Humans are an odd bunch.
Whether it’s living with the dead in Indonesia, walking over mounds of burning coals in China or chasing a giant cheese wheel down a hill in Gloucester — irrespective of country or culture — we often do things that defy rational explanation. Yet of all the weird and wonderful things humans do, one spectacle recently caught my attention.
In the Spanish city of Tarragona, thousands of people gather every two years to witness one of the world’s strangest contests: building the human towers of Catalonia. A tradition spanning over 200 years, hundreds of ‘Castellers’ (tower…
Do you hear that?
That’s the silent sound of eyes rolling and eyebrows raising. I suppose that’s natural given you’re reading an article from a Public Relations practitioner about the notion of ‘truth.’
So let’s get started — Truth; does it exist?
Yes, but I’d argue (or rather have Rappaport, 1981 argue) there are multiple truths that coexist, each with opposing perspectives and conflicting viewpoints. However, I’m not questioning the existence of Truth — or should I say “a” Truth — but the notion of there being an “absolute” Truth. A reality so pure that it cannot be disputed.
For many people, mathematics is the essence of fact. No matter the complexity, mathematicians pride themselves on being rigorous when solving problems, happy in the knowledge that numbers deliver irrefutable facts and indisputable proofs.
Estimations, approximations and partial truths have no place in mathematics. Unless of course, we’re talking about statistics — an area of applied mathematics.
Statistics deals with “the collection, analysis, interpretation, presentation and organisation of data”. All five verbs used to define statistics are subject to human error, either intentional or unintentional, making a mockery of the idea that numbers never lie.
According to English economist and…