Friday, August 21, 2009

Two Words from Terry .....

Not all evidence is created equal ... and while the evidence you bring to a debate may be pursuasive, even seductive, it may not have anything to do with the actual facts of the situation.

Terry Teachout was writing about the debate over shrinking, aging audiences for jazz in America,
with this post at About Last Night ... but that post reaches beyond jazz, providing insight into just about any disgreement we might have over just about any topic ... and what we bring to bolster, to 'prove' our side of said disagreement.

For all our powers of observation, and our ability to process what we observe, what we see and hear in the course of our daily lives provides "anecdotal evidence" of what's happening in the world around us ... or, at least, what we think is happening. It may actually be so ... or it may not. THAT is where the need for hard data, gained by means of more thorough, more rigourous analysis comes in. In fact, one has often led to the other ... an observation, no matter how casual (the anecdotal evidence) leading one to wonder, then study, then test, then quantify, then conclude.

Terry's post is short, but spot-on. It's well worth your reading, and your consideration.
Thanks to my e-friend in Philly, Frank at Books, Inq. for the heads-up on Terry's post.