You can tell a little thing from a big thing. What’s very hard to do is to tell a little thing from nothing at all.
—MICHAEL THUN, EPIDEMIOLOGIST
Does God only send hail to damage the roofs of people who are bad credit risks?
—STEVEN WOLENS, FORMER TEXAS STATE REPRESENTATIVE
There is a particular breed of statisticians called modelers. Think of modelers as reconnoiterers sent into foreign lands full of danger; they take snapshots of random places and then make general—critics might say wild—statements about the world at large. They play a high-stakes game, ever wary of the tyranny of the unknown, ever worried about the consequence of miscalculation. Their special talent is the educated guess ...