10 October 2006


Mark Twain is reported to have said "There are three kinds of lies: Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics." He was probably right.

So, when I hear statistics about casualties in the war on Iraq, I find myself saying "OK, but what does that mean?" It's not clear that a single number, or even a series of them, indicates much of anything about how the GWOT is going. And don't get me started about our fascination with round numbers...

So I did a little research about other fatality statistics. I'm not saying any of these numbers are context for any other numbers (except for the fact that they all happened on the same planet). I'm not even commenting on how accurate they are (although I did seek out authoritative sources as much as possible and only used Wikipedia once). I just think they are interesting.

They might provide a little perspective, or they might be entirely irrelevant. I compiled them mostly because I was curious about them, and I'm not drawing any conclusions or implying anything. (each link takes you to the source of the data).

1 comment:

Steve Sherlock said...

And some one else is reported to have said - let the numbers speak for themelves! A telling story indeed!

thanks, Dan