By Michael Ward
Strong info, Michael Ward argues, serve to reinforce a notion approximately lifestyles in addition to to deepen an knowing of truth. This heritage of the UN's position in fostering overseas facts within the postwar interval demonstrates how information have formed our figuring out of the realm. Drawing on good over forty years of adventure operating as a statistician and economist in additional than dozen nations world wide, Ward strains the evolution of statistical principles and the way they've got answered to the desires of coverage whereas unraveling the query of why definite facts have been thought of very important and why different facts and matters weren't. The e-book explores the industrial, social, and environmental dimensions of the UN's statistical paintings and the way every one measurement has supplied possibilities for describing the overall healthiness of the area group. Quantifying the realm additionally unearths many of the ignored possibilities for pursuing substitute versions.
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Additional info for Quantifying the World: UN Ideas and Statistics (United Nations Intellectual History Project)
A quite different set of factors that influenced development thinking and how the UN operated, especially in the earlier period of its existence, can be related to the particular geographical focus at the time. An initial concern with India and the Asian subcontinent and the assumed importance of heavy industry in creating the desired “big push” spilled over into a somewhat different approach to the economic policy problems then confronting various countries in Latin America, particularly Argentina, Brazil, and Chile.
They are readily transferable and, in almost all cases, users can download data instantaneously in electronic form. The consumption of official statistics does not reduce their value; it may even enhance their importance since everyone is similarly informed and can benefit from sharing the same data. Nevertheless, history and culture as well as theory (which, in itself, may well be shaped by prevailing culture and available data) play an important part in determining by which rules data are collected and the procedures whereby they are converted into the array of statistics that go into guiding decisions and informing policy.
Over time, governments have passed laws about weights and measures; they have introduced regulations on hours worked, wages paid, the age and sex of employed persons, and prices; and they have enforced product descriptions and quality standards. 1 Some of these laws are now becoming less relevant to countries where services have risen in relative importance and where the costs of observing and administering these laws outweigh any economic gain. Statistics and Facts Strangely, the public seems generally unaware of the dilemmas and problems statisticians face in deciding how to remain independent and thus depict reality or describe behavior as they see it and need to interpret it.