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Useless Numbers


In today’s world, the bean counters like to have a number to support any conclusion that they wish to draw (decision that they wish to have made for them instead of by them). If you can name a number, it will appeal to the general populace because they have learned to take solace in numbers, so numbers sell. What are they selling, though?

They are selling the mean, nothing more and nothing less.

The mean gives the bean counters solace because they define the impact associated with or arising from the mean. However, the anomaly scares the hell out of the bean counters. Why? Because they only see the anomaly when they do a post mortem on “what went wrong here?”. After they figure out what went wrong, they then decide: “Well, that will never happen again since it was so situation specific, and we can go back to targeting for the mean.”

Seeing anomalies as they arise, at a point in time when they can be taken into consideration, can only be achieved by an odd ball since it is an odd ball occurrence – by definition. Useless numbers are mostly noise, since falling within the mean, while not best, is mostly not bad. However, when achieving the mean is bad, it cannot be rectified by other decisions made in reliance upon the numbers.

Anybody get this besides me? (I think the understanding is limited, again by definition.)

Odd  Balls are the sheriffs that the town council finally turns to when the bad guys are affecting business in town. But once the Odd Ball cleans up the town, he then scares the shit out of the council and they want to return to that comfortable, but flawed, reliance on numbers (that can be useless).

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