Tuesday, September 11, 2007

The Only Book You Need

To Understand Gen. Petraeus' Testimony
I read the book How To Lie With Statistics when I was young and the lessons I found there have served me for decades. Never trust any chart that is counterintuitive; never believe any numbers that are pitched to sell something unless I can see the raw data; when someone's testimony is chock-a-block full of statistics figure he is lying through his teeth unless proven otherwise.
Twenty-seven eight-by-ten color glossy photographs with circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one explaining what each one was. ~ Arlo Guthrie, Alice's Restaurant
When I saw Gen. Petraeus' slide presentation to Congress I flashed back to that old Vietnam War era song/story and I laughed. Flashbacks are a risk for Vietnam War era people. Laughter is the only thing you can do to keep your sanity when watching four-star generals selling their beloved wars to the very last corpse.

1 comment:

Kvatch said...

...to be used as evidence against us!