“Any old map will do” meets “God is in every leaf of every tree”“Any old map will do” meets “God is in every leaf of every tree” | Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science
“Any old map will do” meets “God is in every leaf of every tree”
Posted on by Andrew
As a statistician I am particularly worried about the rhetorical power of anecdotes (even though I use them in my own reasoning; see discussion below). But much can be learned from a true anecdote. The rough edges—the places where the anecdote doesn’t fit your thesis—these are where you learn.
We have recently had a discussion (here and here) of Karl Weick, a prominent scholar of business management who plagiarized a story and then went on to draw different lessons from the pilfered anecdote in several different publications published over many years.
Setting aside an issues of plagiarism and rulebreaking, I argue that, by hiding the source of the story and changing its form, Weick and his management-science audience are losing their ability to get anything out of it beyond empty confirmation.
A full discussion follows.