Friday, April 06, 2007

Ignoring data does not make the situation go away.

It disturbs me when I see people ignoring data because they do not agree with preconceptions or ideology. This happens with global warming, evolution, health care, and many other key issues. It occurs in business, in academia and in government. I am at a loss to understand whether the individuals involved genuinely do not understand or believe the data, or whether they simply reject it because it goes against a deeply held belief. This behavior can lead to major, as well as many minor, disasters. This is the kind of thing which leads to the collapse of bridge as well as the launch of a product which consumer research has shown than no one likes!

Exhorting people to have respect for facts seems to make little difference. Few people seem to be prepared to put data over wishful thinking.

No comments: