17 oct. 2007

Mensonges & Statistiques (1)

Dana Fradon, New Yorker, January 31 1977
Une définition

Statistique : Méthode de collecte, de présentation et d'analyse des observations relatives à des individus ou des faits nombreux appartenant à un même ensemble défini de manière précise, dans le but de mettre en évidence certaines propriétés générales de cet ensemble en négligeant les particularités de chaque fait ou individu considéré isolément...

Dictionnaire de la statistique (Dunod, 1968)

Quelques citations

Les statistiques, c'est comme le bikini. Ce qu'elles révèlent est suggestif. Ce qu'elles dissimulent est essentiel. Aaron Levenstein

La statistique est la première des sciences inexactes. Edmond et Julesde Goncourt

La mort d'un homme est une tragédie, la mort d'un million est une statistique. Joseph Staline

Statistics are no substitute for judgment. Henry Clay

In earlier times, they had no statistics, and so they had to fall back on lies. Stephen Leacock

The statistics on sanity are that one out of every four Americans is suffering from some form of mental illness. Think of your three best friends. If they're okay, then it's you. Rita Mae Brown

et un poème

by Wislawa Szymborska (*)
(translated from the Polish by Joanna Trzeciak)
The Atlantic Monthly, May 1997
Out of every hundred people,
those who always know better :

Unsure of every step :
almost all the rest.

Ready to help,
if it doesn't take long :

Always good,
because they cannot be otherwise :
four -- well, maybe five.

Able to admire without envy :

Led to error
by youth (which passes) :
sixty, plus or minus.

Those not to be messed with :

Living in constant fear
of someone or something :

Capable of happiness :
twenty-some-odd at most.

Harmless alone,
turning savage in crowds :
more than half, for sure.

when forced by circumstances :
it's better not to know,
not even approximately.

Wise in hindsight :
not many more
than wise in foresight.

Getting nothing out of life except things :
(though I would like to be wrong).

Balled up in pain
and without a flashlight in the dark :
eighty-three, sooner or later.

Those who are just :
quite a few, thirty-five.

But if it takes effort to understand :

Worthy of empathy :

Mortal :
one hundred out of one hundred --
a figure that has never varied yet.
(*) Wislawa Szymborska won the 1996 Nobel Prize for literature
A suivre...

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