One of my first childhood memories is of me asking my grandparents the meaning of a word. This was before I learnt to read and write. Instead of answering me, they took me to a shelf and shown me a dictionary: “Here you’ll find all words and their meanings. Let’s find here the word you just asked about”.
My family always discussed politics passionately over their meals. As a teenager, I devoured books trying to make sense of it. It didn’t take long to realise that most political writing is baseless. There’s a lot of opinion and facts are used sparingly to support these opinions.
Ideally, the order of priority should be the reverse: there should be an abundance of facts, and the opinion should be built on those. Moreover, opinions should be used sparingly.
While most of my work involves dealing with classified data, in this blog I can play with freely available information and tools and let others know what I’m up to. You’ll notice that my definition of ‘fact’ and ‘data’ is broad, and comprises historical accounts as well as things measured by numbers. I acknowledge the inherent bias found in both. I welcome criticism that addresses it.