Plato • Alcibiades, 135A
Re: Michael Harris
Statistics were originally the data that a ship of state needed for stationkeeping and staying on course. The Founders of the United States, like the Cybernauts of the Enlightenment they were, engineered a ship of state with checks and ballasts and error-controlled feedbacks to achieve the bicameral purpose of representing both reality and the will of the people. And Max Weber understood that a state’s accounting systems were intended as representations of realities that its crew and passengers must observe or perish.
The question for today is —
- What are the forces that distort our representations of what’s observed, what’s expected, and what’s intended?