The tools of Statistics and System Dynamics:
The first for private business, the other for public policies

Nipawin -Saturday, August 24, 2002 - by: Mario deSantis




I have a distaste for the wide misuse of statistical opinion polls and I have derogatorily labeled our unconsciously driven love for opinion polls as instant democracy, that is a democracy reflecting the immediate convenience of the poll respondents rather than the reflective understanding of our own common good. There is a place for statistical polls/surveys and this place would include our private business and convenient drive to make money. But when we deal with the common good (for examples political decisions and the goods belonging to all of us as common people such as fresh water and clean air) we must not use opinion polls to determine public policies.




Public policies must not be subject to the whim of the poll respondents and related statistical results. Instead, public policies should reflect the understanding for a better overall common good, that is a reflection of a better democracy.




In this regard it is definitely preferable to use the tool of System Dynamics rather than the tool of Statistics. With System Dynamics we are able to simulate dynamically the whole world of study in a consistent and participative fashion.




With Statistics instead, we are able only to statically represent the world of study when we ass-u-me the condition of Ďceteris paribusí that is when we change one resource (variable) while all the others remain the same. With System Dynamics we think cyclically, that is we include the understanding of our limitations and we include the understanding that for any action there is a reaction. With Statistics instead we think linearly, that is we ass-u-me that some of our resources can grow infinitely and that there is no reaction to an action.

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By the way, I was forgetting to state that governments, including the Government of Saskatchewan and universities, donít like the tool of System Dynamics in defining public policies as these governments have been taken over by the big corporations. Big corporations have the interest of the good of money rather than the interest of the good of people.
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