Strong Opinions, Weakly Held

ron burgundy-Will-Ferrell-1306041347_4_3
Fuckers try to baffle you with bullshit all the time. If anyone comes at you with the word “data” trying to puff up like a blow fish, you know they are full of shit. When I went away to university (Fight on, Trojans), the first book that was assigned reading before classes even started for the semester was, “How to Lie with Statistics.” It showed all the common ways researchers, marketers and all ‘round bullshitters use alleged statistics (er, data) to try to bolster their position when the facts showed otherwise. Strong opinions that fall apart because they are built on a bullshit base. Sometimes people do this knowing exactly what they are doing but realize some advantage it might give them and are willing to accept the trade off with smarter people realizing they are full of shit. (Check the quote below. On the mark.) Working in software last few years when big data became trendy I can’t tell you how many times bullshit was thrown out there with fucked up “data.” They’d be in a bad position of their own making that they couldn’t support or they were trying hard to sell the room on something whack as hell and next thing you know they would start repeating “data” like a mantra and pull some skewed numbers out their ass and say, “The data points mean this.” Half the room would look around with the screw face and say, THAT shit most definitely does NOT mean that. You fucking crazy!?” Kidding. Mostly it was screw faces and silence as nobody wanted to be the person not seeing the connection. Later everyone would talk in message and all come to the realization they all thought the same thing. It was bullshit with extra data on top to mask the smell.
“I am wired to discount people who have total assuredness in their point-of-view, have dogmatic positions or use data as a crutch or substitute for logic. I appreciate people who have strong opinions or conviction but expect them to constantly be testing their opinions and refining their approaches as they encounter new people, facts or logic.”
– Mark Suster, Entrepreneur turned VC

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