The exchange rate is onlya statistic, not a symbol of national honor and virility.Paul R Krugman: 1994 Quoted in the NewYork Times, 26 Jun.
It’d be great if the record industry wasn’t completely falling apart and people’s interest in music wasn’t totally disappearing. It’s sad on a cultural level. Not even from the perspective of being in a band, just as a fan. It’s heartbreaking to see how little music means to people in modern times. And people say, “No, no, no — music means more than ever before! People are consuming music at a greater rate!” Well, that doesn’t mean anything, that’s just a statistic. All that’s saying is that people are downloading music more than before. That doesn’t mean that they’re listening to it, that they know anything about it, or that they’re going to see it.davey havok: Thrasher magazine, May 2010
The death of one is a tragedy, but death of a million is just a statistic.marilyn manson: Being from Manson's Fight Song of Holy Wood, this is actually a quote from German writer Erich Maria Remarque, also often misattributed to Josef Stalin.
I'd just gotten in. The first day. The nurse said, "This is your room and this is your roommate, blah, blah, blah." It was about ten-thirty in the morning. I lay down on the bed, put my hands behind my head, and was just about to take a deep breath and go Ahhhh, when Edie came in. She was wearing one of those white cloth things that they make you wear for X-rays. She come in smoking a cigarette - this horrible, raspy cough - and she looked as light as a feather . . . like she was walking on air . . . and she sort of came down and lighted on one side of the bed. She held my wrist. I thought, "Oh, wow, this chick really looks like she's been through the war! The war." she said "I'm Edie Sedgwick." "My goodness," I thought, "this sure is a friendly hospital." I said I'd read something about her in the paper not too long before . . . about her father being a sculptor. We went on like that . . . just kind of small talk, really. That's how I met her. There wasn't anything sexual between us while I was in the hospital. I didn't want to be another statistic on the boards. I saw her go through a number of guys. Like once a guy named Preacher came in filthy jeans, black leather jacket, Hell's Angels type guy and I thought, "What is she doing with him?" Before that, it was somebody who'd just gotten out of prison notorious as the Santa Barbara cat burglar. He would steal people blind while they were right in bed sleeping . . . take the rings and watched off their fingers. He was with her. I didn't want that. Besides, I had made a vow to myself that I would not make love to anyone before I was twenty-one. But I thought Edie was fascinating. I was in Cottage Hospital to quit the drug world. To get away from it. But even in the hospital I couldn't. People in the corridors kept coming at me to ask, "Can you get me this? Can you get me that?" I would say, "But I'm a patient here. How in the world am I going to get that?" They wanted me to get, like, hundreds of thousands of pills. Speed pills I took very rarely. Just on Friday or Saturday night.edie sedgwick: Michael Post on meeting Edie the first time and being her roommate at Cottage Hospital and his time spent there, as quoted in Edie : American Girl (1982) by Jean Stein and George Plimpton
In televisionland we are all sophisticated enough now to realize that every statistic has an equal and opposite statistic somewhere in the universe. It is not a candidate's favorite statistic per se that engages us, but the assurance with which he can use it. We are testing the candidates for self-confidence, for "Presidentiality" in statistical bombardment. It doesn't really matter if their statistics be homemade. What settles the business is the cool with which they are dropped. And so, as the second half hour treads the decimaled path toward the third hour, we become aware of being locked in a tacit conspiracy with the candidates. We know their statistics go to nothing of importance, and they know we know, and we know they know we know. There is total but unspoken agreement that the "debate," the arguments which are being mustered here, are of only the slightest importance. As in some primitive ritual, we all agree candidates and onlookers to pretend we are involved in a debate, although the real exercise is a test of style and manners. Which of the competitors can better execute the intricate maneuvers prescribed by a largely irrelevant ritual? This accounts for the curious lack of passion in both performers. Even when Ford accuses Carter of inconsistency, it is done in a flat, emotionless, game-playing style. The delivery has the tuneless ring of an old press release from the Republican National Committee. Just so, when Carter has an opportunity to set pulses pounding by denouncing the Nixon pardon, he dances delicately around the invitation like a maiden skirting a bog. We judge that both men judge us to be drained of desire for passion in public life, to be looking for Presidents who are cool and noninflammable. They present themselves as passionless technocrats using an English singularly devoid of poetry, metaphor and even coherent forthright declaration. Caught up in the conspiracy, we watch their coolness with fine technical understanding and, in the final half hour, begin asking each other for technical judgments. How well is Carter exploiting the event to improve our image of him? Is Ford's television manner sufficiently self-confident to make us sense him as "Presidential"? It is quite extraordinary. Here we are, fully aware that we are being manipulated by image projectionists, yet happily asking ourselves how obligingly we are submitting to the manipulation. It is as though a rat running a maze were more interested in the psychologist's charts on his behavior than in getting the cheese at the goal line.russell baker: "And All of Us So Cool" (p.340)
I gather, young man, that you wish to be a Member of Parliament. The first lesson that you must learn is that, when I call for statistics about the rate of infant mortality, what I want is proof that fewer babies died when I was Prime Minister than when anyone else was Prime Minister. That is a political statistic.winston churchill: When Churchill was in opposition after 1945, he led the Conservative Party in a debate about the Health Service. As he listened to Aneurin Bevan’s opening speech, he called for some statistics about infant mortality ... [which were] supplied, copiously and accurately, by Iain Macleod, then working in the back rooms of the Conservative Research Department. But, in his speech, Churchill made only one bold and sweeping use ... [of Macleod’s detailed research]. Encountering MacLeod afterward, Churchill made the above statement. As cited in The Life of Politics (1968), Henry Fairlie, Methuen, pp. 203-204
The worst of all of this is the lie that condoms really protect against AIDS . The condom failure rate can be as high as 20 percent. Would you get on a plane or put your children on a plane if one of five passengers would be killed on the flight? Well, the statistic holds for condoms, folks.rush limbaugh: The Way Things Ought to Be. Pocket Books. October 1992. p. 134. ISBN 978-0671751456. OCLC 26397008.
A well-wrapped statistic is better than Hitler 's "big lie"; it misleads, yet it cannot be pinned on you.Darrell Huff, How to Lie with Statistics (1954), introduction