Finding the truth (separating fact from fiction)

Facts are the enemy of truth

As a researcher, I love this quote – and it is a great one to remember during the election season. Consider an exit poll by CNN after the West Virginia primary that simply cited the percent of Clinton supporters that wouldn’t vote for Obama and vice versa.

Factual data? Absolutely. What did it really mean? No idea, because the CNN poll failed to take the necessary steps to find the truth behind the numbers – which would have required them to ask “why”. So rather than knowing and reporting the truth, CNN simply speculated and let the bloggers (Must be race! Gender! Because he’s an elitist!) speculate as well. Dangerous and misleading research at its best.

Today’s online polls can gather an enormous amount of facts in a very short period of time. But crunching statistical facts does not mean you have gotten down to the truth of the matter – that takes a willingness to ask more insightful questions and take the time to understand and interpret the meaning behind all of the data.

There’s a popular adage: Separate facts from fiction. We would suggest that you would be much better off to separate facts from the truth.

~ by chuckmattina on May 15, 2008.

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