python vs perl lines of code

Edward Elliott nobody at
Thu May 18 04:08:15 CEST 2006

Ben Finney wrote:

> I responded to a post that seemed to claim that anecdotes about events
> can be treated as data about events. They can't; that's what I'm
> arguing.

And conveniently ignoring the key part of my post.  Here it is again for
those who missed it:

"Before the days of cheap video, lots of scientific data was gathered by
lone observers recording unrepeatable events.  You build statistics by
accumulating a vast number of such observations over time."

Sounds like anecdotes can become data to me.  It's a stupid argument anyway. 
Anecdotes *are* data.  Some data is repeatable, some is not.  All data has
an associated confidence level.  Single anecdotes are relatively low, as
you gather more the confidence level rises (for the aggregate).  Eventually
you reach the maximal level by definition: the sum of all anecdotes is the
universe of available data.

No one's saying anecdotes are 100% reliable.  But they aren't 0% reliable

Edward Elliott
UC Berkeley School of Law (Boalt Hall)
complangpython at eddeye dot net

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