From the January/February, 2002 issue of Touchstone
Lies, Damned Lies & Statistics by Roberto Rivera

Lies, Damned Lies & Statistics

Roberto Rivera on the Truth About Loving Our Kids

I’ve got a confession to make: I’m a geek. No, I’m not a “carnival performer who performs sensationally morbid or disgusting acts, [such] as biting off the heads of live chickens.” I mean the contemporary sense of the word: a person whose curiosity and enthusiasms meet with the disapproval of others. My frowned-upon pursuit is statistics. I love baseball partly because the numbers mean something. And it’s not just baseball. You can’t really understand American culture unless you, as they say on Marketplace, do the numbers.

That’s why I’m a sucker for the Statistical Abstract of the United States and why I love browsing through page after page of Census Bureau data. I won’t say t . . .


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