Out on a Limb

Statistics, aka Political Arithmetic

May 29, 2013

Adam Smith, Wealth of Nations: “I have no great faith in political arithmetick …” I am not being facetious when I call statistics “political arithmetic”.  The British coined the phrase to describe data collection and projections they were using to assess the population and determine public policy.  The Britannica Online Encyclopedia reports “In the 1680s the […]

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