This post contains a valuable interview with Noam Chomsky.
Chomsky is a philosopher, not a statistician or an economist. He looks behind the facade of data to ask “why are we doing this?” “What are the consequences?” “What is the value of collecting the data?” “Why?”
Statisticians and economists (fortunately, not all of them) tend to think that when they have collected enough data, they will reach conclusions about the data. They think the data is as solid as “how many cars of this model sold? what was the profit margin? how should we price next year’s model to maximize profit?” or “how high will corn grow with this amount of fertilizer? how many acres should be planted with this seed?”
The starry-eyed data-mongers believe that children can be measured like any agricultural or mechanical product.
But teachers know that children are not corn; they are not electrical appliances; they…
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