenberg on PBS. My favorite part:

"The data is a limited way of explaining life. The essential property of the data is that it’s not real. It is an image of a reality that is always something else and in the same way as one can define poverty in different ways in the statistics, or anything in baseball, what you have in essence is a picture and you could take a picture of me from the front and a picture of me from the left and a picture of me from the back and you’d have very, very different pictures. The statistics are not – they’re a real thing; they are just a picture of something else. There is always a lot that’s left out of the picture and the biggest mistake that people who try to study baseball through the stats make is thinking that they – it’s confusing them with the real event. There’s always a tremendous amount that’s left out. What a lot of people don’t understand is that there are also things that you can see in the statistics that you can’t really see in any other way. So you have - you just have to balance those."

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