One of the reasons I hate politicians and their associated minions is not that they are lying, cheating, self serving pieces of shit but rather that they offend one of my prime sensibilities. In my world the thing that has always mattered the most is data – anyone who resorts to narrative to push a point of view in the absence of data is worthless and has nothing to offer to any debate. Social policy in all its manifest forms is largely an evidence free zone. It doesn’t matter what area you examine be it health, education or urban planning there seems to be very little data to support any policy initiative other than it being driven by an underlying dogma.
Having returned from travelling I have noticed a host of peanuts fizzing at the bung about the apparent need to begin indefinitely holding 14 years old without charge in the wake of the terrible event in Sydney earlier this month. So it was time to go to the data and see if the hyper emotional rhetoric has any basis in fact. To do this I took some full year of close to full year figures that I could find for some causes of death locally and plotted them. The results are below.
Dont be deceived by the relative size of the bars, this data is plotted logarithmically – look at the numbers on the top of each bar. I had to do this because of the enormous disparity in the actual numbers. We have many societal ills in Australia ranging from the awful scourge of domestic violence to the inordinate number of people who are in such pain that they take their own lives. Terror is not one of them. The central issue here is that narrative is designed to confirm and inflame an existing bias, data is designed to be free of bias.
The relevance of this to trading or in fact any form of investing is obvious. What you think to be true may not actually be true, only the data can tell you what is true and what is merely a figment of your imagination.