[John Tebbit, Deputy Chief Exec of the Association, is a regular contributor to Building Magazine. This blog was originally posted on 17 October 2013 for that publication and can be read there in its entirety.]
…There is of course a major problem with data backed arguments and that is that they can clearly show that your fondly held opinions are to put it kindly bunkum. However given that the physical world works on how it is rather than how we wish it was (think barbecues and wanting dry, warm, sunny weather but getting rain and wind), surely we should all be basing the big discussions on agreed data.
We may well disagree what the data means but if you cannot even bring proper data to the party or be competent in understanding it, why should we listen to you? I remember a quote from my O-level mathematics coursework book. “He uses statistics like a drunkard uses a lamp post – for support, rather than illumination”. We all know people who do that….