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Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 3 of Jerry Z. Muller’s newly released (2018) The Tyranny of Metrics:

There are things that can be measured.  There are things that are worth measuring.  But what can be measured is not always what is worth measuring; what gets measured may have no relationship to what we really want to know.  The costs of measuring may be greater than the benefits.  The things that get measured may draw effort away from the things we really care about.  And measurement may provide us with distorted knowledge – knowledge that seems solid but is actually deceptive.

DBx: One of the great non sequiturs of the modern age starts with the vitally important truth that observation as careful, as close, and as objective as possible of reality is an indispensable source of knowledge.  Reality is not what we fancy it to be; reality is what it is and it’s up to us to learn what it is as best as we are able.  But contrary to naive belief, it does not follow from this truth that every relevant feature of reality can be quantified or even directly observed, or that all that we can and do observe and quantify is thereby relevant.  Nor does it follow that observation even of the most observable aspects of reality can be done independently of the categories and theories that we humans inescapably bring to the task of observing.