Theory and Therapy of Representations • 1

Again, in a ship, if a man were at liberty to do what he chose, but were devoid of mind and excellence in navigation (αρετης κυβερνητικης), do you perceive what must happen to him and his fellow sailors?

Plato • Alcibiades • 135 A

Re: Michael HarrisMathematical Literacy and the Good Society

Statistics were originally the data 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 for the sake of representing both reality and the will of the people.  In that connection Max Weber saw how a state’s accounting systems were intended as representations of realities its crew and passengers must observe or perish.

The question for today is —

  • What are the forces distorting our representations of what’s observed, what’s expected, and what’s intended?


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6 Responses to Theory and Therapy of Representations • 1

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