The use and misuse of statistics in the early years of the People’s Republic
It's a must-read for me now. I'm very impressed. Thanks for presenting this book to us.
An interesting book (!), thanks for writing about Ghosh's book. I wonder whether there have also been shifts in philosophical underpinnings of British, American, French, Japanese etc statistics. And whether it is worth comparing the existing philosophical underpinnings of American vs Chinese statistics, to see if there are capitalist vs socialist influences.
There is a tale I was taught where a French king commissioned from the best cartographers he could have the best, most detailed map of France ever. It would be the perfect map.
The cartographers produced and delivered him a map of the exact size of France. A facsimile of France.
The moral of the story is: synthesis is the homo sapiens' super power. No other species we know of has the capacity of abstraction and synthesis the homo sapiens has. Marx had already noticed it, when he stated that the difference between the worst architect and the worker bee is that the former idealizes the construction in his head before building it, while the latter just do it.
Science is not the the truth. The objective of science is to produce models of the truth -- models which are socially useful to us. The truth in itself is already given, it exists and will continue to exist with or without human blessing; it is what humans do with the truth they can grasp that makes human societal formations and, as such, us as humans ourselves.
This makes me curious to learn about the 20th century history of China. Any recommendations of books on this topic?