but shh, please don't tell this to anybody
He was a veterinary technician working county’s central office. This was a desk job where he used the knowledge gathered in a long apprenticeship on field.
Among daily task he had to ask and record the basic data regarding number of animals in “production cooperatives” – the new communist farms… all these information were basic input data for the state statistics.
Just a note before moving forward: It was the mid of cold war and the horses were still (sic) recognized as a potential strategic (sic) source of “power” for military applications. In this “assumption”, the communication protocols requested that no specific, transparent values should be used in the reports on strategic resources ... The enemy listens permanently.
…so a commission was assembled “ad hoc” and sent just next day to inspect and report the situation on field.
You can imagine the surprise when the commission found in the stable just one horse!... and the stable responsible clarified the situation: “But we had only two horses!”… so the report was absolutely truthful!
I think that anybody having some familiarity with statistics understands that the interpretations of statistical data is an art J (don’t tell to our clients something like this).
I tell my father story to the young engineers when they hit (maybe) first time the statistic problem(s).
If my father’s story didn’t convince you already,I have one more story to tell (and a good link!) - the “correlation” between mozzarella and PhD engineers ...
This text is written in my father memory.
The Lady Tasting Tea: How Statistics Revolutionized Science in the Twentieth Century is a book by |David Salsburg about the history of modern statistics and the role it played in the development of science and industry.
The link below is to a short paper on the same idea
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