Five quotations to help thinking about quantitative thinking


  1. “Quantification was a wImageay of claiming status… even the social anthropologists counted coconuts” (McCloskey, who, for the avoidance of doubt, was not suggesting this is a good thing!)
  2. “Measurements presuppose theories” (Popper)
  3. “Facts alone are not enough…. Theory is sacred and we need it more than ever” (Žižek)
  4. Even when just describing a new dataset  “we cannot avoid applying to it certain abstract ideas, acquired from somewhere or other but certainly not just from the new observations alone.” (Freud)
  5. Quantification is not something “that can effectively be sought by measuring” (Kuhn)