I came up with this topic after Federer lost to Nadal in the semifinal of the Australian Open. That was because news circulated that the other finalist Stanislas Wawrinka had never won a set against Nadal in his previous twelve meetings. In the final, however, Nadal was beaten to allow Wawrinka get a hold of his first Grand Slam. Now, there were no mention of the statistics that had dominated the media prior to the final. I mean, is it fair to go along with the stats that appear in the screen and predict the outcome in the next meeting?
Many a times this season in EPL, we have seen teams down the table beat the top four teams in their home ground and defied the statistics that swirled in the minds of the player when they entered the ground. Some records were more than fifty to a hundred years old.
Statistics do rule a large part of our lives. We make most of our decisions from the details we confront in various situations. The exam results are largely based on statistics. We predict the best performers from the previous performances. So is the case in other disciplines like business, medicine and engineering.
|Do numbers tell us the complete story?|
Statistics have the upper hand in influencing the psychology of certain events. For example, doctors prescribe new medicines based on the success rates that those medicines had in a previous group of patients. The success rates force the doctors to believe on the medicine and hope that it won’t cause any negative consequences.
On the other hand, some statistics compels us to calm down our senses whenever the same incident comes again. Talking about my supporting club Arsenal, it has never lost a match in which Koscielny and Mertesacker have played a full ninety minutes in the last two years. Now, every time I watch them play I have a spidey sense about the end result: win or draw. It is based completely on statistics. The bright side is that Arsenal fans tend to worry less about the end result!
It seems naive to get fooled by statistics. There is no concrete evidence to support our claim. Probability just cannot make the outcomes as it wishes. It is entirely a theoretical conviction set up by the mathematicians. Moreover, it neglects all the possible scenario that can affect an event. It may delineate an approximate value but the complete story is ambiguous.
All we can ever do regarding the enigma of statistics is to cherish its richness. Although it fails to sparkle our conscience, its psyhological influence is appreciative. Sometimes it can be reliable and boost our confidence. Sometimes it acts as a betrayal to our friendship. Whatever the case, statistics will continue to baffle us and serve as a perfect example of a two-faced character: trustworthy or blood thirsty betrayal.