Are We All Being Fooled by Big Data?

The consequences of faulty data, wonky forecasts, ill-conceived opinions, loose predictions, incorrect assumptions and, in the case of the Golden Gate Bridge, an improbable event form the backbone of Nate Silver’s absorbing new book, “The Signal and the Noise: Why Most Predictions Fail but Some Don’t.” This book, written by the voice behind the popular election forecasting blog, FiveThirtyEight, now licensed by the New York Times, is a reminder that while data doesn’t lie, it does allow people to deceive themselves and others. In some cases it’s a question of

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